Coleman Movers & Shakers – Reece Sanford, Piper Douglas, Cesar Jimenez, Jeff Smith, and Michael Hardtke

March 9, 2023

Delaney Sexton
Contributing Editor

Coleman Movers & Shakers – Reece Sanford, Piper Douglas, Cesar Jimenez, Jeff Smith, and Michael Hardtke

River City Bank Launches New SBA Division Led by Reece Sanford and Piper Douglas

Jamie Tallent, President and CEO of River City Bank shares, “Reece and Piper are highly skilled financial leaders with a broad range of experience in SBA lending and underwriting. Their proven performance and experience with government-guaranteed lending will be instrumental as we develop and grow River City Bank’s SBA program. This is an exciting time for our bank as this will give us the opportunity to serve even more small businesses in our local communities.”

Reece’s 16-year career comprises extensive experience in credit analysis and all facets of SBA lending and SBA management. He received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Georgia and completed his Master of Business Administration at Kennesaw State University. Reece is a lifetime resident of Ellijay, Georgia, and continues to give back to his hometown through his professional and civic activities. He currently serves as the Chairman of the City of Ellijay Downtown Development Authority, is a Trustee for the City of Ellijay, and serves as Secretary for the Gilmer County Library Board.

Piper Douglas brings 28 years of banking experience to River City and the SBA team. She has held positions in commercial lending, SBA lending and underwriting, credit analysis, credit review, and portfolio management. She has extensive SBA knowledge including credit underwriting, construction lending, loan servicing, and liquidation. During her tenure with SBA lending, Piper found that “access to capital is critical to starting and sustaining a successful small business. She is “thrilled to hit the ground running with the intent to provide much needed support to small businesses in the communities we serve.” Piper received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Cleary University.

As director of River City Bank’s SBA Division, Reece Sanford states, “This year is going to be a busy one. I’m very excited about this new adventure. I look forward to working with small business owners, and helping them meet their financial goals.”

BayFirst National Bank Hires Cesar Jimenez and Jeff Smith VP, SBA Lending Officer

“Both Cesar and Jeff have extensive experience overseeing all facets of SBA loans and originating considerable loan volume, which will benefit not only the BayFirst team but also the business customers we support,” says BayFirst SVP, Director of SBA Loan Originations Chris Hackney. “We are fortunate to bring on two experts with more than 40 years’ experience combined, who have proven themselves at a notable and nationally ranked SBA lender.”

Jimenez brings 23 years of commercial lending experience having specialized in both SBA 7(a) and 504 loans. Prior to joining BayFirst, he held the role of vice president, business development officer at GBank where he brought $23 million into the SBA loan pipeline in a six-month timeframe. Jimenez’s previous roles include vice president, SBA lending at First Business Bank, senior business development officer at Evolve Bank and Trust, and vice president, business development officer, south region at Northeast Bank.

Smith, who also served as vice president, business development officer at GBank, brings more than 20 years of commercial and SBA lending experience. Smith has served as vice president, SBA lending at First Business Bank. Prior to that, he held the title of vice president, business development officer at both Radius Bank and Ameris Bank.

“As one of the nation’s top small business lenders, I am confident that with the addition of Cesar and Jeff our nationwide SBA team is well positioned to continue its ascension,” adds Tom Zernick, President of BayFirst. “Cesar and Jeff are proven lenders with the knowledge required to drive results and greatly increase our overall impact.”

Centier Bank Promotes Michael Hardtke to Small Business Banker

“I aim to pair my knowledge of financial accounting and experience to assist my clients in securing capital they need to succeed and expand,” Hardtke says. “I am committed to guiding my clients through their lending journeys and aim to serve as a true partner to them.”

Hardtke joined Centier in 2022 after serving in roles at other financial institutions. He currently specializes in SBA, Commercial Real Estate, and Commercial and Industrial Lending. Hardtke graduated from Valparaiso University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in accounting. He serves as an ambassador on the Greater Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce, and resides in Valparaiso with his wife, Kassie.