Alliance Commends Addition of Diversity to Reliance Bank Board of Directors

St. Louis Equal Housing & Community Reinvestment Alliance release, November 6, 2013

November 6, 2013 – SLEHCRA received word today that Reliance Bank appointed two new members to their Board of Directors that add to the racial and gender diversity.  The two new board members are Michael McMillan, President and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, and Cheryl Jones, Executive Director of Girls Inc.

As part of their Community Investment Partnership with SLEHCRA signed in November 2011, Reliance Bank agreed to add at least two members to their Board of Directors that increase the racial, ethnic, and/or gender diversity. Reliance Bank was also highlighted in SLEHCRA’s recent report in August 2013,The  State of Bank Reinvestment in St. Louis, for having zero minorities on their Board of Directors.

SLEHCRA is pleased to see Reliance Bank honoring their commitment to increasing the diversity of the bank’s leadership and decision-makers. We believe this is a positive step that will help increase outreach and service to communities that have been previously underserved.

Reliance Bank also announced they are opening a loan production office and full-service ATM in the offices of  Justine PETERSEN, a SLEHCRA member organization, at 1023 North Grand in the City of St. Louis. This partnership  is another step that provides access to mainstream banking services and products for low- and moderate-income borrowers and minority borrowers.

We applaud Reliance Bank’s announcements today and look forward to seeing continued success in investing in our whole community.

Below is the St. Louis Business Journal’s story on Reliance Bank’s new board members.

Reliance Bank has added board members Michael McMillan, president and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, and Cheryl Jones, executive director of Girls Inc., Chairman Tom Brouster said.

It is part of the bank’s effort to expand its presence in and commitment to low-income and minority neighborhoods as part of the federal Community Reinvestment Act. The effort is headed by Allan Ivie, president and chief executive of Reliance Bancshares, the bank’s holding company. As part of the effort, the bank recently opened a loan production office at 1023 N. Grand Blvd.

“I am excited about being a part of some of the new and expanded initiatives at Reliance such as their Financial Literacy Program, which we are rolling out in conjunction with the Urban League,” said McMillan, a former St. Louis alderman and license collector. “Our goal is to teach others about the importance of all aspects of financial literacy, which is very important to the growth of our community.”

Jones said, “I grew up in north St. Louis and was taught from a young age by my parents, James and Rose White, about the importance of giving back to your community.”

The addition of McMillan and Jones brings total board members to 17. The others are Brouster, John Bradley, Robert Cox, Dr. Richard Demko, Reliance Vice Chairman Gaines Dittrich, Barry Frazier, Ivie, Sterling Jakel, Rick Jakel, Robert Jakel, Lawrence “Rusty” Keeley, Scott Sachtleben, Reliance Bank President and CEO Rick Sems, David Sindelar and Ned Stanley.

Reliance, with $1 billion in assets, reported net income of $2.7 million through the first half of the year.

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