Florida Banking December 2023

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Editorial & Executive Offices 1001 Thomasville Road, Suite 201 Tallahassee, FL 32303 850-224-2265 www.floridabankers.com Advertising & Production Offices 250 Prairie Center Dr., Ste. 300 Eden Prairie, MN 55344 952-835-2275 www.nfrcom.com For advertising information, contact Erica Nelson Advertising Sales Executive 763-497-1778 Erica@NFRcom.com For reprints or single issues, contact 800-336-1120 Statements of fact and opinion are made on the responsibility of the authors alone and do not imply an opinion or endorsement on the part of the officers or members of FBA. Florida Banking is published 11 times annually with a combined issue in December/January. Subscription price is $50 per year for nonmembers. Postmaster, send address changes to Florida Bankers Association, P.O. Box 1360, Tallahassee, FL 32302. Copyright 2022 Alex Sanchez President and Chief Executive Officer





ON THE COVER 14 ������������� Celebrating 30 Years of Passionate Advocacy: FBA Honors Retiring CEO Alex Sanchez CONTENTS 4 ��������������������������Chair’s Message 8 - - Staff Tribute to Alex Sanchez 20 �������������Government Relations: 22 �����BancServ Endorsed Partner: Hurricane Resilience Begins With Mitigation Planning 26 ����������������������Trust and Wealth Management: Alex Sanchez: A Guiding Force for the Florida Bankers Association Trust Division 28 �����������Florida BankPac Update 30 -19th Annual Florida Bankers / California Bankers DC Fly-In 34 - Elevate Your Banking Career with FSU’s Juris Master in Financial Regulation and Compliance 36 Fighting the Misguided Credit Card Competition Act 38 ���������������Personal Transactions 40 ��������������������������������������� Kudos 42 ���������������������Upcoming Events 43 ����������������Advertising Directory 43 �������������������������Did You Know? What I’ve Learned from Alex Sanchez

Florida Bankers Association asanchez@floridabankers.com Pamela Ricco Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Florida Bankers Association pricco@floridabankers.com Brooke Harrison Publications Director Florida Bankers Association bharrison@floridabankers.com



Jose Cueto Chair

Derek Jones Chair-Elect

Bill Penney Immediate Past Chair

Fab Brumley Second Immediate Past Chair


On the Cover: Retiring FBA President and CEO Alex Sanchez

Florida Bankers Association: The voice of Florida banking since 1888.

Photos by Felix Rivera Negron




E very banker who has the honor of serving as FBA Chair works closely with the FBA president and CEO. It has been a privilege to advocate for our Florida banking industry alongside our fearless leader of 30 years, Alex Sanchez. As his time at the FBA comes to a close, I want to thank him for his service and many contributions to our industry. I have known Alex for more than 15 years and have loved his infectious energy and passion for everything he does. His tireless efforts to cultivate internal and external relationships, to drive member value, and to be a voice for the banking industry were the tenets of his tenure as CEO. Alex has always respected and elevated the role of FBA Chair, giving him or her the opportunity to speak up and to represent the membership in important meetings with legislators and policymakers. Each one of us has been on the receiving end of Alex’s early morning calls; it was his priority to keep us informed and engaged. As we look back on this year, I am proud of the work we’ve done to educate our customers, our representatives, and the media about the safety and soundness of the nation’s banking industry. Highlights of the calendar year included leadership events for FED Governor Michelle Bowman, Senator Rick Scott, and FDIC Chair Martin Gruenberg and Vice Chair Travis Hill, our 135th Annual Meeting with keynote speaker Maria Bartiromo, and frequent fly-ins to Washington, D.C. Staying close to bank regulatory agencies is always a top priority for the FBA; more than 400 bankers joined us for our events in January and September to meet FED Governor Bowman, FDIC Chair Martin Gruenberg, and FDIC Vice Chair Travis Hill. In June, more than 500 people attended FBA Fest 2023, our celebration of the FBA’s 135th anniversary. Our keynote speaker Bartiromo gave excellent remarks about her career, the economy, national security, and

growth. We are grateful to Alex for nurturing this professional relationship over the years and gaining a national platform to advocate for the industry. The FBA always has its foot on the gas. There is much to look forward to in the new year. The 2024 Legislative Session begins in January, and we need to be ready to support our Government Relations team. We hope you’ll join us in Tallahassee on January 24th for Capitol Day & Night to spend the day at the Capitol discussing important banking and economic issues with Florida legislators. Of course, we are also excited to welcome new FBA President and CEO Kathy Kraninger, who has been chosen to carry on Alex’s legacy and lead the FBA forward. Thank you, Alex, for 30 years of passionate leadership, service, and friendship! If we have learned nothing else from Alex Sanchez, it is that we must have a seat at the table. It is critical for our membership to be engaged and involved. Florida bankers, let’s continue to support our association in 2024.


Alex Sanchez A visionary leader whose influence has left a lasting impact on the world of banking.

Wishing you a happy retirement.

Member FDIC.


