Pinnacle Continues to Attract Talent in the Triangle

Pinnacle Continues to Attract Talent in the Triangle

December 17, 2020

Over the course of the fourth quarter, Pinnacle attracted five experienced financial professionals from Wells Fargo Bank in Raleigh with an average of 24 years’ experience. Jim Foster joined in early October as area manager for the client advisory group, which serves business and commercial clients, followed by three financial advisors, Gary Blum, Maggie Melton and Shane Smith.

Melton and Blum are based at the firm’s main office on Glenwood Avenue, while Smith works in the Durham office. Bob Jones joined the growing team of credit advisors at Glenwood Avenue. Foster and his team work closely with Pinnacle area manager and city president Greg Winkler as he oversees the broader team there.

“Everyone in this group brings experience, expertise and a heart to serve, which is exactly why they are joining our team,” said Mark Carlton, Pinnacle’s regional president for eastern North Carolina. “Pinnacle is a magnet for talented bankers who want the autonomy to make decisions free of the typical bank bureaucracy. Our culture and decentralized organization give them the room to do what they do best: advise and serve their clients. It’s why we rank so highly among the nation’s top workplaces and why 95 percent of our clients say we’re recognizably better than the competition.”

Foster brings 30 years of financial services experience to his role, most recently as business banking manager/commercial bank leader for Raleigh-Durham Chapel Hill at Wells Fargo. He has served clients throughout North Carolina during his career and brings a passion and track record for civic involvement and philanthropy to his work. Foster has served on numerous community college boards and advocates for the educational and work force development opportunities they provide. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and criminal justice from Appalachian State University.

Blum has 46 years of financial services experience, most recently as senior relationship manager at Wells Fargo in Raleigh. Prior to his 22-year tenure with Wells, he worked for Seacoast Bank in Stuart, FL for 24 years. His career includes work in consumer lending, credit cards, branch management, small business and commercial banking. Blum earned a bachelor’s degree from University of South Florida in Tampa. He has served as chairman of the board for DHIC and the Raleigh City Museum locally and served on the boards of several nonprofits in Florida.

Melton has 13 years of financial services experience, most recently as principal business relationship manager at Wells Fargo in Raleigh. She spent the first four years of her tenure at Wells in Charlotte. Melton earned two bachelor’s degrees – one in management and society and the other in exercise and sports science – at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is an active board member for the American Red Cross of Eastern North Carolina and The Hope Center at Pullen.

Smith brings 10 years of experience in financial services, most recently as principal business relationship manager at Wells Fargo primarily serving the Durham and Chapel Hill markets. His tenure at Wells Fargo began in private banking, shifting to business banking in 2015. Smith served a large book of clients and put a focus on mentoring colleagues and partners. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Smith is also actively involved in the community, serving as a longtime HOPE Ambassador for the Ronald McDonald House of Durham and Wake.

Jones brings 22 years of experience in financial services, most recently as a credit analyst with the commercial and industrial segment at Wells Fargo. Other roles at Wells included risk advisor and credit products manager. He also worked at Branch Banking & Trust Company, where he was an analyst for business, credit and corporate accounts. Jones earned a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology from East Carolina University in Greenville.

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 in 2020.

Pinnacle entered the North Carolina market in 2017 when it acquired BNC Bancorp, known locally as Bank of North Carolina. Pinnacle continues BNC’s practice of offering community bank service with the resources and sophistication of a larger firm.

The firm began operations in a single location in downtown Nashville, TN in October 2000 and has since grown to approximately $33.8 billion in assets as of Sept. 30, 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