Fifth Third names successor to Sam Barnes

Fifth Third has named Central Kentucky banker Mike Ash as successor to Samuel Barnes Sr., the company's longtime area leader who died unexpectdly earlier this year.

Ash, who joined Fifth Third in 2003, has 19 years of experience in banking and previously was senior vice president and senior commercial banker for Fifth Third Central Kentucky. He became acting president after Barnes' death and "has done a wonderful job under some difficult circumstances," Greg Carmichael, Fifth Third's chief operating officer, said in a statement.

Fifth Third's local operations include 19 banking centers in an eight-county area and a staff of more than 250.

Barnes died in July while in Georgia in advance of his son's wedding. Autopsy results indicate that he suffered a heart attack while swimming. He had led Fifth Third's Central Kentucky operations for 18 years and was a supporter of numerous non-profit organizations in Central Kentucky.