First Bank CEO Jerry Ocheltree Named Business Leader of the Year

Troy, NC, February 26, 2009 --( First Bank (Nasdaq: FBNC) President and CEO Jerry Ocheltree was named 2008 Financial Services Business Leader of the Year on Feb. 17 as part of the Triad Hall of Fame awards sponsored by Business Leader Magazine.

"It's a great honor to be selected for this award," said Ocheltree. "First Bank's employees and board members work hard every day to uphold First Bank's commitment to the financial future of our communities, and I am proud to stand with them in that effort. To be chosen by members of the communities we serve, and from such a qualified pool of nominees, makes this award even more meaningful."

Ocheltree became president and chief executive officer of First Bank in January 2007. In October 2008, First Bancorp, the parent company of First Bank, achieved national recognition as a top performing small-cap bank by Sandler O'Neill & Partners. The award was given to only 33 banks in the nation showing excellent growth, profitability, credit quality and capital strength.

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Brenna Sowder