SouthState Forms Small Business Banking Team

SouthState Bank new small business leader
WINTER HAVEN, Florida – July 25, 2023 – SouthState Bank recently launched a comprehensive small business banking team to meet the growing demand in its Southeastern footprint.

“Offering our small business customers a line of products that fits their needs, accompanied by well-rounded, knowledgeable bankers and a library of small business resources, are enhancements we know business owners across the Southeast will benefit from,” says Richard Murray, SouthState president. “Small business owners make local economies thrive, and SouthState is committed to supporting both.”

Matt Vegter was promoted to director of small business banking to grow and serve SouthState’s small business sector. A banker for 15 years, Vegter helped to develop a small business loan program, Business Lending Express, which streamlined and simplified the underwriting process for small business loans. This program created efficiencies for both the bank and small business clients by decreasing loan origination costs and reducing the time to decision.

Vegter holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Southeastern University and a master’s degree in business administration from Stetson University. He’s a graduate of the Florida School of Banking as well as the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Philadelphia.

Vegter has built a team of experienced small business bankers, pulling from capable bankers at SouthState and other financial institutions. Members of the team include the following:

Jack Baker brings 16 years of banking experience to the small business banking team. Most recently, he served as a SouthState branch manager in Jacksonville, Florida. He’s also held the roles of assistant branch manager, mortgage loan officer and teller during his career.

Holton Bell joins SouthState after several years working in client relations, most recently at Addicus LLC in Alabama. He brings experience as a private banker at BBVA Compass Bank and as a financial advisor at Raymond James.

Krystle Mall moves into the small business banking role after 10 years as a SouthState branch manager, most recently in Gastonia, North Carolina after relocating from the Myrtle Beach/Conway area of South Carolina, where she began her banking career with SouthState in 2004.

Ross Marley continues to serve Charleston, South Carolina, most recently as a business banker before joining the small business team. A member of SouthState since 2015, he’s also worked as a financial services representative and lead credit analyst.

Mike Marshall comes to SouthState from Intercoastal Financial Group in Fort Pierce, Florida, where he served as a finance broker since 2018, cultivating relationships with dealers, brokers and lenders. Other past career roles include director of retail sales, market sales manager and general manager at Drivetime LLC.

Ray Merritt joined SouthState as a financial services representative in 2011, holding roles of increasing responsibility ever since. Most recently, Merritt served as the branch manager in Conway, where his branch led the Grand Strand market in goals for two consecutive years.

Brian Moon also moves from the branch manager role in Tucker, Georgia, to the small business banking team. He has almost 20 years of banking experience and knowledge from working at Bank of America, Wells Fargo, SunTrust and SouthState.

Adam Odom joins the small business team after seven years as a branch manager for SouthState in Columbia, South Carolina. He began his career in banking in 2001, previously working at Wells Fargo, SunTrust and BB&T.

Lauren Thompson spent the last eight years serving SouthState’s Richmond market as a branch manager before moving to small business banking. She gained additional experience as a personal banker for First Enterprise Bank and retail banker with Woodforest National Bank.

SouthState also welcomes the following new hires to its private wealth and middle market banking teams:

Phillip R. Garrison – private wealth advisor, Charlotte, North Carolina – brings many years of experience and deep expertise in trust administration and insurance consulting to his new role. Prior to joining SouthState, he was a senior fiduciary officer for a large national bank. He received a B.B.A. in Trust and Wealth Management from Campbell University.

Mike Maguire – private wealth relationship manager, Jacksonville, Florida – spent 16 years with a large regional bank and managed their wealth division in North Florida for the last 10 years. In addition, his career experience includes 23 years with Barnett Bank in various leadership roles throughout the state of Florida. Maguire earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance from the University of Central Florida and is a graduate of the American Bankers Association’s National Commercial Lending Graduate School at the University of Oklahoma.

Mia Mendez – private wealth associate, Jacksonville, Florida – comes to SouthState following a 10-year career at Truist. She will support Maguire, whom she worked with previously in Jacksonville under the BB&T banner. During her 17 years in the financial services industry, Mendez has held roles including banker assistant, foreclosure specialist and wealth support specialist. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from George State University.

Brian Combs – middle market business development executive, Richmond, Virginia – most recently worked as a member of the Mid-Atlantic Corporate Banking group at PNC, where he managed relationships with mid-sized and large companies headquartered throughout most of Virginia. Previously, Combs has also held relationship management roles in Middle Market Banking at Wells Fargo and Corporate Banking at SunTrust. During his career, Combs has managed relationships with many publicly-traded, private-equity owned, and family-owned businesses in various industries.

SouthState Corporation (NASDAQ: SSB) is a financial services company headquartered in Winter Haven, Florida. SouthState 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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