Congratulations, Alex! Bank of America recognizes Alex Sanchez on his outstanding career over decades with the Florida Bankers Association. Thank you for your contributions to the industry and we wish you well on your retirement and future endeavors. Visit us at bankofamerica.com/about

©2023 Bank of America Corporation ENT-217-AD

Thank you for doing such an incredible job over the last 30 years. We wish you everything good in life as you move on to a new chapter. Good luck to a great friend. Brothers! Charlie Brinkley


FBA Staff Tribute for Retiring President & CEO Alex Sanchez

“Alex, wishing you all the best on your adventures ahead, as we celebrate your career, service, and legacy! We will continue to build on this strong foun dation at FBA!” — Kathy Kraninger, President & CEO “You’ve been my boss for 20 years and my next-door neighbor for 14 years, but you’ll be my friend forever. With a heart full of gratitude, thank you for all you’ve done for me and my family. Un fuerte abrazo.” — Pam Ricco, Executive Vice President & COO “Alex, it has been a pleasure working with you at the FBA. Thank you for be ing a great friend, mentor, and fighter for our industry! Enjoy the next chap ter of your life. Mary Rose and I wish you, Patsy, and your family nothing but the best!” — Anthony DiMarco, Executive Vice President, Government Affairs “Wow, this past 17 and a half years working with you have flown by! I am truly honored to have worked with such a dedicated and passionate leader. I have learned so much from your lead ership and work ethic. I will miss you here at the FBA but know that you will never be too far away from us.” — Lesley Jordan, Senior Vice President & CFO


“There are many leadership qualities I admire about Alex. Perhaps the one that has meant the most to me is that he supports our staff by pro viding numerous opportunities for personal and professional growth within the organization. Over my 12 years at the FBA, I have watched him push our professional staff to take on new chal lenges that will help us become the best versions of ourselves.” — Kenneth Pratt, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs “Alex — having worked with you for so many years, I have seen how much you truly care about the people in your life. You are passionate about helping our members and defending the banking industry, but you also take the time to connect with people on a personal level. You have done the same for our staff, making sure that we all feel valued as members of the FBA team. There are many staff who have been with FBA for de cades, and I think that is due to your leadership. You have definitely left your mark on FBA and on each of us, so we are all better for having known you. We have enjoyed working with you and will miss you. Good luck!” — Letty Newton, Director of Florida Bankers Educational Foundation (FBEF) “Alex, your enthusiasm and ‘all in’ attitude made work fast paced and fun, especially on Hallow een! Thanks for so many great memories.” — Marilyn Matherne, Assistant Vice President, Membership “Alex, this has been one of the best jobs I have ever had, and I have truly enjoyed working with you. But I refuse to say ‘goodbye’... instead, I’m just going to say, ‘I’ll meet you at the lottery of fice.’ I wish nothing but the best for you in this next phase.” — Dianne Pagel, Accounting Coordinator “Alex, thank you for being a great leader! You’ve made work an adventure, and I’ve enjoyed learn ing about the industry thanks to your gift for making complex issues easy to understand. Your energy, passion, and endless gratitude is inspir ing. It’s truly been an honor to work with you and learn from you.” — Brooke Harrison, Publications Directo r


“Alex Sanchez is a great American. He truly is. He wears his passion on his sleeve for his family, friends, the bank ing industry, and our great country. He is inspiring to work with. He has shared his experience and knowledge to inform us and make us better. It has been a joy to work with Alex and grow with him. I am honored to be a part of Alex Sanchez’s work family and to call him a friend.” — Brian Hickey, Director of Partner Relations and Associate Membership “Alex, thank you for the 30 years of service you have dedicated to the FBA and the Florida banks we represent. Wishing you all the best in your future endeavors.” — Matthew Bennett, Vice President, Education “Alex, congratulations on your tremen dous career. Thank you for your dedi cation and advocacy throughout your 30 years with the FBA. You are leaving behind big shoes to fill! I hope you enjoy your retirement with plenty of time to take pleasure in the little things life has to offer.” — Payton Fewell, Event and Member Service Coordinator


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Alex Sanchez,

From all of us at ICBA, we wish you a joyous retirement! Thank you for your many years of dedication and commitment to the community banking industry.

Sunstate Bank congratulates Alex Sanchez on his upcoming retirement!

Alex, we are grateful for your exceptional leadership and unwavering dedication over the past 30 years. Your vision, integrity, and commitment have been instrumental in shaping and fostering a culture of excellence. As you embark on this well-deserved retirement, may you find joy, fulfillment, and new adventures in this next chapter. Your legacy will continue to inspire us for years to come.


Thank you, Alex Sanchez , for your for your support and leadership at Florida Bankers Association . Congratulations on your retirement, Ken and Cindy LaRoe, Climate First Bank.



