VBA Management Development Program
September - November 2024

Post Walt Lyons Michele Dunn

The VBA Management Development Program (MDP) is a three-month, comprehensive training designed for employees who have developed a passion for banking, want to enhance their knowledge of the business of banking, and are motivated to excel in their career and reach their full potential.

MDP sessions will provide information to make your employees better bankers, to ensure that they move beyond the transaction and truly understand the industry in which they work, to instill the notion that strategy and goals are imperative to drive the bank forward, and to empower them to present themselves as leaders as they move forward in their career.

The facilitators for this program are some of the very best from inside and outside the banking industry. We have chosen these professionals specifically because they understand the banking industry and they are experts in the development of outstanding bank employees.

We are very excited to bring this annual in-depth program to bankers either at the beginning of their career or those who are looking to further develop their skills in this great industry.

Program Testimonials from Alumni and Bank CEO’s

During my time in the Management Development Program, I made lasting connections with various people from different positions within the bank. I learned things that have changed my perspective and how I manage. Because of this program, I am a better coworker, manager and banker. This program has prepared me to start my journey with the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management. I am thankful my bank invested in me and allowed me to participate in this program.
Marisa Hughes, New Peoples Bank, MDP Class of 2023


My time in MDP was both rewarding and inspiring, to say the least.  I gained a renewed sense of self and realized the potential that I have combined with hard work, is exponential.  I saw in my peer group the importance of collaboration as well as being open to new ideas, new experiences, and new ways of thinking.  It’s nice to know that there are other professionals in the banking industry that want to succeed, but also want to see their teams and peers do well too.  Since completing this program I have shared much of the information and lessons taught to our team and I believe us to  better for it.  I was very fortunate that not too long after MDP ended I was promoted to Assistant Manager of our Commercial/Consumer Loan Department, and about 6 months later I was promoted to Manager.  I have this program to thank, most assuredly.
Ashley Sulick, Chesapeake Bank, MDP Class of  2021


MDP helped me to understand more about myself, where I want my career to go, along with how important both mentorship and giving back to our community is. I think this is a great program to also make connections with other bankers and executives, as most of the teachers are top bankers from around the Commonwealth.
Chrissy Peele, TowneBank, MDP Class of  2021


Participating in MDP provided me with a change in perspective regarding how the bank runs as a whole. Through this program, I gained an appreciation for the financial side of the bank, strengthened my leadership and management abilities, and received an introduction into strategic planning and execution. I am thankful that F&M Bank took the time to invest in my development and sharpen my banking acumen that will prepare me for future steps in my career.
Mary Pavlovskaya, F&M Bank, MDP Class of  2020


MDP not only helped prepare me for a role in management but also broadened my overall banking knowledge. The program did a great job in introducing the participants to a variety of topics with a host of experienced instructors who have a variety of backgrounds. This, along with the diverse group of participants, helped me to have a much broader view of community banking as a whole. The lessons learned and connections made have allowed me to have better conversations with my clients, fellow bankers, and other professionals as well as helped prepare me for the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management.
Darian Fisher, Southern Bank and Trust Company, MDP Class of  2019


My MDP experience was a rewarding and eye opening experience! I learned to self-reflect and focus on my strengths as a leader/manager in the banking industry. I learned that everyday is an opportunity for growth! The program opened my eyes to the many diversified groups of people that make up a TEAM and in order to further succeed in my career I have to change my mindset from a “task minded” individual to a “relationship mindset” individual. I learned how important it is for me to be an “ambassador” in everything I do, whether it’s personal or business I am the “face” and “influence” to those I interact with on a daily basis. I discovered that I was not aware how very important asset/liability management is to the success of any business, especially banking. This topic helped me understand the figures contained within the banks “interim income statement” and how these figures impact the bank’s current and future success! This program has been a very important part of my career and it has helped me to listen, think, and then react on a daily basis. Last but not least I met an awesome group of people!
Anabelle Rodriquez-Thurston, Farmers Bank of Appomattox, MDP Class of 2018


We have sent employees to all five years of MDP and it has been a great investment for them personally as well as us corporately. The curriculum is well designed and delivered. The collaborative approach builds great statewide relationships.
Jeff Szyperski, Chairman, President & CEO, Chesapeake Bank

Session Information

Virtual Orientation
September 5, 2024 | 1:00-3:00 pm

Session 1: Introduction to Banking and Accounting & ALCO – Banking’s Universal Language
September 10, 2024 | 8:30 am-4:30 pm

Session 2: Insights® Discovery: Learning Your Personal Leadership Style
September 11, 2024 | 8:30 am-4:30 pm

This full day session introduces participants to the concept of self-awareness as a building block for personal, team, and management effectiveness. During the session, we will cover:

  1. The importance of self-awareness and perception in the workplace
  2. The Insights® Discovery tool and the language of colors to define preferences
  3. Each participant’s individual profile and their personal color preferences
  4. Action plans to put new awareness and commitments into practice at work.

