During First Year in Atlanta, Pinnacle Financial Partners Builds Strong Asset Base, Veteran Team of 26

During First Year in Atlanta, Pinnacle Financial Partners Builds Strong Asset Base, Veteran Team of 26

Atlanta President Rob Garcia: “We capitalized on our potential and built exactly the bank we wanted.”

February 01, 2021

Pinnacle Financial Partners accomplished four significant milestones in its first year in Atlanta:

  • Established and built out its main office at 3333 Riverwood Parkway, with a second location on the horizon
  • Reached $275 million in local loan commitments as of Dec. 31, 2020, including:
    • $111 million outstanding
    • $125 million in unfunded commitments
    • $39 million of PPP lending in Georgia
  • Gathered $112 million in local deposits
  • Hired 22 new associates, including 14 revenue producers, for a total team of 26

Pinnacle entered the Atlanta market in late December 2019 by hiring a team of local financial leaders to start a new bank operation and build a team of the best bankers in the market. Despite the headwinds of a global pandemic, economic downturn and contentious civic and political environment, the startup group built a strong asset base and a team that can offer full suite of financial services.

“When we started Pinnacle in Atlanta a year ago, we knew the potential,” said Rob Garcia, Pinnacle’s Atlanta president. “Our market launch was a once-in-a-generation opportunity to grow a new, locally focused bank that could deliver better service to clients while taking market share from our competitors. Despite all that 2020 threw at us, we have capitalized on that potential and built exactly the bank we wanted. We’re still a work in progress and have a lot more growing to do, but we now have the team and foundation to get us there.”

Financial Success
In Pinnacle’s fourth quarter 2020 earnings announcement, the firm reported $111.1 million in local loans outstanding and $112.7 million in local deposits in Atlanta, as of Dec. 31, 2020. That’s in addition to another $125 million in unfunded commitments and $39 million of Paycheck Protection Program loans in Georgia for a total of $275 million in local lending. 

These milestones were achieved with just a single office in the market. Pinnacle’s Atlanta location grew throughout 2020 from a small temporary space to a permanent retail office and then added 5,800 square feet of office space on the fifth floor. The firm is now engaged in negotiations for a second office, this time in Buckhead.

Building a Team
Pinnacle added 14 Atlanta associates in late 2020 and early 2021, capping a year of incredible growth that saw the firm balloon from its four initial associates one year ago to 26 associates today. The 14 latest additions bring an average of more than 24 years of experience and come from institutions like Wells Fargo, Truist, Synovus, Renasant, Regions and Ameris Bank. All will be based at the firm’s office at 3333 Riverwood Parkway.

Seven of the newest associates include veteran commercial bankers, credit advisors, a treasury management product specialist and front-line support for lending and the retail bank.

  • Jim Snead, senior credit officer coming from Wells Fargo with 46 years of experience
  • Baimba Norman, financial advisor coming from Wells Fargo with 20 years of experience
  • Daniel Coogle, financial advisor coming from Wells Fargo with seven years of experience
  • Andy Gago, credit advisor coming from Truist with 40 years of experience
  • Laura Sadri, credit advisor coming from Wells Fargo with seven years of experience
  • Cheryl Dougherty, treasury management analyst coming from Synovus with 25 years of experience. She joins treasury management advisor Chad Parsons, who came to Pinnacle in April with 26 years of experience
  • Jamie Cantrell, financial advisor assistant coming from Renasant with 26 years of experience
  • Rachel Higgins, financial specialist coming from Regions with 24 years of experience

“This team is going to turbo charge our growth and advance our reputation of offering distinctive service to Atlanta,” Garcia said. “They also bear out Pinnacle’s successful business model of competing against the country’s largest megabanks by recruiting their most talented bankers and best clients.” 

In addition, Pinnacle has hired six experienced SBA financial professionals from Ameris Bank to build a strong team that specializes in government guaranteed lending.