Learn more and register at www.FloridaBankers.com


FBA Honors Retiring CEO Alex Sanchez Celebrating 30 Years of Passionate Advocacy:


T he Florida Bankers Association’s beloved “one trick pony,” President and CEO Alex Sanchez, is retiring after 30 years of unparalleled service to the Florida banking industry. Known for his passionate advocacy, even just one conversation with Sanchez results in a better understanding and appreciation for the important role banks play in the economy. Sanchez’s unwavering commitment to the industry transcends his own personal political views and is evident in his oft-repeated phrase, “I’m a one-trick pony. If you like banking, I like you.” Throughout his impressive career, Sanchez has built meaningful relationships with bankers, policymakers, and industry leaders alike, earning their utmost respect and loyalty as he championed the Florida banking industry. “Alex is a committed and dedicated leader with an unparalleled passion for our industry. He, along with the FBA team, have taken the FBA to the next level, as it is now one of the preeminent trade associations in both Florida and Washington, D.C.,” said retired banker and former FBA Chair Kim Davis. “I have enjoyed his friendship through the years and congratulate him on a job well done.” Sanchez joined the FBA in 1993 as the senior vice president of Government Affairs. He had an impressive resume — including five years of military service with the U.S. Air Force and a law degree from the University of Iowa Law School — and an inspiring personal story, having immigrated to the United States with his family when he was only four years old to escape communist Cuba. Sanchez’s parents left behind a comfortable middle-class lifestyle to pursue freedom in the United States, working hard to provide for their children. Sanchez credits his parents for his strong work ethic, his love of learning, and his patriotism. “My parents always said,‘Alex, study. Make sure you get a good education in America, because an education is something the government can never take away from you,’” Sanchez said. Sanchez is the third CEO in FBA’s 136-year history, following venerated leaders Floyd Call and John Milstead, both of whom were also military veterans. When Milstead unexpectedly passed away in late 1997, Sanchez was mentored by interim CEO Bill Hussey and recommended to the board by FBA Chair Charlie Brinkley, who “knew [Alex] was the right person for the job.” Sanchez assumed the role in February 1998. “Alex is a strong leader because of his high energy, drive, and determination,” said Lamar Roberts, retired banker and former FBA Chair. “He successfully led the FBA during the merger of two Florida banking trade associations. The FBA and the Florida banking industry would not be as outstanding as they are today without his leadership.” Sanchez oversaw the association’s historic merger with the Community Bankers of Florida, combining the two banking organizations which resulted in a more powerful political and financial group. He has since led the FBA through trying times like the Great Recession, devastating natural disasters, and, most recently, the

Covid-19 pandemic, demonstrating his commitment to supporting member banks during times of need. “It doesn’t matter the crisis; what matters is that the FBA has to be there for bankers,” Sanchez said. “During the financial crisis, I spoke to every Chamber of Commerce from Pensacola to Key West, explaining to business leaders how our industry was regulated. There was a big backlash at the time against our banks and the aid that was given by the government. During Covid, we were working seven days a week to help our banks gain access to the Small Business Administration portal to upload Paycheck Protection Program loans. We were in contact with our friends in Washington every day.” As CEO, Sanchez’s first goal is to meet and exceed members’ expectations by delivering value. Keeping members informed about the FBA’s efforts is always top of mind. Sanchez prioritizes transparency in communication. “It’s important as an association to tell our story and to tell our bankers what it is that we’re doing on their behalf. They pay a lot of money to belong to the association, and my goal is to deliver value every day,” Sanchez said. Alex Sanchez, Continued on page 16


simply “phone or fax it in;” rather, he prefers to walk the hallways of Congress to ensure that he and the Florida bankers are seen and heard by representatives. And it is true that Sanchez has worn out the shoe leather advocating for the industry. He is proud of the association’s reputation in Washington for showing up in large numbers. “If political leaders and regulators don’t hear from us, they’ll assume we’re OK with the legislation, even though it might be harmful to our industry. So you’ve got to be at the table in order to object in our democracy. ‘Out of sight, out of mind,’ is not a good thing in the advocacy world,” Sanchez said. “It makes a big impact when we travel to Washington, D.C., and our representatives see the faces of hundreds of bankers in front of them. It goes to show that Florida bankers are involved and committed.” In 2019, with board approval, Sanchez moved to Washington, D.C., for two months to push legislation that would close the outdated credit union tax loophole.

Alex Sanchez, Continued from page 15

One of his early initiatives was to revamp the Florida Banking magazine, highlighting the accomplishments of member banks by featuring bankers on the cover. “I felt the magazine was important so that we could showcase our greatest asset — our bankers. We started putting bankers on the cover — bankers from all over the state, from banks of all sizes. Every time that magazine went out, I was proud of what our bankers were doing in their communities to enhance economic vitality,” Sanchez said. “I wanted to make sure our communication with our bankers was rock solid.” Perhaps one of the reasons that Sanchez is such a powerful voice for the industry is that he is a moving storyteller; he never loses sight of the human stories behind his advocacy. Sanchez believes wholeheartedly in the role banks play in helping people achieve the “American dream” of home and business ownership. He often shares the story of his parents’ first home loan. “It was a big day for my family when my parents got the call from their banker stating that their $27,000 loan to buy a home in Miami was approved. It was our first home in America. Homeownership means so much to families,” Sanchez said. “So I’m very fortunate to represent this industry.” When it comes to advocacy and communicating bankers’ stories, Sanchez will accept nothing less than a face-to-face conversation. Sanchez does not



“We took action; we were the first banking association that actually walked the halls of Congress each and every day for two months with legislation in hand,” Sanchez said. Sanchez is well-respected for his dedication and follow-through; over the course of his career, he has successfully built relationships beyond Florida’s borders with key representatives and regulators, including Senators Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, and John Cornyn, as well as FDIC Chair Martin Gruenberg and FED Governor Michelle Bowman. “During my time as FBA Chair, I was able to observe firsthand how deep Alex’s relationships go with bankers, other trade association executives and the people in government who greatly impact our industry. Influencers from around the country know and respect Alex and always give him an audience,” said Bill Penney, president and CEO of Marine Bank and former FBA Chair.

