VBA Annual Convention 2021

Conference/Seminar/School Courtney Fleming Chandler Owdom
VBA Annual Convention

To be held at the Belmond Charleston Place in Charleston, South Carolina, an exciting first-time location for our event, the 2021 Convention will combine a great lineup of speakers on timely topics and networking with bankers and industry providers. We have all had more than our share of disruption – to say the least – over the past year, and we hope that this September event will be a time to finally come together, enjoy each other’s company and educate ourselves on industry topics together.

Convention Dates & Information


September 12-15, 2021


Belmond Charleston Place 
205 Meeting Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29401

Mixing a mild climate with Southern charm, Charleston, South Carolina is located in the Lowcountry, midway between Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head Island. It offers visitors beautiful beaches, salt marshes, quaint streets and forts. The historic Downtown sits on a peninsula a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the oldest and best-preserved cities in the American South.

As one of the most beloved downtown Charleston hotels, Charleston Place is situated in the heart of the city. Just steps away you’ll find the famous open-air market, notable restaurants and historic sites. Consistently voted the #1 Travel Destination in the US by Condé Nast Traveler readers, Charleston offers a host of activities to suit every desire. 

Click here for maps and more. 


Attire for all VBA events is resort casual. Dress requirements may vary with the specific restaurant or activity. 

About the Belmond Charleston Place and COVID-19 Safety Precautions

Charleston is open and ready for us! Watch a video update or click here for Charleston information on COVID-19, including guidelines, protocols and a PSA. Click here for the safety practices of the Belmond Charleston Place, as well as a message from their CEO and their FAQs on their cleaning practices, special arrangements and more. 

Additional Hotel Information

Reserving Your Room

Please contact the hotel directly to reserve your room by August 13, 2021. Any reservation requests after this date will be accepted on an availability basis at group rates plus any applicable taxes.

Individual attendees can make their room reservations by calling 1.800.831.3490 or via email at groupres.cph@belmond.com. Please make sure to reference this meeting (“VA Bankers 2021 Annual Convention”) to take advantage of group rates.

A first night’s deposit must be guaranteed via a major credit card, which will be forfeited if the reservation is cancelled less than 7 days prior to arrival. A failure to cancel the reservation prior to day of arrival will result in a cancellation fee for the full length of stay.  Departure dates are reconfirmed at check in. An early departure fee of one night will be assessed unless hotel is provided 24 hour advance notice of an earlier departure. Rates are subject to a $2.00 destination marketing fee plus state and local taxes, currently totaling 14%. There will be an additional charge of $25.00 for a third adult person sharing a double room. Children under 18 years of age may share the same room with parents at no additional charge. Please note rollaway beds are not available.

Room Type Rate
Deluxe $399 per night
Premier King Rooms $449 per night
Club King Rooms* $555 per night
One Bedroom Suite $655 per night

*The Club features upgraded room design and amenities. The eighth floor lounge offers an elaborate Continental Breakfast each morning, afternoon tea, soft drinks, and wine. Each afternoon The Club Bar opens until late night, staffed with a private bartender who will serve your guests their favorite beverages along with heavy hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, including after dinner sweets. Only Guests staying on the 7th or 8th floors are allowed access to the Club Level.  Outside guests or guests staying on other floors will be asked to leave.  This policy is strictly enforced.

Registration Rates

Registration fees include admission to all VBA business sessions and events. 

To register for the Convention and pay online, click here. Members of the VBA’s Retired Banking Executives group can click here to register for $295 ($95 for RBE spouse or guest). For registration questions, contact Gail Queen

Are you a first time attendee? Does your spouse/guest want to receive Convention emails?
Don’t forget to include that information in the designated spot on your registration!

*VBA member bankers only. This certificate cannot be used during the VBA Annual Convention. Certificate excludes alcohol. Certificate expires 2/28/2022. Taxes and gratuities are included; all other expenses are the responsibility of the bearer. It has no cash value. Reservations are subject to availability and/or inventory control and cannot be combined with any other special offer or redeemed on a holiday.

