Make us your home page

SunTrust's bank chiefs: New area CEO says Tampa Bay's a 'great secret' in need of advertising

CEO of SunTrust of Tampa Bay Dan Mahurin, left, and new CEO for SunTrust Tampa Bay Allen Brinkman, here at the Tampa office, share background and commitment.


CEO of SunTrust of Tampa Bay Dan Mahurin, left, and new CEO for SunTrust Tampa Bay Allen Brinkman, here at the Tampa office, share background and commitment.

If Hollywood ever makes a buddy banker (rather than buddy cop) movie, Dan Mahurin and Allen Brinkman would be naturals for the leading roles.

After 12 years running SunTrust Bank in Tampa Bay, Mahurin is stepping into bigger shoes in his role as president and CEO overseeing three SunTrust banks in Florida.

Mahurin, 61, helped select Brinkman, 42, to replace him in Tampa because the two are on the same wavelength when it comes to customer and community service. So much so that in a recent sit-down with the two bankers on the 20th floor of the SunTrust Financial Centre in downtown Tampa, they both admitted it felt like they'd been working together for years, not four weeks.

They're both big on cultivating a depth of customer loyalty that SunTrust historically is known for more than most other banks. They both walk the walk of getting involved in economic development and leadership positions within their community. They both acknowledge modest but distinct signs of an improving economy. And they both — yes, bankers can have hearty laughs — enjoy a good sense of humor.

Though Mahurin's new office is technically in Orlando, he will stay involved with the Tampa Bay Partnership and its One Bay Initiative, which is forging a broad-based vision of what the Tampa Bay region could become in the future. And Brinkman? He's living in an apartment with his wife and four young sons while looking for a house to buy.

SunTrust Bank, Tampa Bay, has about $7.5 billion in deposits, 115 locations, about 1,000 employees and a 13 percent market share over six area counties. Parent company SunTrust Banks Inc. is based in Atlanta with $175 billion in assets.

Here are some highlights of the interview with the two SunTrust executives.

Allen, how did you get into banking in the first place?

Brinkman: I blame my wife (we were high school sweethearts). After graduating from Columbus State University in Georgia, I was working for the Hilton Hotel chain in California learning about customer service. But she was back in Georgia, so I came back to Columbus and got a job in banking. Most of my banking career has been at fast-growing First Union, which became Wachovia, which in turn was bought by Wells Fargo.

Mahurin (to Brinkman): Didn't you tell him where you really started?

Brinkman: That's right! Twenty years or so ago I was a teller at Trust Co. of Georgia. (Reporter's note: Trust Co. of Georgia merged with SunBanks to form what is now SunTrust.)

So you've come full circle, back to the bank where it all began.

Brinkman: I have.

Mahurin: Interestingly, Allen started at Trust Co. as a teller. My third promotion at SunTrust was to a teller.

I tried working as a bank teller. It's not easy. So you must both have empathy for your bank's own tellers?

Mahurin: That is important. And they do respect the fact that the bosses have been there.

Brinkman: Tellers are often the only representatives of the bank that 85 percent of our customers see. They are key and they need to be good. It's a hard job.

So, Allen, you must have competed aggressively at Wachovia in Orlando against SunTrust, which has a big presence there?

Brinkman: I was intrigued when Dan asked me to come interview. I wanted to find out why it was so hard to dislodge customers of SunTrust. Why were they so loyal? I figured if I could not beat them, why not join them?

Allen, you mention your father was a lieutenant colonel in the Army and you were raised in a military family. Any early dreams of following your father's career?

Brinkman: In the early years I thought I would go into the military. I remember as a sophomore or junior in high school, asking my dad what I should do to prepare for the military. He said I had a more creative personality and thought the military might box me in. That advice was kind of a turning point in my life.

Granted you're only coming over here from Orlando, but what is your take on Tampa Bay so far?

Brinkman: This region is a great secret. One of the reasons I wanted to get involved on the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Council (he sits on the executive committee) is because this "product" needs to be advertised. I think, nationally, Tampa needs more press about what the region has to offer and for companies and more people to come here. This region has much to offer.

SunTrust's bank chiefs: New area CEO says Tampa Bay's a 'great secret' in need of advertising 12/12/10 [Last modified: Monday, December 13, 2010 1:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Last orca calf born in captivity at a SeaWorld park dies


    ORLANDO — The last killer whale born in captivity under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program died Monday at the company's San Antonio, Texas, park, SeaWorld said.

    Thet orca Takara helps guide her newborn, Kyara, to the water's surface at SeaWorld San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas, in April. Kyara was the final killer whale born under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program. The Orlando-based company says 3-month-old Kyara died Monday. [Chris Gotshall/SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment via AP]
  2. Miami woman, 74, admits to voter fraud. Does jail await, or will she go free?

    State Roundup

    MIAMI — An 74-year-old woman pleaded guilty Monday to filling out other people's mail-in ballots while working at Miami-Dade's elections department.

    Gladys Coego
  3. Bigger ships carry Georgia ports to record cargo volumes

    Economic Development

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — Bigger ships arriving through an expanded Panama Canal pushed cargo volumes at Georgia's seaports to record levels in fiscal 2017, the Georgia Ports Authority announced Monday.

    The Port of Savannah moved a record 3.85 million container units in fiscal 2017, the state said, benefiting from the larger ships that can now pass through an expanded Panama Canal.
  4. Dragon ride in Harry Potter section of Universal closing for new themed ride


    Universal Orlando announced Monday that it will close Dragon Challenge for a new "highly themed" Harry Potter ride to open in 2019 — sending wizard fans into a guessing game with hopes for a Floo Powder Network or the maze from the Triwizard Tournament.

    Universal Orlando announced Monday that it will close Dragon Challenge on Sept. 5 for a new "highly themed" Harry Potter ride to open in 2019. The ride, originally the Dueling Dragons roller coaster, was renamed and incorporated into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter when the hugely popular area opened in 2010.
  5. Would you let your company implant a chip in you?

    Working Life

    Would you ask an employee to get a chip implanted in her hand? Sounds invasive and intrusive. But come Aug. 1, one company in Wisconsin will be giving it a try.

    Three Square Market - a developer of software used in vending machines - is offering all of its employees the option to get a microchip implanted between the thumb and forefinger. [Photo from video]