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First Reliance Bank Announces New Charleston Local Advisory Board

First Reliance Bank, a community bank located in Florence, S.C., today announced the formation of a new board of trusted advisors in Charleston. The Charleston Local Advisory Board is comprised of members representative of the business community in Charleston whose focus will be to help drive the bank’s priorities in the Lowcountry. This formation is part of First Reliance Bank’s larger growth strategy across the state.

The board is chaired by Heather Aydlette, whose more than 20 years of experience in private and public accounting as a business advisor, accountant and auditor, well positions her to lead the board and guide the bank with strategic planning in a priority market.

“We are fortunate to have the expertise of the Charleston Local Advisory Board members advise our strategy as we seek to grow our presence in the market,” said Frank Bullard, Charleston market president for First Reliance Bank. “They will act as ambassadors for First Reliance, connecting prospective clients with our trusted team of advisors and counselors for everything from mortgage lending to wealth management and structuring business lines of credit.”

The diverse board members represent various backgrounds, industry experiences and leadership roles. The board was formed and first met in February 2021, and will continue to meet on a quarterly basis. New Charleston Local Advisory Board members include:

  • Heather Aydlette, CPA, Hyland, Ruddy & Garbett, CPA's LLC – Board Chair
  • Dondi Costin, PhD., President, Charleston Southern University  
  • Michael "Brian" Johnson, President, Soil Consultants, Inc 
  • Bert Pruitt, Jr., M.D., Retired OB/GYN
  • John T. Ramey, M.D., National Allergy, and ENT
  • Eveline "Dede" Waring, MD., Caroline Endocrine Associates 

“I am honored to have been asked to chair the Charleston Local Advisory Board for First Reliance Bank and help support its strategic planning and growth in the Lowcountry,” said newly appointed board chair Heather Aydlette, Partner of Hyland, Ruddy & Garbett, CPAS LLC. “We are eager to hit the ground running and I look forward to working with my fellow board members to guide First Reliance towards achieving its objectives here in Charleston.”

First Reliance Bank has a robust mortgage operation and specializes in serving middle-income households and commercial businesses. It has received multiple awards as a “Best Places to Work” and for its commitment to community banking. The staff donates more than 1,500 hours of volunteer service annually and the bank donates approximately 1% of its net income to charity every year.

First Reliance Bancshares, Inc. (OTC:FSRL), the holding company for First Reliance Bank, reported record net income and earnings in 2020. “Our record performance last year is based upon conservative fiscal strategy and a continued commitment to our customers,” Saunders added. “We couldn’t achieve this without the commitment our associates have to deliver our purpose ‘to make the lives of our customers better.’  This is our recipe for success and growth across the Carolinas.”


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