Registration Type Dates
Member: $995
Member Spouse/Guest: $465
Non-Member: $1,200
Non-Member Spouse/Guest: $550
Retired Banking Executive: $295
Retired Banking Executive Spouse/Guest: $95
Now-August 31st
Member: $1,095
Member Spouse/Guest: $535
Non-Member: $1,200
Non-Member Spouse/Guest: $600
Retired Banking Executive: $295
Retired Banking Executive Spouse/Guest: $95
September 1st and After


By registering for this event, you are agreeing to the VBA Event Policies.


All cancellations will be charged a $50 administrative fee. Cancellations received less than 72 business hours before the program will be charged a $100 administrative fee. Substitutions are allowed prior to the beginning of Convention.


If you have special needs that may affect your participation in this event, please contact Chandler Owdom to discuss accommodations.

Agenda & Speaker Information

About Our Keynote Speakers

Avi Barak Lenora Billings-Harris
Avi J. Barak
​Managing Director, Investment Banking / Financial Services Group
Piper Sandler & Co.

You Can’t Predict, But You Can Prepare – Getting Ready for 2022
Lenora Billings-Harris, CSP, CPAE
International Diversity Strategist & Hall of Fame Speaker and Author

Maximizing the Power of Inclusion by
Uncovering the Impact of Unconscious Bias on Business Results
Scott Hildenbrand  Gene Ludwig
Scott Hildenbrand 
Managing Director, 
Chief Balance Sheet Strategist,
Head of Piper Sandler Financial Strategies
Piper Sandler & Co.

You Can’t Predict, But You Can Prepare – Getting Ready for 2022
Gene Ludwig
Founder and CEO
Promontory MortgagePath
Dave Martin Betsy Nota-Kirby
Dave Martin

Remaining Relevant in a Digital Banking World
Betsy Nota-Kirby
Vice President, National Health
Management Consulting | Planning, Analytics
and Total Health
Marsh & McLennan Agency

A Focus on Mental Health: Making Your
Well-being A Competitive Advantage
Michael Rogers Joan Woodward
Michael Rogers
Practical Futurist

What Comes After COVID? The Decade Ahead
Joan Woodward
Executive Vice President of Public
Policy, Travelers | President, The
Travelers Institute

Woodward on Washington: An Economic,
Public Policy, and Political Outlook

More speakers will be announced soon.




Welcome Reception 



Business Session 

Guest Program: Home & Garden Walking Tour

Reception and Dinner
Featuring Entertainment By The Bob Williams Duo

Piper Sandler & Co. Dessert Reception
All VBA Annual Convention Attendees Invited



Business Session

Farewell Reception

Featuring Entertainment By Bob Williams 



Guest Program: Home and Garden Walking Tour

Monday, September 13 from 10:00am-12:00pm

Join Wendy Asbury, wife of VBA Chairman John Asbury, for this exciting program. Guests will be met by a licensed tour guide inside the hotel lobby and will set off on foot to explore Charleston’s vibrant historic neighborhoods. They’ll enjoy a Charleston historic home for a half hour tour, and on the walk back to the hotel, their tour guide will point out more historic sights of the wonderful city. Some sights include St Michael’s Church, the Nathaniel Russell House, Washington Square Park and many other historic landmarks and exquisite gardens.

Proper footwear for uneven sidewalks is required. There is a minimum of ten attendees required to hold the tour.

Please register in advance for this year’s Guest Program, no later than September 6. The fee will be $81.75 per person and must be paid directly to the VBA. 

Click here to register for Convention and the guest program.

If you’ve already registered for Convention, please email Gail Queen to add this event to your registration. Please include the guest’s name and email address and Gail will invoice you directly.

Please contact Gail Queen with any changes in plans. To receive a refund, attendees must cancel before September 6.


During our event, we will have entertainment provided by The Bob Williams Duo. The Bob Williams Duo is a father and son team that plays guitar and violin.  They offer an eclectic mix of Classical, Jazz, Pop and Rock selections from a wide repertoire of songs and artists. As they like to say, “everything from Bach to Rock.” 

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Interested in sponsoring the 2021 VBA Annual Convention? Contact Amy Binns for more information. You can also review available options here.