BankFIRST Names Joseph M. DeSousa Sanford Area President

Winter Park, Florida – (March 3, 2011)
Don McGowan, BankFIRST President and CEO, announced today that industry veteran and former BankFIRST Area President, Joseph M. DeSousa has rejoined the bank’s Sanford team . A long-time resident of Central Florida, DeSousa brings nearly 20 years of commercial and consumer banking experience to the role. He previously served as the BankFIRST Sanford Area President from 2000 - 2005. “Joe’s expertise in relationship and client development and commercial lending is extensive and we are tremendously excited to welcome him back to BankFIRST. His past achievements with the bank are indicative of the value he will again bring to the North Seminole County marketplace,” McGowan said. DeSousa’s management experience began in 1998 at AmSouth Bank, where he was instrumental in leading his Orlando branch office in all facets of new business development and consumer lending. Following his tenure with AmSouth, DeSousa was named BankFIRST Sanford Area President in December 2000, where he went on to earn the prestigious “Chairman’s Award” as the Top Lender for 2004, exemplifying his strong leadership, relationship building, mentoring and team building abilities. Most recently, he held the position of Market President, Volusia County, for First Southern Bank (formerly First Commercial Bank of Florida), and Managing Partner/Financial Advisor for Virtus Financial Partners. "I am extremely pleased to have returned to BankFIRST, and look forward to serving the needs of the Sanford community," DeSousa said. A graduate of the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, DeSousa received his Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Development in 1998. To further his professional education, he went on to attain his Series 6, Series 65, Series 63, and Series 215 Licenses. DeSousa is committed to the Sanford community, where he holds affiliations with numerous organizations, including: Greater Sanford Regional Chamber of Commerce, Member, Past Executive Board Member, and Past Vice President; Member; Sanford Rotary Club, Member; Helen Stairs Theatre, Past Board Member; Leadership Seminole, Past Executive Board Member; Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce, Past Board Member, and Florida Hospital Foundation, Past Board Member.

About BankFIRST

Since it’s founding in 1989 as a state-chartered, federally insured commercial bank, BankFIRST has grown its assets to over $600 million. Situated in Central Florida, BankFIRST has ten branch offices located in Orange, Seminole, Lake and Brevard Counties, and has approximately 120 employees. In January 2010, the bank’s holding company, The BANKshares, Inc. announced the signing of a definitive agreement and plan of merger to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of The Commercial Bancorp, Inc. The Commercial Bancorp, Inc is the $90 million-asset bank holding company of East Coast Community Bank, headquartered in Ormond Beach, Florida. The merger is subject to customary conditions, including the approval of the shareholders of The Commercial Bancorp, Inc. and bank regulatory agencies. Upon receipt of the approvals, the transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2011. Simultaneously with the completion of this acquisition, East Coast Community Bank will be merged with and into BankFIRST, and will extend the bank’s geographic footprint into Volusia County, with two additional branch locations in Ormond Beach and Port Orange.

BankFIRST has been the recipient of numerous awards, including: “Best Community Bank in Central Florida” by the readers of the Orlando Business Journal in 2006 and 2009, “Best Bank in Seminole County” in 2008 and 2009, “2009 Business Achievement Award for Civic and Community Efforts” by the Lake Eustis Chamber of Commerce, and “#1 Community Bank SBA Lender in Florida”.

For more information on BankFIRST, visit www.bankfirst.com.