Current Members of the

Board of Trustees

The Graduate School of Banking is managed by a thirty-four member Board of Trustees which meets annually to review the School’s operations and to establish policy. The chief executive officers of the fifteen sponsoring state banker associations are permanent members of the Board and a banker from each state, who is a graduate of the School, serves on the Board. The banker member is appointed for a two-year term by the association executive and may serve two consecutive terms. Also serving on the board is the President, President-Elect, Executive Director, Immediate Past President, and the Immediate Past Chairman.

71 Years

Banking Education Experience

16,350

Successful Graduates

52 Faculty Members

working for you

190 hrs

of Classroom Instruction

Appointed Bankers Trustees

Bill Allen
President
Bank of the Bluegrass & Trust Co.
Lexington, KY

Bill Allen is President of the Bank of the Bluegrass.  He joined Bank of the Bluegrass in 2004.  Bill graduated from the University of Kentucky with a BA in Business Management and Economics, attended the University of Virginia Darden School of Business-Leading Strategic Change Program in 2001, and is a Graduate and Appointed Trustee of the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University.

Bill had eighteen years of banking experience with Bank One, NA in retail banking at the local, district and corporate level. During this time, he led 11 banking centers with 12 direct reports and 120 team members. Sales and Services Coach Manager for Bank One, NA Columbus, OH leading 13 markets in 5 states with 15 direct reports. VP District Manager in Indianapolis, IN for Bank One, NA leading Northeast /Central Indiana market with 17 direct reports/170 team members in 15 banking centers. Area Manager/VP for Banc One Securities in Louisville, KY leading 49 banking centers in Louisville, Southern Indiana and Kentucky. Led 80 licensed bankers in investment-related sales.

Bill is former director of the High Street YMCA, past treasurer for the Friends of McConnell Springs, former board member for the Wilderness Road Girl Scout Council, previous chairman of the March of Dimes Signature Chef’s Auction, board member for REACH, Co-chair of Lexington Downtown Housing Fund, Member of K-Men’s Association, Kentucky QB Club,  and board member for the March of Dimes Bluegrass Region.

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James Scott Cocanougher
Chief Executive Officer
First Community Bank of Tennessee
Shelbyville, TN

Andrew Couse
VP & Chief Operating Officer
First Bank
Clewiston, FL

Ryan P. Earnest
President & CEO
Heritage First Bank
Rome, GA

As a Northwest Georgia native, Ryan Earnest’s career in banking began in 1995 in Rome, Georgia. He joined the organizing staff of Heritage First Bank in October 2002 as a lender and in 2005 assumed the role of Senior Vice President and Senior Lending Officer until being elected as the bank’s President in May of 2008.  In December of 2017, Mr. Earnest was named as the Bank’s Chief Executive Officer and in March of 2019, he was named Chief Executive Officer of Heritage First Bancshares, Inc. and serves on the Boards of both organizations.

Mr. Earnest received a Bachelor of Arts degree from West Georgia College in 1990 and completed the requirements of Diploma from the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University in 2008.

Mr. Earnest presently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Rome/Floyd County YMCA and is the Chairman of the Development Authority of Floyd County.  Additionally, he presently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University, the Board of Directors for the Georgia Bankers Association Insurance Trust, Inc. and the Rome/Floyd Chamber of Commerce.  Also, he is a current Ruling Elder and member of the Session of the First Presbyterian Church of Rome (FPC).  He is the former Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Floyd Healthcare Foundation and South Rome Redevelopment Corporation, and is a former Board of Directors member of the Seven Hills Rotary Club and was previously Chairman of the Diaconate for FPC.  Formerly, Mr. Earnest served on the Rome/Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth Board of Directors, having served two separate terms as President during his 20-year membership, the Advisory Board of Directors for Trails for Recreation and Economic Development (TRED), the Harbin Clinic Sports Health Foundation Board of Directors.

Married to wife Susan, they have one child Carson, and reside in Rome, Georgia.

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Claude Edwards
President & CEO
Bryant Bank
Tuscaloosa, AL

Claude Edwards, President of Bryant Bank since it’s inception in 2005, has been in banking for 41 years.   He is a graduate of the University of Alabama and the Graduate School of Banking of the South at Louisiana State University.

