Stafford elected chair of VACB
Published 6:00 am Saturday, November 14, 2020
Jay A. Stafford has been elected vice chair of the Virginia Association of Community Banks (VACB).
Stafford is the president and chief executive officer of Benchmark Community Bank in Kenbridge. His election took place virtually, last week, during the association’s 43rd annual convention.
“Jay is the solid leader of a quality team in a bank of considerable size for a more rural part of Virginia,” Steve Yeakel, VACB president and CEO said. “The perspective he brings and his willingness and ability to engage on a wide variety of issues is most valuable, especially in these challenging times.”
“The Virginia Association of Community Banks has worked tirelessly over many decades with community banks across the commonwealth over many decades to support the hometowns each serves,” Stafford said. “My bank and local communities have been the beneficiary of VACB’s important work, and I look forward to contributing to this fine organization through this leadership position.”
Stafford assumed the helm at Benchmark in May of 2017. A native of Fredericksburg, he joined Benchmark in 1988 as a business development officer, a position in which he served for one year before being named branch manager for the Victoria location. His responsibilities gradually expanded, and he was elected president in 2016.
Stafford’s lifelong career banking goals have been reinforced through his advanced and specialized education achievements. Having received his undergraduate degree from Averett College in 1982, Stafford graduated in 1994 from the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management at the University of Virginia. He completed the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin in 2005 prior to receiving his MBA from the University of Maryland in 2007.
Professionally, Stafford serves as a trustee and fellow of the Virginia Bankers Association School of Bank Management. He has been actively involved in Lunenburg Health Services since 1990 and was Founding President of the Lunenburg County Chamber of Commerce. In addition, he serves as treasurer and chairman of the Finance Committee of VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill. A resident of Lunenburg County since 1988, he is married to the former Suzanne Bledsoe of Blackstone. The Staffords have two grown children, two grandchildren, and a lively black Labrador Retriever. In his free time, Stafford enjoys being in his garden or on the golf course.