Alex Sanchez, Continued on page 18




He is a person of high integrity and energy with the courage to not waver in his beliefs regarding the banking industry. Alex will be missed, but he leaves behind a legacy that will not be forgotten.” Sanchez has equipped the FBA team to carry on that legacy and to support incoming CEO Kathy Kraninger, former CFPB director. “I have seen Alex champion, challenge, motivate and professionally develop his team in ways I have not experienced or seen before. His relationship with each team member extends beyond the office space, and office hours,” said Sanchez’s wife, Patsy. “The FBA is a family, like no other I’ve seen, and the camaraderie, respect and support is evident in all who engage the FBA team.” FBA COO Pam Ricco added: “Excellence is a habit, not a virtue, and Alex lives that philosophy. His character, integrity and passion inspires, challenges and motivates the people around him. Alex has the courage to do hard things and the compassion to do them with kindness. He has been an exceptional mentor and a dear friend to those of us who have been fortunate to work with him for so long.” “ALEX HAS BEEN AN EXCEPTIONAL MENTOR AND A DEAR FRIEND TO THOSE OF US WHO HAVE BEEN FORTUNATE TO WORK WITH HIM FOR SO LONG.” Sanchez urges bankers to continue to be involved, and to remember the importance of an active and united industry. “The FBA was formed on the 28th of February in 1888 so that our bankers would have a voice in Washington and in our state’s capital,” Sanchez said. “Nothing has changed. We still need that strong voice just as we did 136 years ago, because if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.” Thank you, Alex Sanchez, for serving the association and the Florida banking industry as an exemplary mentor, leader and advocate. “The history that Alex and I have as friends will last a lifetime. Alex has never once made me regret recommending him for president, which is evident by these last 30 years of his career,” Brinkley said. “Love you, Brother!” “’Thank you’ is insufficient, but it’s a start,” Ricco said. “Thank you, Alex. May God bless and reward you abundantly. Enjoy retirement — you have certainly earned it!” - PAM RICCO

Alex Sanchez, Continued from page 16

Sanchez’s impact on the industry also extends to the media. He has earned the respect and friendship of renowned financial journalist Maria Bartiromo, who often invites Sanchez as a guest on her FOX Business show Mornings with Maria to speak as a subject matter expert on banking issues and the economy. At Sanchez’s invitation, Bartiromo attended the FBA’s 135th Annual Meeting in June as keynote speaker. “The relationship Alex has with our regulators and politicians is amazing. He has opened doors for us. Being on Mornings with Maria, for example, demonstrates the respect that industry leaders have for him,” Brinkley said. Sanchez’s contagious energy inspires participation and engagement from members. The association is often lauded for its passionately engaged membership, which is a source of pride for Sanchez and the FBA team, who know the strength of an association comes from its membership. “Alex inspired me to get involved,” said former FBA Chair Lloyd DeVaux, president and CEO of Sunstate Bank. “I met Alex over 20 years ago at Capitol Day. I was moved by his passion and leadership. He made me aware of the important role the FBA and our Florida bankers play in making sure our voices are heard in Washington and Tallahassee.” FBA Chair Jose Cueto added: “Alex is an exceptionally strong leader with the ability to mobilize people toward a vision and the execution of an organizational strategy.





A s I recently recounted, I have been at the FBA for 25 years. I have witnessed and experienced many personal, political, economic, and other changes over those 25 years; however, one constant through it all at the FBA has been Alex Sanchez. I have been a witness to nearly all of Alex’s tenure as FBA President and CEO. Alex hired me to join the FBA back in 1998 when he had only been CEO for a few months. I have watched as he, and I, have grown over the 25 years. I can assure you that what you see is what you get with Alex. He is a hardworking, hard driving CEO who leads by example. He travels around the state and the country to meet with and recruit members. If there is a chance a bank may join, Alex will be on the phone with them and in their offices to talk about the FBA. Of all of the things Alex excels at, membership is top of the list. By now you know of his accomplishments. He meets with elected officials and regulators from both parties. He has been on financial journalist Maria Bartiromo’s shows on CNBC and Fox Business. He has been on many other news outlets through print, radio and television. Presidents and Governors have appointed him to commissions and task forces. His sole mission is to represent our members in all of these situations. I have been privileged to work closely with him on a variety of issues and situations. Alex is focused on how to help our members. He always asks us what more we can do to bring value to our members. However, it is more than representing our members in the halls of Congress, at the Florida Capitol, at a New York television studio, or anywhere else he goes. Alex has built a culture at the FBA. While our work is Mission One, he has supported each one of