  • Katrina Winberg, SBA area manager with 30 years of experience
  • Tom Koether, financial advisor with 35 years of experience
  • Brian Martin, financial advisor with 34 years of experience
  • Garrett Delk, SBA credit advisor with 15 years of experience
  • Min Hee Yeo, SBA closing advisor with 18 years of experience
  • Lauren Liner, SBA closing advisor with 13 years of experience

“The Small Business Administration has perhaps never been more important to central banking operations than it is right now,” said Paige Collier, senior lending officer. “Pinnacle lent $2.4 billion through the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program in 2020, and on top of that had its best year ever in traditional SBA lending. The SBA’s programs are critical tools in helping businesses grow, and this team has an incredible track record of serving their clients. They will help us build a top-tier SBA program in Atlanta.”

To learn more about all 14 new associates, visit PNFP.com.

Pinnacle Financial Partners provides a full range of banking, investment, trust, mortgage and insurance products and services designed for businesses and their owners and individuals interested in a comprehensive relationship with their financial institution. Pinnacle earned a spot on FORTUNE's 2020 list of 100 Best Companies to Work For® in the U.S., its fourth consecutive appearance. American Banker recognized Pinnacle as one of America’s Best Banks to Work For eight years in a row and No. 1 among banks with more than $10 billion in assets.

Pinnacle expanded to Georgia in 2019 by hiring a team of local financial services professionals to start an office in Atlanta.

The firm began operations in a single location in downtown Nashville, TN in October 2000 and has since grown to approximately $34.9 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2020. As the second-largest bank holding company headquartered in Tennessee, Pinnacle operates in 12 primarily urban markets in Tennessee, the Carolinas, Virginia and Atlanta.  

Additional information concerning Pinnacle, which is included in the Nasdaq Financial-100 Index, can be accessed at www.pnfp.com.


New Pinnacle Associates in Atlanta

Jim Snead, Senior Credit Officer
Snead has been in financial services for more than 40 years, most recently with Wells Fargo in Atlanta where he was senior vice president and loan supervisor for middle market commercial lending in Georgia and South Carolina. He previously held similar roles with Wachovia and First Union in North Carolina and Virginia.

Snead earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Randolph Macon College in Ashland, VA and an MBA from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. His community activities include serving as a past trustee and finance committee chair for Atlanta Girls’ School and a reading volunteer at Agape Youth and Family Center.

Baimba Norman, Financial Advisor
Norman is a 20-year banking veteran from Wells Fargo Bank with a proven track record of building strategic, long-term client relationships. He provided direction and leadership for all aspects of Wells’ middle-market banking team serving the Greater Georgia market. In his most recent role of commercial banking leader, Norman managed a team of relationship managers supporting companies with revenues over $50 million and portfolio total commitments of $750 million.

Norman earned his bachelor’s degree in corporate finance from Morehouse College and his master’s degree, with a focus in leadership and managing in a global economy, from the J. Mack Robinson School of Business at Georgia State University.

Daniel Coogle, Financial Advisor
Coogle most recently spent seven years with Wells Fargo Bank, where he was a relationship manager for the Greater Georgia area working with Wells’ middle-market clients. He managed a portfolio of clients with loan commitments in excess of $300 million in industries like food production, agribusiness, convenience store operations, manufacturing, retail and real estate. Previous experience includes more than five years as a controller for privately held company headquartered in Atlanta.

Coogle earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in finance from the University of Georgia.

Andy Gago, Credit Advisor
Gago, with 40 years of financial services experience, comes to the firm from Truist (formerly BB&T), where he was a portfolio manager in the company’s regional commercial loan area. Previously he was with Silverton Bank (The Bankers Bank), where he managed the bank’s commercial loan underwriting department. 

Gago earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a concentration in international finance and marketing, from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL.

Laura Sadri, Credit Advisor
Sadri comes to Pinnacle from Wells Fargo Bank, where she was a relationship manager with a portfolio of commercial clients with revenues between $50MM and $2B in a wide range of industries. She began her career at Wells as a financial analyst in 2014. In 2018, she was selected from a worldwide candidate pool to be one of the 40 participants in the Wells Fargo credit management training program focused around corporate finance and modeling financial performance after mergers and acquisitions; through times of industry disruption and distress; and during commodity and input increases.