Virtual Mini Session – Bank Compliance
October 2, 2024 | 2:00-3:30 pm

Session 3: The Digital Consumer & Bank Marketing’s Role
October 16, 2024 | 8:30 am-4:30 pm

For decades, bank marketing was limited to quarterly campaigns and arranging the next customer appreciation day at the local branch. However, progressive banks are now transforming marketing into a central force for enhancing customer experiences, innovating financial products, influencing technology decisions, and optimizing service channels to meet clients’ needs. This session will explore the crucial role of bank marketing in today’s digital landscape, focusing on four key tenets of a modern bank marketing department: brand communication, digital marketing, data analytics, and experiential product and service development. Key topics to be covered include:

  • Integrating brand communication with digital strategies to build trust and loyalty.
  • Leveraging digital marketing to reach and engage the modern consumer.
  • Utilizing data analytics to drive informed marketing decisions and personalized experiences.
  • Developing innovative products and services that resonate with today’s digital-savvy customers.

Session 4: From the CEO Seat – Defining Moments in Our Professional Development Journey
October 17, 2024 | 8:30 am-4:30 pm

Virtual Mini Session – CRA & Networking
October 29, 2024 | 2:00-3:30 pm

Session 5, Part 1: Intro to Strategic Planning & Perspectives on Career Development
November 6, 2024 | 8:30 am-4:30 pm

Session 5, Part 2: Advocacy & Industry Engagement Beyond MDP
November 7, 2024 | 8:30 am-4:30 pm

Program Graduation
November 7, 2024 | End of day

Faculty & Speakers

Nathalia Artus, Atlantic Union Bank
Nathalia Artus is SVP, Director of Community Development and Reinvestment, CRA Officer, for Atlantic Union Bank. Nathalia joined Atlantic Union Bank Wholesale Banking Team in 2017. Her prior roles included Government Guaranty Lending Manager at Primis, and Regional Lending Manager for the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority. Earlier in her career, Nathalia held operational and credit focused roles at Truist and the SBA Women Business Center. Nathalia’s current role is to connect organizations and communities to flexible resources and opportunities in affordable housing, economic development and financial education throughout the entire Atlantic Union Bank footprint in VA, MD and NC.

Nathalia is an active community volunteer with several nonprofit and statewide government organizations. She currently serves on the Virginia Housing Development Authority Board of Commissioners, and on the boards of YWCA of Richmond, Virginia Bankers Association Education Foundation, HousingForward Virginia, Partnership for Housing Affordability, Virginia Supportive Housing, and ChamberRVA.

Nathalia has a B.S. in Business Administration from Universidade Mackenzie in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and a MBA from Brazilian Business School (in partnership with the University of Richmond). She is a graduate of the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management, 2016 Leadership Metro Richmond class, and the 2018 LEAD VA program.

Andy Davies, The Marathon Organization, LTD
Andy is CEO of The Marathon Organization, LTD, enjoyed a 40-year banking career and led the successful turnaround of two Virginia-based financial institutions ($800 million and $3 billion). He has offered customized strategic planning services to community banks across the southeast since 2002. Andy has been a speaker at educational seminars and bank director colleges offered by the Virginia Bankers Association, the North Carolina Commissioner of Banks and the Tennessee Bankers Association. Andy is a graduate of the College of William and Mary, the Stonier Graduate School of Banking and the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management. Andy lives in Virginia Beach.

Cody Florence, Virginia National Bank
Cody Florence is a Vice President Regional Manager at Virginia National Bank. His fourteen years of Retail Banking experience consist of every position from Teller to Regional Manager with his last seven years managing Prince William County. Cody holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Organizational Leadership. In addition, Cody is a graduate of MDP Class of 2019 and is expected to graduate from the School of Management this summer. During his spare time, Cody enjoys spending time with his rescue dog, Oakley, touring wineries, and visiting with family and friends.

Vicki Kraai, InterAction Training
Vicki Kraai is CEO of InterAction Training. A company passionate about professional development training and education.

Vicki’s 25+ years of Community Bank experience started at the family bank in rural Nebraska, serving as a bank teller and eventually becoming CEO. Vicki’s many years of banking include credit card lending experience where she was a member of the management team that launched the Cabela’s credit card program. She has a passion for developing people for success in the financial services industry. Banker’s value Vicki’s highly engaging “been there, done that” approach to all facets of her training and speaking engagements.

Vicki shares her expertise and experience as a faculty member for State Bank Association Schools and the Graduate School of Banking in Madison, WI.

