Commercial Banking School

Conference/Seminar/School Kristen Reid Michele Dunn

Developed in partnership with the University of Richmond Robins School of Business, this one week school is designed to provide comprehensive training, allowing banks the opportunity to build bench strength within their commercial banking division.

Application Starts at the School!: During the week, participants will have an opportunity to apply what they have learned through group exercises where they will analyze a realistic loan request, consider the important decision factors, outline recommendations and then, on Friday, deliver their group’s recommended course of action to a panel of bankers.  

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2024 Schedule and Session Descriptions

2024 Schedule

Session 1

Monday, October 7 10:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, October 8 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, October 9 9:00a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Session 2

Monday, October 28 10:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, October 29 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, October 30 9:00a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Session descriptions

Leveraging Your Strengths as a Leader in Commercial Banking

Participants will complete a leadership assessment in advance of the first session. During our time together, we will identify how your personal strengths bring value to the bank and your clients and identify personal areas of opportunity. 

Identifying Your Bank’s Strategy and Market Differentiators 

In a competitive marketplace, your bank will need to develop a clear and compelling strategy to win commercial loan business based on elements that distinguish your offerings. In this session, you will learn how to identify and develop those differentiators and to apply strategic thinking in your pursuit of new business. 

Servicing Loan Customers Over the Long Run

The most successful relationships between banks and their clients have many touchpoints. In this session, we will discuss how to better connect with leaders within your client organizations in order that you might innovate in partnership with those firms over the long-term horizon. 

Evaluating Current Customers & Pursuing New Business

Commercial lenders often inherit a portfolio of customers and may not have the tools needed to properly evaluate the various pieces. In this session, you will learn how to properly examine current customers and what avenues you could pursue in order to generate new leads through business development activities. 

Financial Accounting Basics

In this session, you will get answers to questions you might have been afraid to ask. We will explore balance sheets and income statements as well as audit opinions and tax returns. Our aim is to demystify these concepts for commercial lenders.  

Credit Risks & Determining Appropriate Loan Structure

Truly understanding the purpose of the loan request is only the beginning. In this session, you will learn to conduct a credit risk assessment, identify a client’s repayment capacity and determine the appropriate collateral. We will also discuss covenants and common loan documents. 

Negotiating Effectively and Earning Business

We know a great deal about what separates successful negotiators from average ones. In this session, you will learn a process for preparing to negotiate as well as tools to use during negotiations with internal and external stakeholders. 

Deepening Your Understanding of Your Clients and Their Future Opportunities

Success as a commercial lender requires that you be viewed as a “trusted advisor” by your clients. In this session, you will learn how to deepen your understanding of your client firm’s strategy in order to be able to anticipate their needs and develop offerings that meet those needs. 

Group Presentations

Participants will present to a panel of bankers a recommended course of action based on their group’s analysis of a loan request. 

*Agenda, topics and descriptions are subject to change

Meet the Instructors

Doug Bosse is Associate Dean of International Business Programs and the David Meade White Jr. Chair in Business at the Robins School of Business at University of Richmond. He has more than 20 years of experience facilitating strategic planning and leadership alignment activities for executive teams. Prior to becoming a professor, Doug spent over ten years in corporate strategy consulting after beginning his career as a commercial banker. He has served clients ranging from large multinationals to small domestic firms, including American Electric Power, Allianz, BetterMed, Bon Secours, Duke Energy, and The Federal Reserve Bank. Doug received his Ph.D. from Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. He is a University Distinguished Educator, Past-Chair of the Management Department, and Past-President of Richmond’s Faculty Senate.

Cary Chandler is a Credit Administrator at SouthState Bank who provides credit approval and loan structuring guidance to the Large Complex C&I lines of business, including the Middle Market, Equipment Finance and Specialized Not-For-Profit banking teams covering the footprint of the Bank. Upon graduating from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Finance, he joined BB&T where he spent 18 years in Commercial Lending, including Business Banking and Commercial Lending Relationship Manager roles in Washington, DC and Portfolio Management, Credit Administration and Credit Leadership roles in Atlanta, Georgia and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Returning “home” to Richmond in 2017, he joined SouthState Bank in 2019. Cary achieved the designation of Credit Risk Certified by the RMA in 2012.

Richard Coughlan serves as Faculty Director of Executive Education and Associate Professor of Management at the University of Richmond, where he teaches courses on negotiations, decision-making, and organizational behavior. A recipient of the University’s Distinguished Educator Award, he is also a facilitator and strategic advisor for dozens of corporate clients including CapTech, CarMax, Capital One, Dominion Energy, and Markel. A graduate of the University of Virginia, Richard arrived at Richmond after completing both an MBA and a Ph.D. in judgment and decision making at the University of Arizona. Prior to graduate school, he spent nearly five years in the hotel industry, culminating with a position on the management team at The Pebble Beach Resorts in California.

Katie Gilstrap is a faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she has both developed and led new programs for VCU. More specifically, she has designed, led and secured grant funding for study abroad programs focused on international business in Greece, Spain, Prague and Scotland. She also represents VCU as a master facilitator for the Henry Ford Foundation’s Leadership Academy in the Middle East and Africa. Prior to her academic and entrepreneurial career, Katie served as the Chief Marketing Officer and Director of Marketing at First Market Bank where she oversaw marketing strategy, product management, corporate and customer communications, culture development and design, brand management, community outreach and business analysis. During her time at First Market Bank, her work was recognized by Financial Brand magazine, and she served on both the Assets and Liabilities Committee and the Executive Committee, with responsibility for developing and steering the organization’s corporate strategy. 

In addition to her academic and professional responsibilities, Katie actively consults in the areas of corporate and consumer communications strategy; vision, values and culture development and delivery; and executive presence. Her practice spans a variety of industries, including banking and financial services, health care, luxury brands, residential and commercial construction and nonprofit organizations. She also has served as a regular columnist for the Richmond Times Dispatch, the Health Journal and GRID Magazine. Recently, she was recognized by AACSB as one of the recipients of their international 100 Influential Leaders Award.

Abbie Sadler began her career at Ernst & Young (EY) in Tulsa, Oklahoma as an auditor after completing her Bachelor of Science in Accounting and her Master of Science in Business Administration – Accounting at Oklahoma State University. During her time at EY, Abbie applied complex accounting and auditing concepts to specific client situations for large public companies, including a Fortune 100 company. Abbie next worked as an underwriter for Chase Bank’s commercial banking division, where she completed a month-long intensive credit training program before assuming management of a portfolio of fifteen clients with annual revenues ranging from $20 – $500 million. Her role as an underwriter included structuring transactions to satisfy the needs of clients and the risk appetite of the bank. Abbie left the bank to pursue a career in academia. She completed her Ph.D. in Accounting from Oklahoma State University in May 2019 and was hired by the University of Richmond that same year. She currently teaches Federal Taxation I and Introduction to Financial Accounting at the Robins School of Business.

Commercial Banking School Pre-requisites & Tuition Information 

Tuition for the 2024 Commercial Banking School session is $1,595 for VBA members and $2,095 for non-members.

A minimum of two years of commercial banking experience is strongly suggested and provides the core knowledge needed to be successful in the school.   Contact Kristen Reid with further questions.

Hotel Information

Hampton Inn Richmond West Innsbrook
10800 W Broad Street
Glen Allen, VA 23060

The VBA has a negotiated rate of $119/night, plus applicable taxes and fees. To take advantage of the negotiated rate, reservations must be made by Sunday, September 22nd. Click here to make your reservation for session one. Click here to make your reservation for session two.


Contact Amy Binns for information.