Sadri earned a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in international policy and management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Katrina Winberg, SBA Area Manager
Winberg has 30 years of experience serving clients’ financial needs, having started at the SBA itself and working exclusively as a lender and leader for SBA teams in and around Atlanta. She most recently served as an executive vice president and managing director of government guaranteed lending at Ameris Bank, managing a portfolio of $1.8 billion—with $1 billion of that in Paycheck Protection Program loans made in the spring and summer of 2020.

Winberg earned her bachelor’s degree at Emory University and her master’s degree at Georgia State University. She completed the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University and is a member of the National Society of Hispanic MBA’s.

Tom Koether, Financial Advisor
Koether brings 35 years of experience in financial services in the Atlanta metro area, most recently as SBA and USDA business development officer at Ameris Bank. He began his specialty in SBA lending eight years ago at Embassy National Bank and continued through his tenure at Touchmark National Bank.

Koether earned a bachelor’s degree from Kennesaw State University and graduated from the Louisiana State University Graduate School of Banking.

Brian Martin, Financial Advisor
Martin joins Winberg on the Pinnacle SBA team with 34 years of experience in finance, mostly in commercial lending and business banking. Martin also comes from Ameris Bank, where he was an SBA business development officer. Prior to that he worked at banks such as Regions, Omni National Bank and The Summit National Bank and spent time as a project manager for FDIC receivership at Solomon Edwards Group.

Martin earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Georgia and his master’s degree at the University of Texas. He holds series 7, 6 and 63 licenses.

Garrett Delk, SBA Credit Advisor
Delk is another addition to the SBA group and comes to Pinnacle with 15 years of banking experience. He most recently worked at Ameris Bank as a government guaranteed lending underwriting manager and also spent time at Synovus as a regional credit analyst.

Delk earned his bachelor’s degree at Georgia Southern University and is currently attending the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University.

Min Hee Yeo, SBA Closing Advisor
Yeo, with 18 years of experience, also comes from Ameris Bank, where she was an SBA closing and portfolio manager. Prior to that, Yeo served a similar role at Touchmark National Bank and has worked in various lending, SBA and special assets roles at banks like First Intercontinental, Integrity and Fidelity.

Yeo earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Georgia.

Lauren Liner, SBA Closing Advisor
Rounding out the SBA team is Liner, joining Pinnacle with 13 years of financial services experience. She was most recently the lead SBA loan closer at Ameris Bank and before that worked in SBA closing at Cornerstone Bank.

Liner earned her bachelor’s degree at Georgia Southern University.

Chad Parsons, Treasury Management Advisor
Parsons brings 26 years of financial services experience, most recently as director of government banking at Renasant Bank in Atlanta. Prior roles include government banking and sales management positions at Synovus, Wachovia, SouthTrust, Visa and American Express. 

He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Kennesaw State University and is a Certified Treasury Professional. Parsons community involvement includes coaching youth soccer; serving in children’s program leadership roles for Cornerstone Christian Academy and Perimeter Church; writing content and speaking to business groups on communication and leadership; and teaching college financing at Meadowcreek High School. He has also volunteered for Habitat for Humanity on numerous occasions.

Cheryl Dougherty, Treasury Management Analyst
Dougherty joins Pinnacle in Atlanta from Synovus, bringing 25 years of experience. She spent her entire career at Synovus and its predecessor Bank of North Georgia, working in deposit operations, treasury management, commercial support and most recently as a senior commercial payments product analyst. She joins Chad Parsons on Pinnacle’s treasury management team in Atlanta to meet clients’ needs in payment and cash flow services.

Jamie Cantrell, Financial Advisor Assistant
Cantrell has 26 years of experience, most of it at Bank of North Georgia and then Synovus, where she was a head teller, personal banker and then commercial lending assistant and leader of assistants. She most recently worked at Renasant Bank as a commercial lending assistant.

Cantrell earned her bachelor’s degree from Kennesaw State University.

Rachel Higgins, Financial Specialist
Higgins brings two decades of financial services experience to her role of financial specialist for the Riverwood office. Before joining the firm, she was a senior financial relationship consultant for Regions Bank in Marietta. Other roles have included serving as an assistant branch manager for Fidelity Bank, a service manager and personal banker for Wells Fargo Bank and a personal banker for First Cherokee State Bank in Woodstock.