First South Bank announces director of leasing

Published 12:31 pm Sunday, February 12, 2017

First South, the wholly owned banking subsidiary of First South Bancorp Inc., is pleased to announce that John Okerson has been selected as the new director of leasing for the First South Bank subsidiary, First South Leasing.

Okerson will succeed the leadership responsibilities at First South Leasing after current President Donnie Bunn retires in May.

In recruiting for a director of First South Leasing, the bank desired a leader with extensive experience in the equipment-financing arena and someone who understands the needs and concerns of small business owners.

Prior to joining First South, Okerson spent 12 years at Siemens Financial Services Inc. in Malvern, Pennsylvania, where he provided equipment-financing solutions for businesses in industrial production, health care and energy. Okerson has bank sales experience from his time working as a commercial relationship manager for two financial institutions in northeastern United States. Additionally, he has experience as an entrepreneur.

Bruce Elder, president and CEO of First South Bank, said, “We are fortunate to have attracted a person with John’s experience and background to direct the sales and operations functions at First South Leasing. Under John’s leadership, we expect to see greater growth penetration in existing markets and new equipment types.”

The bank looks forward to Okerson bringing his experience in lease negotiation and financing solutions to the customers of eastern and central North Carolina. First South views this as an opportunity to strengthen the business communities of its footprint by expanding the offerings of First South Leasing. These businesses drive economic growth and development, and First South strives to serve as a partner to their success.

“I am excited to join First South Bank as leasing director,” Okerson said. “I have been in banking and leasing for most of my career, and I look forward to the challenge of expanding the value First South Leasing can offer by tailoring valuable solutions to the specific needs of business owners of eastern North Carolina.”

Okerson recently moved to North Carolina from Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. He is setting down roots in Washington and has already begun to engage in community organizations and activities.

First South Bank has been serving the citizens of eastern North Carolina since 1902 and offers a variety of financial products and services, including an equipment leasing company and securities brokerage services through an affiliation with a broker/dealer. The bank operates through its main office headquartered in Washington, North Carolina, and has 30 branch offices located throughout central, eastern, northeastern and southeastern North Carolina.