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The ABA Emerging Leader Awards identify and recognize the next generation of bank leaders who are committed to the highest standards of achievement and service to the industry and their communities. Developing and guiding future leaders is critical to our industry’s success, as today’s emerging leaders are tomorrow’s decision-makers.

If you or someone you know exhibits banking leadership characteristics including steadfast dedication, inventiveness, and integrity, send us a nomination! 

Entry period ends July 1, 2024

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Congratulations to the winners of the 2023 ABA Emerging Leader Awards! 

Get to know this year’s class, including what being an emerging leader means to them and why they’re passionate about the banking industry. 

Alise Phillips, J.D., CRCM

First Vice President & Senior Compliance Manager
First Merchants Bank, Muncie, Indiana

“I am extremely passionate about providing fair and equitable access to banking products and services that transform lives and communities. It provides opportunities for individuals to achieve their dreams, for families to prosper through generations, and for businesses to grow and thrive.”

Amanda L. West

SVP/Deputy Chief Audit Executive
First Horizon Corporation. Memphis, Tennessee

“Over 24 years and several roles later, I still enjoy serving our clients, communities and other stakeholders. For those already in banking or looking to join, it's rewarding to know that…we’re part of something bigger.”

Angela Scott

VP, Client Engagement - Global Payments & Deposits
Umpqua Bank, Portland, Oregon

“We have a very unique and tremendous opportunity to ensure economic vitality in the communities that we serve. My passion lies in making sure that that message is informing the work that we do and informing my own purpose as I move through my day and as I move through my career.”

Casey N. Brouthers, Esq.

Vice President/Associate General Counsel
BayCoast Bank, Swansea, Massachusetts

“I'm passionate about banking, specifically community banking, because I get to see firsthand the amazing, life -changing relationships that are created. It truly is a privilege to be part of community banking, and honestly, it feels pretty good too.”

Jennifer Bonds-Huffman

Vice President, Workplace Solutions Relationship Manager
Atlantic Union Bank, Forest, Virginia

“Banking can be intimidating for the underserved. I love the meaningful work I do of disrupting poverty and leading innovatively so I can be the change I want to see—not just in my community, but in our nation.”

Jim Carrigan

Regional Vice President
Meredith Village Savings Bank, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

“I would invite all new bankers to deeply explore their communities, because one day their vision could be the catalyst for positive change.”

Juan Santiago

Vice President, CRA Engagement Leader
Farmers National Bank of Canfield, Canfield, Ohio

“I learned at an early age that relationships in all areas of life are the key to almost every success. We've heard it said: ‘A rising tide raises all boats.’ ‘We are better together.’ ‘There is no I, in team.’ It takes us working together, coming together, to help our communities thrive.”

Justin Nipper

EVP/Chief Administrative Officer
The Farmers Bank, Portland, Tennessee

“Our industry is constantly evolving, so I would tell those in the industry to never stop learning, invest in yourself, and be sure that you're working for an organization that invests in you as well.”

Lindsey Brown-Acquaye

Senior Vice President of Compliance
Valor Bank, Edmond, Oklahoma

“By actively participating in industry associations, staying informed, and driving change within my own organization, I firmly believe that by embracing innovation and advocating for the needs of community banks and banks as a whole, we can shape a future of banking that is inclusive, efficient and customer-centric.”

Meredith Strieff

Vice President, Retail Sales Manager
Horicon Bank, Horicon, Wisconsin

“To me an emerging leader is someone who's not afraid to take chances. Someone who doesn't have all the answers, but they're not afraid to say ‘I don't know.’ But they go that extra step and they find out.”

Natalie W. Bartholomew

Community President
First Community Bank, Rogers, Arkansas

“Young women are likely not considering careers in our industry. Most of them fall into banking right out of college as a part-time job, but it's up to us to change that narrative and to get them interested in the different opportunities that our industry has to offer.”

Rebecca S. Buhr

Executive Vice President of Retail Banking
Bank of Franklin County, Washington, Missouri

“An emerging bank leader is someone who sees beyond their current title, job description or role. They don't view those things as some sort of a limitation. They continuously work to develop themselves, but more importantly, they instinctively work to develop those around them.”

Prior Years

View 2022 winners