The VBA Connect & Protect Experience
An Event for Marketing, Human Resources, Retail Banking, Training, Security, Enterprise Risk Management, Operations and Technology, and Compliance Professionals

Conference/Seminar/School Kristen Reid Walt Lyons Amy Binns

The VBA Connect|Protect Experience will uncover new ideas, trends and developments in banking.

Register Now!

Conference Agenda – Monday, March 13, 2023*

1:00 p.m. Registration Opens
2:00 – 5:00 p.m. Safety Workshop: Security for Today’s Threats 
Terry Choate & Joseph Hileman | Blue-U Defense

The Robbery Experience: The Robbery Experience is a unique, impactful, and extremely effective course that focuses not only on the traditional things normally covered in robbery training, but from a highly unique and far more effective perspective, but numerous non-traditional aspects that are even more critical to true safety, security, and performance than anything that is address in a typical robbery course.

Active Shooter Vs Armed Robbery: This course is designed to provide practical tips on how to survive an incident of violence. Often times, our employees only receive training in armed robbery. However, occasionally employees will receive an active shooter training but rarely, if ever, are the two talked about simultaneously. The result, our employees can differentiate between the two and may choose the wrong response during a critical incident.

Increasing Customer Service and Security. Often times it is explained to us that the reason security is relaxed is because they want to have an open, warm, inviting environment for customers. It is generally believed that customer service and security conflict with each other. However, we have a way to marry the two and not only significantly increase both but, set your bank apart from the competition and give you a marketing advantage!

5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Welcome Reception  Sponsored by Works24

Conference Agenda – Tuesday, March 14, 2023*

7:30 – 8:15 a.m. Registration & Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors 
8:15 – 8:30 a.m. Welcome | Announcements | Sponsor Introductions 
8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Economic Update Lindsey Piegza | Stifel

Chief Economist Dr. Lindsey Piegza will look at the current state of the economy amid the
pandemic and what it means going forward for overall growth, interest rates and monetary policy. She will cover macro-economic trends in consumer spending and investment, in addition to new monetary and fiscal policy initiatives and the potential economic effects of these changes. She will also examine the changing global and political environment, and how it will affect the economic recovery. Participants will leave this session able to advise management teams on the possible effect of economic issues on their organizations.

9:30 – 9:50 a.m. Networking Break in the Exhibit Hall
9:50 – 10:50 a.m. Breakout Sessions
  • Compliance Legal Update Recommended for Compliance 
    DeMarion Johnston | Virginia Bankers Association 
    DeMarion will cover new laws that were passed in the 2023 Virginia General Assembly Session as well as recent changes in federal laws and regulations that affect banking.
  • Human Trafficking: Closer to Home Than You Think Recommended for Security, ERM & Retail 
    Terri Luttrell | Abrigo
    Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal activities in the world, exploiting over 45 million people and generating an estimated $150 billion in profits each year. Through force, fraud, and coercion, traffickers compel victims of all genders, ages, and nationalities into labor and sexual exploitation situations. Often, money is the fuel that incentivizes traffickers and funds the operations of trafficking networks. Financial institutions have a critical role in identifying and disrupting human trafficking. This session will discuss what financial institutions and BSA professionals can do to help identify, flag, and prevent human trafficking.
  • Developing a Formula for an Effective Blended Learning Program Recommended for Training 
    Brian Washburn & Tim Waxenfelter | Endurance Learning
    If you’ve dabbled in the art of training design, you’ll know that an effective learning program includes a combination of adult learning theory, activities to engage learners and best practices for how learning can stick. But there are a lot of activities and practices out there. How do you sort through them and determine what’s the right formula? In this session, Brian Washburn will introduce an entire periodic table of 51 learning elements and discuss how these elements are organized. You’ll reflect on a current challenge you’re having and string together some of these learning elements to address that challenge. You’ll leave this session with an outline that balances the art and the science of helping others to learn.
  • Marketing in Hard Economic Times Recommended for Marketing 
    Jeff Jenkins | DIGI CONVO, LLC

    These days the challenge is doing more with less. When done correctly, there’s no more powerful or cost-effective channel for community banks than digital marketing. Maybe you’re unsure where to start or have been disappointed by previous digital efforts. But we’ll share with you prioritized low-hanging fruit suggestions to drive fast, impactful results. These include tips and tricks you or your web person can do yourself in a few hours, as well as a couple of straight-forward, less technical projects that will be game-changers for your organization.
  • What to Do When Your Vendor Gets Hacked Recommended for Ops & Tech
    Terry Kuxhaus | SBS Cyber

    In today’s world, nearly every business function can be outsourced to a cloud provider. However, outsourcing a business function does not outsource the risk of protecting your customer information. Proactive vendor management is essential for organizations to make the right business decisions about the partners they choose. Combining Vendor Management with a strong Incident Response Plan helps prepare your organization for the possibility of a vendor breach.