us personally and professionally to ensure we have help when needed. Alex ensures that our staff attends training and conferences that help us improve our job performance and bank knowledge, be it to help us understand association management, a new banking issue, or a new product or service for our members. He made sure that we had training to help our members. Alex has also been concerned about our personal wellbeing, too. For example, at our Annual Meeting, I learned that I had a family emergency with my brother. Without hesitation, Alex told me to leave and be with my brother. He told me not to worry about missing the Annual Meeting because being with my brother was more important. I cannot express how meaningful that was to me and my family. Another example I can point to happened during one Session, when another lobbyist was not happy with us for stopping his legislative proposal. I knew he would call Alex and try to pressure us to stop, so I called Alex first and explained the situation. He told me not to worry about it. I knew he had my back, and we could continue our fight in the Capitol. Knowing that your boss has your back goes a long way to ensuring victory during Session. These are just a couple of examples of his concern for the FBA staff. I know of many things he has done for me or other members of the staff, and I am sure there are countless others that I do not know about. Needless to say, it is appreciated by all of us. Alex has shown us how to work hard but has also taken the time to recognize and help each of us when it was needed. I have learned a great deal in my 25 years at the FBA. Alex has been a big reason for my success, the staff’s success, and the FBA’s overall success. Thank you for that, Alex!


JANUARY 24, 2024

Please join us in Tallahassee during the 2024 Legislative Session and spend a day at the Capitol discussing important banking and economic issues with Florida legislators. The day ends with Capitol Night - a dinner held at FBA headquarters. Capitol Night is a wonderful opportunity for bankers to network with elected officials and their peers.

Capitol Day: 12:00 - 4:30 pm Meet with Florida’s bankers on important banking issues + Luncheon with a keynote speaker Capitol Night: 5:00 - 9:00 pm Enjoy great seafood and networking at FBA Headquarters

For event details and to register, please visit www.floridabankers.com/CDCN
























F loridians are a very resilient people. Severe weather is no stranger to them, and they are probably better prepared to respond to and recover from natural hazard events than the populations of many other states. As the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian in 2022 showed, however, no amount of experience in dealing with hurricanes, tropical storms and related flooding can prevent massive damage and even casualties when storms of a certain magnitude hit. Ian was a Category 4 storm when it hit southwestern Florida, and the resulting catastrophic storm surge, wind damage and other impacts led to over 150 deaths and more than $112 billion in damage.¹ It was not only Florida’s costliest hurricane, but it falls behind only Hurricane Katrina (2005) and Hurricane Harvey (2017) among the costliest in U.S. history.² Strictly seen through an insurance prism, Ian was the second most costly natural hazard event on record.³ According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s ACE (Accumulated Cyclone Energy) Index, cyclones have risen in intensity over the last two decades and 10 of the most active years for hurricanes over the last 70-plus years have occurred since the mid-1990s. 4 Much of the scientific community sees this as a climate change indicator, as changes in sea surface temperature are tied closely to storm intensity and those temperatures have reached record levels. 5 So, it’s expected that major storms will become more common in the near future, making living and operating businesses in areas most prone to impacts more difficult, and protecting and/or rebuilding property in those areas far more expensive. The insurance industry is not immune to this trend, as news of some insurers exiting the property market in high-risk states makes clear. Commercial insurance (such as coverage provided by Zurich) has so far been less drastically affected than residential insurance, but

no sector has gone untouched. Protecting the larger shared risk pool that allows insurance to work may, unfortunately, require reduced capacity from some providers and rising premiums for many policies. Disasters increase loan demand, and FEMA and Small Business Administration disaster loans have helped many, but it’s not a long-term solution for properties likely to be impacted by more than one storm. For banks in states like Florida, lending can help offset other weather-related losses for the business, but customers’ capacity for repayment may diminish if they experience multiple disasters. As vital as loans can be in urgent circumstances, they shouldn’t be seen as a substitute for insurance. There are some steps to helping protect the property insurance market for customers and providers in states like Florida. One is a greater scrutiny on avoidable cost-drivers such as widespread and sometimes frivolous lawsuits against insurers. According to an AP article published last year, Florida accounts for almost 80 percent percent of U.S. homeowners’ insurance lawsuits but only 9 percent of all homeowners’ insurance claims across the country. 6 That’s an imbalance that part of state legislation passed last December seeks to correct. Still, the most effective path to building greater resiliency amid escalating climate volatility is not risk transfer, but risk mitigation — including looking at what’s working for risk mitigation in states like Florida. The story of how the Babcock Ranch community came through Hurricane Ian provides a lesson in how innovative thinking and sound planning — well beyond simply meeting required building codes — may make continued occupancy in high-risk areas more viable. Giant retaining ponds and streets designed to absorb flood waters helped protect the development’s homes from flooding. Underground power lines prevented


high winds from taking out the community’s solar powered energy supply. These systems and high, storm focused building standards helped Babcock Ranch emerge from Ian virtually unscathed. 7 One caveat to this inspiring success story: the development is 30 miles inland. Homes and businesses closer to the coast can certainly benefit from the Babcock Ranch strategy, but rising sea levels will make close proximity to the water increasingly more problematic. Cutting-edge technology and outside-the-box thinking will be needed to maintain Florida’s well deserved position as a coveted place in which to live and do business, but above all else, having a sound emergency response plan remains essential for businesses and community developers. A thorough emergency response plan is too detailed to fully cover here, but here are some key elements to have in scope in mitigation planning: Pre-storm planning In advance of hurricane season, a detailed plan for actions to take long before a storm hits should be developed. This plan should include, but not be limited to: • Verifying needed equipment and supplies are available and in good condition. • Verifying roofing company contracts other critical vendor contracts for emergency repairs are up to date. • Scheduling inspections of building roofs, rooftop equipment, walls, windows and doors. • Verifying emergency generator testing, fueling and maintenance are current. • Inspecting and testing any dewatering pumps. • Verifying shutters and

