You don’t expect to hear someone rave about their bank. Professional Bank has made a name for itself as a vibrant, proactive, and service-centric enterprise, forgoing the stiff and robotic banking stereotype. Now, Tampa Bay businesses and individuals can experience what others have for more than a decade.
A bank founded by professionals for professionals has a new loan production office in downtown St. Petersburg. With $2.6 billion in assets, Professional Bank is dedicated to serving businesses, entrepreneurs and real estate owners with its concierge-style service and smart technology.
“As entrepreneurs and corporate leaders ourselves, we understand the challenges of running and growing a business,” says Daniel R. Sheehan, Chairman and CEO of Professional Bank and Professional Holding Corp. (NASDAQ:PFHD). “We use our business savvy to help our clients through the different phases of their business growth.”
Professional Bank provides concierge service that emphasizes creativity and speed. The Tampa Bay loan office originates and processes loan applications that receive immediate attention, a hallmark of its nimble operations.
When the Small Business Administration launched the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) last year, Professional Bank rapidly processed nearly 2,300 PPP loans. The Bank leveraged its size to handle the demand, and its employees applied their can-do attitude to assist both new and current clients.
Clients will experience the here-to-help culture firsthand when they meet with longtime local banker Darren Lydting, who has worked in the Tampa Bay market since 2007. As Executive Vice President/Regional Market Executive, he oversees lending to businesses, small and large, as part of the bank’s full-scope community lending.
“We are passionate about Tampa Bay and proud to be a part of the community,” he says. “We are here to help local companies flourish. Over my many years in this industry, I have never seen a bank do business like Professional Bank. I think people are going to be delighted once they see what we are all about.”
Lydting sits on the Pinellas County Economic Development Council and the county’s affordable housing advisory council. His involvement is part of the bank’s commitment to build relationships and be a leader in the community.
Professional Bank serves all communities, he says. The Tampa Bay office offers all types of loans, from business, construction, stabilized and owner-occupied real estate to commercial asset-based, and SBA lending.
“We are relationship-focused and committed to treating all credit applicants equally,” says Sheehan. “Our borrowers have a one-on-one relationship with their loan officer. No matter what size loan you have, every client is assigned a private banker. That is the hallmark of our concierge service.”
Nimbleness, teamwork and commitment to service have driven Professional Bank’s growth. The bank was founded in 2008 in Coral Gables and grew organically over the next decade by adding new locations and top-tier bankers. In 2020, the bank experienced additional growth when it went public through its parent company and acquired a competitor.
Today, the bank serves professionals and their small-to-mid-sized businesses from 11 locations across Florida and a loan production office in New England. In Cleveland, Ohio, a Digital Innovation Center is focused on leveraging technology to continually improve the client experience.
“Our technology is meant to streamline banking and take the friction out of moving money for the benefit of our clients, but always in a way that prioritizes the human relationship,” says EVP/Chief Information Office Ryan Gorney. “We create tech solutions that foster human-to-human interaction, making us different from similarly sized competitors.”
“Clients appreciate that our technology makes their lives easier,” Sheehan says. “They feel reassured knowing that their private banker is there when they need them.”
Along the way, Professional Bank has gained a reputation as a place where employees are happy and are given opportunities for professional growth. For consecutive years, the bank has been named a great place to work by the Sun Sentinel and South Florida Business Journal. Readers of a prominent business and legal publication chose Professional Bank as one of the top three private banks in South Florida. The bank also won a special award for the way it supports its employees to be the best they can be, which was based on direct feedback from workers themselves.
A recent event surrounding the bank’s 13th birthday exemplifies the workplace culture at Professional Bank. Employees competed to see who could come up with the most creative birthday cake, with the winning team taking home cash prizes.
“Our brand is only going to be as strong as the people that stand behind it,” Sheehan says. “A big part of our success is our culture and attracting and retaining top talent. That is the case in Tampa Bay, where we have great bankers.”
Lydting is joined by Mike Ludwig, Melissa Salamanca and Danielle Hanko, all banking professionals with deep roots in the Tampa Bay market. Their office is in the Thrive Building at 136 4th Street North, Suite 222, in St. Petersburg. They can be reached at 727-692-9288.