Rausch has been the business editor since September 2008, previously serving as senior business reporter. He joined the Chronicle in April 2007. He has written for newspapers in Napoleon, Ohio, Moline, Ill., and Lima, Ohio. He holds a bachelor of science in journalism from Ohio University (1992). In 2006, he received a second place award in business writing from the Association Press in Ohio.
Posted October 25, 2013 09:48 am

Augustan to ring the closing bell at NYSE

If you happen to be watching business news on TV on Nov. 13, be on the lookout for an Augustan ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange.


Kessel Stelling, the chief executive officer for Synovus bank, gets the honor of ringing the bell to close trading at the NYSE at 4 p.m. (Or you can see it at www.nyse.com.)


Stelling’s appearance has a lot to do with the regional bank, headquartered in Columbus, Ga., turning 125 years old this month.


Synovus began as a community bank in Columbus on Oct. 31, 1888, and now has branches in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.


“Celebrating 125 years in business is certainly a significant milestone for any company, but this anniversary is especially meaningful considering the challenges in our recent history. We are grateful for the loyalty of our shareholders, customers, and team members, and deeply appreciate the community partnerships we have built through the years,” Stelling said.


Synovus was rocked hard by the housing crisis and the Great Recession, and was one of the banks to get a bailout from the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The bank paid back the $968 million in July.


SPEAKING OF TARP: There were three local banks that got money through the Capital Purchase Program under TARP. And one of them has paid it back.


Security Federal Bank in Aiken got $22 million – technically, the government bought $22 million in stock in the bank. CSRA Bank Corp. in Wrens, better known as First State Bank, received $2.4 million in March 2009.


Queensborough National Bank & Trust got $12 million in capital through CPP in January 2009. A federal report to Congress says the Louisville-based bank settled up in March 2013.


OTHER INTERESTING CEO NOTES: While playing around on the Kimberly-Clark Web site after seeing its quarterly earnings, I came across some interesting things about its chief executive. According to his bio, Thomas Falk spent time over at the Beech Island plant.


Falk started with Kimberly-Clark in 1983. In 1989, Falk got his master of science in management from Stanford University and then went to work as operations manager for Infant Care at Beech Island – the diaper division. It was a short tenure. He became vice president of Operations Analysis and Control in 1990.


Also, the group president of Europe, Global Nonwovens, Continuous Improvement and Sustainability, who is Robert Abernathy, was a former plant manager at Beech Island in the 1980s.