COLUMBIA, S.C. – H. Blake Gibbons Jr., president and chief operating officer of The Citizens Bank, will begin a one-year term as chairman of the South Carolina Bankers Association on July 1. Gibbons was elected to the position at the association’s annual meeting, held June 15-18.
Gibbons has been with the Olanta-based institution since 1979 and was named president and chief operating officer of the bank in 1991. The Citizens Bank has grown from a two-branch, $15 million operation to 15-branch, $390 million entity during Gibbons’ tenure.
Gibbons succeeds Art Seaver, chief executive officer of Southern First Bank.
“I’m honored to be chosen for this position,” Gibbons said. “I believe it’s a credit to our association that the SCBA is willing to select chairmen from small banks as well as big banks. Choosing a chairman from towns such as Olanta speaks highly of the SCBA and its desire to serve all the banks of our state.”
Gibbons is a 1968 graduate of East Clarendon High School, a 1972 graduate of the University of South Carolina and a 1991 graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University. Prior to joining The Citizens Bank, he spent seven years working for the State Board of Financial Institutions as a bank examiner.
Over the years, Gibbons has been active in the SCBA, serving as chairman of the South Carolina Bankers School and the South Carolina Insurance Trust, and on the board of the Community Bankers Council.
“Blake is a quiet but very effective banker,” said SCBA President and CEO Fred Green. “He knows everything that’s going on in his bank and the different communities it serves. He has a quiet but effective way of getting things done, and I know the other bankers in the state recognize his aptitude.”
Gibbons and his wife Sherrilyn have two children, three grandchildren and live in New Zion, in Clarendon County.
The South Carolina Bankers Association is the trade and professional association representing more than 80 financial institutions across the state. The SCBA is organized to effectively represent the common interest and welfare of South Carolina's banking industry and to promote the professional development of its members and individual practitioners. Begun in 1901, the SCBA's mission is to provide legislative, regulatory, educational and product leadership on behalf of its members.