even a Category 4 or 5 event. While high winds can be deadly and devastating on their own, hurricanes really become catastrophic when those winds result in water penetrating a building envelope or compromising its foundation. Storm surge flooding is especially calamitous when it breaches building entrances, windows and walls. Heavy storm surge flooding can even knock a building off its foundation. There is a wide array of techniques, tools and technology available to reduce the impacts of the “twin terrors” of wind and water. They include, but are not limited to: • Identifying potential exposures to damage from high winds and water inundation. • Using a qualified, experienced engineering firm to design seawalls to help protect building foundations and structures from damage caused by waves. • Following Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) FORTIFIED Commercial™ construction standards. (More information is available at fortifiedhome.org/fortified commercial.) • Installing flood gates or flood barrier systems. • Installing sump pumps to remove water that passes flood barrier systems. • Relocating fuel pumps outside of tank dikes that can fill with rainwater. • Designing building walls to resist pressure from waterborne debris. • Ensuring primary and secondary roof drainage is working up to capacity. • Housing, rather than simply tying down rooftop

Hurricane Resilience, Continued on page 24

installation hardware are ready and staff is trained for installation. • Establishing procedures with local authorities for accessing or reentering sites after a hurricane or storm. • Establishing backup communication procedures for staff and other business operations. • Determining essential electrical loads for the building and verifying they are connected to an emergency power system. Addressing wind and water exposures As the Babcock Ranch example shows, buildings can be designed to withstand most of the impacts of a hurricane —


• Residential (including NW Condos) or Commercial • Performing or Non-Performing (delinquency < 18 months) • UPBs of $200K to $6 Million

Bruce Maguire Managing Director




mitigation actions. To help businesses with all elements of a hurricane emergency response plan, Zurich has published a Hurricane Resource Hub, with information provided by the Risk Engineers of Zurich Resilience Solutions and other knowledgeable sources. Find it at zurichna.com/knowledge/natural-hazards-resource hub/hurricane-resource-hub.

Hurricane Resilience, Continued from page 23

equipment, preventing equipment from exposure to water as well as direct wind loads. • Following FEMA guidelines for securing lightning rods. • Arranging satellite dishes so the dish, supports and ballast can be removed and stored in a secure location before a storm hits. • Protecting cooling towers with equipment screens designed for the wind loads. • Securing steel decks with screws rather than welds. Of course, even the best planning and building design does not guarantee your community or structures will fare as well as Babcock Ranch when a major storm hits. A thorough emergency response has four phases and mitigation planning is only the first. The other phases are: • Preparedness (actions to take 48 hours and 36 hours before a major windstorm) • Response (actions to take 12 hours before a storm and in the immediate aftermath) • Recovery (post-storm actions to restore business operations) All elements of an emergency response plan should be reviewed and updated each year, with the input of risk specialists and the support of management leadership. This article includes only a brief overview of

Learn about climate risk services available from Zurich Resilience Services at zurichna.com/risk/climate-solutions.

1. National Hurricane Center. “National Hurricane Center Tropical Cyclone Report: Hurricane Ian.” 3 April 2023. 2. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. “Costliest U.S. Tropical Cyclones.” 11 September 2023. 3. Aon. “2023 Weather, Climate and Catastrophe Insight.” 2023. 4. United States Environmental Protection Agency. “Climate Change Indicators: Tropical Cyclone Activity.” April 2021. 5. Voiland, Adam. “The Ocean Has a Fever.” NASA Earth Observatory. 21 August 2023. 6. Izaguirre, Anthony. “Florida lawmakers set to meet on ailing insurance market.” The Associated Press. 6 December 2022. 7. Neuman, Scott. “One Florida community built to weather hurricanes endured Ian with barely a scratch.” 6 October 2022. All Things Considered (NPR).



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The only nationwide independent, member-owned debit network, processor & core provider supporting community banks. Alex Jerigan, (229) 861-3802 jjerigan@shazam.net

Custom Sale-Leaseback, Property Management & Branch Consulting Bill Yeomans, (315) 491-8651 byeomans@brooklinedevelopment.com

Web-based portal for professionally designed & produced bank branded marketing materials in seconds. Neal Reynolds, (678) 528-6688 nreynolds@bankmarketingcenter.com

STS Group is Florida’s strongest partner for bank security, ATMS & branch automation equipment. Adam Stephens, (256) 957-8018 adams@stsgrp.com

A full suite of investment products and services for community banks through its exclusively endorsed broker, Stifel.

J im Reber, (800) 422-6442 jreber@icbasecurities.com

Comprehensive and affordable payments solutions, including credit, debit, merchant, & digital commerce. Client Relations, (800) 242-4770 payments@icba.org

Broad range of integrated payment, marketing, & technology solutions.

Executive Benefits & BOLI Glenn Blackwood, (561) 798-5620 glenn.blackwood@nfp.com Joe Schaefer, (786) 566-9423 joe.schaefer@nfp.com

Bill Lopez, (305) 609-2757 william.lopez@vericast.com

Zurich provides best-in-class solutions to help reduce FBA member bank losses and manage risk more effectively.

