Rick Saunders, CEO of First Reliance Bank based in Florence, has joined the Advisory Board for the Florence County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) Foundation.
“This Foundation will help equip the Florence County Sheriff’s Office with additional resources to carry out their duty to protect and serve our community,” said Saunders. “I look forward to working with my fellow board members to support this important effort.”
The newly formed foundation’s funds will be used to provide life-saving equipment and to help deputies and their families in the case of an emergency. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit in partnership with the Eastern Carolina Community Foundation.
In 1999, with 19 years of banking experience, Saunders founded First Reliance Bank, which has since grown to nearly $775 million in assets. First Reliance employs 178 associates with branches in Florence, West Columbia, Lexington, Columbia, Mount Pleasant, Downtown Greenville, Taylors, Simpsonville, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The bank also has a branch in Winston-Salem, N.C., and Mooresville, N.C.
The bank has a robust mortgage operation and specializes in serving middle-income households and small businesses. First Reliance 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.
Saunders, who in 1980 began his career in Finance and in 1983 joined Pee Dee State Bank, has received numerous state and local honors, including the Order of the Palmetto in 2019 for his contributions to South Carolina and its communities.