Mr. Edwards is very active in the community and currently serves on several boards including the Community Foundation of West Alabama (Chair), Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority (Past Chair), Alabama Bankers Association (Past Chair), Black Warrior Council of the Boy Scouts of America (Past Chair), DCH Foundation (Past Chair and Fellow), Capstone Health Services Foundation, United Way of West Alabama, Tuscaloosa County Civic Hall of Fame, The Tuscaloosa Safe Center,  the Culverhouse College of Business Board of Visitors at the University of Alabama, Hospice of West Alabama, and is a member of the President’s Cabinet at the University of Alabama.  He is also a prior board member of the Tuscaloosa Museum of Art, Caring Days Adult Day Care (Past Chair), Project Blessings, the Tuscaloosa Road Improvement Commission, Crimestoppers (Past Chair), and United Cerebral Palsy of West Alabama.

A graduate of Leadership Tuscaloosa and Leadership Alabama, Mr. Edwards has been recognized as West Alabama Citizen of the Year, a Pillar of the Community of West Alabama, Charles Land Member of the Year of the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce, Silver Beaver Award Winner from the Boy Scouts of America, and is a member of the Tuscaloosa County Civic Hall of Fame.

Mr. Edwards is married with two children, and is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Tuscaloosa.

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James Finch
Commercial Division Manager – EVP
First Fidelity Bank
Oklahoma City, OK

Wes Fulmer
Executive Vice President
The Peoples Bank
Biloxi, MS

Rachel McCain
Senior Vice President
Main Bank
Jacksonville, AR

Chris Miller
Senior Vice President
Southside Bank
Austin, TX

Chris is a native Austinite and a fifth generation Texan that is married to his wife of ten years (Kellie), has a 3 year old daughter (Molly) and a 12 year old rescue pup (Kirby).

Chris grew up in North Austin with his parents and younger sister. After completing high school at Westwood High School, Chris continued his education at Baylor University in Waco, TX where he met his wife Kellie. Chris double majored in Finance and Marketing in the Hankamer School of Business. At Baylor he founded the school’s chapter of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity and held roles in recruitment and on the Executive Council as Secretary. He still serves as the President of the Baylor Pi Kapp Alumni Association.

Chris started his career in banking as a Credit Analyst with Sterling Bank in Houston, TX, then transitioned to a Commercial Lender/Bank Officer role. Comerica Bank purchased Sterling Bank and Chris stayed with the organization for another 3 years as Commercial Banker working with business banking and Middle Market clients.

In 2013, Kellie and Chris decided to move back to Austin. Chris joined Southside Bank to build out its commercial lending team in Austin. Focusing both on C&I and CRE relationships. That same year Chris joined the Young Men’s Business League of Austin (YMBL). Since joining YMBL, Chris served as the Chair or Recruiting, the VP of Membership, the Treasurer, and the President of the Organization. During this time, Chris also served on the Executive Council and as President of the YMBL founded non-profit, the Austin Sunshine Camps.

Chris is also a graduate of the Banking School of Louisiana State University from 2011-2013. After graduating, he was asked to join the Board of Directors for the Graduate School of Banking at LSU by the Texas Banking Association.

Chris enjoys spending time with his family, volunteering and giving back to the Austin community with YMBL and ASC, watching sports (particularly Baylor sports), investing in real estate, exploring Austin, reading (particularly books on history, business, science fiction), and working out.

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Marvin E. Robinson
SVP – Commercial Banker
Ameris Bank
Cayce, SC

Sherri Sackett
Executive Vice President
Select Bank
Lynchburg, VA

Ami Shaver
SVP, Director of Retail Banking
United Bank
Parkersburg, WV

Matt Sinnett
President & CEO
Midwest Independent Bank
Jefferson City, MO

Jason Smith
President & CEO
Citizens National Bank
Bossier City, LA

William M. Stallings
Winston-Salem, NC

State Association Executives

Colin L. Barrett
President and CEO
Tennessee Bankers Association
Nashville, TN

Colin Barrett has served as president and CEO of the Tennessee Bankers Association (TBA) since 2013. The TBA, founded in 1890, is a not-for-profit trade organization representing Tennessee’s commercial banks and thrift institutions.

