First Defiance Financial Corp. in Defiance, Ohio, has promoted William J. Small to chairman and chief executive officer.

He succeeded Don C. Van Brackel on Jan. 1.

Mr. Small had been president and chief operating officer of the company's First Federal Savings and Loan since June 1996.

He had joined First Federal in 1978 but left in 1987 to become president and managing officer of Hicksville Building, Loan, and Savings Co. He rejoined First Federal in 1994 as a senior vice president.

Mr. Van Brackel retired after 20 years with First Federal. He joined the thrift as a director in 1979, was elected president in 1992, and became chairman and CEO in early 1995. In September of that year, when the holding company was formed, Mr. Van Brackel was elected chairman, president, and CEO.

The $782 million-asset company also promoted P. Scott Carson to succeed Mr. Small at First Federal. Mr. Carson was the president and CEO of Trumbull Financial Corp. and its Trumbull Savings and Loan in Warren, Ohio.

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