    In this session, learn tips on how to respond if a vendor is compromised, and how identifying and understanding cybersecurity risk gives your organization a competitive advantage in a digital world. Highlights include:
    • Key components to modern vendor management
    • The must haves of Vendor Management + Incident Response
    • The role digital forensics plays in a vendor breach
    • Insurance and legal
    • Controls to prevent a network compromise
    • What to test, including vendors
  • An Exceptional Leader C.A.R.E.S. Recommended for Human Resources 
    Michael Towers, Speaking of Your Success

    This session will teach leadership principles to transform a workplace into a healthy & supportive environment. By improving organizational culture, mental health conditions will improve, & burnout potential is minimized. An unhealthy workplace means poor performance, more missed work, and a failure to attract and retain top talent. Great Leaders can be instruments of change. The C.A.R.E.S. approach offers fundamental leadership principles and practices that will improve mental health conditions in the workplace. By making the workplace better your people are healthier, productivity increases, and your profits will skyrocket! More than ever mental health is at a crisis level. Symptoms are hidden at work. Your employees are hurting, and you can help. If you care for your people from the bottom of your heart, you will be amazed what it does to your bottom line. In this session, participants will learn:
    • Strategies to improve mental health conditions at work
    • Mental health first-aid to identify coworkers struggling with mental health issues so they can step in & offer support
    • Self-care techniques to improve work life balance.
10:50 – 11:10 a.m. Networking Break in the Exhibit Hall
11:10 – 12:10 p.m. Breakout Sessions
  • HR Legal Hot Topics Recommended for Human Resources 
    Steve Brown | Isler Dare, PC
    We will explore complex employment issues facing banking employers in Virginia. We will provide common sense advice and counsel on how to deal with these various issues.
  • Keeping Up with Fraudsters: Continuing the Battle Recommended for Security 
    Terri Luttrell | Abrigo

    Fraud is one of the significant concerns among banks around the country as numbers continue to soar as fraudsters seem to stay one step ahead of the industry. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased fraud losses exponentially. As the pandemic begins to show signs of slowing spread, what does this mean for your institution? This session will discuss current fraud trends, lessons learned from the past two years, and how to prepare for future risk mitigation. In this session you will:
    • Staff and client education is critical; understand the importance of having the right people in the right seats.
    • Determine your bank’s risk tolerance and develop a solid framework for your fraud program.
    • Learn how to prepare and save hard dollar losses. COVID may be here to stay in one form or another, and so is increased fraud. Be prepared.
  • Strategically Engaging Employees & Ourselves Recommended for Retail and Training
    Erin Black | Liberty University 
    Surrounded by crisis and an ever-evolving workplace, a new normal emerged that demanded new strategies and perspectives. The workforce, now made up of three main players (remote, hybrid, and traditional workers) lacks tools to engage these unique populations, but their foothold in the marketplace only increases. This session will define this critical time in the current workforce, illustrate the prioritization of employee engagement in communication, and finally, present real opportunities to engage employees. Then, the engagement conversation will switch to you, the employee. Every employee has an opportunity to increase their engagement and we’ll discuss how to make it happen. 
  • Environmental Social Governance (ESG): The New Market Space Recommended for Compliance and ERM
    Elisabeth Wilson | Atlantic Union Bank

    With ESG continuing to gain momentum thanks to shareholder, investor, and consumer focus, the financial industry is caught in the middle as regulatory expectations evolve and individual states enact anti-ESG legislation. However, financial institutions are perfectly positioned to navigate this period of uncertainty in order to craft winning ESG strategies that will not only safeguard their institutions but that will help move the needle in a meaningful direction that will resonate with consumers. For financial institutions, ESG is the new market space.
  • Trends in Cyber and Bank Losses Recommended for Ops & Tech, Security & ERM
    Ted Lansdale | Travelers Insurance

    This session discusses some typical forms of loss affecting financial institutions and their customers, and, more importantly, what steps to take to mitigate risk.
  • Bulletproof Planning: From Strategy to Budget 
    Josh Mabus | Mabus Agency
    Learn the tools used to help dozens of banks start off their year with confidence. Josh Mabus will openly share the techniques he and his team employ to make certain that strategy, planning, and budgets align for banks across the country. In this session you will learn how to:
    • Take away other secrets to make certain your strategy is aligned and unquestioned
    • Learn how we build budgets that allow flexibility for changes to reallocate on the fly
    • Employ our rules of thumb to distribute marketing dollars to create a balanced budget
    • Use our 5 key areas of bank marketing to form your strategic approach
12:10 – 1:10 p.m. Lunch
1:10 – 2:10 p.m. Breakout Sessions
  • HR Legal Panel, Part 1 Recommended for Human Resources 
    Steve Brown | Isler Dare
    Deb Collins | Yeng Collins Law
    Christy Kiely | Seyfarth Shaw
    Tevis Marshall | Ogletree Deakins
  • Fraud Awareness & Training for Frontline Staff Recommended for Retail, Training & Security 
    Elissa Brewer | Abrigo

    Equipping your front-line with the education and tools to identify fraudulent activity in your institution is a big responsibility. As the first line of defense, the front-line is a critical element of a successful fraud mitigation program. This session will explore how to create awareness and take action with your staff. Key takeaways of this session include:
    • Tips for opening lines of communication within your institution
    • Common fraud schemes everyone should recognize
    •  Training Outline for front line staff fraud awareness
  • Success With the Three Lines of Defense: How to Build a Compliance and Risk Management Dream Team Recommended for ERM
    Michael Carpenter | Ncontracts