He previously was executive vice president, responsible for government relations in both Nashville and Washington, D.C., with oversight of TBA’s education and communication efforts, as well as member relations with the 177 banks with operations in Tennessee.

Formerly, he was with the American Bankers Association in Washington, D.C., where he served two stints between 2001 and 2005 as regional membership manager.

During 2003, Colin took a leave from the ABA to serve as regional development manager for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, based in Washington. In this position, he coordinated and managed a nationwide fund-raising program with U.S. Senators.

Colin earned his M.A. degree in political management from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

He and his wife, Rachel, live in Nashville with their son, William.

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Adrian Beverage
Chief of Staff EVP Govt Relations
Oklahoma Bankers Association
Oklahoma City, OK

J. Joseph Brannen
President
Georgia Bankers Association
Atlanta, GA

Joe Brannen is the president and chief executive officer of the Georgia Bankers Association, a position he has held for 40 years.  Since its founding in 1892, the Georgia Bankers Association has been the statewide organization representing Georgia’s banks and savings institutions.  Prior to joining the association, Joe spent eight years on the staff of former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn.  Active in many state, regional and national organizations, Joe is on the board of directors of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the American Bankers Association’s Alliance of State Associations, which he previously chaired.

Joe is a past president of the Georgia Bar Foundation and is a former chair of the board of the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University. He continues to serve on both boards.  He is a past participant in Leadership Georgia, a member of the Gridiron Secret Society, and has been a member of the Committee of 100 of Emory University’s Candler School of Theology.

Joe is a native of Statesboro and is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a major in chemistry.  Joe and his wife, Vilda, live in Atlanta.

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Ballard W. Cassady, Jr.
President and CEO
Kentucky Bankers Association
Louisville, KY

Ballard W. Cassady, Jr. has been President & Chief Executive Officer of the Kentucky Bankers Association, for 34 years, which is headquartered in Louisville.  Before that, from 1984 to 1986, he served as Commissioner of the Department of Financial Institutions in Frankfort.  Mr. Cassady also was chief executive officer of Citizens Bank of Pikeville from 1982 to 1984.  Mr. Cassady holds a B.S. degree from Transylvania University in Lexington and an MBA from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee; he also holds diplomas from the Kentucky School of Banking, the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University, and the University of Louisville Management Series.  Ballad serves on the Wisconsin Graduate School of Banking Board of Trustees, , and the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University.

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Sally M. Cline
Executive Vice President
West Virginia Bankers Association
Charleston, WV

Max Cook
President and CEO
Missouri Bankers Association
Jefferson City, MO

Gordon Fellows
President and CEO
Mississippi Bankers Association
Jackson, MS

Gordon Fellows serves as President of CEO of the Mississippi Bankers Association (MBA), the state’s unified voice for the banking industry.  He oversees all aspects of the association, including the MBA’s policy advocacy and Government Relations initiatives.  He leads the MBA’s lobbying efforts at the Mississippi State Capitol and works closely with the Mississippi Congressional Delegation and national banking trade groups to support industry federal lobbying efforts as well.

Active in both state and federal industry affairs, Fellows currently serves on the ABA BankPac Committee, the political action committee of the American Bankers Association.  He also currently serves on the Independent and Community Bankers of America Legislative Committee and serves on the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Business and Political Education Committee, more commonly known as BIPEC.

Gordon joined the Association in 2012 after working in the furniture industry for six years.  During his career in the furniture industry, Fellows was based in China on two separate occasions working for different companies.  During his time abroad, he managed a broad global supply chain, developed strategic sourcing relationships, and oversaw quality control and product development initiatives.

A native of Tupelo, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in international studies at the Croft Institute at the University of Mississippi in 2006 (and is an alumnus of the Trent Lott Leadership Institute for High School Students summer program)  During his time at Ole Miss, Fellows was active in various aspects of student life.  He was elected Associated Student President and was selected to the University of Mississippi Hall of Fame.  Gordon is married to the former Sara Hart Rosenblatt, and resides in Madison, MS.

