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First Reliance Bank Welcomes Octavia Williams-Blake to Board of Directors

Octavia Williams-Blake, Board Member
Octavia Williams-Blake, Board Member

First Reliance Bank announced today the appointment of Octavia Williams-Blake to its Board of Directors beginning June.

“Octavia’s experience and passion aligns with our number one focus – keeping the communities we serve at the forefront of everything we do,” said Rick Saunders, CEO of First Reliance Bank. “She has spent her career focused on improving the lives of our neighbors in Florence and we’re thrilled to have her expertise guide our work.”

Williams-Blake is a well-known community leader in Florence. She served three terms as an at-large City Council member in Florence from 2008-2020 and was the first African American elected at large and the first female elected since 1953. She also served as president of the Municipal Association of South Carolina from 2018-2019.

For nearly two decades she has worked at McLeod Health, the healthcare system that services more than one million people from the Midlands to the coast. There, she serves as Chief Human Resources Officer and previously worked as vice president of workplace health and safety where she focuses on occupational and employee health, workers compensation, population health management and employee relations.

“Her experience gained from working as Human Resource Management for large corporations such as Sony Electronics, Pepsi Bottling Group and McLeod Health will be beneficial to First Reliance Bank as we execute on our growth strategy around the Carolinas.  We know she’ll add that strength and leadership on our board,” Saunders said.

She received her Bachelor of Arts in public affairs at Columbia College and her Doctor of Law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. She is a Liberty Fellowship Class of 2011 Fellow.


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