    The three Lines model is an approach to risk management that allows for the adoption of one or more frameworks and can fit organizations of various asset sizes and risk management motivations. In this presentation, we dive into specifics of the Three Lines of Risk Management, how you can realistically stand up the model, and the value the approach brings to your organization when successfully deployed and with consistent “Command Sponsorship.”
  • The Power of Brand Recommended for Marketing 
    Amber Farley | Financial Marketing Solutions
    Your bank has a brand, and that brand is either because of you – or in spite of you. The long-term value of the bank will depend upon the value of the brand. Therefore, the ultimate goal should be to establish a unique brand for the organization, and to advance the brand through every internal and external effort. This session will focus on what it means to manage the brand of your organization, and why you should be passionate about it.
  • The Evolution of Ransomware and How It’s Changed Recommended for Ops & Tech and Security 
    John Schlager | Inceptus
  • Overdraft Fees and UDAAP Recommended for Compliance
    Brenda Payne | TCA
2:10 – 2:30 p.m. Networking Break in the Exhibit Hall
2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions
  • HR Legal Panel, Part 2 Recommended for Human Resources
    Steve Brown | Isler Dare
    Deb Collins | Yeng Collins Law
    Christy Kiely | Seyfarth Shaw
    Tevis Marshall | Ogletree Deakins
  • Regulator Panel Recommended for Ops & Tech, ERM & Compliance
    Shamara Humbles & Bryce Taylor | Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
    Amanda Edwards & Joshua Johnson | OCC

    Daniel Tucker | Bureau of Financial Institutions
    Jason Schemmel | Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
    Moderated by DeMarion Johnston, Virginia Bankers Association
  • Physical Security Hot Topics Recommended for Security 
    Joe Hileman & Terry Choate | Blue-U Defense
  • Breaking Down Enthusiasts, Influencers & Ambassadors Recommended for Marketing 
    Kristin Sundin Brandt | Sundin Marketing 

    The financial services industry is catching up to the idea of using brand ambassadors to build brand awareness and connect with customers and prospects – but what is a brand ambassador, and how is it different from an influencer, or someone who is simply enthusiastic about your organization? During this session Kristin draws on her experience as an influencer, brand ambassador, and content creator for organizations including Intel, Real Simple, Chevrolet, and Embassy Suites to break down the differences while exploring both the opportunities and the pitfalls.
  • Improving Your Onboarding Program Recommended for Training 
    Paul Nunn | Pinnacle Financial Strategies
    Over a 2-year period, I had 10 jobs. Yes, 10. Let’s just say that I saw a LOT of different approaches to onboarding. Some were very good. Others weren’t. And a couple of these experiences, well, that’s another story for another day. Onboarding programs are designed to acclimate new employees to their role and help them become a valuable resource to your bank. Think about your first day at school. You may have been nervous, even crying a bit. You just wanted to know who your teacher was, will she/he like me, where the bathrooms are, when is lunch, etc. Now think about your current onboarding program. Employees are nervous. They want to know the same things: who my boss is, will I like them, will they like me, what is my role, when is lunch, where are the bathrooms, when do I get paid, etc. If your bank already has an onboarding program, feel free to bring it with you. In this session, you will walk away with specific tasks you can do to improve your bank’s onboarding program.
  • The Elephant in the Lobby: What Your Customers Aren’t Telling You Recommended for Retail and Marketing
    Dann Nelson | Haberfeld 

    You know what your vocal customers think. Those who love you tell their friends and advocate for you. Those who share their frustrations with your team and you give you the opportunity to “fix” their problems. The customer about whom you need to worry is the silent majority who say nothing. You’ve neither delighted nor annoyed them – they think you are “ just fine”. Those customers are the ones most vulnerable to the marketing messages of your competitors. How can you change that narrative and turn those customers into raving fans?
3:30 – 3:40 p.m. Networking Break in the Exhibit Hall
3:40 – 4:10 p.m. Industry Update Matt Bruning | Virginia Bankers Association 
4:30 – 5:00 p.m. Shark Tank Showcase Participants include:
  • Brown, Edwards & Company
  • HC3
  • PWCampbell
  • Haberfeld
5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Networking Reception  Sponsored by Vericast

Conference Agenda – Wednesday, March 15, 2023*

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors 
8:30 – 8:40 a.m. Welcome | Announcements | Sponsor Prize Drawings
8:40 – 9:40 a.m. Innovation & Fintech in Banking Ryan Jackson | American Bankers Association 

From APIs to ChatGPT to quantum computing – the emergence of innovations within banking has been exploding and does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon. In this session we will explore these emerging technologies and broad innovation trends that are impacting banks.

