Synovus CEO to Speak at Columbus State Graduation May 9

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Kessel D. Stelling, Jr., president and CEO of Synovus Financial Corp., has agreed to give the keynote address to graduates at Columbus State University’s May 9 commencement.

Stelling is also a member of the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents, the governing board for the 35 public higher education institutions in the state.

Columbus State’s graduation ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 9 in the Columbus Civic Center. Almost 750 students have submitted an application to graduate this semester; and about 630 have said they plan to attend the ceremony.

“We’re very honored to have Regent Stelling with us for graduation,” said Columbus State University President Tim Mescon.

Synovus is a Columbus-based financial services company with more than $30 billion in assets.  Synovus' bank divisions provide commercial and retail banking, investment and mortgage services to customers in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee.

Stelling began his banking career with Synovus in March 2006, when the company purchased Riverside Bancshares, Inc., and merged with the Bank of North Georgia, headquartered in Alpharetta. He was selected as president and CEO of the combined banks in 2006. In June 2008, he was promoted to Synovus regional CEO for the Atlanta market. He was named Synovus’ president and chief operating officer in October 2009, then becoming president and chief executive officer in February 2010.

As president and CEO of Synovus, Kessel oversees the company's banking operations, retail delivery and diversification of the company's commercial banking efforts. His areas of focus include guiding continued efforts to address credit losses, strengthen lending practices, manage risk, facilitate deposit growth and caring for team members and customers.

Stelling earned his bachelor’s degree in banking and finance from the University of Georgia in 1978 and completed the Graduate School of Banking of the South at Louisiana State University in 1988

In addition to his service on the University System Board of Regents, Stelling is a member of the dean’s Advisory Council of the University of Georgia Terry School of Business, a trustee at Kennesaw State University and a board member of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Georgian Club, Cobb Chamber of Commerce and the Cobb Community Foundation

For the last two years, he has been named to the list of the “100 Most Influential Georgians” in Georgia Trend magazine.