Benchmark promotes Clark

Published 11:33 am Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Benchmark Community Bank (BCB) recently announced the promotions of six veteran members of its firm to compose the executive and senior management team guiding the bank’s future. According to a bank press release, included among the new team is Jennifer Clark, of Kenbridge.

“In making the announcements, Benchmark President Jay Stafford stated the purpose for the management restructuring is to create a comprehensive senior team representing various aspects of the bank’s operations,” baaank officials said in the release. “Included in the strategy are the areas of Baenchmark’s retail banking, finance and accounting, information technology, credit administration, human resources and business banking,” officials said.

The release cited that Clark, vice president/director of human resources, has been named to the position of senior vice president/director of human resources. According to the release, she joined Benchmark in 1996 as the bank’s first human resources officer where she has facilitated significant employee growth and support.

“A member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Clark has kept abreast of the increasingly complex practice of human resources through continuing education,” officials said in the release. “During her tenure with Benchmark, Clark has spearheaded the implementation of Benchmark’s continually flourishing employee culture focused on relationship building and community support.”

According to the release, Clark holds a master’s degree in history from Florida State University. She has served on and chaired the human resources committee for the Virginia Bankers Association.

The release cited that Prospect resident LeAnne R. Emert, a senior vice president/retail banking, has assumed the role of executive vice president/retail banking.

According to the release, the 28-year banker is responsible for the day-to-day operation of Benchmark’s 12 full-service branches and chairs the bank’s consumer lending committee.

“In her new role, Emert will become more involved in overall bank operations, as well as continue oversight of the bank’s customer relations and financial services programs. Emert graduated from the Southwest Graduate School of Banking in Dallas, Texas, and is

a 1988 Longwood University graduate,” officials said in the release. “Additionally, she currently serves on the Virginia Bankers Association’s Retail Executives Committee.”

The release cited Lee Minix, vice president/senior credit officer, has assumed the position of senior vice president/credit officer.

“Minix is responsible for the overall soundness and quality of the bank’s business loan portfolio and has been affiliated with Benchmark since 2007,” officials said in the release. “His specialty is the identification and rating of individual business loan risk, as well as general oversight of business borrowing relationships.”

According to the release, Minix is a longtime banker having spent almost 10 years as an internal auditor, credit analyst, and city executive prior to his time with Benchmark. The release cited that as a graduate of Virginia Tech, Minix previously served in the Farmville market developing and underwriting business loans.

“Benchmark has experienced steady growth under retiring CEO Mike Walker’s leadership,” President Jay Stafford said in the release. “Mike has delivered to us a dynamic legacy that we want to ensure is perpetuated with strategic movement into the future.

According to the release, Benchmark Community Bank, founded in 1971, is headquartered in Kenbridge.

“E. Neil Burke, senior vice president/chief financial officer, has been named executive vice president/chief financial officer (CFO),” officials said in the release. “Burke joined Benchmark in September 1999 where he has served as CFO since March 2008. He is a member of the business banking committee, as well as treasurer and assistant secretary to the bank and its holding company Benchmark Bankshares, Inc.”

According to the release, Burke’s primary responsibilities include managing the bank’s daily financial and accounting activities, facilitating investments, supervising the bank’s information technology processes and overall risk management. The release cited that Burke completed his MBA at Syracuse University and graduated from Stonier Graduate School of Banking in 2004. “He currently serves on the Virginia Bankers Association’s CFO Committee,” officials said in the release.

According to the release, Mike Arthur, vice president/credit administration, has been promoted to senior vice president/credit administration.

“Affiliated with Benchmark since 2004, Arthur’s primary role is to manage the bank’s loan activities in the areas of consumer underwriting, loan operations, loan compliance and loan portfolio safety and soundness,” officials said in the release. “Arthur is a graduate of Virginia Tech and the Graduate School of Banking in Madison, Wisconsin. Before joining Benchmark, Arthur was a bank examiner with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Presently, he is facilitating refinement of the bank’s credit administration function.”

“Steve Creedle, vice president/senior business banker, has been promoted to the position of senior vice president/business banker,” officials said in the release. “A Benchmark employee since 2003, Creedle has served as a business banker, as well as the South Hill branch manager.” According to the release, as an accomplished commercial lender, his personal loan production portfolio demonstrates his ability to build business relationships and address business customer needs.

“Creedle mentors Benchmark lenders in the areas of underwriting and structuring complex loans and is a member of the bank’s business banking committee,” officials said in the release. “Creedle is a graduate of The College of William and Mary and received his MBA from The University of Phoenix.”

LeAnne R. Emert

Lee Minix