Get to Know 2023-2024 VBA Chairman Litz Van Dyke
Carter Bank & Trust CEO

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You were installed as chairman during our Annual Convention in June. Tell us why the role of VBA chairman is meaningful to you.

The VBA is a cornerstone for the banking industry in the state of Virginia. To be chosen by your peers for a leadership role in this organization is an honor and privilege. I think it means that my fellow bankers respect and trust that I can be an effective steward for this important organization during my tenure as chairman. For me, that is very gratifying.

What are some of the most important values or principles that guide you in your role, and how do you communicate those to your teammates?

I am a big fan of Jim Collins’ books. In his book Good to Great, he defines what he calls “Level 5 Leadership”. Some of the guiding principles of a Level 5 Leader are humility, selfless ambition (ambition centered on the organization), and a willingness to do whatever it takes to make the organization better. I believe that these principles, along with integrity and honesty are integral to effective leadership. I try and emphasize these to our leadership team as often as I can, but most importantly, I try and live them. It might sound cliché, but actions do speak louder than words.

Tell us about a leadership insight you wish you had learned earlier in your career.

I believe that over the years, I have become a better listener. God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. You cannot understand someone else’s viewpoint or perspective if you are talking. You also cannot learn while you are talking. That is something I would tell my “younger self”.

In addition to your new role as VBA Chairman, you are also a new member of the VBA Education Foundation Board. Carter Bank & Trust shows strong support of the VBA Education Foundation financial literacy programs, including being a bank sponsor of the Virginia Reads One Book program. Talk to us about your participation in those programs, the benefits that you’ve seen firsthand, and why Carter Bank & Trust makes supporting these programs a priority.

Education is one of the foundations on which we build a life. Worth Carter, founder and patriarch of Carter Bank & Trust, was a big proponent of education. We want to continue that legacy here at Carter Bank & Trust. The VBA Education Foundation is tremendously impactful through its financial literacy programs. I am proud to serve on the board of this organization. Reading is the gateway to knowledge. Through programs such as the Virginia Reads One Book, we are encouraging our youth to read. There are not many more noble causes than that.

What are the qualities of an outstanding bank employee for today and for the future?

Flexibility, adaptability, and being able to communicate, cooperate, and collaborate with your colleagues.

When you think about the future of the banking industry, what keeps you up at night and what makes you optimistic?

I am, by nature, an fairly optimistic person. It is not hard to be optimistic about our industry. The banking industry, specifically community banks, is the bedrock of our economy at the micro level. We are the ones that serve the financial needs of our consumers and small businesses in the communities that we serve. We also take pride in the many ways we make our communities better places to live. I don’t see anything in the future that would displace banks in this role.

In terms of what keeps me up at night, I could fill this page with things that could keep me up at night. The truth, however, is I don’t have any problem sleeping. Jesus’ number one command in the New Testament was do not worry. While I am not always successful, I try and take that to heart. Worrying doesn’t do anyone any good. If we focus on executing on the right strategies, the future will take care of itself.

In what ways do you view the VBA as an indispensable resource for both yourself and Carter Bank & Trust?

As I stated earlier, the VBA is a cornerstone for the banking industry in Virginia. Whether it is advocacy at the state and federal level, training, education, or collaboration to address issues that impact our business, the VBA fills a role that we, as individual banks and bankers, cannot fill by ourselves.

What is something about you that would surprise our readers?

My wife and I are the proud parents of triplets – all boys age 28. We also have a younger son who is 24.

My favorite…:

Music or musical artist: Country and contemporary Christian music

TV Show/Series: I am a Star Trek fan so I have enjoyed the recent spin-off series on Paramount like Picard.

Book: Bible

Work item (tool/program/news source) you cannot live without: Laptop and cell phone – don’t leave home without ‘em!

Place in Virginia to enjoy some time away: I enjoy going back to my hometown of Tazewell in far southwest Virginia.

VBA event or memory: I still have fond memories and good friends from my days at the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management

Part about being a Virginia banker: The camaraderie amongst my fellow bankers in our state. The quality of the people in Virginia banking is beyond reproach.