Published 6:00 am Friday, November 19, 2021
Jay A. Stafford now serves the Virginia Association of Community Banks as chair-elect. Stafford is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Benchmark Community Bank in Kenbridge, VA. His election took place during the association’s recent 44th annual convention.
Steve Yeakel, VACB President & CEO said, “Jay and his team are great bankers who have done much to steady the foundations of the communities, families, and small businesses they serve throughout the pandemic. His engaged leadership and his ‘can-do’ perspective bring great value to our board and to our member bankers across the commonwealth.”
Said Stafford, “As chair-elect for 2022, I look forward to working with my fellow board members and increasing my involvement with the VACB, to help strengthen the association and its value to our membership.”
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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 chairman of the board at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill, Va. 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.