9:40 – 10:00 a.m. Networking Break in the Exhibit Hall
10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Breakout Sessions
  • Ops & Tech Roundtable (bankers only) Recommended for Ops & Tech
  • Retail Roundtable (bankers only) Recommended for Retail
  • Security Roundtable (bankers only) Recommended for Security 
  • Training Roundtable (bankers only) Recommended for Training 
  • Compliance Roundtable (bankers only) Recommended for Compliance 
  • How to Speak C-Suite When it Comes to Data Recommended for Marketing
    Gill Hundley & Erica Starr | KlariVis

    When it comes to earning the support of your management team, bank marketers are increasingly being called upon to present their team’s performance. For many, especially those who may not have presented to executive leadership before, this can feel like an incredibly daunting task. Most tools available today only present data as numbers and charts and lack a striking visual component as well as the vital component of narrative for effectively communicating insights. Learn how to leverage data visualization and storytelling when presenting to your management team.
  • What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: Gearing for Growth Recommended for Human Resources
    Dann Nelson | Haberfeld

    In an incredibly competitive environment, we can’t just rely on “the way we’ve always done it.” In fact, some of what we’ve always believed about employees just isn’t true any longer. There are generational differences in what employees want and need from their work. If you want to attract and retain the best talent, now and in the future, you need to understand how they think and what they want.
11:00 – 11:15 a.m. Networking Break in the Exhibit Hall
11:15 – 12:15 p.m. Stronger Under Pressure Chris Barras | Second Story Partners

The radical changes of 2020-2021 disrupted almost every industry. The pressure of these changes showed us what we are made of. In some cases, the pressure crushed us. But other groups were able to adapt to the pressure and thrive.

In this talk we look at what are the qualities of people who can get stronger when they are placed under pressure. Where are we fragile? Where are our teams fragile? And how do we overcome that?

This talk helps us identify our own fragility as individuals and as teams and gives us some steps to overcome that fragility. We will also get a few skills that will helps us thrive in whatever is coming next for us.

Speakers and topics subject to change*

Registration Options

Click here to register for the 2023 VBA Connect|Protect Experience! 

Registration Type Member Non-Member
Individual (Through March 13, 2023)  $645 $1,145
License up to 10 $5,000 $7,000
License up to 20 $7,500 $9,500

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


All cancellations will be charged a $25.00 administrative fee. Cancellations received less than 72 business hours before the program will be charged a $75.00 administrative fee plus any additional fees associated with the training. Substitutions are allowed prior to the beginning of the conference.


If you have special needs that may affect your participation in this event, please contact Walt Lyons or Kristen Reid to discuss accommodations.

Hotel Information

Williamsburg Lodge
310 S England St
Williamsburg, VA 23185

The VBA has negotiated a room rate of $179/night, plus applicable taxes and fees. To take advantage of the negotiated rate, reservations must be made by February 14th, 2023. Click here to make your reservation online.

About Our Speakers

Chris Barras
Speaker | Second Story Partners

Chris is a leader who has decades of leadership experience in business, non profits and even the church world. He was worked with teams of various sizes and has helped bring the best out of those around him. A talented communicator- Chris pulls from psychology, business, history, and research to engage audiences and help challenge the way they think. Chris does this with a lot of humor and some very straight talk.

When Chris isn’t teaching, writing or coaching, he loves to support his three sons with their music and basketball. He also enjoys spending time with his wife Abby of 25 years exploring the city of Richmond or traveling to the fun far away places. Chris loves football, soccer, reading and cooking.

Erin Black, PhD, APR
Assistant Professor & Instructional Mentor | Liberty University 

For two decades, Erin Black has served as a hub of digital strategy and innovation, both within her organization and the organizations in which she volunteered. She has extensive experience in digital marketing, content management, customer-focused strategic planning, employee engagement, and internal and external crisis communication.

In 2018, after leading bank marketing teams for nearly 10 years, Erin laid down her corporate career to commit to full-time University-level instruction. The opportunity to reinvent common practices motivated Erin into a world of curriculum development, faculty mentorship, and digital instruction. Erin uses research to solve the challenges and problems she encountered in the corporate world to deliver fresh insight and a real-world approach to the challenges that most organizations face today.

Erin earned her BA in Creative Writing from Christopher Newport University, her MBA from Longwood University, and completed her PhD in Communication from Liberty University in 2021. Erin has also served as the Lead Marketing Faculty for Virginia Bankers Association’s Bank School since 2019 and will continue that role in 2023-2024. Erin has been published and speaks regularly on topics concerning employee engagement and employee impact during a crisis.

Kristin Sundin Brandt
President | Sundin Marketing 

As president of Sundin Marketing, Kristin Brandt wears many hats, managing client accounts while also leading the Agency’s expanding suite of digital, online, and content marketing offerings. A graduate of the American Bankers Association School of Bank Marketing and Management, Kristin holds the Certified Financial Marketing Professional (CFMP) designation from the Institute of Certified Bankers.

Elissa Brewer
Senior Risk Management Consultant | Abrigo

Elissa Brewer is a Senior Risk Management Consultant with Abrigo in the Advisory Services Group. She has over 19 years’ experience working in the financial institution & software industry. She has worked directly with financial institutions and FinTech’s to incorporate manual and automated solutions into their BSA, AML/CFT, and Fraud programs. Prior to her transition in the software industry, Elissa worked for multiple financial institutions and built their BSA/AML/OFAC, Fraud and Risk Management Programs. Elissa is an accomplished trainer, content writer, and speaker. Previous experience and specialties include BSA, AML/CFT, Fraud, Risk Management, Payments, Cannabis Banking and Automated Monitoring System management. She is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS). She is a member of the National Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (ACAMS) and the Greater Omaha Chapter ACAMS.

Steve Brown
Managing Partner, Richmond | Isler Dare, P.C.

