Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors
Kessel D. Stelling, Jr. is Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Synovus, a financial services company based in Columbus with approximately $55 billion in assets. Stelling’s banking career began in his hometown of Augusta and later included service with two community banks in Cobb County. Following a brief sabbatical from banking, when he served as interim CEO of the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce, Stelling and an investor group acquired a controlling interest in Riverside Bank, growing it into one of metro Atlanta’s largest community banks.
Stelling joined Synovus in March 2006 when the company purchased Riverside and merged it with Bank of North Georgia. He was named President and Chief Operating Officer of Synovus in February 2010, acting Chief Executive Officer in June 2010, and President and Chief Executive Officer in October 2010. He became Chairman of the Board in January 2012 and Executive Chairman following his retirement as CEO in April 2021. Under Stelling’s leadership, Synovus navigated the financial crisis, consolidated 30 bank charters into one, returned to sustained profitability, and led a historic transition from 26 separately-branded divisions to the Synovus brand name.
- B.B.A., Banking and Finance, University of Georgia
- Graduate School of Banking of the South, Louisiana State University
- Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration, University of South Carolina
- Board Member, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
- Board Member and former Chairman (2016), Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia
- Board Member, Georgia Power
- Executive Committee Member, Bank Policy Institute
- Board Member, Georgia Chamber of Commerce
- Leadership Character Award from the Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, 2014
- Blue Key Service Award, University of Georgia Chapter of the Blue Key National Honor Society, 2013
- Named to the list of the “100 Most Influential Georgians” by Georgia Trend Magazine every year since 2009
- "Distinguished Alumni Award" by the University of Georgia Terry College of Business, 2009