JJim Bouchardim Bouchard
The Sensei Leader

“Through my life in martial arts, I transformed myself from dropout, drug abuser and failure to successful entrepreneur and Black Belt. Over 30 years of practice, study and teaching, I’ve developed the tools you need to master your life, career and business. I share the principles of Black Belt Mindset, and teach you how to use those principles to reach your fullest potential —and help other people reach theirs!”

Jim Bouchard is an international leadership speaker, and the author of The SENSEI LEADER. He has developed a full suite of programs and workshops for banking and financial service professionals, and provides programs for corporate and conference audiences around the world. Jim is a 2004 inductee to the U.S. Martial Arts Hall of Fame and was twice featured in “Inside Kung Fu”magazine. He is a volunteer mentor for incarcerated youth, an obsessive golfer and surf guitar player. In 2016 Jim was nominated to run for Congress.  ​Jim lives in Brunswick, Maine with his wife and business partner, Alex.


Rob Braidwood, C.E.M., C.F.M., MPA, Deputy Coordinator
City of Chesapeake 

Rob Braidwood currently serves as Deputy Coordinator of Emergency Management for the City of Chesapeake’s Office of Emergency Management.  For the last ten years, he has participated in the coordination and implementation of emergency management, plans and programs for the City of Chesapeake.  He currently serves on several regional, State and Federal emergency management committees.  Prior to coming home to Tidewater, he worked for the City of Alexandria Fire Department for four years.  He received his B.A. from Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, VA and his M.P.A. from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK. 

Steve Brown

Steven D. Brown, Partner
IslerDare PC

Steve understands the business operations of the private and public employers he represents, and he provides creative strategies to manage labor, employment and business issues. He has over twenty-eight years of experience in trying labor and employment cases in state and federal courts all over the United States. He provides legal and strategic advice related to all labor and employment issues, including, but not limited to, daily advice and counseling, hiring, performance counseling & terminations of employment, investigations, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour, trade secrets, non­competition and non-solicitation covenants, severance and employment agreements, employment and business related tort claims, leave issues under the FMLA and ADA. workplace violence issues, and labor and employment due diligence when clients buy and sell companies. Steve has written numerous articles and he has lectured on a local, regional and national level on a variety of subjects. Steve is also a Professor at the University of Richmond and the Chancellor for the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church.  In the community, Steve is a member of the Dean’s Ambassadors Circle for the School of Professional and Continuing Studies at the University of Richmond and he is the Vice Chair of the Virginia Bar Association’s Labor Relations & Employment Law Section. Steve is also a member of the Board of Governors for the Bald Head Island Club. Steve also provides mentoring to the James Madison University football program by working with players that are preparing for life after college football.  Steve resides in Richmond, Virginia with his wife Alice. He has two adult children.

Cusack, Angela

Angela Cusack, Managing Principal & CEO

Angela Cusack is often referred to as a company’s secret weapon. She is understated, patient, and moves with ease as she partners with executive leaders in defining and shaping cultures that produce deeper connections, higher engagement, and overall well-being and prosperity for all involved. Angela is an impact player. Her presence is felt throughout an organization even if she can only be found coaching and consulting within the C-suite. The new insights, actions, and results that arise from working with Angela are undeniable and impact more than just one’s professional life. She has an innate ability to create an intimate and trusting space where life-altering perspectives are revealed and have the power to shift the course of how one leads as well as participates in life, learning, work, and play. Angela is a nationally recognized Master Certified Coach by the International Coach Federation, who is skilled in working with multi-cultural leadership teams and global organizations; in-fact, Angela serves as a coach to the TEDFellows program that helps world-changing innovators from around the globe amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities. She also works with the Uncharted and StartingBloc Institute where she coaches high-impact entrepreneurs across the world, offering them a broad foundation from which to create sustainable and powerful outcomes. Additionally, Angela leverages her 25-years of corporate experience along with her Masters degree in Human and Organizational Learning from George Washington University to collaborate with nonprofit executive directors and their board of directors to fundamentally redesign their approach to leading by refocusing on the value of “doing good to do well”. In addition to her own business, Igniting-Success, Inc., Angela is the lead Principal at 3north, a multi-disciplinary design firm, responsible for people, organizational development, culture, and strategic alignment. To round things out, she is also a 200-RYT yoga instructor, mentor coach for the Institute for Generative Leadership and Newfield Network, Senior Birkman Consultant as well as teaches nonprofit leadership courses at The Community Foundation and University of Richmond.

