Florida Banking December 2023




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!


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