Steve is the managing partner of Isler Dare’s Richmond office. Isler Dare is a labor, employment, and employee benefits boutique with lawyers in Richmond and Tysons Corner. His practice focuses on providing creative strategies to executives that manage labor, employment, and business issues. In addition to advising clients on daily issues, Steve represents clients in labor and employment law litigation all over the United States. Steve is admitted to practice in Connecticut, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Steve is a frequent lecturer on a number of labor and employment law topics. Steve is a member of the Board of Governors for the Virginia Bar Association. He is the Chair of the Special Committee on Small Firm and Solo Practitioners and a member of the Audit and Finance Committee. Steve is the former Chair of the VBA’s Labor and Employment Law Section.

Matt Bruning
EVP, Government & Member Relations | Virginia Bankers Association 

Matt joined the Virginia Bankers Association in December 2010 and currently serves as Executive Vice President for Government & Member Relations.  In that role, he represents the Virginia banking industry at the Virginia state and federal levels, oversees the VBA BankPAC and coordinates grassroots advocacy. He also coordinates VBA’s member relations efforts, including bank outreach and engagement as well as the endorsed provider program.

Prior to joining the VBA, Matt served as Legislative Liaison in the Policy Office of Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell.  He also worked as the Policy Director for Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell.  He serves on the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens Board of Directors where is a member of the Executive Committee and Co-Chair of the Horticulture, Education and Engagement Committee. He is active at Trinity Lutheran Church in Henrico, including previously serving on the Church Council.

Matt received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Leadership Studies and Political Science from the University of Richmond in 2003. He is a graduate of the VBA’s Executive Leadership Institute and the VBA School of Bank Management at the University of Virginia.  He lives in Glen Allen, Virginia with his wife Jennifer and daughters Charlotte and Caroline.

Michael Carpenter 
VP, Risk Management | Ncontracts 

Michael Carpenter is an indispensable resource in helping bankers understand the importance of risk management, compliance, and effective third-party vendor management. His motivational approach empowers bankers to build stronger, more proactive, resilient institutions. Prior to joining Ncontracts, Mr. Carpenter served as the vice president of risk management at several banks and credit unions. His broad base of industry knowledge is the result of building and running programs—including director training and reporting, compliance management, information security, and BSA/AML, among others—at both small community financial institutions and larger institutions such as KeyBank and Chase Bank.

Terry Choate
Co-Founder & CEO | Blue-U Defense

Terry Choate is a Co-Founder and Training Specialist for Blue-U Defense. He has served as Team Commander of the Monadnock Regional Special Response (SWAT) Team and for 15 years as a Lieutenant with the Jaffrey (NH) Police Department. Prior to law enforcement, Mr. Choate spent over 20 years in management positions with Fortune 500 companies. Mr. Choate is an author and subject matter expert on:

  • Criminal Behavior: understanding mind, motivations and decision-making processes of the criminal, how to influence the outcome of criminal situations, and practical and effective methods to solve problems and protect lives.
  • Drug Abuse and Abusers: behavior leading to/result of abuse learned through extensive experience and training in illegal drugs undercover work, arrests, search warrants, and drug operations.

In addition, Mr. Choate’s experience with Executive Security International provides expertise in Security Surveys, Advances, Personal and Executive Protection, CCTV Surveillance, Stalking and Dangerous Human Behavior, Anti/Counter Terrorism, and Business Security.

Deb Collins
Attorney | Yeng Collins Law

Deb Collins began her legal career as an Assistant Commonwealth Attorney with the Norfolk Commonwealth Attorney’s Office for a number of years before joining a boutique employment law firm, as an associate then as a partner. Her current practice focuses on employment law and business disputes.

Deb represents both employees and employers across the entire spectrum of employment issues, including providing day-to-day advice, negotiating contract issues, drafting policies and handbooks, conducting internal investigations, and representing clients in grievances, mediations, arbitrations, administrative proceedings, and litigation.

She also assists corporate clients with business formation and has represented corporations and professionals in pursuing and defending claims in various business disputes.​

She routinely defends school boards, government entities, and their employees in employment matters and civil litigation.

Deb is a first generation American whose family, through many years of hard work, lived the American dream of entrepreneurship. In her practice, she has honed her litigation skills over hundreds of trials and has many years experience representing both employers and employees in employment and business disputes.​

Her background and experience leave her uniquely positioned to understand both the injustices an employee can suffer and the struggles specific to the business owner. This perspective provides her with the tools to efficiently resolve problems and effectively craft solutions to each individual legal situation. 

Amber Farley
EVP, Brand Development | Financial Marketing Solutions 

Amber Farley, Partner & EVP of Brand Development at FMS, is a well-known and respected teacher, presenter, consultant and thought leader on bank branding, marketing, leadership, and digital marketing strategies for banks around the country. She strategizes ways to help banks be purpose-driven, inspirational and more relevant to today’s customer—including both internal and external customers, and regularly presents and teaches at national banking schools, banking conferences, and other statewide banking institutions.

Joseph Hileman
Co-Founder & Executive Vice President | Blue-U Defense 

Joe Hileman is a Co-Founder and Training Specialist for Blue-U Defense. He served as the Assistant Team Commander of the Monadnock Regional Special Response (SWAT) Team and for 18 years as a Detective with the Jaffrey (NH) Police Department. Prior to his career in Law Enforcement, he served as Security Supervisor at the corporate management level of a Fortune 500 company.

