First Reliance Bank associates named among Most Influential business leaders

February 10, 2022

First Reliance Bank is pleased to announce that Justin Strickland, president, and Frank Bullard, corporate community relations developer, were recognized among the 2021 50 Most Influential business leaders by Columbia Business Magazine and Charleston Business Magazine.

The annual awards recognize and honor each region’s most influential leaders nominated by community members and magazine staff.

Strickland oversees the overall commercial platform for the Carolinas-based bank. He also is a prominent Columbia community member and has held leadership positions such as the committee chairman for the Board of Financial Institutions and a member of the executive committee for the Lexington Medical Foundation.

Bullard was recognized in the Charleston area for his role as market president. He oversaw the strategic expansion of the bank’s Charleston market through managing sales and community development. Recently, he was promoted to lead corporate community relations for the bank’s South Carolina and North Carolina regions. Bullard also currently serves on Charleston Southern University’s Board of Trustees.

“Justin and Frank are examples of who you want to aspire to be as a leader. Under their guidance, our vision of substantial growth for the company has been able to be executed,” said Founder and CEO of First Reliance Bank, Rick Saunders. “The award is well-deserved for both of them, and I could not be prouder to work with some of the region’s most impactful individuals.”



Founded in 1999, First Reliance Bancshares, Inc. (OTC: FSRL.OB), is based in Florence, South Carolina and has assets of approximately $920 million. The company employs more than 200 professionals and has locations throughout South Carolina and central North Carolina. First Reliance has redefined community banking with a commitment to making customers’ lives better, its founding principle. Customers of the company have given it a 93% customer satisfaction rating well above the bank industry average of 81%. First Reliance is also one of two companies throughout South Carolina to receive the Best Places to Work in South Carolina award all 16 years since the program began. We believe that this recognition confirms that our associates are engaged and committed to our brand and the communities we serve. In addition to offering a full range of personalized community banking products and services for individuals, small businesses and corporations, First Reliance offers two unique community-customers programs, which include: Hometown Heroes, a package of benefits for those serving our communities and Check N Save, an outreach program for the unbanked or under-banked. The company also offers a full suite of digital banking services, Treasury Services, a Customer Service Guaranty, a Mortgage Service Guaranty, and First Reliance Wealth Strategies.

Additional information about the Company is available on the Company’s website at