ABA: Seattle Banker Elected as New ABA Chair

Today the American Bankers Association elected Laura Lee “Laurie” Stewart as its chair for the 2019-2020 association year. The election took place during ABA’s annual convention in Seattle. Stewart is also president and CEO of Sound Financial Bancorp, Inc., and Sound Community Bank, a $717 million institution based in Seattle. Sound Community Bank is recognized as one of the top performing community banks in the country and is frequently honored for its commitment to philanthropy.

“Banks and the services they provide are the lifeblood of both their communities and the broader economy,” said Stewart. “I’m honored for the opportunity to represent and advocate for banks of all sizes across the country and their two million dedicated employees.”

“Laurie is a tremendous leader whose philanthropy and depth of industry knowledge has been an inspiration to bankers across the country,” said Rob Nichols, ABA president and CEO. “Her range of experience and commitment to all facets of our industry has been a great asset to ABA’s board, and will serve her well in this new and critical role.”

Active in the industry, Stewart was one of 14 bankers selected to serve on the inaugural FDIC Advisory Committee on Community Banking. Subsequently she was appointed to the inaugural CFPB Community Bankers Advisory Council. She is active in trade associations, serving two terms as chair of the Washington Bankers Association as well as chairing the ABA Government Relations Council. In 2017, she was one of nine community bankers invited to the White House for a listening session with the president. Stewart is a director of the Seattle branch of Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. She also serves as chair of the National Arthritis Foundation headquartered in Atlanta, and Seattle Business Magazine honored her as one of its Executives of Excellence in 2018.

Stewart was recognized in the American Banker’s Most Powerful Women in Banking’s women-to-watch category four times, and was named one of the Most Powerful Women in Banking by the publication this year. She was also named American Banker’s Community Banker of the Year in December 2018. In 2016, she earned the prestigious Woman of Influence award from the Puget Sound Business Journal. She is a frequent speaker and teacher who loves to sew baby quilts for every new parent and grandparent at the bank. Stewart’s community engagement includes serving as past chair of the Woodland Park Zoo, volunteering as a court appointed special advocate, and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money for cancer research. Sound Community Bank has also helped to preserve the wild orca population through its platinum support of the Orca Conservancy.

Click here to see ABA’s video profile of Stewart shared at the convention.

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