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RALEIGH, N.C. – The inaugural class has graduated from the Senior Leadership Development Institute (SLDI). SLDI was established in late 2019 to foster the development of leaders poised to take the next step in their careers and is designed for mid- and senior-level bank leaders. The curriculum is designed to enhance leadership knowledge, skills, and abilities through group sessions, case studies, independent study, and practical application. Graduates are:

Brianna Ashley, LifeStore Bank – West Jefferson, NC
Meredith Begley, Black Mountain Savings Bank – Black Mountain, NC
David Bennett, Centrant Community Capital – Raleigh, NC
Patrick Blalock, TD Bank – Asheville, NC
Avery Farley, Peoples Bank – Newton, NC
Chris Nichols, blueharbor bank – Mooresville, NC
Travis Rouse, M&F Bank – Durham, NC
Jay Williams, Fidelity Bank – Raleigh, NC

Sharon Justice, facilitator of SLDI, said in a statement “Congratulations to the graduates of the inaugural program! Throughout the course, you have explored innovative concepts to grow both personally and professionally, in addition to making friendships that will last throughout your careers. On behalf of the NCBA and SLDI, we cannot wait to see where your leadership journey takes you next.”


The graduating class of the SLDI consists of experienced bankers who have direct reports, positive reputations, and aspirations for greater leadership experiences. Applicants for SLDI are recommended to be graduates of the North Carolina School of Banking, the oldest state banking association banking school in the country. Presenters included experts in the fields of technology, marketing, innovation, communication, and human resources, with topics such as strategic thinking, ethical leadership, and personal development, among others.


The North Carolina Bankers Association brings together all categories of banking institutions that best represent the interests of our rapidly changing state. Proudly serving North Carolina’s banking industry since 1897, the NCBA is the professional trade organization providing advocacy, leadership and support for its dynamic membership base. The Association has two subsidiaries, Centrant Community Capital and Community Bank Services (CBS). Centrant Community Capital provides permanent debt financing for workforce apartment communities and housing in a number of states. CBS offers insurance and employee benefit products, as well as other to the Association’s members and publishes a quarterly magazine, Carolina Banker. For more information, visit at