Drew Darman

Drew Darman leads the Financial Services channel for Yext, focused on helping medium to large size financial institutions control their brand experiences across the digital universe of maps, apps, search engines, & voice assistants. Before joining Yext, Drew served as Data Integration specialist with Dun & Bradstreet concentrating on their suite of sales & marketing solutions.  Prior to D&B, Drew spent a decade in the mortgage lending industry acting as a Director of Sales before becoming President of LendEquity Financial Corp., a residential mortgage lender across the east coast.


Dave Defazio, Partner

Dave leads and manages the community financial institution sales team. He also is actively involved in building our top performing checking, marketing and training solutions.  Using his previous hands-on and executive retail banking experience at a billion dollar asset bank, he is instrumental in the user experience of the websites and mobile apps that deliver our consumer checking solutions and the analytics tools that provide empirical clarity to checking financial performance upon which to customize our checking solutions to clients.  He is an active and sought out presenter at banking and retail-related conferences regarding innovations in financial technology, retail banking and other strategies employed by today’s best retailer marketers. Dave received his B.A. in economics and mathematics from Ohio Wesleyan University.

Bryan Delong HeadshotM. Bryan Delong, SVP & Chief Human Resource Officer
Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta

Bryan Delong has served the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta as senior vice president, chief human resources officer, since January 1, 2016, having previously served as director of human resources and staff services since 2011. Bryan is responsible for executing the Bank’s human resources strategies to include: talent acquisition, total rewards, employee development, diversity and inclusion, and human resources compliance. He also leads the Bank’s staff services and property management functions, which include facilities operations, tenant leasing, security, and print services. A 25-year veteran of the Bank, Bryanpreviously served as the assistant director of human resources with responsibility for managing the Bank’s compensation, benefits, human resources information systems, and employee development programs. Prior to joining the Bank in 1993, he worked at LOMA as a compensation consultant and AT&T as a training specialist. Bryan  holds an M.S. in industrial and organizational psychology from Radford University, an M.A. in human resources development from Georgia State University, and a B.A. in English from Earlham College. He holds a certification as a Professional in Human Resources.

FairclothMark Faircloth, Owner
Faircloth Performance Partners

Mark Faircloth brings over three decades of experience as a successful banker and consultant to his work with Faircloth Performance Partners, serving the banking industry with a range of solutions from management consulting to skill-based workshops. Mark’s banking experience spans both the retail and commercial sectors, where he served in a variety of front line sales, management and marketing positions. He is a recognized expert in commercial relationship negotiations. In addition to his day-to-day work with bankers, Mark serves on the faculties of several national, regional and state banking schools, including VBA’s School of Bank Management.  Mark is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and his articles have appeared in several national and international financial publications. Mark is a graduate of the University of Alabama and the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University.  He is an associate member of Virginia Bankers Association.

donna highfillDonna Highfill, VP of Human Resources
Berkley Mid-Atlantic Group

Donna Highfill is currently the Vice-President of Human Resources for Berkley Mid-Atlantic Group. Her background includes running her own consultancy firm for fourteen years which focused on helping organizations drive change by focusing on the people side of business. Donna grew up a preacher’s kid which allowed her to study human behavior and later apply that knowledge to the process of business. Donna has spoken at a variety of venues, including the LPGA Women’s Conference at King’s Mill, Chesapeake Bank’s Corporate Training Day, and several VBA workshops. She is also a writer who has been featured on HuffPost Live and has written over 60 HuffPost articles. In fact, she was invited to attend any Ronda Rousey fight based upon a Huffington Post article she wrote.

Donna is the author of three books:

  1. Real People, Real Change: True Stories of a Change Warrior” – a business book that will help change agents who are leading change in their business
  2. Glitter Girl” – a children’s story written to build confidence in females of all ages.
  3. Medium-ish” – a new book about some intuitive experiences that Donna experienced – letting her know that whatever our problems, we are definitely not alone.

Her blog, http://www.donnahighfill.com focuses on motivational stories and funny anecdotes.

Donna lives with her husband and boxer Riggins and is the proud mother of two adult children – her son works at McGeorge Toyota in Richmond, and her daughter is a staff writer at Entertainment Weekly in Los Angeles. She is a graduate of Wake Forest University, and has completed Master’s level work at Hollins University.

HollowayChristina Holloway, Principal & Owner
Senoble Consulting, LLC

Christina M. Holloway, MS, CPLP, is in her 13th year as a learning and performance evangelist and is the principal and founder of Senoble Consulting. She began her career in talent development by coaching undergraduate students and soldiers in the U.S. Army Reserve about career planning and management in 2004. Christina earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in organizational communications and Spanish from Bloomsburg University in 2005. Upon graduation, she worked as a technical trainer for the gaming industry in Mexico. After Christina earned a Masters of Science in Instructional Technology from Towson University in 2009, she began producing e-learning courses and hybrid virtual conferences. In 2012, Holloway successfully earned the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) certification. Since receiving the CPLP, Christina has focused on managing large-scale instructional technology projects. Christina is passionate about marrying instructional design with leading-edge technology. She does this by incorporating design approaches and technologies that are budget-friendly. She has successfully applied cost-effective solutions for District of Columbia Public Schools, American Physical Therapy Association, Organization for Training Others in Need (OFT/ON), and the Association for Talent Development.


