First South Bancorp Inc. in Washington, N.C., has tapped the chief financial officer at another North Carolina bank to be its next president and chief executive.

The $744 million-asset First South said Monday that Bruce W. Elder will join the company March 19 and will succeed Thomas A. Vann as president and CEO later this year. Vann said in January that he would retire at the end of the third quarter to spend time with his wife, travel and garden. Vann will remain as a consultant to the bank’s board and management for the next few years.

Elder has been the chief financial officer for Crescent State Bank in Cary, N.C., for the last 14 years. He also worked for Mutual Community Savings Bank in Durham, N.C., which merged into Mechanics & Farmers Bank in 2008, and Prosperity Bank and Trust in Springfield, Va., which was merged into Union Bank and Trust Co. in 2008.

Elder will also serve as president and CEO of the banking unit, First South Bank. First South has 26 branches throughout North Carolina.

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