Discounted supplies including PPE, cleaning, furniture, print & promo solutions. Customer Service, (888) 263-3423 NationalEmailOrders@odpbusiness.com

A family of bank compliance services that include compliance alliance, review alliance, & virtual compliance officer. (833) 683-0701 info@bankersalliance.org

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Ncontracts' solutions suite encompasses the complete life cycle of risk. We help you build a better bank in a constantly changing environment.

Core & Digital Banking Evaluations | Contract Negotiations | Bank Advisors for 28 Years Keith Hagen, (850) 640-2244 keith.hagen@ici-consulting.com

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Created by the Florida Bankers Association, BancServ Inc., provides quality products and services at a discounted rate, saving Florida banks time & money. Brian Hickey, Managing Director of Partner Relations | bhickey@floridabankers.com




I n the world of finance and banking, leadership and vision are vital to the success of any organization. The Florida Bankers Association (FBA) has been fortunate to have a stalwart leader in Alex Sanchez, who has served as its president and CEO since 1998. Under his guidance, the Trust Division of the FBA has not only thrived but has also played a pivotal role in shaping the financial landscape of the state of Florida. Alex’s extensive experience in both the public and private sectors has given him a unique perspective and understanding of the intricacies of the banking industry including the trust and wealth management business, making him a true asset to Florida’s community of financial professionals. I met Alex in 1996 when I was serving on the trust legislative committee and was immediately inspired by how much he had to overcome as a young child fleeing Cuba in 1962. Rather than letting his circumstances define him, Alex worked hard with his parents and siblings to build a new life and successful career in the United States. Over the last 30 years, I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside him on several legislative matters. I’ve always been struck by his tenacity, his dedication, and his commitment to advocacy on behalf of the FBA. His ability to see the big picture, cut through the red tape and get things done speaks volumes about his character and it’s an honor to call him a colleague and friend. Alex assumed his role as president and CEO of the FBA at a time when the banking industry was undergoing significant changes due to the rapid consolidation in banking, the Great Financial Crisis and a wave of regulatory reforms and technological advancements. In this transformative era, leaders who could adapt and drive progress were crucial, and Alex was more than ready for the challenge. One of the most remarkable aspects of Alex's leadership has been his ability to anticipate industry trends and align the FBA's objectives with them. He recognized early on that trust services were becoming increasingly important

in the financial landscape not just as a revenue stream but as a means of providing comprehensive financial solutions to clients. Under his guidance, the Trust Division of the FBA has evolved to meet these demands and in turn has become a driving force within the association and across the state of Florida. Supporting the Trust Division Alex's ongoing support for the Trust Division has been instrumental in its growth and success. Here are some key areas where his leadership and support have made a significant impact: Advocacy and representation: As the leader of the FBA, Alex understood the importance of advocating for the interests of trust departments within Florida banks. Under his leadership, the Trust Division has been a powerful advocate for its members, working to ensure that their voices were heard in legislative and regulatory matters through meetings with regulators and elected officials and participation in the annual D.C. “fly in” and Capitol Day events. His support has been vital in navigating the complex regulatory landscape and creating a favorable environment for trust services to thrive. Education and training: Trust professionals require specialized knowledge and skills to provide high quality services to their clients. Recognizing this, Alex has supported the Trust and Wealth Management School (formerly known as the Florida Trust and Graduate Trust School) and championed educational initiatives within the Trust Division such as the annual Trust and Wealth Management Conference. These programs help equip trust professionals with the tools they need to excel in their roles. This commitment to education has not only elevated the quality of trust services but has also enhanced the reputation of Florida's trust professionals on a national scale. Networking and collaboration: Building a strong network and fostering collaboration between bankers and trust officers is essential for growth and


innovation. Alex has encouraged bankers and trust professionals to come together, share insights and learn from one another. This collaborative spirit has contributed to the development of innovative solutions and best practices in the field of trust services. The Impact on Florida's Financial Landscape Alex's support for the Trust Division of the FBA has had a profound impact on Florida's financial landscape. Here are some of the ways in which his contributions have shaped the industry: Increased competitiveness: Florida's banks and financial institutions are now better equipped to compete on a national and even global scale in the trust services arena. The education, advocacy and networking opportunities facilitated by the Trust Division have raised the bar for professionalism and competence in the industry.

the next generation of trust professionals to excel in their roles and provide exceptional service to their clients. His contributions to the Trust Division of the FBA have not only benefited the industry but have also played a crucial role in strengthening the financial well-being of individuals and families throughout the state of Florida. Alex, we thank you for your dedication, leadership, and service. George Lange is a retired trust banking executive with more than 37 years of experience in Missouri and Florida. In addition to being named the 2000 FBA Trust Banker of the Year, Lange was inducted into the Florida Trust Banking Hall of Fame in 2017. During his tenure with the FBA, Lange served as the director of Florida Trust and Graduate Trust School, chair of the Trust Legislative and Trust Executive committees and was an active member of the FBA Board of Directors, the BankPac Board of Directors and the Government Relations Committee.