Vicki Kraai, Owner & Founder
VK Solutions, LLC

Vicki Kraai is Owner/Founder of VK Solutions, a consulting company that provides guidance to community banks ranging from retail customer experience training to facilitating customized planning and employee training sessions. Vicki is also a senior training consultant for InterAction Training.  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’s 30 years of Community Bank experience started at the family bank in Sutton, 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 also served as a Risk Management consultant for Fair, Isaac specializing in the implementation and management of credit scoring systems for lending institutions nation-wide. Vicki shares her expertise and experience as a faculty member for State Bank Association Schools and the Graduate School of Banking in Madison, WI.

CROWEDave Keever, Principal
Crowe Horwath LLP

Since joining Crowe in 1991, Dave Keever has specialized in providing clients with applied technology solutions and process improvements into their business operations. He is the Partner in charge of Crowe Performance Business Unit’s Sales and Marketing Team. He is the Partner leading the Financial Services stress testing and credit portfolio management efforts.  Prior to joining Crowe, Dave was an account manager and channel sales manager for Hewlett Packard and a financial services account manager for NCR Corporation. He is a graduate of the University of Evansville with a BS-Finance and Economics. Dave assists financial institutions in their credit portfolio, stress testing and DFAST planning as well as assists senior financial services executives in meeting their credit portfolio business objectives towards operational improvements with business process management (BPM), data and systems integration, and quantitative modeling.

Kiely-ChristyChristy E. Kiely, Cousel
Hunton & Williams

Christy’s work focuses on pay equity analyses, affirmative action work and audit defense before the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. She also has substantial experience with employment litigation in federal and state courts, administrative practice before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and advice to business management and in-house counsel on a full range of employment issues. Christy enjoys conducting management and supervisor training on a wide range of legal and practical employment issues. She is a contributing author to the Hunton Employment & Labor Perspectives blog. Christy is admitted to practice before the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and the US District Court for the Western District of Virginia.

Gary Lupton, Executive Director
Virginia 1st

Gary Lupton is Executive Director for Virginia1st, located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He is a Certified Computer Professional, Certified Business Continuity Planner through the Disaster Recovery Institute and member of the Business Continuity Institute. He has over 30 years of diversified banking experience. Additionally, he is currently serving as the Executive Director for Virginia1st, which is a Commonwealth of Virginia group focused on recovery of financial institutions during crisis. Gary earned a BS in Business Management from Old Dominion University and is a graduate of the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management.

tevis-marshallTevis 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.

NoonanGeorge Noonan, Tax Shareholder
Elliot Davis PLLC

With more than 20 years of experience in public accounting, George has worked extensively in the banking and related industries. He provides his clients with a variety of services including tax planning and research, ASC 740 consultation, mergers and acquisition consultation, FIN 48 analysis, tax return preparation, quarterly estimate preparation and forecasts and projections. His experience includes tax preparation and consulting of numerous financial institutions. George serves community banks ranging from $100 million in assets to multi-billion dollar financial institutions filing complex consolidated and multi-state income tax returns.

ellen-schlafer - use

Ellen Scafler, President & CEO
Electrum Branding

When brand strategist Ellen Schlafer asks, “What makes your bank different?’ be prepared because the standard “We provide great service” response is rarely accepted unless you have data to support it.  As a seasoned branding strategist, Ellen is as passionate about learning how a bank operates and what sets it apart from the competition as she is about getting results. “Branding is about the image you create, the promise that you make and the people who deliver it. It’s emotional and every piece of the puzzle is critical. If you don’t deliver as expected, your marketing dollars are wasted.”  Serving as a key executive in creating brands, directing performance, growth, and expanding business lines in community, regional and super-regional banks, Ellen has more than two decades of experience at the executive level in line positions and as Chief Marketing Officer. In 2004, Ellen formed a full-service marketing company, Electrum Marketing and had the opportunity to build brands for 21 de novo banks and create branding and marketing strategies for 30+ emerging banks and more than 20 financial services companies. In 2010, Ellen formed a customer experience research and measurement company, CIMA Insight, that provided state-of-the-art customer experience measurement and management to businesses. In 2015, Ellen merged the companies and Electrum Branding, a full service branding, marketing and customer experience measurement company was born. Ellen has served on the Board of Directors, the executive committee and has chaired the Branding and PR committee for MSPA, a national association that is dedicated to supporting businesses in the management and measurement of the customer experience.

