The board of directors at Camden-based First Palmetto Bank recently named Sammy Small Jr. as president of the bank. Small Jr. will continue serving as First Palmetto’s general counsel and chief operating officer while taking on the role of president.
Sammy Small Sr., who has been president for many years, will continue in his roles as chairman of the board and chief executive officer.
“Sammy (Jr.) is over all day-to-day operations of the bank,” Small Sr. said. “Sammy has prepared himself educationally -- he is extraordinarily well-educated and taken on increasing responsibilities. But if you don’t have a good work ethic, none of that matters. We have observed his work ethic, which is real good, and we feel comfortable with him taking the bank forward into the next generation.
“Over the past 10 years, he’s gained a great deal of experience, which has led to him making extraordinarily sound judgments for the bank. This has enabled him to provide leadership to other management.”
Small Sr. said Small Jr. has built what he called “an extraordinary” management and staff team at First Palmetto. Long time board members Pete Cantey, Charlie Nash and Glenn Tucker agreed.
“Sammy Jr. has learned a great amount in handling the bank, and the board has learned much from him,” Cantey said. “We are excited to have him as president. The whole bank is glad he is there to take care of the bank in the coming years. We could not have chosen a better man.”
Nash spoke to the idea of moving things to the next generation.
“Sammy (Jr.) is very bright and understanding. He has a law degree and an international business degree. He is well equipped to be president,” Nash said. “He’s done everything we’ve asked of him, from being a teller to serving on committees with the bank. He’s done a great job with the bank and deserves to be president.”
Tucker said Small Jr. has “displayed a keen intellect for banking” since joining First Palmetto.
“He has a rare business acumen, a sharp comprehension of finance and an ox-like work ethic,” Tucker said. “Combined with his practical view of the way the business world works, he’s an ideal person to become president of the bank.”
Small Jr. has worked with First Palmetto for nine years in various roles, including most recently as executive vice president and member of the board of directors. He is a magna cum laude graduate with a degree in accounting from the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business. Small Jr. also obtained his juris doctor and an international master of business administration from the University of South Carolina.
Small Jr. resides in Columbia with his wife and two children.
“It is an honor to be able to continue to serve this bank and its communities in this capacity going forward,” Small Jr. said.
Founded in 1904 and headquartered in Camden, First Palmetto Bank has served the financial needs of its local communities through its 21 office locations within South Carolina for more than 110 years.