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News from First Reliance Bank

First Reliance Bank is offering $100,000 in affordable housing grants to eligible teachers and educators who work for Florence One Schools.  Up to 13 $7,500 awards will granted during the program time frame through the Hometown Heroes program to assist in the revitalization and stabilization of local communities with a primary focus on encouraging home purchases by teachers.

“First Reliance Bank has access to funds for the Hometown Heroes program through grants from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta’s Affordable Housing Program,” said Rick Saunders, president and CEO of First Reliance Bank. “Teachers are the fabric of our community and contribute to the education of our future leaders.  We think it’s important for our community bank to provide support and help educators with home ownership.” 

“This partnership allows us to attract and recruit new teachers to Florence One Schools.   We’re excited to be able to offer these grant proceeds ...

March 16, 2020, Florence, S.C.Frank Bullard has joined First Reliance Bank as Market President for Charleston, SC. Bullard is responsible for the strategic market expansion of First Reliance Bank’s footprint in the Charleston market, and he will oversee sales management and community development throughout that footprint.

Bullard has over 37 years of experience in the banking industry. He began his career in BB&T’s Management Development Program in 1981 and has served in retail and commercial banking roles in both Carolinas. He was Market President for the Charleston/Coastal markets prior to his retirement in 2019. 

Frank has had an incredible banking career, and we are honored that he is willing to come out of retirement to assist First Reliance Bank as we continue our progress in the Charleston region,” said Rick Saunders, President and Chief Executive Officer of First Reliance Bank. “His leadership experience and banking relationships will ...

January 7, 2020, Florence, S.C. — Robert Dozier has joined First Reliance Bank as Chief Banking Officer. Dozier is responsible for corporate strategy and the strategic market expansion of First Reliance Bank’s footprint throughout the Carolinas. In addition, he will oversee commercial sales management and community development for all markets.

January 3, 2020, Florence, S.C. — Robby Hill is now a member of First Reliance Bank’s Board of Directors. Hill brings strong perspective and expertise in the information technology arena which is a fast changing area in the banking industry. He has more than 20 years of business experience, primarily as CEO/President of HillSouth a privately-held technology consulting firm.

Andrew McDowell promoted to Regional Executive for North CarolinaMcDowell was serving as Senior Vice President and City Executive for the Winston-Salem, NC market.  In his new role, he will be responsible for continuing to build the First Reliance Bank team, develop banking relationships with business owners, grow the bank in our defined markets and promoting the bank’s brand throughout the North Carolina market.  McDowell brings more than 30 years of banking experience to the position, most of which has been in leadership positions in the Winston-Salem area.

“I am excited to be leading this team of exceptional banking professionals,” said McDowell.  “North Carolina is a great market to be doing business in, and I look forward to sharing the First Reliance Bank brand and delivering on our purpose to make the lives of our customers better.”

“We really value what Andy has been able to do in his previous role with First Reliance, implementing and providing leadership in ...

G. Neal KyberBanking veteran brings more than 30 years of experience to his new role in leading the commercial growth strategy for the Greenville market.

Kyber’s extensive banking experience spans more than 30 years.  Kyber has held numerous banking positions with several banks in the Upstate and Midlands regions of South Carolina.

“As we continue to look for expansion opportunities throughout the Southeast and determine how we can bring value to new markets, like Greenville, it’s important to have experienced leaders like Neal at the forefront,” said Rick Saunders, president and CEO, First Reliance Bank. “He shares our values and understands what community banking is all about. Neal has a proven track record for developing commercial teams and growing business banking in the Greenville area.” 

“Greenville is a fast-growing area with a vibrant, supportive community,” said Kyber. “For more than two decades, I’ve been a part of this area’s growth and I’m ...

Saunders awarded Order of the PalmettoThe Order of the Palmetto is the highest civilian honor awarded to citizens of South Carolina for extraordinary lifetime achievement, and for national or statewide service.  The Order of the Palmetto is a once in a lifetime achievement.  South Carolina State Senator, Hugh Leatherman, presented the Order of the Palmetto Award to F.R. “Rick” Saunders on behalf of Governor McMaster at a luncheon on Friday, March 15th at the Florence Country Club. “I am honored to receive this recognition,” said Saunders.  “Early in my career I made the commitment to be involved in the communities we do business in and try to truly make a difference. I was fortunate to expand that to the State level as the bank grew and more opportunities arose.” Some of the highlights of Mr. Saunders career include an appointment by previous Governor Mark Sanford to the South Carolina State Board of Financial Institutions where ...

CINDY_COWARDCoward brings more than 20 years of experience in human resources.

First Reliance Bank announces the addition of Cindy Coward as Vice President of Human Resources. Coward joins First Reliance with more than 20 years of experience in human resources. Her background includes leadership roles with major corporations where she was recognized for a number of successful employee engagement initiatives and for developing and implementing highly effective human resources programs. “From the start, community-minded professionals have been the backbone of the bank,” said David Barksdale, North Carolina president, First Reliance Bank. “We view the HR function as something more than people and policies. It’s a multi-faceted area that is critical to shaping the future growth of the bank. Cindy’s background, skills and record of success in that space, fits our culture and I know that she will make a difference for our associates and our customers.”          ...

Tracey HillFirst Reliance Bank announces the addition of Tracey Hill as director of treasury services. In this role, Hill will be responsible for developing and managing the bank’s commercial deposit relationships across the bank’s footprint. A certified treasury professional (CTP), Hill’s background includes close to 30 years of experience in treasury management, operations and sales with banks located in Charlotte, N.C. In addition, his experience includes the formation of a treasury services platform for a community bank, which provided him the unique perspective from the ground up on how to design and implement cash management solutions for small businesses. “Experienced treasury service bankers like Tracey are a trusted resource for our business customers,” said David Barksdale, North Carolina president, First Reliance Bank. “He is extremely knowledgeable about the available banking products and skilled at identifying the most effective options for managing cash. Tracey’s ‘do what it takes’ mindset to customer service ...