Mr. Hileman holds two A.A. degrees in Criminal Justice – Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Corrections, Probation, and Parole. His extensive tactical training includes:

  • SWAT 1 and 2 Certification, Tactical Officers and LEADS Consulting
  • SWAT Team Leader/Assist Team
  • Use of Force, Active Shooter Instructor
  • Narcotics: Covert Surveillance
  • OC Instructor
  • Taser Instructor
  • Domestic Violence Lethality Assessment Coordinator
  • Field Training Officer
  • Sexual Assault Investigator specializing in the Child Forensic Interview
  • Suspicious Death/Homicide Investigations
  • Threat Assessment & Team Development

Shamara Humbles 
Supervisory Examiner | Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Shamara L. Humbles has over 24 years of bank supervision experience with the FDIC. She serves as a Supervisory Examiner in the FDIC’s Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection (DCP). Her team is responsible for supervisory oversight of 70 state non-member financial institutions in North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Prior to her current role, Shamara served as National Knowledge Management Team Lead where she was responsible for overseeing DCP’s knowledge and information as a critical strategic corporate asset. 

Shamara began her career at the FDIC in 1998 as a Student Intern in the Cedar Rapids, IA Field Office and held positions with progressively more responsibility, including Compliance Examiner and Senior Compliance Examiner – Large Financial Institutions within the Atlanta Region. In these roles, Shamara was responsible for promoting stability and public confidence in the nation’s financial system through examining and supervising insured large, complex, and problem financial institutions. She has also performed several permanent, temporary, or acting assignments and collateral duties to enhance and increase her knowledge, skillset and exposure within all four branches of DCP (Compliance and CRA Examination, Supervisory Policy and Analytics, Consumer and Community Affairs, and Administrative Management and Operations). Shamara has worked on a variety of projects and special assignments; including those focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. 

Shamara graduated from Iowa State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance. She is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration from the University of Iowa. She has also graduated from The Graduate School of Banking at the University of Colorado at Boulder, completed the Graduate School USA Executive Potential Program, and she is a Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM). Lastly, Shamara’s personal interests include taking advantage of philanthropic endeavors designed to support, educate, and uplift others in a variety of ways.  

Gill Hundley
Chief Risk & Operations Officer | KlariVis

Gill Hundley is the Chief Risk and Operations Officer of Roanoke, Virginia-based KlariVis, a unique and proprietary data analytics solution designed by bankers for bankers. KlariVis allows financial institutions to quickly aggregate and visualize their previously siloed and disparate data in one place with unparalleled ease for data-driven decision making. KlariVis enables financial institutions to create customer intelligence that can be deployed across the organization and leveraged for consistent experiences to generate sales, increase loyalty, and reduce operating expenses.

Prior to KlariVis, she was Chief Risk and Strategy Officer of KBS Results LLC, a provider of management consulting services to community financial institutions. Additionally, she was EVP and Chief Risk Officer of Valley Bank, a $900m publicly traded bank in Roanoke, Virginia where she spent the bulk of her banking career in various management positions. She also served as Chief Operating Officer for Virginia Community Capital/VCC Bank in Christiansburg Virginia.

Hundley is a graduate of Roanoke College and holds the ABA Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager professional certification. She is a proven hands-on leader with an extensive banking background in diverse areas such as risk management, strategic planning, M&A, process improvements, lending, retail, operations, and compliance. During her banking career, she served on various industry-focused committees.

Ryan Jackson 
Vice President, Innovation Strategy | American Bankers Association 

Ryan Jackson is Vice President, Innovation Strategy at the American Bankers Association, where he supports the Office of Innovation. In this role, Ryan supports banks to define innovation strategies and helps shape the technology marketplace by identifying promising startups that complement the banking industry. Prior to joining the ABA, Ryan built Fannie Mae’s Enterprise Innovation Team focused on emerging and disruptive technologies within the mortgage ecosystem. He also previously worked on the debt and derivatives capital markets group at Fannie Mae focused on debt and derivatives. Ryan received his MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and completed his undergraduate degree in economics and finance from George Mason University.   

Jeff Jenkins

For over 25 years, Jeff has generated dynamic, results-driven marketing solutions to core business challenges. He’s been a creative director and lead strategist on the agency side, as well as a marketing director and business lead in on the client side. Jeff has driven growth for companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500s like OfficeMax, Allstate, and Allianz.

Currently Jeff is the owner of a digital marketing agency called DIGI CONVO. Short for ‘digital conversation’. As an organization, DIGI CONVO is driven to help community banks beat bigger competitors through their expertise in hyperlocal marketing. They offer an array of digital marketing services, with their core functions being Search Engine Optimization and Lead Generation via Campaign Management.

DeMarion Johnston
General Counsel | Virginia Bankers Association 

DeMarion Johnston serves as the General Counsel of the Virginia Bankers Association where she provides legal representation to the Association and its subsidiaries. Prior to joining the VBA, she served as Associate General Counsel in the Office of General Counsel of the Virginia State Corporation Commission advising and representing the Commission and its divisions, primarily the Bureau of Financial Institutions and Bureau of Insurance. She has also worked for a federal banking regulator and in the private practice of law. DeMarion possesses expertise in banking, non-depository financial institutions and services, and insurance, as well as state and federal regulation of those industries.

