DADE CITY — Florida Traditions Bank Chief James "Bud" Stalnaker Jr. has been named Banker of the Year by the Florida Bankers Association.
The award, which annually recognizes an individual who demonstrates the highest level of commitment to the banking industry and service to his or her community, was presented at the association's 126th annual meeting recently in Naples.
Following a video documenting his career, Stalnaker, 59, was ushered forward to accept the award by a standing ovation from his colleagues and peers.
"Bud has been active with the Florida Bankers Association and a dedicated advocate for the banking industry for many years," FBA President and CEO Alex Sanchez said in a news release. "The Banker of the Year award is not given lightly. It is an honor bestowed on deserving bankers who are dedicated and hard-working and Bud is certainly deserving."
Stalnaker entered the banking field in 1977 while on a break from college. He later worked at Flagship Bank and started Community National Bank in Zephyrhills, where he worked for 18 years. That bank was sold and became CenterState Bank. He then took the reins as president at Florida Traditions when it opened in 2007. Recently, the bank was bought by Arkansas-based Centennial Bank in a $43 million deal.