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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.

Ways to Save on Groceries

No matter how you approach grocery shopping, one loves it while another dislikes it! One thing is constant – it is easy to spend hard-earned money. Have you ever considered how much money is wasted at the grocery store every year because of impulse buying? You know, picking out weird things you think you MUST have. Here are some ways to fight the impulse and save cash.

 

  1. Shop only once a week. Fewer trips may mean less temptation.
  2. Shop alone. Research shows that you wind up buying 8% more unneeded items when you take someone with you.
  3. Shop with a list and stick with it. Only walk down the aisles stocked with the items on your list. Studies show that wandering up and down unnecessary aisles can increase your spending by 18%.
  4. Consider purchasing fruits and vegetables at a farmer’s market where prices are usually lower than at a ...


Are You Dreaming of a Vacation?

With the Memorial Day weekend right around the corner, who isn’t ready for a vacation? If you are itching to travel or enjoy a long weekend break, Memorial Day officially kicks off a time of spending time away to explore, refresh, and renew.

If you are planning a trip, here are five ways to save money. Some you may not have thought of, but they really work!

1. Join a local travel social media group
It may be a great way to crowdsource your travel savings. Local members will alert the group when an airline offers a sweet deal from nearby airports, for example.

2. Ask for cash and travel-related gift cards for birthdays and holidays
People may be giving you gifts, so why not make it something towards decreasing the cost of your next vacation? This could be a win-win for you and the gift-giver!

3. Establish a travel ...


Martha Cooper, Vice President Residential Lending Specialist
Martha Cooper, Vice President Residential Lending Specialist

Martha Cooper has joined First Reliance Bank as Vice President Residential Lending Specialist. She will be based in Winston-Salem and will help customers with their mortgage financing needs and identify the bank products that can best meet those needs.

“We are thrilled to welcome Martha to our mortgage team,” said Rick Saunders, Founder/CEO of First Reliance Bank. “She is an excellent mortgage lender, and her knowledge of the Piedmont Triad market will be invaluable to our clients.”

Chuck Stuart, President, of First Reliance Bank Mortgage Division, said, “Martha is well known and has an impressive resume of experience in the Piedmont and Triad market. Her passion for mortgage banking will complement FRB’s dedication to delivering highly personalized service. We look forward to the contributions she will make to the growth and success of our business clients and the bank.”

Martha brings more than 15 years of mortgage and residential lending ...


Melinda Blake, Branch Manager
Melinda Blake, Branch Manager

First Reliance Bank announces the promotion of Melinda Blake to Branch Manager of the Mt. Pleasant branch, replacing Weston Peters, who has moved to the bank’s commercial banking division. Melinda will oversee the branch operations, including managing resources and staff. 

“Melinda is a solid leader in the Mt. Pleasant financial marketplace,” said Rick Saunders, Founder/CEO of First Reliance Bank. “She is an outstanding banker with skills to manage our staff to deliver excellent customer service.” 

Melinda brings more than 20 years of financial services experience. She began her banking career training mortgage brokers and transitioned to teller and banker where she has demonstrated solid leadership. She most recently served as a Client Experienced Banker with a local bank before joining First Reliance Bank as Assistant Branch Manager in 2021.

April is Financial Literacy Month, and the FDIC asks, "How money smart are you?"

Our financial lives can get complicated quickly. It’s easy to lose track of spending and savings. But if you take the time to nurture good financial habits and follow the FDIC website suggestions from their award-winning Money Smart program, these and other important aspects of your financial health will be “built-in.”

Here are the 5 good money habits everyone should work to develop:

  1. Keeping a Budget. Making even a simple budget doesn’t have to be difficult when you have access to past bank statements as a guide.  Monthly expenses are easy but don’t forget those surprise, once-a-year expenses like insurance payments that draft annually or every six months.  You’ll find a budget is one of the most effective money management tools, and it’s free!
  2. Automate Savings.  You’re more likely to do something if it’s easy.  That’s just human nature. So automate your savings. First, if your employer offers a ...


FIRST RELIANCE BANK ANNOUNCES LEADERSHIP  CHANGES IN THE MIDLANDS MARKET

First Reliance Bank is pleased to announce the promotion of Michael Edens to Market President of Columbia; the relocation of Brent Mackie, Regional Executive, to the Lexington market; and the hiring of Casey Goodrich as Senior Vice President, Relationship Banker for the Columbia market.

Michael Edens, an industry veteran with more than two decades of experience, most recently as a Commercial Banker, will serve as Market President. He will be responsible for the expansion of the Columbia market as well as oversee sales management and community development.   He earned a B.A. in Finance from Wofford College and completed Louisiana State University’s Graduate School of Banking program in 2006. Michael received the Outstanding Young Banker Award in 2008, the highest award recognition from the SC Bankers Association.

Brent Mackie, Regional Executive, has moved to the Lexington market where he has established a customer base and is well known ...


Zach Brown—Vice President, Director of Customer Solutions and Asset Management
Zach Brown—Vice President, Director of Customer Solutions and Asset Management

Zach Brown has been promoted to Vice President, Director of Customer Solutions and Asset Management. He joined the bank in 2017 where he served as Vice President, Default Management and Call Center. In his new position, Zach will oversee the management of the bank’s Customer Care Call Center, Facilities, Collections, and Special Assets.

“Zach Brown continues to excel in elevating our customer interaction processes along with our asset management,” said Rick Saunders, Founder/CEO of First Reliance Bank. “He is a dependable and trustworthy leader.”

Ben Brazell, Executive Vice President of Retail Banking said, “Zach is a great leader who mentors his team for professional growth and who strives to continuously improve his knowledge and skills. He doesn’t hesitate to take on more challenging work that provides value and supports our bank’s purpose.”

Zach brings more than 16 years of financial institution experience to his management role. He received a degree ...