The Southern Bank announces the appointment of its new executive leadership team, following the retirement of bank CEO and President Preston Conner.
After nearly 37 years with the bank, Conner hands over leadership to Chief Executive Officer Jamin M. Hujik, President Scott M. Frierson and Chief Lending Officer Frank Townsend.
With over 85 years of collective community banking experience, the team will position The Southern Bank for long-term growth while continuing to deliver for its existing customers, communities and shareholders.
“We thank Preston for his years of excellent service and commitment to our team and shareholders,” says Frank Cole, Chairman of the Board for The Southern Bank. “We believe this new executive team reflects the board’s commitment to growing the bank and driving shareholder value while continuing to serve our existing customers and communities.”
Hujik began his career in 1999 and most recently served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of CresCom Bank. While with CresCom, he led the bank through a period of rapid growth and record profitability with 73 branches and over $4.7 billion in assets, culminating in CresCom’s acquisition by United Bank (NASDAQ USBI) in 2019 for $1.1 billion.
Frierson, with over 35 years of experience leading and building organizations and teams, has spent nearly four decades serving in community banking leadership roles, including, President of the Carolinas with Carolina First Bank (The South Financial Group); EVP and Chief Credit Officer with Regent Bank; President of the State of South Carolina with CertusBank; and Upstate S.C. Market Executive with CresCom Bank.
Townsend began his banking career in 1985 in the management associate program at C&S Bank in Aiken, S.C. and spent several years in Columbia, S.C., as branch management, before moving to Palmetto Federal Savings Bank in Aiken, S.C., in 1994 as a commercial lender. In 2007, he organized and served as CEO of Southern Bank & Trust, a de-novo bank in Aiken, S.C. In his time there, Townsend helped grow the bank to just under $200 million in assets before its acquisition by South State Bank, where he most recently served as City Executive.