Southern National in Virginia hires Dennis Zember as its next leader

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Dennis Zember Jr. has returned to banking after nearly a year away from the industry.

Zember, who abruptly resigned as the leader of Ameris Bancorp in July to address undisclosed “family and personal matters,” was named president and CEO of Southern National Bancorp of Virginia in Charlottesville.

The $2.7 billion-asset Southern National said in a press release Thursday that Zember succeeded Joe Shearin, who had retired. Zember will also join the company’s board.

Zember has more than 23 years of banking experience, including a stint as chief financial officer at Ameris from 2005 to 2017. He became the Atlanta company’s CEO in July 2018.

Veteran banker Dennis Zember was named CEO of Southern National Bancorp of Virginia.

“What a great opportunity we have to welcome Dennis to the Southern National leadership team,” Georgia Derrico, the company’s executive chairman, said in the release. “His expertise … is built on leadership principles and measurable successes for investors and employees.”

Zember said in the release that Southern National will identify areas where it can “be unique and be diligent in crafting a dynamic culture that attracts and retains the best bankers.”

Shearin will remain at Southern National as a consultant until March 31.

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