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Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders
State of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the 47th Governor of Arkansas. Inaugurated on January 10, 2023, she is the first woman to serve as governor of the state & is currently the youngest governor in the country.

Sanders has served as White House press secretary and in leadership roles for U.S. Senators, Governors, and presidential campaigns. She has been recognized in Fortune & TIME Magazine’s “40 Under 40.” The Governor grew up in Pine Bluff and Texarkana and is a proud graduate of Little Rock Central High and Ouachita Baptist University.

She lives in Little Rock with her husband, Bryan, their children Scarlett, Huck, and George, and their golden retriever, Traveler.

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Dave Martin

Like many in the banking industry, Dave Martin was an accidental banker. After early careers as a radio morning man, marketing director for an oilfield industry supplier, and a stretch working in the finance department of a university research facility, Dave was recruited by a friend to join a bank. Specifically, he was hired to run that institution’s first in-store branch location.

Given more freedom (and less guidance) than most people hired to run a bank branch, Dave quickly learned that banking is a people business. Bank branches, products, and services tend to be (or are perceived to be) rather homogenous. If a bank is going to differentiate itself, it will be through its people – the moving parts of the organization.

With in-store banking in his DNA, Dave also developed strong opinions on the power of small, talented teams and their abilities to outperform the status quo. Dave Martin was preaching the advantages of "Universal Bankers" long before the concept became cool.

Two decades and stints as senior bank executive and trainer/consultant later, Dave's core beliefs about banking remain intact. Banking remains a people business, and organizations with good people win.

Dave Martin has become one of the most prolific writers in the banking industry. His columns and newsletters are read in thousands of financial institutions each month. His keynote presentations, seminars, and podcasts have an authenticity and humor that brings teams of all sizes and seniority levels together.

He is also a member of the guest faculty of the Southwest Graduate School of Banking at SMU.

Dave is a lucky husband and proud dad of two sons and travels out of Houston, Texas.

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Julieann Thurlow
American Bankers Association


  • President and CEO
  • Reading Cooperative Bank (Mutual)
  • Reading, MA

Julieann M. Thurlow is the President and Chief Executive Officer at Reading Cooperative Bank and is responsible for its strategic direction and management.

Julieann serves as Chair on the Board for the American Bankers Association. She is immediate Past-Chair of ABA’s Core Platforms Council; and currently serves as a member of the Government Relations Administrative Committee and Membership Council.

Julie is a founding member of Alloy Labs, a consortium of banks nationally formed to innovate in the banking space and is a Director of Atlantic Community Bankers Bank (ACBB). Locally, Julieann serves on the MA Fintech Hub and is a Board and Executive Committee member of the Lawrence Partnership, the Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation and the Greater Lawrence Community Health Center.

American Banker Magazine has repeatedly named Julieann to its list of the Top 25 Women to Watch in Banking and the Commonwealth Institute has named Reading Cooperative Bank a Top 100 Women-Led Business for the past six years running.

In addition to an MBA from the Charles F. Dolan School of Business at Fairfield University, Julieann completed advanced studies at the Stonier Graduate School of Banking, Harvard Business School’s Division of Continuing Education, and the CEO Leadership Lab at Wharton’s Aresty Institute for Executive Education. She is a proud member of the first cohort of Lawrence Leads, a cross-sectoral leadership program focused on civic engagement and social responsibility taught at Harvard Business School.

Arkansas CEO & Executives Panel

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Moderator: Jay Chesshir
President & CEO
Little Rock Regional Chamber

In May 2006, Jay Chesshir became the 15th President and CEO of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce in its 153-year history. He began his career at the Little Rock Regional Chamber in February 2005 serving as their Economic Development Vice President, Senior Staff Executive for Fifty for the Future and Executive Director of the Metro Little Rock Alliance, an eleven-county economic development marketing coalition.

Under his leadership, the Chamber has directly worked projects accounting for over $3.85 billion in new and expanded capital investment, more than 24,700 jobs and $883 million in new annual payroll for the metro Little Rock region.

He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas. Jay has been designated as a Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives and is a graduate of both the Institute for Organization Management and Economic Development Institute.

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Kevin McGilton
President & Chief Executive Officer
Riceland Foods, Inc.

Kevin McGilton is President and Chief Executive Officer of Riceland Foods. McGilton joined the farmer owned cooperative in 2003 working in export sales advancing to lead the department as the Vice President of International Rice Sales. Most recently he served as Chief of Staff and Vice President of Government Affairs. He began his career in the rice industry in 1995 with Louis Dreyfus in McGehee, Arkansas. Prior to joining Riceland, he worked for the USA Rice Federation in Washington, D.C.

