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The pending merger of Atlanta’s State Bank Financial Corporation and Houston-based Cadence Bancorp will result in a $17 billion asset bank based in Atlanta that will operate as Cadence Bank, NA.


 Moderated by State Bank’s Strategic Committee Chair, Virginia Hepner, Joe Evans, Chairman of State Bank and Sam Tortorici, CEO of Cadence Bank will talk about the histories of their respective companies, how the deal came about, and why they believe it will be good for Atlanta. 

December 10, 2018 |  12:15-1:30PM

Loudermilk Conference Center

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Sam Tortorici

CEO, Cadence Bank

Sam Tortorici is the Chief Executive Officer and Director of Cadence Bank, N.A. and serves as President of Cadence Bancorporation. Tortorici has served in this role since July 2011 and has overseen three successful acquisitions along with raising $300 million of debt capital to support the bank’s growth. In his role as CEO, he oversees Cadence’s business lines and support functions.

Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Tortorici graduated from the University of Alabama’s School of Accountancy. Upon graduation, he began a 24-year career at Regions Bank and predecessor AmSouth Bank where he held a number of senior commercial, finance and general banking leadership roles, including Chief Financial Officer of AmSouth. Immediately before joining Cadence, he led Regions' Commercial & Industrial business comprised of more than 500 banking professionals across 16 states, and with annual revenue exceeding $1 billion.

While at Regions/AmSouth, Tortorici held other key positions of leadership for sales and service across a variety of business units, including Central Region President, overseeing the Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina markets, Alabama Regional President, North Central Alabama Area Executive, Corporate Banking Executive and Chief Financial Officer. He also led a failed bank acquisition by Regions in the Atlanta market and helped to sizably grow Regions presence in Metro Atlanta.

Tortorici is actively involved in his community. He is the Immediate Past Board Chairman of the United Way of Central Alabama, and he led a successful $37.2 million United Way campaign for Central Alabama in 2008. He continues to actively serve his alma mater, and is on the Executive Committee of the University of Alabama President’s Cabinet. He also serves on the American Bankers Council, the Bold Goals Leadership Coalition, Rotary Club of Birmingham, and as a Ruling Elder of Covenant Presbyterian Church.  Tortorici resides in Birmingham with his wife and three children, and is relocating to Atlanta in late 2018 in conjunction with Cadence Bank’s merger with State Bank and Trust Company.

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Joe Evans

Chairman, State Bank Financial Corporation

Joseph W. Evans is the Chairman and former Chief Executive Officer of State Bank Financial Corporation, which he co-founded in 2009 and is now a $5.0 billion-asset bank holding company for its flagship, State Bank & Trust Company. Today, State Bank & Trust, where Mr. Evans also serves as Chairman, operates 31 full-service banking centers throughout Georgia.


Prior to founding State Bank, Mr. Evans was Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Flag Financial Corporation from 2002 until its acquisition by RBC Centura Bank in 2006. He previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Bank Corporation of Georgia from 1984 until it was acquired in 1997 by Century South Banks, Inc., and later as President and CEO of Century South Banks, Inc., until it was acquired in 2001 by BB&T. 


Mr. Evans is actively involved in the Atlanta and Georgia business communities, where he serves on the boards of directors of Southern Trust Insurance Company and the Metro Atlanta Chamber. He is Vice President of the Buckhead Coalition and a trustee of the Foundation of the Methodist Home of the South Georgia Conference, Inc., where he chairs its Investment Committee. He also is a member of Rotary Club of Atlanta and of the Board of Councilors of The Carter Center.


Additionally, Mr. Evans, who holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial management from Georgia Tech, serves on the Board of Trustees of the Georgia Tech Foundation as Vice Chairman/Chair-elect, and the advisory board of Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech, where he previously was chairman. He also is a former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association.


A native of Smarr, Georgia, Mr. Evans is married to Raena Weaver Evans and has two adult daughters and eight grandchildren.

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Virginia Hepner

Board of Directors,

State Bank & Trust Company

Virginia Hepner is active in various corporate and community activities, following five years as the President and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta, GA. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Oxford Industries, Inc., National Vision Holdings, Inc., State Bank &Trust Company and State Bank Financial

Corporation, and is a partner in real estate investments.


In 2005 she retired from Wachovia Bank as an EVP after a 25-year career in corporate finance with the firm. Subsequently, in the non-profit sector she served in Interim Director roles for Atlanta Ballet, Brand Atlanta and Young Audiences. She currently serves on the board of the Penn Institute for Urban Research, the
Westside Future Fund board and real estate committee, the Community
Foundation for Greater Atlanta GoAtl Investment Committee, and the Agnes Scott College Board of Visitors. She was recently elected as a life trustee of the Woodruff Arts Center.


Past honors include the City of Atlanta Phoenix Award, the Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Award honoring exemplary corporate board service by a female director,
the Governor’s Award for arts leadership in Georgia, the Joan P. Garner Luminary Award by ArtsAtl, Lexus Leader of the Arts, YWCA Women of Achievement, and the Outstanding Partner Award from The Home Depot.


Virginia is a member of Rotary International and the International Women’s Forum. She holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and attended the J.L. Kellogg Graduate Business School of Management at Northwestern University.

Event Location

Loudermilk Conference Center

40 Courtland Street

Atlanta, GA 30303

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