Pinnacle Financial Partners Recruits High-Performing Team for Expansion Into North Florida

Former Truist Regional President Scott Keith leads the team from Jacksonville

Pinnacle Financial Partners has entered the North Florida region with the addition of five veteran financial services professionals to build the firm’s presence from their homebase in Jacksonville. Scott Keith will serve as Pinnacle’s regional president for North Florida, with Debbie Buckland and Bryan Taylor by his side as area managers. Financial Advisor Vaughn Winmond and Credit Analyst Fatima Bowen round out the initial team, which is expected to grow rapidly as more associates come on board to offer a full suite of financial services for business and personal needs.

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(Photo: Business Wire)

(Photo: Business Wire)

“This is a dream team of financial professionals with deep local roots who will build Pinnacle as a new bank offering something brand new to the market,” said M. Terry Turner, Pinnacle’s president, CEO and co-founder. “Our model of an unbeatable workplace culture and unmatched client service has proven successful across the Southeast. That’s the kind of bank Jacksonville and North Florida deserve. The area is very similar in makeup and growth to many of the other communities we serve, and it’s dominated by the same megabanks who are vulnerable to a challenger brand like ours. It’s a perfect recipe for doing what we do best.”

Keith comes to Pinnacle with more than 34 years of local experience in financial services. He was most recently the regional president of North Florida for Truist, where he helped build a leadership team in the wake of the SunTrust-BB&T merger and led 1,100 associates serving more than 100,000 clients. He is a board member and treasurer for the North Florida Land Trust and a past chair and trustee of Gator Bowl Sports and JAXUSA Partnership. He retired from banking in 2021 but decided to re-enter the workforce for the opportunity to build a new bank in his hometown.

“This feels like the culmination of my career to this point,” Keith said. “Jacksonville is where I started and where I fell in love with local banking. We need a financial institution focused exclusively on service and advice and with a commitment to doing so consistently. That’s what Pinnacle is famous for throughout the Southeast. To be one of the teammates who can bring that to North Florida, with an entrepreneurial spirit at a founder-led firm, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Buckland and Taylor were both part of Keith’s leadership team at Truist, and the three are now working together to build Pinnacle in the region.

Buckland has a 27-year banking history in Jacksonville and joins Pinnacle as a leader for commercial banking. She retired from Truist as market president but has continued serving the community in that time. She is currently the chair of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, a board member of Baptist Beaches, trustee of WJCT Public Media and past chair of the JAX Chamber.

Taylor spent 21 years with BB&T/Truist, serving in various roles in Kentucky, Atlanta and then Jacksonville. For the last four years, he’s led North Florida teams that serve middle market, government and not-for-profit, and commercial real estate clients and joins Pinnacle to lead middle market and government and not-for-profit in the region. He serves on the boards for Jacksonville Speech and Hearing, Leadership Jacksonville and The Players Council.

“The chance to once again work with highly respected professionals like Scott and Debbie is exciting by itself,” Taylor said. “Coupled with Pinnacle’s intense focus on the client and associate experience, it’s a dream scenario.”

Together, they are recruiting a team of experience financial professionals to join them. This includes bankers, treasury consultants, wealth advisors, mortgage brokers and support staff so they can deploy the full suite of Pinnacle solutions to meet the needs of businesses and individuals in North Florida.

“We’ve already heard excitement around the community about Pinnacle and the chance to build a new bank for our region,” Buckland said. “Pinnacle’s reputation as a great place to work and do business preceded our entry into North Florida. Everyone’s heard stories of what it’s like to work here and seen the awards for our workplace culture, and our phones are ringing with people who want to join the team.”

Winmond is Pinnacle’s first financial advisor in North Florida, serving middle market and commercial clients with lending, deposits, cash management and more. He comes with 15 years of experience, 10 of those at SunTrust/Truist, where he most recently served as a commercial relationship manager.

Bowen joins as a credit analyst, working side-by-side with Winmond and the rest of the team to bring Pinnacle’s credit culture to bear in service of clients’ needs. She also has 15 years of financial services experience, much of it at Truist where she most recently served as a commercial lending portfolio manager.

The team are working to secure space near downtown Jacksonville for both a full-service retail office and banker, support and administrative offices. Both would open later in 2024.

Pinnacle has a proven track record as a powerful recruiter of top banking talent, which has powered its organic growth and de novo expansions throughout its history. The firm’s work environment and internal culture have earned dozens of national, regional and local awards, including these 2023 honors:

This is the latest market expansion for Pinnacle after very successful de novo starts in Atlanta, GA (2020); Washington, D.C. and the National Capital Region (2021); and Huntsville and Birmingham, AL (2021). Since entering those markets, the firm has amassed more than $2.2 billion in deposits and $2.5 billion in loans in those combined MSAs, as of Dec. 31, 2023.

  • Atlanta: $642.6 million in deposits, $1.4 billion in loans
  • Washington, D.C. and the National Capital Region: $914.5 million in deposits, $388.4 million in loans
  • Birmingham: $299.2 million in deposits, $628.2 million in loans
  • Huntsville: $319.0 million in deposits, $69.5 in loans

“We expect similar success here as we continue to seize a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a new kind of regional community bank throughout the Southeast,” Turner said. “The chance to bring one of America’s best banks to the nation’s second fastest growing state is almost unprecedented. The North Florida region is incredibly deposit-rich, with nearly $100 billion available according to the latest FDIC data. We intend to repeat our successful model of hiring the best bankers, bringing over their clients and taking significant market share from the much bigger institutions that can’t match our level of personalized service. We’re here to win.”

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. The firm is the No. 1 and fastest growing bank in the Nashville-Murfreesboro-Franklin MSA, according to 2023 deposit data from the FDIC, is listed by Forbes as No. 27 among America’s Best Banks, higher than any other bank headquartered in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina or Georgia. Pinnacle also earned a spot on the 2023 list of 100 Best Companies to Work For® in the U.S., its seventh consecutive appearance and was recognized by American Banker as one of America’s Best Banks to Work For 11 years in a row and No. 1 among banks with more than $10 billion in assets in 2023.

Pinnacle began operations in a single location in downtown Nashville, TN, in October 2000 and has since grown to approximately $47.5 billion in assets as of Sept. 30, 2023. As the second-largest bank holding company headquartered in Tennessee, the firm operates in 17 primarily urban markets across the Southeast.

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


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