Rick Saunders Named Finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (R) Award

May 18, 2007, 01:00 ET from First Reliance Bank

    FLORENCE, S.C., May 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Rick Saunders,
 President and CEO of First Reliance Bank (OTC Bulletin Board:   FSRL), has
 been selected as a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year
 (R) 2007 award in The Carolinas. Over 100 nominations were received from
 both North Carolina and South Carolina, but only 24 finalists were
 selected. Saunders was the only finalist from the Pee Dee to be selected.
 An awards banquet honoring all finalists will be held June 14, 2007 in
 Charlotte, NC.
     (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20041022/CLF051LOGO )
     Saunders was nominated and selected as a finalist for the ingenuity,
 hard work, and innovation that has allowed him to turn a dream into
 reality. Rick's talent and leadership is noticeable and apparent throughout
 the entire communities the bank serves. Rick was nominated for the award by
 a Greenville, South Carolina, attorney who recognized Rick's success and
 the remarkable growth and success of the bank.
     "Rick's commitment to providing associates with an outstanding work
 environment is what enables us to create an extraordinary experience for
 the customers, who are our best fans," commented Pam Anderson, Senior Vice
 President of People Management at First Reliance Bank. "When first notified
 that he was a finalist, Rick was overwhelmingly proud, yet contributed all
 of his success to the First Reliance team of 165 associates. During the
 early entrepreneurial phases of the bank, Rick recognized that success is
 only possible with associates who embrace his vision of providing excellent
 customer service. Because of this, it is a mission of the bank to recruit
 and hire talented associates."
     First Reliance Bank was founded in 1999 based on Saunders' vision of
 offering the community a bank that would always place customers first.
 Today, because of Saunders' clear vision and dedication, First Reliance
 remains committed to its customers and takes pride in offering excellent
 customer service. First Reliance Bank's customers recently awarded the bank
 with a 93% overall customer satisfaction rating attributable to the "WOW"
 experience provided to every customer.
     First Reliance Bank, founded in 1999, has assets of approximately $500
 million, and employs 165 highly talented associates. The bank serves the
 Upstate, Midlands, Pee Dee Low Country, Grand Strand, and Pee Dee regions
 of South Carolina. The bank has been recognized for its success including
 being the only company ever to be named to The Top 25 Fastest Growing
 Companies(TM) in South Carolina four times including 2002, 2004, 2005, and
 2006 (SC Chamber/Elliott Davis). In 2006, the bank was also recognized as
 one of the Top 15 Best Places to Work in South Carolina by the SC Chamber
 of Commerce. First Reliance Bank offers Totally FREE Checking, Totally FREE
 Business Checking, FREE Coin Machines, a Nationwide NO FEE ATM Network, and
 a 5 Way Mortgage Service Promise. It also offers 8-8 Mon.-Sat. Extended
 Hours in all of their Florence locations. Its Easy to Do Business With(TM)
 brand has earned the young bank a customer satisfaction rating of 93%
 (Performance Solutions- May 2007-Audited). First Reliance Bank is traded as
     Ashleigh Miles
     Public Relations/Advertising
     First Reliance Bank

SOURCE First Reliance Bank