Enhanced client services: Trust professionals in Florida are now more prepared to serve the diverse needs of their clients. The emphasis on education and best practices has resulted in more tailored and sophisticated trust solutions, attracting clients from a wide range of backgrounds and financial situations. Strengthened economic growth: A robust trust industry contributes significantly to the state's economy. Under Alex's leadership, the Trust Division has helped create jobs, generate revenue and attract wealth to Florida, turning the state into a trusted hub for individuals and families seeking comprehensive financial services. Improved regulatory clarity: Trust professionals often grapple with complex regulatory requirements. Through its advocacy efforts, the Trust Division has worked to streamline and clarify these regulations, which has made it easier for trust departments to operate efficiently and within the bounds of the law. Florida’s Next Chapter As we look to the future, it is clear that Alex's legacy will continue to shape both the banking and trust industry in Florida for years to come. He has set a high standard for professionalism, innovation and ethical conduct that will undoubtedly inspire


Florida BankPac Update PAC contributions for 2023: $279,235.00 Contributions received between 1/1/2023 and 10/27/2023

Contact Cheryl Tucker (ctucker@floridabankers.com) when your institution achieves 100 percent board member BankPac contributions.

Central Bank

James H. Parr Steven M. Roy Danna A. Schmid Tricia M. Snodgrass Scott J. Sullivan Bradley Weber Martina Weiss Laura Williamson

Mary E. Carroll Andrew Couse Miller Couse Earle E. Edwards, III Andrew J. Higginbotham Karl E. Larsen Thomas C. Perry M. Carey Soud Deborah Van Sickle Max Jaime Weisinger Ralph Betancourt Robert Godwin Edward E. Haddock, Jr. Bruce W. May

Banks with 100 percent board member contributions:

David L. Edgar Scott Kohler Arvind Patel Dinubhai D. Patel

Central Bank

Community Bank of the South

Jayesh D. Patel Jayesh K. Patel Jiten Patel Mahendra Patel Nilesh Patel Rajeshkumar C. Patel Shilen Patel Vijay M. Patel Anand Sabapathy John Thompson Citizens Bank & Trust Wesley Barnett Brian Bracey Carlie W. Cosce Marianne F. George Tiffani R. Gozdur Sherry B. Kelley Greg Littleton Robert A. Loftin Vaughn H. McAshan

Edison National Bank

First Bank, Clewiston

Community Bank Fred Leopold Justin Woodard Community Bank of the South Harold T. Bistline Stephen D. Crisafulli

Winter Park National Bank

First Colony Bank

BankPac contributions:


Jeremy Hopwood

Kevin P. Markey Kevin B. Steele William T. Taylor Carlos K. Woodward

Dominga Sanchez Thomas J. Sheehan


John Jordan Amerant Bank, N.A. Alberto Capriles Juan Esterripa Carlos Iafigliola Howard Levine S. Marshall Martin Jerry Plush Mariola Sanchez Sharymar Yepez Banc Card of America Andrew Lane Bank of America Fabiola Brumley Bank of Belle Glade Stephen Prielozny BankFlorida Kenneth R. Lehman

First Federal Bank

William S. Beardsley Courtney Blackburn George D. Brewer Pam Hitt Keith C. Leibfried Lawrence A. McGrath

Crescent Mortgage Cammie Aucoin Crews Banking Corporation JW Crews, IV Bradley L. Wilson D.A. Davidson & Co. Bob Pabst Desjardins Bank, N.A. Louis Rheaume Edison National Bank John P. Ammons Elizabeth Aurensan Greg Blurton Karen M. Brazelton Lenor Cross

Philip J. Moses, Jr. Paul D. Ottendorf Stephen A. Smith First National Bank Coastal Community Nicole Jones First National Bank of Mount Dora Bob White First National Bank of Pasco Steven D. Hickman First National Bank of South Miami Veronica Flores First National Bankers Bank Chris Alexander Linda Cook Lourdes Mendes First State Bank of the Florida Keys Karen M. Sharp Flagship Bank

Douglas W. McPherson William G. Middleton Bonnie Parker

Mark E. Schreiber Joseph T. Stangry

Lori J. Wilson Patricia Wilson Citizens First Bank Paul B. Abell Jay Bartholomew Lindsey Blaise

Christina DePari David M. DuVall Lisa Hobson June Howard David Lowden Susan Nasworthy Kim Nyberg Matthew Overmyer Patrick Philbin Geoffrey Roepstorff Robbie Roepstorff Susan Schulte Richard Shera First Bank, Clewiston Bryan D. Beer

Charles D. Borrowman W. Thomas Brooks Tina Campbell Jennifer Couture Kristen M. Crawford Michelle D. Crawford Ginger L. Devine Marci J. Duke Mark D. James Stephen T. Kurtz Christopher T. Langley Adam Lombardo Kevin W. McDonald Mark Morse

James “Bud” Stalnaker, Jr. Capital City Bank Group, Inc. Thomas A. Barron William F. Butler Stanley W. Connally, Jr. Bonnie J. Davenport Connie Davis Kenneth D. Pratt John G. Sample, Jr. William G. Smith, Jr. John J. Wahlen Capital City Trust Company William L. Moor, Jr.

Kenneth Bailey David Brandon Ronald Hockman Mark Klein Ken Marks Robert McGivney


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