Agenda & Session Descriptions

Access the full agenda or read about the sessions below!


  • Surviving the Life or Death Gap | Terry Choate & Joseph Hileman | Blue-U Defense

For training to be truly effective it must start with establishing a solid foundation, or basis, for its need. It’s success or failure is highly dependent upon its ability to get people’s attention and instill a very strong level of desire to crave more. Success in establishing a solid foundation must begin with bringing a high level of understanding of the problem, or challenges, that its solutions are meant to resolve. The Blue-U Defense “Surviving the Life or Death Gap” has been called “the best training IN ANY TOPIC”; “Life-changing and life-saving! Everyone needs this”; “the most engaging training course I’ve ever experienced”. 

Surviving the Life or Death Gap starts with building this necessary foundation and establishing a very high level of understanding of what we face during a sudden unplanned incident of violence and how our natural reactions as human beings impacts our ability to be able to respond. It solidly establishes the need to think differently about ourselves and what is truly necessary to survive, win, and go home. In fact, based on feedback from thousands of people and hundreds of organizations, no other training even comes close to the effectiveness of this course. 

  • Unstuck: Turning Who You Are Into Who You Could Be| Chris Barras, Area 10

We all have a story about the way things are and about why they are. We tell our stories to help us make sense of the world and to understand where we fit. But what if the story you’re telling is keeping you stuck? And what if that story can change? None of us can change history, and we can’t control the market or other people. But we can change how we relate to our work, to each other, and to ourselves. And changing the story is the first step toward changing your life, your relationships, your organization, and your future.

Let’s re-write your story together. In this keynote, Chris digs deep into the anatomy of transformation, sharing how and why people change. Using interactive, hands-on prompts, he will help orient you to the now – why you are where you are – and crystallize your vision for moving forward. Offering several practical tools, this engaging keynote will illuminate your path to producing new and different results for you and your organization.

  • The Governor and the Activist

Former Governor Bob McDonnell and community organizer Allan-Charles Chipman discuss Virginia’s ongoing struggle for racial healing in the Commonwealth.  In conversation between them and with the audience, they’ll talk through the challenges of telling the full truth of Virginia’s history and specific actions that the banking community can take in supporting equality and healing.   The discussion will be moderated by Scott Wayne, a former British diplomat, now based in Virginia, and a partner with Envoy Intelligence.

  • Industry Update | Bruce Whitehurst, Virginia Bankers Association

Virginia Bankers Association’s President & CEO will provide a brief update on the most pressing issues facing the banking industry at the state and federal level.  

  • Setting the Tempo For Success| Paul Vitale, Matt Birk & Co.

The momentum an individual brings into any environment sets a tempo that affects the end result. During this presentation, Paul shares concepts that demonstrate the necessity for controlling one’s approach and energy regardless of the surrounding variables and circumstances. Through strategic positioning of actions, reactions, and attitude, each member of a team is directly responsible for the success of the unit as a whole. Research indicates that no matter the industry or employment position, individuals control the outcome of success through the tempos set. Paul developed the proven methods shared during this empowering training to embolden participants to take command of their influential personas in order to improve their environments.


Human Resources:

  • Legal Panel

– Christy Kiely, Hunton & Williams
– Steven Brown, Isler Dare
– Tevis Marshall, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart P.C.
– Erika Winter, Law Offices of Erika Winter

  • Hot Topics In Employment Law | Steven Brown, Isler Dare

During this presentation, we will discuss the lessons learned from recent reported cases, including hot topics under the ADA and a #MeToo movement update.  We will also discuss the 2019-2020 political climate and how it impacts employers. Attendees will also learn why it is important to train everyone on a regular basis and we will end with the top 6 employee handbook pitfalls and how to avoid them.

  • Creating and Sustaining Great Teams| Mark Faircloth, Faircloth Performance Partners

Whether in business, sports or civic life, great teams, and ineffective ones as well, seem to be easy to recognize. What makes the difference in their performance? Why do the same management and leadership actions work with one team but fail with others? In this interactive hour bankers learn how to:

1. Understand the changing stages of team development
2. Identify individual roles within every team
3. Balance personal motivations and group goals
4. Take the right actions to help any team work better together

Based on current research and two case studies, the audience learns how to improve the performance of one team, while keeping another at its high level of success. Attractive but imprecise labels such as Motivation, Leadership, Synergy and others are redefined as clear-cut, practical actions that can be taken at any level to improve team–and individual–results. Bankers are provided with an interactive team assessment and decision map for use when returning to their banks.

  • Merger Integration – The Human Aspect| Kim Snyder, KBS Results LLC

As bankers, there is a very high probability that at some point in your banking career you will be faced with a merger or acquisition.  Whether you are on the buy side or sale side, it is important to understand that people are the key to a successful transaction.  This session will focus on mitigating the human capital risks impacting customers, employees and shareholders.


  • Everything You Wanted to Know About Branding, but Were too Afraid to Ask | Cabell Harris, WorkLabs

In this session, Cabell Harris will discuss and breakdown branding and how to best apply it to the financial services industry.  He will also share how to incorporate the creative process in  to achieving the strategic goals of the bank by breaking through the clutter, solving problems and communicating messages.    