Originally from Hamburg, McGilton is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Monticello, and he serves as an executive council member of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, a director of the National Oilseed Processors Association and he serves on the Government Affairs Committee for the USA Rice Federation. He served as the past vice chairman of the Arkansas Rice Federation and past chairman of the Stuttgart Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife Kelly live in the New Home community near Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

Riceland Foods is the largest miller and marketer of rice serving 5,500 farmer members in Arkansas and Missouri. As a farmer owned cooperative, Riceland stores, transports, processes and markets more than 2.5 million metric tons of grain each year, and its products are sold across the United States and in 25 countries. It’s also one of the Mid-South's major soybean processors. Riceland products include white, brown and parboiled rice, rice bran oil, soybean meal and oil and feed ingredients.


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Kristi Casey
Rock Dental Brands

Kristi Casey, CEO of Rock Dental Brands, oversees 850 employees and 109 dental clinics in five states. Since 2019, she’s expanded the company into three additional states, nearly tripling revenue while maintaining high patient satisfaction. Previously, Casey spent 17 years at Verizon, holding executive positions including president of the South-Central Region. She’s known for operational excellence and growth strategies. Rock Dental Brands offers centralized management for clinics, focusing on patient care under brands like Westrock Orthodontics and Leap Kids Dental. Based in Little Rock, Arkansas, the company serves over 175,000 patients annually.

Casey, a North Little Rock native, holds a bachelor’s in biology from Hendrix College and is a mother of twin boys. She resides in downtown Little Rock’s historic Quapaw Quarter, balancing her professional success with family life.

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Lenore Trammell
Chief Administrative Officer
Chief Compliance Officer
General Counsel
Big River Steel

Lenore Trammell joined Big River Steel in 2014, as Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel. In 2019, while maintaining her other roles, she was elevated to Chief Administrative Officer. Lenore also serves on Big River Steel’s Executive Committee and is the executive sponsor for the employee resource group, NextGen.

Lenore’s career in metals began in sales and pricing at Rouge Steel. After serving in the pricing and sales area, Lenore was appointed assistant general counsel. As the company became Severstal Dearborn, Lenore was accountable for legal matters affecting the organization and its other North American affiliates. Her responsibilities included serving as a trusted advisor for legal matters having a direct impact on the course of business, including the management of day-to-day corporate expansion and supervision of outside counsel. Lenore also managed contract drafts, negotiation and implementation of a $1.3 billion capital expenditure program, including a $100 million capital equipment purchase contract, and saved the company more than $5 million by negotiating business solutions for potential liability claims. She was also named director of MRO procurement, managing a team that supported operations in excess of $100 million in MRO spend annually.

Lenore has built her reputation on negotiating and drafting multimillion-dollar contracts, working on complex commercial transactions, and formulating processes to ensure compliance.

In addition to her position at Big River Steel, Lenore is also the President of the Greater Memphis Chapter of the International Association of Women and is a member of the Great River Economic Board. She has also been named to the Arkansas Business 250 for the last several years, Talk Business & Politics Women in Business 2022 list and to the 2023 100 Most Impactful Women in Arkansas.

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U.S. Congressman French Hill
Arkansas Second Congressional District

A ninth-generation Arkansan, Congressman French Hill has represented Arkansas’s Second Congressional District since January 2015. He serves as the Vice Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and as Chairman of the new subcommittee tasked with overseeing all areas related to digital assets and financial technology. Additionally, he is a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He was also elected to the Republican Steering Committee for the 118th Congress, which determines committee assignments for Republican members of Congress.

Prior to his congressional service, Congressman Hill was founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Delta Trust & Banking Corporation. From 1989 to 1991, he also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Corporate Finance, where one of his key assignments was representing the U.S. as a negotiator in the historic bilateral talks with Japan known as the Structural Impediments Initiative (SII).

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Rep. Hill led the design of U.S. technical assistance to the emerging economies of eastern and central Europe in the areas of banking and securities. In 1991, at the age of 34, President Bush appointed Rep. Hill to be Executive Secretary to the President’s Economic Policy Council (EPC), where he coordinated all White House economic policy. For his leadership and service at the Treasury and the White House, Rep. Hill was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Nicholas Brady in January 1993. Prior to his Executive Branch Service, from 1982 until 1984, Rep. Hill served on the staff of then-U.S. Senator John Tower (R-TX), as well as on the staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs.

Throughout his career, Rep. Hill has been active in civic affairs. He is a past president of the Rotary Club of Little Rock and served as the 2013 chairman of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce. He has received numerous awards and recognition for his long-time support of the Boy Scouts of America, the arts and humanities, tourism, and historic preservation in Arkansas. He is an avid outdoorsman.

