Feb 12, 2015, Florence, S.C. - Rick Saunders, President/CEO was recognized with an Entrepreneur Award from the Florence Darlington Technical College February 11, 2016 at their second annual entrepreneurial forum. Rick, his brother Paul and friend, Dale Porter started the bank because they saw a need for a bank that was designed and operated with the community in mind. One with strong values, and an even stronger team of associates. They saw a need to create a bank that could become a rock in the community, based on trust and relationships; one that could make a real difference in the lives of its customers. They saw a need for a better bank. So they followed their dream to start a bank and contribute to their community in 1999 and First Reliance Bank was born. It took hard work and passion and learning from others, all traits the other recipients of this year’s Entrepreneur Award also cited. Saunders credited the desire to be a compulsive learner who strives to read two books a month and keep a 5 mentor arsenal ready at all times. He is most proud of how associates of the bank stay involved in and contribute to betterment of the communities we are in. “Anyone can start a bank, for me to do it, I had to have a higher purpose to help people and give back,” said Saunders. “We developed a purpose statement, ‘to make the lives of our customers better’ and we endeavor to deliver on it each and every day.” Interviews of all the leaders who received the Entrepreneur awards can be viewed by clicking on this video link and more information is available from an article in the Florence Morning News.