  • Leveraging Google Analytics for Deeper Data Insights | Morgan Jarvis, Workshop Digital

Website analytics platforms such as Google Analytics can be powerful tools in helping determine the effectiveness of your website and your marketing initiatives. By making sure you are utilizing event and goal tracking to capture your most valuable website actions, you can gain access to deeper insights on your campaign performance. We will find ways to take your data analysis further by evaluating several key Google Analytics reports and metrics. We will also discuss using URL parameters to make sure that you are capturing the right data.

  • A Simple 3-Step Process to Gaining New Clients with Your Digital Marketing & Advertising While Remaining Compliant | Myke Metzger, RVA Social Marketing

This session will discuss using social media and digital assets to generate
more business, improve your brand’s presence, and increase retention of
your clients.

  • Making the Switch: How to Attract Customers to Your Community Bank| Keith Brannan, KASASA (Joint with Retail)

With 17% of consumers switching banks, and the majority of them being Millennials, how can community banks entice them to their institution?  In this session, we will share important insights into how consumers make purchase decisions and which products they want to buy. Learn how to engage with them and develop a strategy that will cut through the clutter, deliver results, and stretch dollars further. 

Retail Banking:

  • Coaching: A Question of Balance| Mark Faircloth, Faircloth Performance Partners

Coaching is one of the most misused of all management activities, as it’s often heavily influenced by personality, performance pressure and other influencers. Many bank managers admit their coaching meetings often drift into one-way conversations directed at correcting mistakes. This interactive session helps the audience understand how to create balance in three critical areas:

1. Setting realistic expectations of both the manager and the employee
2. Actively observing performance without creating awkwardness
3. Engaging in collaborative feedback conversations

Attendees face “what would you do?” choices designed to help them understand the elements of balance. Should you ask or tell? Focus on the positive or the negative? See an action as truly wrong or just a different approach? This critical skill is presented as a step-by-step process that provides consistency while leaving plenty of room for personal approach.

  • Competing to Win In Retail Banking Today | Kevin Halsey, Capital Performance Group

A decade of historically low interest rates, vanishing fee income, aggressive competitors, and stubborn legacy costs have diminished the profitability of the retail business line. Demographic changes have created a new generation of consumers and small business owners that question the very relevancy of a bank. Still, for many banks, the retail franchise remains one of the most valuable parts of the institution. However, growth in retail banking today typically lags growth in other business lines. Transformational strategies that respond to changing profit dynamics, consumer preferences, and competitive pressures are now needed to revitalize and grow the business.

In this session, we will review the current state of retail banking and the challenges that threaten long-term success in this business. We will consider how successful retail banks are now shifting to focus on those segments, products, and markets where growth and profit opportunities exist – and retooling their businesses to compete more effectively.

  • The Untapped Market: Using Workplace Banking as a Retail Channel | Ben Kelbaugh, EverFi

How can your financial institution compete in this crowded playing field? How can your bank reach new consumers and build better relationships when less of them are heading into branches? The answer is to meet consumers where they already spend much of their time: at work. In this session, we’ll outline the steps necessary to develop and enhance workplace banking programs, while covering the retail benefits of building relationships through this relatively untapped market.

  • Making the Switch: How to Attract Customers to Your Community Bank| Keith Brannan, KASASA (Joint with Retail)
  • With 17% of consumers switching banks, and the majority of them being Millennials, how can community banks entice them to their institution?  In this session, we will share important insights into how consumers make purchase decisions and which products they want to buy. Learn how to engage with them and develop a strategy that will cut through the clutter, deliver results, and stretch dollars further. 


  • Microlearning the “Go-To” Tool in Your Learning Reinforcement Toolbox | Shannon Lipton, Learning Rebels

Today’s modern workforce has grown up with knowledge at their fingertips, and the need for structured training requires a new look. This rapid learning demand requires L&D to become more flexible and sharply focused on delivering short bursts of right-sized scaffolded support. It’s the smart L&D practitioner who will take advantage of microlearning to disrupt learning in their organizations.

According to a Bersin by Deloitte report, the typical employee devotes only about 1% of his time to professional development. What this means is that in a 40-hour work week, we devote less than 24 minutes to anything resembling learning. This is the small space of time we must work with…and this is where microlearning has your back.

  • Accelerate Learning With Personalized Learning Paths| Katrina Ong, Relias & Scott Weersing, GP Strategies

Many in learning and development organizations would argue that personalized learning is perfect for effective and efficient individual learning. Yet, very few organizations are able to harness personalized learning at scale to improve employee satisfaction and save time. By tailoring onboarding for learners at organizations, new hires are able to move into productive proficiency sooner. This session will present case studies to demonstrate how assessments can personalize onboarding beyond “testing out,” how learning paths can connect contributors to organizational goals, and how personalized learning can enhance new hire experiences. You will leave with outlines of actionable ways to use these tools to enhance the onboarding experience.

  • Training Roundtable

Valuable session sharing ideas with bank trainers from around the Commonwealth!

  • Adapting the Banking Workforce to the Digital Area | Linda Ginac, TalentGuard

With unemployment in the U.S. reaching near historic lows, banks are struggling to fill critical positions essential to their digital transformation strategies. Rapid changes in technology and evolving talent demographics are forcing banks to build adaptive workforces and cultivate new skills not traditional to the sector. Institutions are beginning to proactively focus on short- and long-term career development to close the growing skills gap. In this session, you will learn how to cultivate talent from within to improve employee engagement and retention. We will explore best practices in skills assessment, career pathing and personal growth to meet the technological demands of the digital era.

Other Agenda Items:

  • Two networking receptions
  • SPARK! presentations



*Topics subject to change