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Chris J. Furlow
President and CEO
Texas Bankers Association
Austin, TX

Christopher J. Furlow was appointed as President & Chief Executive Officer of the Texas Bankers Association on January 12, 2018. Previously, he was President of Ridge Global, an international risk management consulting firm, where he developed innovative programs for small business leaders, Fortune 500 executives, and board members. With expertise in cybersecurity and public-private partnerships, he helped clients in financial services & other sectors leverage resilience for competitive advantage. He has an extensive background in complex policy/regulatory issues in both the public & private sectors. After the 9/11 attacks, Furlow was named Director for State Affairs in the White House Office of Homeland Security where he served as policy liaison to governors and was a member of the Incident Support Group providing coordination on events of “national significance.” During the stand-up of the Department of Homeland Security, he was appointed Executive Director of the Homeland Security Advisory Council and led operations of its multiple public and private sector committees. In a career of 25+ years, he has served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce, aide to a member of the tax-writing House Ways & Means Committee, and political party leader at the state & national levels. A graduate of Louisiana State University, he was a Senior Fellow of the Homeland Security Policy Institute of The George Washington University and was an adjunct professor for Carnegie Mellon University Chief Risk Officer (CRO) program. Chris served on the US Chamber of Commerce National Security Task Force & Cybersecurity Leadership Council. He is a current member of the Texas Cybersecurity Council, Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House, London), Board of Trustees for Southwest Graduate School of Banking (SWGSB) at SMU, and the Advisory Board for the Smith-Hutson Endowed Chair of Banking at SHSU.

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Fred L. Green, III
President and CEO
South Carolina Bankers Association
Columbia, SC

Fred Green has been President and Chief Executive Officer of the South Carolina Bankers Association (SCBA) since 2012. Prior to joining SCBA, he enjoyed a 33 year career within the South Carolina banking industry.  Fred is a native of Georgetown and graduate of the University of South Carolina, he began his banking career with Citizens & Southern National Bank. In 1991, he joined the National Bank of South Carolina (NBSC) as Executive Vice President where he later named President, CEO and Chairman. In 2003 after NBSC was acquired by Synovus, he moved to Georgia to serve as President, Chief Operating Officer and as Vice Chairman for the five-state bank holding company.

Green, now a Columbia resident, previously served as Director of the Federal Reserve Bank and on its Federal Advisory Council for the 5th and 6th District Banks.

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Peter K. Gwaltney
President and CEO
North Carolina Bankers Association
Raleigh, NC

Peter Gwaltney has served as President & Chief Executive Officer of the North Carolina Bankers Association since January 2015. He is a former banker and previously served as CEO of the Louisiana Bankers Association.  During his career, Peter has served on numerous committees with the American Bankers Association and currently serves on the ABA Board of Directors and Chairman of the ABA Alliance of State Bankers Associations. He is a Past Chairman of the Louisiana Governor’s Prayer Breakfast, a Past Chairman of the Graduate School of Banking at LSU and current serves as a member of the Board of Trustees at Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, Virginia and the Dean’s Advisory Council at the School of Business at Louisiana State University. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in General Studies with an emphasis in Economics and Finance from Louisiana State University. Peter and his wife, Ginny, have six children and seven grandchildren.

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Scott E. Latham
President and CEO
Alabama Bankers Association
Montgomery, AL

Scott E. Latham serves as president and CEO of the Alabama Bankers Association, a professional trade association representing nearly 150 commercial banks across Alabama with combined deposits exceeding $100 billion in more than 1,466 locations.

Having served in this capacity since 1997, he is an active member of the Alliance of State Bankers Associations, a division of the American Bankers Association, and just completed a term serving as chairman.

He serves as a member of the board of trustees of Freed- Hardeman University in Henderson, Tenn., as well as Lads to Leaders & Leaderettes, a Montgomery, Ala. organization promoting Christian leadership among youth.

He holds an MBA from Auburn University in Montgomery and a degree from the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

He and his wife, Michelle, have two daughters, Abby and Caroline, and are active members of the University Church of Christ. Scott serves the church as an elder, and both Michelle and Scott serve as Sunday School teachers and are active in many areas of the church.

