Two BayFirst Team Members Nominated for Good 'Burger Awards!

September 1, 2021

At BayFirst, we strive to put the community first. And today we are proud to share that two of our own have been recognized for the work they do in and outside of the bank to make our community a better place.

Trailblazers & Change Agents Vote Aug 30 - Oct 1

As part of the 2021 Good ‘Burger Awards, VP Community Engagement Officer Valerie Fulbright and VP SBA Lending Officer Christopher Hackney have been named as finalists in the Trailblazers & Change Agents category, recognized by members of the community for their outstanding achievements and commitment to advancing Black, Indigenous, People of Color business vitality in St. Pete.

BayFirst is also nominated in the Cool Companies category for making a positive impact in the community.

Winners in each category will be determined by an online voting process that kicks off today and runs through October 1.  Please visit to vote for our finalists and join us in celebrating Valerie and Chris for their well-deserved nominations!

Valerie has been instrumental in the development and current success of BayFirst’s Minority-Owned Business Lending Program, through which BayFirst expanded its lending with outreach specially targeting local, minority-owned businesses. This involved Valerie’s outreach to more than 3,100 local, minority-owned businesses in Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties.

Valerie also spearheaded the development and launch of the Bank’s community engagement and support program and serves as Vice-Chair Arts for the Conservatory for Teens (ACT) which is dedicated to improving the lives of teens by providing arts education to under-served school systems and communities.

Chris has dedicated his career to helping small businesses, providing training, teaching financial literacy programs and hosting events designed to educate minority business owners. He has served on the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders Public Policy Committee, which is focused on improving access to capital for minority and women-owned businesses through the Small Business Administration loan program.
Chris has personally contributed greatly to the Bank’s ambitious two-year minority lending goal of $50 million, set in December of 2020 and surpassed in August 2021. He also arranged transportation for St. Pete residents to get the polls and organized the installation of Art Boxes in South St. Pete, designed to provide much-needed but often out-of-budget art supplies for students.
Thank you, Valerie and Chris, for all that you do and for being stellar representatives of BayFirst!

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