A Message from the CEO


Darrin Williams
CEO, Southern Bancorp, Inc.

At Southern, we describe ourselves as a “unique financial institution,” which inevitably leads to the question of what makes us unique. While we could talk about our role as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) serving underserved people, businesses, and distressed communities; or the fact that Southern is a family of financial institutions including a community bank, a bank holding company, and a 501(c)(3) financial development organization working together to raise individuals and communities up through a variety of responsible financial products and services; the best answer is much simpler. We are a values-based bank.

So what is values-based banking?

It’s an idea that permeates our organization from the inside out. Our core values of Relationship, Accountability, Innovation, Sustainability, and Empowerment are set up to guide our interactions within Southern and drive our connections with customers and the community. By living each day through the lens of these values, we are better equipped to provide the level and type of financial services needed in rural America.

We believe that the people living in these communities are more than just data points on a spreadsheet. They are aspiring entrepreneurs, hardworking future homeowners, and families pursuing their dreams of a better life. More than just profit margins—fulfilling hopes, dreams, and aspirations is what drives our decisions.

That’s values-based banking, and that’s what makes us unique.

This annual report provides a look back at an impactful 2014, and it also provides a look ahead to where Southern is going. We have yet again reached record profitability, and more importantly, we have created audacious goals for ourselves over the next decade, centered on affordable housing, job creation, and savings. I’m excited to share them—and our values—with you.

– Darrin Williams

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