Christy Kiely
Partner | Seyfarth Shaw

Clients routinely turn to Christy for guidance on legal matters related to data analytics, including OFCCP audit defense, pay equity analysis, adverse impact analysis, affirmative action compliance, DE&I analysis, and reduction in force  analysis. She understands the realities of a busy workplace and is adept at implementing comprehensive compliance schemes for clients. She has substantial experience conducting sophisticated, proactive equal pay analyses, as well as targeted analyses to respond to compensation claims. Christy represents employers in connection with discrimination, harassment, denial-of-benefits, defamation, wrongful discharge, and other claims in front of the EEOC and state and federal courts, and also has significant experience with #MeToo investigations, including sensitive, high-level scenarios. She has litigated under all the major federal employment laws, such as Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, FLSA, ERISA, and USERRA, and advises employers on risk-reducing strategies. Additionally, Christy regularly assists companies in drafting, negotiating, and analyzing employment contracts, severance contracts, and non-compete agreements.

Christy has a deep commitment to pro bono work, and is actively involved in several regional programs that provide critical legal support to low-income populations.

Ted Lansdale 
Senior Claim Counsel | Travelers

Ted Lansdale serves as a Senior Claim Counsel on Travelers Bond & Specialty Insurance’s Management Liability First Party Claim team where he handles claims under the Financial Institution Bond and Travelers’ crime policy. He is a former manager of Travelers’ cyber claim team and continues to handle cyber claims. Prior to joining the insurance industry, Ted was associated with Morrison Mahoney, a Boston-based law firm, where he defended professional liability actions against a range of professionals including lawyers, accountants, and real estate professionals. Ted graduated with honors from New England School of Law where he was an editor of the New England Law Journal and holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Colgate University.

Terri Luttrell
Compliance & Engagement Director | Abrigo

Terri Luttrell is CAMS-Audit certified and has over 20 years in the banking industry, working both in medium and large community banks in the areas of compliance/fraud, commercial lending, and deposit operations. As an AML consultant, she has helped institutions develop BSA/OFAC programs to ensure all regulatory requirements are met and managed a team of AML investigators for a large/cross-border institution, among other roles. Terri is currently Compliance & Engagement Director with Abrigo (formerly Banker’s Toolbox).

Josh Mabus
Owner | Mabus Agency

Josh Mabus owns the Mabus Agency—a 34-person bank marketing firm. Josh is a 20+ year veteran marketer. His expertise in bank marketing has transformed how financial institutions approach retail and commercial clients.

No matter the asset size, institutions small and large have improved their success from Josh’s work — whether it is active work as a client or through keynotes and breakout sessions. Strategy, traditional and digital advertising, design, leadership, innovation, video, web, podcasting and more are tools of his trade.

Josh Mabus formed the Mabus Agency in 2008 with a simple mission statement: to help people and raise the creative bar. Josh has used his varied experiences to bring a holistic approach to raising the creative bar in the financial industry. Journalist, writer, designer, actor, director, videographer, builder, maker, doer — he uses strategy to focus all facets of marketing into winning results for clients.

As co-host of Marketing Money Podcast, he freely shares his expertise as he looks under the hood of financial marketing — usually with more than a few pop culture and sports references plus a healthy dose of humor. From building a complete brand overhaul for a bank to creating a new deposit campaign, Josh knows whatever you’re making, be sure you make a difference.

Tevis Marshall 
Shareholder | Ogletree Deakins

Tevis Marshall is a founding member of the firm’s Richmond office and focuses his practice on all aspects of traditional employment law. He regularly counsels employers on a broad range of workplace issues, including regulatory compliance, personnel policies, hiring, disciplining, terminating, reasonable accommodations, FMLA leave and workplace investigations. He has also assisted clients in managing onsite investigations from the EEOC and the U.S. Department of Labor.

In addition to advising employers on workplace issues, Tevis has litigated cases on a wide range of topics, including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), overtime and wage violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), non-compete agreements, wrongful termination and other general employment matters. Tevis has handled matters before the EEOC, the Department of Labor, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and numerous state and federal courts.

Tevis is also committed to public service. Since 2009, he has served as the President of the Board of Directors for Human Resources, Inc., a non-profit organization that offers a wide range of substance abuse treatment services for individuals suffering from opioid addiction. Tevis also works to advance the knowledge of employers and human resources professionals with respect to state and federal employment laws. He is an active member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and frequently lectures on employment law topics throughout Virginia.

Dann Nelson
SVP, Consulting Services | Haberfeld

Dann Nelson serves as Senior Vice President of Consulting Services for Haberfeld. Prior to joining Haberfeld, he served as the Assistant Vice President of Education for the Nebraska Bankers Association. Dann has over 20 years of experience in planning, presenting and leading executive, management and employee engagements for financial institutions on a variety of topics, including profitability, customer acquisition, cross-selling strategies, product and process solutions and customer service. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Master’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Paul Nunn
Director of Client Education | Pinnacle Financial Strategies

Paul is an award-winning facilitator, certified Coach, and MBTI-Certified Practitioner. He helps community bank leaders take better care of their employees. And he helps community bankers take better care of their customers.

