-USA, NC – Carolina Trust Bank (Nasdaq:CART) today announced that the company’s Board of Directors has appointed Jerry L. Ocheltree, formerly of First Bank, as President and Chief Executive Officer effective January 1, 2014.
In its search for a new CEO, the Board sought a candidate with a proven track record of success running and profitably growing community banks. “We had very specific criteria for our new CEO, and we were very deliberate in our search – Jerry met or exceeded our criteria and he is the right person to lead Carolina Trust,” said Johnathan L. Rhyne, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Directors. “Jerry has led three community banks with significant successes at each. His experience leading banks larger than Carolina Trust has prepared him to manage our bank during this time of economic recovery. We are confident that our customers, employees and investors will welcome this development.”
Following chief executive positions at Premier South Bank in Wytheville, Virginia and First Virginia Bank, also in Wytheville, Virginia, Ocheltree was recruited in 1998 to join First Bank to run its largest region. In 2005 he was elevated to President and Chief Executive officer.
As chief executive at First Bank, Ocheltree had oversight for the strategic direction and daily operations of the entire bank and worked with his senior management team to establish the company’s mission and vision. Under his leadership, First Bank grew from $1.5B in assets to more than $3.4B in assets in seven years.
Ocheltree has extensive relationships throughout North Carolina banking circles. He served as Chair of the North Carolina Bankers Association for 2012 – 2013.
“I’m extremely excited about joining the Carolina Trust Banking Team and I’m looking forward to assisting the Board and the team in the growing success of the bank in the communities that they serve,” said Ocheltree.
“I was totally impressed by the Board and management team members that I met during the interview process and their commitment to build their bank and become the bank of choice in their markets. I look forward to getting out in the community to meet the bank’s shareholders and customers.”
In conjunction with its executive search, the Board of Directors also engaged a financial advisory firm with substantial experience in banking in the Southeast to evaluate the strategic options facing the bank. Based upon the analysis and recommendations prepared by its financial advisor and the appointment of Mr. Ocheltree as its new President and CEO, the Board voted unanimously to build the long-term value for the shareholders of the bank by continuing to operate as an independent entity.
Established in 2000, Carolina Trust Bank (www.carolinatrust.com) has $267M in assets. Its stock trades on the NASDAQ under the symbol CART. The Lincolnton, N.C. based state chartered bank operates seven full service branches in Lincoln, Gaston, Catawba and Rutherford Counties in western North Carolina. It also maintains a loan production office in Hickory, N.C.
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