WalkerBrian Walker, Vice President
Learning Dynamics

Brian Walker is Vice President of  Learning Dynamics. In this role, he works directly with banking clients to identify and capitalize on revenue growth opportunities, with training playing a role in this process. He brings over 30 years of consulting, training, process improvement, and strategy development experience to this practice area. During this time, he owned a successful international training organization for 18 years and served on its International Leadership Board. Brian has worked with Fortune 500 companies, as well as small and medium businesses, throughout his career and has helped clients realize significant improvements in revenue, customer retention, and other key result areas. Accomplishments in his deep portfolio include helping a major telecommunications company increase sales per representative by 9.4%, and a training and development initiative for a leading financial services firm that realized improved advisor retention and increased revenue. Brian serves as a Director on the board of Junior Achievement. He holds a BS from Northeastern University in Boston, MA.

Brian Washburn, Co-FounderWashburn 2 (High)
Endurance Learning

Brian Washburn has been designing and delivering in-person and online learning programs for 18 years, getting his start as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay, where he helped train farmers on basic principles of business. In 2011, Training magazine named him one of their “top young trainers”. Brian has facilitated workshops on presentation skills and instructional design to audiences in North America, South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. He has written multiple articles for TD magazine, the monthly publication of the Association for Talent Development (ATD). Under his leadership, ATD also awarded his previous employer an Excellence in Practice award for their Performance Improvement initiatives. Brian writes about engaging training design every week on the Train Like A Champion blog and is the co-founder and CEO of Endurance Learning, whose vision is that every presentation can be engaging and lead to change. Brian’s sole purpose in life is to eliminate boring learning experiences from the face of the planet.

TTim Waxenfelterim Waxenfelter, Co-Founder
Endurance Learning

Tim Waxenfelter is a 20-year veteran of project management, product design, public speaking, consulting, and instructional design. Tim’s work has been at the center of major training initiatives and system implementations in federal government agencies, state departments of education, major corporations, and international development organizations. In every engagement, Tim draws on his extensive experience to improve the long-term success of his customers. Tim is the co-founder and COO of Endurance Learning.

WhitehurstBruce Whitehurst, President & CEO
Virginia Bankers Association

Bruce 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. As a banking industry advocate, Bruce is active at the national level. He served on the American Bankers Association’s Regulatory Reform Task Force during the 2008- 2009 financial crisis and served as an ABA Board member and chairman of the Alliance of State Bankers Associations in 2012-2013. He has also served on the ABA Community Bankers Council and the ABA Government Relations Council. Committed to serving his community, Bruce is a director of and has chaired United Methodist Family Services in Richmond, VA and the Virginia Council on Economic Education. Bruce received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of William & Mary, his MBA from the University of Richmond and is a graduate of the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management.

Erika WinterErika Winter
Law Offices of Erika Winter

Erika Winter’s solo firm is located in Williamsburg. She represents employees, almost exclusively, in a variety of employment-related claims, including those arising under federal discrimination statutes, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as state tort and contract claims. Erika also counsels and negotiates for employees regarding matters related to the formation and dissolution of their employment relationships including employment contracts, covenants not to compete, and severance agreements. A description of her practice would be incomplete absent mention of the vast amount of time she devotes to explaining the doctrine of employment at will to recently terminated and soon to be terminated employees. Erika is a member of the Virginia Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section, the National Employment Lawyers Association, the Virginia Employment Lawyers Association and has been named to Virginia Business Magazine’s “Legal Elite” and Best Lawyers. Before law school, Erika worked for consulting firms in Washington, DC providing lobbying services and expert witness testimony for regulated industries. She holds a B.A. from American University and a J.D. from the University of Richmond School of Law.

Hunter Young finalHunter Young, President – Financial Services Marketing
Mabus Agency

Hunter Young is currently President of Financial Services Marketing at Mabus Agency, a creative services firm with offices in North Carolina and Mississippi. He and his team provide branding, interactive and multi-channel marketing services for banks across the country. Hunter’s career has spanned advertising, analytics, digital marketing, a mobile technology startup and banking. His financial career has included leadership roles over the Digital Global and Retail Development teams at BB&T, a $200B+ large regional bank, and serving as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Customer Intelligence for First Bank (FBNC), one of the top performing community banks of 2017. It’s a collective experience that has led to a data-driven creativity in everything he does. Hunter graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Marketing Communications and a focus in Spanish Language. He resides in Raleigh with his wife, daughter and rambunctious golden retriever.