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Alejandro M. Sanchez
President and CEO
Florida Bankers Association
Tallahassee, FL

Robert T. Taylor
Chief Executive Officer
Louisiana Bankers Association
Baton Rouge, LA

Bob Taylor has more than 37 years in Louisiana banking association work, working for LBA since 1991, and before that, for the Louisiana League of Savings Institutions from 1983 to 1991. Bob is very grateful to work with, as he says, “the wonderful people that are Louisiana bankers.” He serves on committees with the Independent Community Bankers of America and American Bankers Association. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the LSU Graduate School of Banking, including a two-year term as chairman from 2017-2018. After four years of active military duty, Bob took advantage of the G.I. Bill to graduate from Western Kentucky University, located in beautiful Bowling Green, KY, and remains a proud and supportive alumnus.

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Lorrie Trogden
President and CEO
Arkansas Bankers Association
Little Rock, AR

Bruce T. Whitehurst
President and CEO
Virginia Bankers Association
Glen Allen, VA

Bruce joined the Virginia Bankers Association in 1993, its 100th anniversary year, following a 10-year career in retail and commercial banking. He has served as president and chief executive officer of the association since 2007 and was previously executive vice president.

As a banking industry advocate, Bruce is active at the national level. He served on the American Bankers Association’s Regulatory Reform Task Force during the 2008-2009 financial crisis and served as an ABA Board member and chairman of the Alliance of State Bankers Associations in 2012-2013. He has also served on the ABA Community Bankers Council and the ABA Government Relations Council.
While at the VBA, Bruce has worked with member banks in a variety of areas, to include government relations, education and training, financial literacy, and partnering with banks in a number of innovative ways to help them enter new lines of business. He also speaks about and on behalf of the industry on a regular basis.

Committed to serving his community, Bruce is a director of and has chaired United Methodist Family Services in Richmond, VA and the Virginia Council on Economic Education. He also serves on the Board of Trustees at Ferrum College.

Bruce received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of William & Mary, his MBA from the University of Richmond and is a graduate of the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management.

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Administrative Officers

John W. Naughton
SVP/Interim Executive Director
Graduate School of Banking at LSU
Baton Rouge, LA

John was born in the Ancon Canal Zone, Panama (Army father), and moved to his family’s hometown at three-years-old (Mobile, AL) where he has made his home since.  John and his wife, Monica, have four children that span a generation: Lexi (24), John Brannon (21), McCrary (“Mac”, 7), and Maggie (2).

Upon completing high school in 1990, John joined the US Navy and served four years in Alameda, CA at the Shore In-Maintenance Activity (SIMA) and aboard the USS Samuel Gompers (AD-37).  Upon completing his service, John moved back to Mobile to finish his education and begin his civilian career.

John attended the University of South Alabama where he earned a BA degree in English with a minor in Business Management.

In 1994, John accepted employment with a consumer finance company where he worked for six years.  He began his banking career with SouthTrust Bank as Branch Manager in 2000 and immediately enrolled as a Freshman in the Alabama Banking School (“ABS”).  Upon graduating in 2002, John requested consideration to come back and serve the ABS and, in 2007, returned as a Class Director.  For the next 12 years, John served the ABS in varying capacities from School Director to Registrar.

John’s last banking assignment was with Community Bank of Mississippi serving the Mobile, AL area as SVP/Commercial Lender.

On January 1, 2020, John was hired by the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University as SVP to be the eventual Executive Director of the school.

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Scott E. Latham
Chairman of GSB – President & CEO
Alabama Bankers Association
Montgomery, AL

Scott E. Latham serves as president and CEO of the Alabama Bankers Association, a professional trade association representing nearly 150 commercial banks across Alabama with combined deposits exceeding $100 billion in more than 1,466 locations.

Having served in this capacity since 1997, he is an active member of the Alliance of State Bankers Associations, a division of the American Bankers Association, and just completed a term serving as chairman.

He serves as a member of the board of trustees of Freed- Hardeman University in Henderson, Tenn., as well as Lads to Leaders & Leaderettes, a Montgomery, Ala. organization promoting Christian leadership among youth.

