Pinnacle Financial Partners Adds to Upstate Team

GREENVILLE, SC, April 25, 2022 – Pinnacle Financial Partners has hired five new associates to serve the Upstate market. Susan Candler joins the firm as a financial advisor for the client advisory group, and Elise Merhej as the office leader for the Pelham Road location. In addition, the firm also welcomed financial specialists Selena McLeroy and Callie Aiken and operations analyst Rhonda Clubb, who will serve Pinnacle’s Small Business Administration team.

“We continue to be successful in attracting the best and most knowledgeable professionals in the market on every front,” said Ed Stein, Pinnacle’s regional president for the Upstate. “All of these additions will be great assets as they live out our commitment to our clients and the community. “

Candler is a veteran banker with deep roots in the Greenville community. She brings 31 years of financial services experience and comes to Pinnacle from First National Bank, where she was a commercial relationship manager. Previously, she served as a commercial relationship manager at Wells Fargo bank and SunTrust bank, as well as a regional manager at CitiFinancial, Inc.

Merhej has 10 years of financial services experience and comes back to Pinnacle from GrandSouth Bank, where she served as branch manager. Prior roles include serving as assistant branch manager universal banker for Pinnacle Financial Partners and its legacy organizations.

McLeroy brings 14 years of financial services experience to Pinnacle. Previous roles include personal banking assistant at CountryBank and universal banker at Pinnacle Financial Partners and predecessor organizations.

Aiken joins Pinnacle with six years of experience, including time spent at Southern First Bank where she was a mortgage processor. Prior to Southern First, she was a personal banker at BNC Bank, now Pinnacle Financial Partners. She earned her bachelor’s degree in public relations and mass communications from the University of South Carolina at Columbia.

Clubb, with 12 years of financial services experience, comes to Pinnacle from Lendstream Small Business Finance, LLC where she served as small business administration officer specialist. Previously, she was a building finance loan officer with South State Bank, commercial support assistant for Park Sterling Bank, assistant branch manager with PNC Bank and financial center manager for Wells Fargo.

Pinnacle Financial Partners provides a full range of banking, investment, trust, mortgage and insurance products and services designed for businesses and their owners and individuals interested in a comprehensive relationship with their financial institution. The firm is the No. 1 bank in the Nashville-Murfreesboro-Franklin MSA, according to 2021 deposit data from the FDIC, is listed by Forbes among the top 25 banks in the nation and earned a spot on the 2022 list of 100 Best Companies to Work For® in the U.S., its sixth consecutive appearance. American Banker recognized Pinnacle as one of America’s Best Banks to Work For nine years in a row and No. 1 among banks with more than $11 billion in assets in 2021. Pinnacle entered the South Carolina market in 2017 when it acquired BNC Bancorp. Pinnacle continues BNC’s practice of offering community bank service with the resources and sophistication of a larger firm.

The firm began operations in a single location in downtown Nashville, TN, in October 2000 and has since grown to approximately $39.4 billion in assets as of March 31, 2022. As the second-largest bank holding company headquartered in Tennessee, Pinnacle operates in 15 primarily urban markets across the Southeast.

Additional information concerning Pinnacle, which is included in the Nasdaq Financial 100 Index, can be accessed at

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