During his 10 glamorous years of teaching middle school band, he worked as a teller at a community bank in Houston. His former branch manager called him up and asked if he could create a training department, and, well, she had him at “hello.”

Paul and his beautiful wife, Iris, have been married since 1992 and they have two, yes, he believes it’s two children, Emily and PJ.

Erica Starr
Chief Marketing Officer | KlariVis

Erica Starr is the Chief Marketing Officer of Roanoke, Va.-based KlariVis, a unique and proprietary data analytics solution designed by bankers for bankers. KlariVis allows financial institutions to quickly aggregate and visualize their previously siloed and disparate data in one place with unparalleled ease for data-driven decision making. This enables organizations to make timely and informed decisions to manage risks, improve revenue, streamline operations and drive customer engagement. Starr leads the development and execution of strategic integrated marketing and communication plans for KlariVis.

As a veteran bank marketer, Erica began her career at 1st Mariner Bank in Baltimore, Maryland where she held a variety of roles within the bank’s marketing division. Her career progressed from marketing coordinator to director of digital marketing to director of marketing over a span of eight years, until it was acquired by Howard Bank in 2018. As Director of Marketing for Howard Bank, Baltimore’s largest headquartered bank, she led several award-winning campaigns including MX’s 2020 Best New Brand Identity and Campaign of the Year, the ABA’s 2020 Brand Slam Award and was named to the 2019 Daily Record’s 40 Under 40 List and 2020 American Banker’s Top Women in Banking, Top Teams.

Starr holds a bachelor’s degree graduating Towson University, an MBA from the University of Baltimore and is a Certified Financial Marketing Professional (CFMP).

Bryce Taylor 
Supervisory Examiner | Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Bryce Taylor is a Supervisory Examiner with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Mr. Taylor manages a team of examiners and is responsible for a portfolio of banks across Western North Carolina and all of South Carolina.  He began his FDIC career in 2013, and, prior to becoming a Supervisor, has served as an examiner of banks ranging in size up to approximately $550 billion in assets.  He is a post-graduate of Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri where he obtained his Master in Business Administration, as well as a Master of Science in Finance.  He maintains a designation as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).

Michael Towers
Mental Health Counselor & Professional Speaker | Speaking of Your Success

Michael Towers is a highly sought out Empathy Expert, Counselor and Professional Speaker. His topics include leadership, workplace wellness, and self-care. Michael has a passion for Leaders & HR professionals because they are exceptional people, uniquely positioned, to make maximum impact. Michael teaches self-care strategies to empower his audiences to unleash their potential, so they can do what they do best, deliver hope, and change the world. When leaders and HR professionals thrive, everyone benefits.

Michael flexes his empathy muscles to help reverse the empathy deficit in your workplace. Michael earned degrees in Counseling and Psychology. He is married to a wonderful woman, named Kristina and has three German Shepherds. Which by the way, are great for mental health!

Brian Washburn
Co-Founder & CEO | Endurance Learning

Brian Washburn is the co-founder and CEO of Endurance Learning, a boutique instructional design company specializing in generating creative and unique instructor-led or e-learning programs for a client base that ranges from small nonprofit organizations to major Fortune 500 companies. He has been dabbling in the world of instructional design and corporate training for more than 20 years. It all began as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay where he discovered the joys of standing in front of a group of participants, finding ways to engage them, and using flipchart to generate dynamic visual aids.

Since then, Brian has worked mostly in the nonprofit sector, leading training teams that have been charged with world-changing missions that range from ensuring every foster child has a safe and permanent home to eliminating corneal blindness around the globe. Brian has developed and facilitated training programs for organizations and learners all over the world. Years ago he was named a “Top Young Trainer” by Training magazine in 2011 and his first book, What’s Your Formula: Combine Learning Elements for Impactful Training was published in 2021. His second book, Instructional Design on a Shoestring, will appear on bookshelves in early 2024.

Tim Waxenfelter
Co-Founder & COO | Endurance Learning

Tim Waxenfelter, Co-Founder and COO of Endurance Learning, has a deep history in creating digital learning. Tim taught himself to build computer-based training in 1999 for a project that would be shipped to every library and high school in the US. From that point forward he has embraced the latest technologies and approaches to building digital learning experiences. Tim continued his focus on online training when he received his MA in Distance Education. He then led a successful publisher into the world of online learning and served as product manager for an award-winning cloud-based assessment system serving early childhood programs around the country. Tim has developed instructor-led and digital, self-directed training on a wide variety of topics and for delivery around the globe. Tim’s experience working to understand the needs of customers ranging from large corporations to small nonprofits allows him to identify learning or skills gaps, and to propose the most effective learning solutions for any project.

Elisabeth Wilson
Operational Risk Manager | Atlantic Union Bank

Elisabeth Wilson has worked for 15 years in the financial industry. Recruited to Atlantic Union Bank’s Enterprise Risk Management Department in 2016, she heads the Operational Risk Management Program, recently establishing the organization’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Risk Framework. She has contributed to the ABA Banking Journal, The RMA Journal, Risk Management Magazine, and American Banker. Elisabeth is based in Richmond, Virginia.


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