He holds an MBA from Auburn University in Montgomery and a degree from the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

He and his wife, Michelle, have two daughters, Abby and Caroline, and are active members of the University Church of Christ. Scott serves the church as an elder, and both Michelle and Scott serve as Sunday School teachers and are active in many areas of the church.

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Joseph D. Hudgins
President of GSB –
President and Senior EVP & Chief Credit Officer

First Florida Integrity Bank
Naples, FL

Jody Hudgins has served as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer for First Florida Integrity Bank (“First Florida”) since December 2012. His banking career spans over 40 years and includes service as President and CEO of banks in Alabama and Florida for most of his career. Prior to joining First Florida, Jody served as Executive Vice President and Florida Executive for First National Bank of Pennsylvania, overseeing all lending functions in Florida.

Jody began his banking career in 1977 and joined SouthTrust Bank in Decatur, AL as President and Chief Executive Officer in 1986. In 1990, Mr. Hudgins became President and Chief Executive Officer of SouthTrust Bank in Sarasota, FL. In 1991, he joined West Coast Bank in Sarasota as President and Chief Executive Officer which later became First National Bank of Florida, where he served for 14 years.

Jody attended Carson-Newman College, where he received a degree in mathematics. In 1982, he graduated from the University of Virginia’s Graduate School of Retail Bank Management. For over twenty-five years, Jody has served as an instructor at the Florida School of Banking at the University of Florida, teaching courses in Personal Financial Analysis, Commercial Lending, Loan Policy and Review and Bank Simulation. In 2016, Jody was elected to the Charter Review Board for Sarasota County, FL. He is President of the Graduate School of Banking at LSU (GSBLSU), and he has served on the faculty at the GSBLSU for the past 14 years.  In 2019, Jody was appointed by the Supreme Court of Florida to serve on the Board of Governors of the Florida Bar.  The Florida Bar Board of Governors regulate the 110,000 plus practicing attorneys in the state of Florida.

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J. Michael Allen
President Elect of GSB –
Director of Real Estate Credit Risk

Cadence Bank, N.A.
Atlanta, GA

Mike Allen serves as EVP and Director of Real Estate Credit Risk at Cadence Bank in Atlanta, GA.  Prior to the January 2019 merger with Cadence Bank, Mike served as EVP, Senior Credit Officer of State Bank and Trust Company in Atlanta.  He also served as Director of Special Assets Division of State Bank. Mike’s banking experience spans 42 years, having worked with a number of banks in various capacities including retail, consumer, commercial, special asset remediation and credit. He is also a partner in the bank consulting firm, Accello Advisors. Mike currently serves on the Credit Committee for the Georgia Bankers Association, where he also serves as an instructor leading seminars on loan documentation, analyzing financial statements and asset based lending.  He also serves on the Georgia Bankers Association Graduate Banking School Board of Directors.  He is a member of the faculty at the University of Georgia Banking School sponsored by the Georgia Bankers Association.  Mike is also a member of the faculty at the Graduate School of Banking at LSU where he teaches Troubled Asset Resolution. He is a 1991 graduate of the School.  He was the 2017 recipient of the T. Eugene Spragens President’s award, an award presented annually by the LSU Graduate School of Banking to an outstanding faculty member. Mike also serves on the Executive Committee of the Graduate School of Banking at LSU as President Elect.

Mike is an accomplished presenter and speaker having conducted many seminars, workshops and been an invited guest speaker at GBA and Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta programs.  He is a member of Lakewood Baptist Church in Gainesville. He has served in numerous capacities with United Way. Mike is a former Board Member of the Greater Hall County Chamber of Commerce and served as Vice Chairman of the South Hall Business Coalition. He attended Georgia College and State University from 1976-1978 where he received a BBA and from 1980-1982 where he received an MBA.

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Colin Barrett
Chairman Elect of GSB – President & CEO
Tennessee Bankers Association
Nashville, TN

Colin Barrett has served as president and CEO of the Tennessee Bankers Association (TBA) since 2013. The TBA, founded in 1890, is a not-for-profit trade organization representing Tennessee’s commercial banks and thrift institutions.

