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New local bank names backers

Business leaders from all corners of the Augusta area will supply the brains and money to the proposed community bank being fronted by former Wachovia executive Jeff Spears.

Mr. Spears on Friday announced the 22 founding directors of the start-up bank holding company, which is calling itself CSRA Financial Corp. A name for the bank has not been chosen.

News of the venture surfaced in May when Mr. Spears stepped down as city president for Wachovia Bank after being approached by the main backers of the new bank: Aiken real estate mogul Weldon Wyatt and Augusta businessman Paul S. Simon.

"It was Weldon and Paul from the beginning that assembled this group," Mr. Spears said. "They really deserve the credit for that."

The company, which aims to be the market's first community bank since First Bank of Georgia's holding company formed in 1997, is working with consultants to determine what type of bank it will charter. Industry watchers expect it will form a thrift, a type of institution that is regulated by the federal Office of Thrift Supervision and can easily branch across state lines.

Mr. Spears said the company's founding board of directors is geographically and demographically diverse because the bank intends to cover both sides of the two-state market.

At the company's first organization meeting Tuesday, the founding directors elected Mr. Simon as board chairman and Tim N. Dangerfield, an Aiken businessman who this week ended his term as chief of staff for the South Carolina Department of Commerce, as vice chairman.

The company's backers include Randy Potter, former president and CEO of Summit Financial Corp., the parent company of Greenville, S.C.-based Summit National Bank, which was acquired last year by the holding company of First Citizens Bank and Trust Co.

Mr. Potter, who is relocating to the Aiken area, will serve as the new bank's chief executive. Greenville businessman David C. Poole, a major investor in Summit, also is among the founding directors.

Mr. Spears said the next nine months will be spent raising additional capital and working on the bank charter. The bank's first office is not expected to open until spring 2007, he said.

"We're being very organized," Mr. Spears said. "We're not going out and doing things on a whim."


The following individuals were announced Friday as founding directors and investors of start-up bank CSRA Financial Corp.:

Bill Coscioni: Chief financial officer of United Energy Distributors Inc., a petroleum distributorship in Aiken

Dee Crawford: Owner and franchisee of five area McDonalds restaurants

Lamar Crowell: President and CEO of Keystone Homes, an Augusta-based residential construction company

Tim N. Dangerfield: Former chief operating officer of R&H Maxxon, former operator of The Depot convenience stores; past chief of staff for the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

Dr. Vendie Hooks: President of Colon and Rectal Surgery Associates in Augusta

Bill Kuhlke: President of Kuhlke Properties in Augusta

Mason McKnight III: President and CEO of Augusta-based AAC Construction Co., a general contracting firm

Brian Marks: President of Augusta Sportswear Group, an Augusta-based apparel manufacturing and distribution company

John Oakland: Former BNFL executive and president and CEO of John A. Oakland LLC, an engineering and construction consultancy

David Poole: President of David C. Poole Co. Inc., a Greenville, S.C.-based international trading company specializing in fiber and resin polymers

Randy Potter: CEO of CSRA Financial Corp.; organizer of Greenville, S.C.-based Summit Financial Corp.

John Reynolds: Vice president and director of international sales for Club Car Inc.

Leland Reynolds: Vice president and owner of H.G. Reynolds Construction Co., an Aiken-based general contracting firm

Turner Simkins: Project director for Hammond's Ferry, a North Augusta residential development

Paul S. Simon: President of Augusta Riverfront LLC; former president of Morris Communications Co.

Lee Smith: President and CEO of the Community Foundation of the CSRA

Robert Taylor: Chief financial officer of University Health Care System

Jeff Spears: President of CSRA Financial Corp.

Donnie Thompson: CEO of Windsor Jewelers

Tom Wyatt: Real estate developer and president of Sage Valley Golf Club

Weldon Wyatt: Real estate developer and CEO of Sage Valley Golf Club

Sonny Yonce: President of J.W. Yonce and Sons Farms Inc., a Johnston, S.C.-based peach and citrus distributor

Source: CSRA Financial Corp.

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