SouthState Adds Commercial, Treasury Talent to Support Southeastern Growth Markets

WINTER HAVEN, Florida – April 22, 2021 – SouthState Bank today announced the addition of 10 experienced commercial banking and treasury management hires to support its expansion in Southeastern growth markets.

“SouthState has an unparalleled opportunity for expansion, with a strong presence in five of the 10 fastest growing cities in America,” said Greg Lapointe, chief banking officer. “We continue to invest in top-tier banking talent to support our growth, as well as the expansion of our markets along the I-85 corridor and the I-4 corridor. With a strong balance sheet, pristine asset quality, deep product capabilities and a vibrant team of commercial bankers, SouthState remains focused on supporting the needs of the business community.”

“SouthState strives to be an employer of choice for top talent in the financial services sector, as well as a leading regional bank of choice for our customers,” said Mark Thompson, president, Southern Banking Group. “The bankers joining our team bring decades of demonstrated expertise in helping businesses grow, achieve efficiency and attain operational excellence, and we are eager to bring their talents to bear for the benefit of our customers.”

Joining the SouthState team are:

Jim Baumgardnermiddle market director of client acquisition and new market development, Greenville, South Carolina – has more than three decades of experience in corporate and middle market banking with Wells Fargo. Having spent his career in the Upstate of South Carolina, Baumgardner has deep knowledge in the market, and his expertise is sought after by clients.

Adam Beckmancommercial banker, Atlanta, Georgia – brings more than 14 years of banking expertise to the role. He started his career with BB&T, where he spent more than a decade specializing in metro Atlanta real estate lending, prior to joining ServisFirst Bank, where he has spent the past four years as a commercial banker.

Roger Cook – middle market banker, Orlando, Florida – was most recently a middle market executive for JPMorgan Chase, focused on Central and North Florida. With a career spanning two decades, Cook has been a top commercial and middle market performer for SunTrust and RBC prior to his most recent role.  

Charity Epps-Belltreasury management, Atlanta, Georgia – comes to the role from Truist Treasury Solutions, where she was most recently a business enablement manager. With more than 18 years of experience with Truist in roles of increasing responsibility, Epps-Bell is highly skilled at helping customers obtain the treasury solutions right for their needs.

Scott Hilton – commercial banker, Atlanta, Georgia – brings unique expertise in business development, government and leadership to his role, having served his home state of Georgia in the House of Representatives and, most recently, as executive director of the Georgians First Commission focused on directing resources for small business. He has more than a decade of experience in business and commercial banking with both Bank of America and SunTrust.

Missy LaPorte – commercial banker, Tampa, Florida – was most recently a commercial lender for Seacoast National Bank. She has broad experience in sales, business development and payroll systems, in addition to commercial banking.

Josh McCoyregional president, Orlando, Florida – comes to the role from Truist, where, for a decade, he held positions of increasing responsibility in the commercial bank and in the region. Prior to his experience with Truist, he was a commercial banking officer with Fifth Third Bank.

Meagan Rethmeier – commercial real estate banker, Charlotte, North Carolina – comes to the position from Truist, where she was a banker in the CRE sector. Rethmeier has diverse leadership experience, having led several economic development initiatives in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and also having led Organizational Change Management at BB&T.

Chris Strength – commercial banker, Birmingham, Alabama – has built a career in banking spanning more than 25 years. Most recently, he was a commercial lender with BBVA USA. He has held roles of increasing responsibility at Compass Bank, Hancock Bank and MetLife Securities.

Brandon Wienke – middle market banker, Pensacola, Florida and Alabama – comes to the position from Truist, where for 14 years he held positions of increasing responsibility in the Commercial and Middle Market Bank at SunTrust. He excelled as a middle market banker and has served clients in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. He possesses diverse experience and perspectives, as a result.

SouthState Corporation (NASDAQ: SSB) is a financial services company headquartered in Winter Haven, Florida. South State Bank, N.A., the company’s nationally chartered bank subsidiary, provides consumer, commercial, mortgage and wealth management solutions to more than one million customers throughout Florida, Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia. The bank also serves clients coast to coast through its correspondent banking division. Additional information is available at

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