Due to hurricane Idalia, our Mt. Pleasant and Myrtle Beach branches will close at 1 PM Wednesday, August 30th, and will reopen Thursday the 31st at noon.

Skip to main content

Author: press@firstreliance.com

RSS feed of press@firstreliance.com
Jump to blog menu

First Reliance Bank Recognized as a Top 100 Workplace by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption


First Reliance Bank has been recognized in the Top 100 Workplaces by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, a national, nonprofit public charity dedicated to finding forever families for children waiting to be adopted from foster care in the United States and Canada.  

The Foundation works closely with child welfare advocates and policymakers, provides free resources about foster care adoption, and raises awareness through social media campaigns, public service announcements, and events.  

Rick Saunders, President and Chief Executive Officer of First Reliance, said, “Adoption is personal to me as my wife and daughters were adopted. We are most grateful for the love that has been brought to our family. As a company, supporting our associates who seek to adopt children will remain highly important to our institution.” 



How to Create a Good Password

You probably have dozens of accounts and want to keep them safe, but how many passwords do you have? Are you just using the same password for every website you visit? If you are, then you’re asking for trouble. If one password gets stolen, they’re all stolen.

Password Manager Software

An excellent solution is to use a password manager program. While those can cost money, and you still need at least one password to secure it, they are good management tools. So how else can you lock down your accounts? Here are four free ways to lock down your accounts with better passwords.

Don’t Use Names

Don’t use names or words found in any dictionary, for that matter. If you’re using your dog’s name and your address, trust us, someone would eventually be able to figure that out.

Substitute Numbers for Letters

It’s easy to substitute numbers or symbols in ...

Chris Laughridge, Market President, Greenville
Chris Laughridge, Market President, Greenville

First Reliance Bank is pleased to announce the promotion of Chris Laughridge to Market President, Greenville. He will be responsible for leading the Greenville team and building the bank’s footprint in the upstate of South Carolina. He graduated from North Carolina State University in 2002, earning a B.S. in Business Management with a concentration in Finance, and the South Carolina Bankers School in 2007.

“We are pleased to announce Chris Laughridge as Market President for the Greenville market.  This strategic decision is based on Chris’s proven ability to deliver high customer satisfaction as a trusted banking advisor. He knows how to lead teams and what it takes to build a strong community bank.  His extensive industry experience will expand our commercial and local business and customer opportunities”, stated Justin Strickland, President, First Reliance Bank.

Laughridge has over 19 years of industry experience in the banking industry, where he has developed ...

How to Improve Your Credit Score

Yes, life happens! If your credit score has seen better days, it can hurt you when borrowing money. Maybe you get turned down or must pay high-interest rates.

How credit reporting bureaus calculate credit score is a little complex. In this short video, we share some things you should know if you are trying to improve your score.

  1. It’s not good to have no credit cards or cancel all of your cards.
  2. Conversely, don’t open credit accounts you don’t need.
  3. If you have credit cards, keep the balance at less than 50% of the available balance (30% is even better).
  4. Closing an account doesn’t make it go away, as it can still appear on your credit report.
  5. If you’re behind on any accounts, get current, and pay on time as long as it is possible.
  6. If you have an account that goes to collections, that will stay with you. In ...

David Boulware, Mortgage Loan Officer at First Reliance Ban
David Boulware, Mortgage Loan Officer at First Reliance Ban

David Boulware, Mortgage Loan Officer at First Reliance Bank, has been named the “Best of the Pee Dee’s 2022 Best Mortgage Lender" Winner.  

Boulware began his finance career in 1998 before moving into mortgage-related finance in 2000. He operated his own brokerage and was a mortgage lender with two of the nation's largest commercial banking institutions before beginning his career with First Reliance Bank in 2014.  

“David is an experienced lender focused on new construction, government lending, and purchase loan transactions,” shared Chuck Stuart, President of First Reliance Mortgage. “David provides exceptional customer service, and his knowledge of the Pee Dee and Carolina markets is invaluable to our clients. He’s one of the best.” 