He previously was executive vice president, responsible for government relations in both Nashville and Washington, D.C., with oversight of TBA’s education and communication efforts, as well as member relations with the 177 banks with operations in Tennessee.

Formerly, he was with the American Bankers Association in Washington, D.C., where he served two stints between 2001 and 2005 as regional membership manager.

During 2003, Colin took a leave from the ABA to serve as regional development manager for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, based in Washington. In this position, he coordinated and managed a nationwide fund-raising program with U.S. Senators.

Colin earned his M.A. degree in political management from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

He and his wife, Rachel, live in Nashville with their son, William.

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Robert T. Taylor
Immediate Past Chairman of the Board of GSB –
Chief Executive Officer

Louisiana Bankers Association
Baton Rouge, LA

Bob Taylor has more than 37 years in Louisiana banking association work, working for LBA since 1991, and before that, for the Louisiana League of Savings Institutions from 1983 to 1991. Bob is very grateful to work with, as he says, “the wonderful people that are Louisiana bankers.” He serves on committees with the Independent Community Bankers of America and American Bankers Association. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the LSU Graduate School of Banking, including a two-year term as chairman from 2017-2018. After four years of active military duty, Bob took advantage of the G.I. Bill to graduate from Western Kentucky University, located in beautiful Bowling Green, KY, and remains a proud and supportive alumnus.

Mark G. Holladay
Immediate Past President of GSB -
EVP and Chief Risk Officer

Synovus
Columbus, GA

Mark Holladay joined Columbus Bank and Trust Company in 1974 as a part-time teller and participated in the bank’s management trainee program. He also served in the Retail Branch network as assistant manager and branch manager.  He was then named Vice President of Commercial Lending in 1984 and Senior Commercial Lending Officer in 1991. Holladay was appointed Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending in 1992. In 1994, he was named Executive Vice President of the Commercial Group, and in 1998 he was promoted to Executive Vice President of Banking/Client Delivery. In 2000, Holladay accepted the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer. In 2008, he was named to the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer.  Mark oversees the company’s enterprise risk management operations and related activities. He is responsible for providing the overall leadership, vision and direction for Enterprise Risk Management. Direct Reports include Compliance, Operational Risk, Credit Review, and the Enterprise Risk Management Department.

Mark has a BS in Biology from Columbus College, graduated from the Graduate School of Banking of the South, Louisiana State University, and completed the Masters’ Program of Banking, Louisiana State University.  He is Immediate Past President – Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University, Board Member and Treasurer, Calvary Christian School, Business Improvement District Board, Uptown Columbus, and Shared Assessment Advisory Board Member.

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Dr. Michael J. Highfield, CFA
Vice President for Curriculum –
Professor of Finance

Mississippi State University
Starkville, MS

Dr. Mike Highfield is a Professor of Finance and the Robert W. Warren Chair of Real Estate Finance at Mississippi State University. He earned his BBA and MBA from Mississippi State University and later earned his MS in Economics and Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Kentucky. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) designation from the CFA Institute and the Certified Treasury Professional (CTP®) designation from the Association for Financial Professionals.

A former faculty member at Louisiana Tech University, Mike returned to Mississippi State University in 2005 where he teaches courses in corporate finance, financial modeling, mortgage lending, and real estate investments. He served as the Department Head of Finance and Economics from 2009-2018, and his research has appeared in over 20 peer-reviewed journals. He is a past president of the American Real Estate Society (ARES), and he serves on the board of directors of ARES, the ARES Foundation, the Southern Finance Association, and the Oktibbeha Educational Foundation. Mike is as a consultant for the CFA Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia, chairs the investments committee for the Oktibbeha Educational Foundation, serves on the Investments Committee for the Mississippi State University Foundation, and is the Treasurer for the ARES Foundation. Mike is the Vice President of Curriculum for the Graduate School of Banking at LSU, and he also teaches the school’s first year course in Financial Markets.

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Corinne Long
Vice President for Administration
Graduate School of Banking at LSU
Baton Rouge, LA

Dr. Don L. Woodland
Director Emeritus
Graduate School of Banking at LSU
Baton Rouge, LA