Rep. Hill is a magna cum laude graduate in Economics from Vanderbilt University. He and his wife, Martha, have a daughter and a son. The Hill family resides in Little Rock.

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Etay Maor
Senior Director of Security Strategy
Cato Networks

Etay Maor is the Senior Director of Security Strategy at Cato Networks and an industry recognized cyber security researcher and keynote speaker.

Previously, Etay was the Chief Security Officer for IntSights where he led strategic cybersecurity research and security services. Before that Etay held numerous leadership and research positions as an Executive Security Advisor at IBM where he created and led breach response training and security research and as Head of RSA Security’s Cyber Threats Research Labs where he managed malware research and intelligence teams and was part of cutting-edge security research and operations.

Etay is an adjunct professor at Boston College and holds a BA in Computer Science and an MA in Counter Terrorism and Cyber Terrorism. Etay is a frequent featured speaker at major industry conferences and is part of RSA Conference and QuBits conference committees. He is often tapped by major news outlets for his astute commentary on and insights into the cybersecurity news of the day.

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Susannah Marshall
Arkansas State Bank Department

Susannah Marshall was appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson to be the 22nd Commissioner of the Arkansas State Bank Department. Ms. Marshall’s appointment began October 1, 2020. On June 30, 2023, Governor Sanders reappointed Ms. Marshall to a four-year term as Bank Commissioner. On August 11, 2023, Governor Sanders appointed Ms. Marshall to additionally serve as Arkansas Securities Commissioner. Ms. Marshall will serve as the 19th Arkansas Securities Commissioner.

Ms. Marshall has served the department since 1995. She began her Bank Department career as a Commercial Bank Examiner in 1995, and in 2003 was promoted to Financial Analyst. In 2005, Ms. Marshall was promoted to Financial Analyst Supervisor, a position she held until her appointment as Deputy Bank Commissioner in 2007. Ms. Marshall served as Deputy Bank Commissioner for 13 years until her appointment to Bank Commissioner in 2020.

As Bank Commissioner, Ms. Marshall is responsible for the regulation, supervision and examination of Arkansas state-chartered banks, bank holding companies, a trust company and Arkansas Capital Corporation. As of June 30, 2023, the agency supervised 73 state-chartered commercial banks with total assets over $155 billion.

As Securities Commissioner, Ms. Marshall is responsible for oversight of the securities industry, non-depository mortgage lending industry, money services industry, state-chartered credit union industry, and state-chartered savings and loan industry in Arkansas. The Securities Commissioner manages agency operations to ensure the Department carries out its core mission of protecting the well-being of Arkansas citizens through effective investor education and the administration and enforcement of the various statutory Acts under its jurisdiction.

Commissioner Marshall is a trustee on the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Teachers Retirement System, a member of the State Board of Finance and a member of the Arkansas Financial Education Commission. Ms. Marshall also serves on the Board of Directors for the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and on various committees within the organization, including Chairman of the Education Foundation Board of Trustees.

On April 1, 2023, Ms. Marshall was re-appointed by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors to serve on the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s State Liaison Committee. The two-year appointment will run through March 31, 2025.

In 2011, Ms. Marshall was recognized by Arkansas Business as one of the 40 under 40 Honorees and earlier this year was named as one of the 100 Women of Impact in 2023 by the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas and Soiree magazine.

Ms. Marshall earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, Arkansas in 1994 and is a 2002 graduate of the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking, Dallas, Texas. During her tenure with the Bank Department, Ms. Marshall obtained the designations of Commissioned Senior Examiner and Certified Examination Manager.

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Kathleen Navin
Senior Business Economist
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Kathleen Navin is a Senior Business Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in the division of Supervision. Kathleen’s responsibilities pertain to analyzing and presenting on economic and banking conditions in the United States and regionally.

Prior to joining the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Navin held the position of Economics Executive Director in US Economics at S&P Global Market Intelligence, joining the firm through the acquisition of Macroeconomic Advisers. In this role, she produced analysis on economic data and forecasts related to the US economic outlook and developed alternative macroeconomic scenarios for use in bank stress testing. She was previously a Research Associate at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in the division of Macroeconomics and Monetary Policy. Navin graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics in 2007 from the University of Missouri, where she went on to earn a Master of Arts degree in Economics in 2008.

Navin is an active member of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE), currently serving a three-year term as a Director on the Board of Directors. She became a member of NABE’s inaugural class of Certified Business Economists in 2015.