“David Boulware excels in leading our mortgage lending efforts as a top producer in the Greater Florence area,” said Rick Saunders, Founder/CEO of First Reliance Bank. “He rightfully earned the recognition of “Best of ...

South Carolina Bankers School students from First Reliance Bank (left to right ) Thomas Floyd, David Mullins and Weston Peters, and graduate Nathan Ruth with Robert Dozier, First Reliance Bank Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
South Carolina Bankers School students from First Reliance Bank (left to right ) Thomas Floyd, David Mullins and Weston Peters, and graduate Nathan Ruth with Robert Dozier, First Reliance Bank Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

Four associates from First Reliance Bank recently completed courses at the South Carolina Bankers School on the campus of Lander University in Greenwood, SC. Nathan Ruth, Sunset Branch Manager, West Columbia, SC, completed the progressive three-year BankExec program and was awarded his diploma during graduation exercises.

The South Carolina Banking Association (SCBA) annually sponsors the South Carolina Bankers School. The SCBA is a professional trade association organized to effectively represent the common interest and welfare of the banking industry in South Carolina and to promote the professional development of its members and their employees.

Talking With Kids About Money

Do your kids talk about how they can get money? Whether from you or from others, helping kids handle their money better is never dull. First Reliance Bank may not have all the answers to helping kids earn or save money, but we do have a few suggestions. Before they ask again, consider sitting down in advance of their want and share these tips.

It is possible kids will learn how their parents or family members may be more likely to give them money if they first learn how to be responsible with it. Letting kids know that going to the toy or game store with every dollar may not be the smartest thing to do; however, giving them a plan may guide their current spending as well as develop good habits for the future.

Charity, Savings, and Spending

Give your kids three envelopes and have them mark one ...

William Jack McElveen, Jr.
William Jack McElveen, Jr.

William Jack McElveen, Jr. has been named to the First Reliance Bank Board of Directors. Before his retirement, McElveen served as the bank’s Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer. He was responsible for overseeing all credit administration functions, and providing direct supervision and accountability, for Credit Administration and overall asset quality. 

McElveen replaces former board member Dale Porter, who was instrumental in helping launch First Reliance Bank in 1999. Porter retired earlier this month. 

“Dale Porter was instrumental in helping us start the bank. He was a trusted and reliable leader who served in many facets of our financial institution. We will miss Dale and wish him well in his retirement”, shared Rick Saunders, President and Chief Executive Officer of First Reliance Bank. 

McElveen has over 38 years of experience in credit administration in the banking industry. He began his career in the financial services industry with Bankers Trust ...

Rick Saunders and Edwin Lesley
Rick Saunders and Edwin Lesley

Edwin Lesley, Chairman of the Business Development Corporation of South Carolina, recognized First Reliance Bank’s excellent performance during their Annual Meeting on May 5, 2022. Rick Saunders, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of First Reliance Bank, accepted the Participating Partner Award for 2021 for the Greatest Number of Loans Approved in 2021 on behalf of the bank.

Saunders said of the award, “I was surprised to receive the award, one that recognizes everyone’s instrumental role in helping our business customers with their PPP loans last year. I have been proud of how our team accepted the challenge and showed tremendous courage to dig in and help the businesses in our communities. I’m proud to serve on the South Carolina Business Development Corporation board that helps businesses across South Carolina succeed, and I am most proud of the team that I represent behind this achievement!”

Michael Edens and Brent Mackie present The Golden Nail Awards
Michael Edens and Brent Mackie present The Golden Nail Awards

First Reliance Bank is pleased to sponsor the Golden Nail category for this year’s Columbia Chamber of Commerce Impact Awards. The Golden Nail Award strives to spotlight the dedication of outstanding organizations and individuals that make the Columbia region a vibrant place to visit, live and do business. First Reliance Bank recognizes the business or property owners who have made exemplary contributions to the physical characteristics of the greater Midlands region through cosmetic or commercial means during the previous calendar year. This year’s Golden Nail awardees are Smoked Restaurant, Hood Construction, Lucas Group, and Midas.