Tom Rasey, The Farmers Bank of Appomattox
Tom is Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of The Farmers Bank of Appomattox.  He joined Farmers in 2009 and has partnered with members of the executive management team to develop the bank’s current employee mentorship program.  Tom has served as Farmers’ grassroots advocacy representative with both federal and state legislators and regularly agencies.  He has also led the bank’s financial literacy efforts, cultivating employee engagement to broaden Farmers’ reach into area schools and the local library.  He was recently recognized by the ICBA Independent Banker magazine’s 40 under 40: Emerging Community Bank Leaders in June 2020 for his work in advocating for and developing talent in the industry.  Tom has worked with Scott Insurance in Lynchburg, Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) in Farmville, and GEICO in Virginia Beach.  Tom has been a member of the Emerging Bank Leaders Steering Committee since 2011, serving as chair in 2019.  He is a graduate of VBA School of Bank Management, VBA Executive Leadership Institute and the Graduate School of Banking at LSU. 

John Sarvay, Floricane
In his role as business owner and principal consultant, John encourages both Floricane’s team and its clients to make big ideas better and good ideas bigger. He displays a unique ability to weave together seemingly disparate ideas to help groups of people see their challenges in new ways.

John has deep experience in leadership and team development, facilitation, strategic planning, and communications. He has worked in academia and for Fortune 500 corporations. He founded Floricane in 2008 after a decade of leadership development, facilitation and strategic communication work for Richmond-based Luck Companies.

He is a profound storyteller and likes to work with clients to draw out their unique narratives. John and his wife spend their spare time driving their two children around their Northside neighborhood – and the rest of Richmond.

DJ Seeterlin, Chesapeake Bank
DJ Seeterlin is Chief Information Officer for Chesapeake Bank, a community bank based in Kilmarnock, Virginia, which also operates national merchant acquiring and national accounts receivable lending lines of business. Chesapeake Bank is a founding member of the CHUCK payments network, and one of the first 25 banks to adopt RTP. In his role DJ is responsible for technology, operations, and digital strategy. He leads teams managing in-house and cloud technologies, card issuing, payments processing, and digital platforms. 

DJ is actively engaged in the industry as chair of the ABA’s Core Platforms Admin Committee, as Vice Chair of the ABA’s Payments Systems Administrative Committee, and as a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s Payment Advisory Committee, the Jack Henry Payments Advisory Board, and serves on the Board of the Jack Henry SilverLake National Users Group. DJ is a Board Member of Alloy Founders, a partnership of community banks working to build innovative technology and payment solutions for all financial institutions.

Alex Vari, MainStreet Bank
Alex Vari is senior vice president and chief accounting officer at MainStreet Bank. In this role he’s responsible for SEC financial reporting, technical GAAP accounting, bank investments, tax planning, allowance for credit losses, liquidity and capital management, and has served as lead on several debt and capital raises for the bank. Alex has 15 years of community banking experience, 7 years with Elliott Davis, LLC in their financial institutions practice, 3 years at a community bank in North Dakota, and 5 years with MainStreet Bank.  He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, the Virginia Society of CPAs, and serves on the VBA Emerging Bank Leaders Steering Committee. Alex is also a graduate of the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management and the VBA Executive Leadership Institute. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from the University of North Dakota and a certificate in decentralized finance from Duke University.

Bruce Whitehurst, Virginia Bankers Association
Bruce Whitehurst joined the Virginia Bankers Association in 1993 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. 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.

Hunter Young, HIFI Agency
Hunter Young is the founder of HIFI Agency, a full-service marketing firm specializing in financial services. His goal is to bring marketing clarity to banks and fintech companies navigating the complexities of the digital landscape. Prior to HIFI, Hunter held leadership roles in banking at BB&T (now Truist) and First Bank, a community bank in North Carolina with assets of $12 billion. His career also spans strategic marketing positions in digital advertising agencies, blending these experiences into a data-driven and creative approach at HIFI. A graduate of the University of North Carolina, Hunter lives in Raleigh with his wife, daughter, an energetic Golden Retriever, and a laid-back Basset Hound.

Participation Criteria

You must be:

  • A new hire or have up to five years of banking experience or equivalent financial industry experience
  • Nominated by a member of the bank’s senior management team
  • A current member of the Virginia Bankers Association through your bank’s membership

2024 Application & Tuition Information

Tuition for the 2024 Management Development Program is $3,095. Tuition covers all sessions, materials, instructor fees, continental breakfast, lunch and refreshments. Tuition does not cover overnight accommodations, if applicable, or dinners.  Your registration is a full-tuition commitment.  Information for on overnight accommodations will be sent directly to enrolled students.

The deadline to submit applications and letters of recommendation will be August 16, 2024.