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2017 Fall Conference Speakers
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Jim Blasingame

Noted Author and Radio Host

Jim Blasingame is one of the world’s leading experts on small business and entrepreneurship. He is the creator and award-winning host of the world’s only syndicated weekday radio program dedicated to small business, The Small Business Advocate Show, since 1997. Author of three books, including his multiple award-winning new book, The Age of the Customer: Prepare for the Moment of Relevance, which has sold over 75,000 copies. Jim has been a syndicated columnist since 1999, contributing weekly to newspapers and online publications, including,, American City Business Journals,, etc. For his thought-leadership as a champion of Main Street businesses, Jim has been recognized by numerous national organizations. Jim teaches businesses – small and large – how to achieve relevance in the Age of the Customer. This is the 50th anniversary of his first W-2 job – his gray hair is not premature.


Jeffrey P. Marsico

Executive Vice President, The Kafafian Group

Mr. Marsico is an Executive Vice President, shareholder, and founding member of The Kafafian Group, where he specializes in facilitating the development of client strategies; mergers & acquisitions; profit/process improvement consulting engagements; profitability consulting; and regulatory order assistance. He has worked in or has served banks since 1985 in IT, Trust, Retail Banking, merger consolidations, process improvement, and strategy development. He also served seven years in the United States Navy as an intelligence analyst.

Cam Mirisola-Bynum

Communications Director, Grant Marketing

Cam Mirisola-Bynum has an extensive background in publishing and communications, with a diverse skillset in content creation and development, editing, and marketing, and holds a BA in communications arts and sciences with a minor in English. Prior to joining Grant Marketing, Cam worked in product marketing for an educational assessment company and was senior editor of a regional adventure and discovery magazine distributed in 11 states. Cam is adept at synthesizing details to create core messaging and is a prolific writer—producing marketing and branding messaging, research and technical pieces, and blog and social media content. She has been in customer-facing business endeavors throughout her career and works closely with clients, from the production floor to C-suite, to extract and develop the vital information that prospects and customers search for to make informed decisions via online content. 
In her role as Communications Director at Grant Marketing, Cam strategizes and guides clients through inbound and content marketing practices that help capture leads and increase company growth. She and her team run Content Marketing Workshops for clients to help build a pool of writers from within each organization. One of the top benefits of the workshops is the brainstorming session that kicks off a viable list of 30 to 50 topics that will become blogs or larger pieces of valuable online content. Grant Marketing is a certified HubSpot Partner and Cam holds an inbound certificate through the HubSpot Academy.



Karen E. Partee, CFMP

Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Texas Bank and Trust Company 

Karen Partee, CFMP, serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Texas Bank and Trust, headquartered in Longview, Texas. In her role, Karen leads the bank’s Marketing Division in strategic market programming and planning, creative design, brand management, advertising, digital marketing, social media, corporate communications, sponsorships, and marketing support to 21 branch locations throughout the northeast Texas region. 

Karen joined Texas Bank and Trust in April 2004 as a business development officer; and is noted for her passion for financial literacy and the development of several key programs for TB&T, to include the bank’s award-winning Cool Kids Savings Club in 2005 - a comprehensive savings program for elementary-aged children, celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, and more than $2.5 million in youth savings. She was also instrumental in the establishment of the bank’s innovative T3 (Tier 3 Level) Tech Team in 2011. Now a full service e-banking service center, TBTmyWay provides direct customer support for the growth of the bank’s online services. As CMO, Karen’s goal is to strengthen Texas Bank and Trust’s brand as the leader in financial literacy and money management resources in each of the markets it serves. 

Since moving to East Texas in 1997, Ms. Partee has dedicated her service to organizations and initiatives that advance the causes of women and children in the community. She is a sustaining member and past president of the Junior League of Longview. Currently, she is co-chair of the American Bankers Association Marketing Advisory Board, and is a member of the Longview Regional Medical Center’s Women’s Advisory Council. She has also served on the board of directors for Junior Achievement of East Texas and the University of Texas – Tyler College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Council. 
In 2007, Karen was recognized with the inaugural Rising Star Award by the Independent Bankers Association of Texas; and as a Star Over Longview – a prestigious community award given by Longview Regional Medical Center, to recognize the achievements of women through their service.

Karen holds a bachelor’s of arts degree in journalism, having graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas Tech University, and is also a 2010 honors graduate of the ABA School of Bank Marketing & Management. Karen resides in Marshall, Texas, with her husband, Bryan, and their ten-year-old son, Noah.


Jessica Dawn Shaffer

VP Product Development, Leader Bank, N.A.   General Manager, ZRent

Jessica Shaffer serves as the Vice President of Product Development at Leader Bank. Jessica joined Leader Bank in 2008, just six years after the financial institution was formed. In her current role, she oversees the Product Development team and focuses on the creation and implementation of new products and services. Over the past few years, Jessica has lead the team to introduce several successful programs within the retail banking network, including Zeugma Rewards Relationship accounts for consumers and Business Cash Back checking accounts for businesses. Along with Jay Tuli, she has spent the past two years focused on their newest addition, ZRent - an online rent collection for landlords that is now being licensed to other community banks and credit unions.

Prior to that, Jessica served as the Assistant Vice President of Retail Banking at Leader Bank. In this role, she managed the Retail Operations team and administered numerous operational improvements and new product implementations from third party vendors.

Jessica Shaffer graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Missouri University of Science and Technology in 2007. Since then, she has continued her formal training through online certificate programs offered by Harvard Business School. 


Jay Tuli

Senior Vice President of Residential Lending & Retail Banking, Leader Bank, N.A.

Jay Tuli is Senior Vice President of Residential Lending & Retail Banking at Leader Bank. Mr. Tuli joined Leader Bank in 2006 when Leader Bank was in its 4th year of operations. In the last decade, Leader Bank has become one of the largest residential lenders in Massachusetts, originating consistently over $2 Billion in annual loan volume. Currently, Leader Bank has grown to $1.2 Billion in Assets.

Mr. Tuli focuses on new product development, growth strategy, recruiting, and overall operations for the Residential Lending and Retail Banking business units of Leader Bank. Through his leadership, he has introduced several successful programs that have helped fuel the Bank's growth including the Community Bank Jumbo program, ZRent online rent collection for landlords, Zeugma Rewards Checking accounts. Mr. Tuli has also spearheaded the expansion of the Bank's footprint into the Boston Seaport area.

Previously, he worked at Revolution Partners, a Boston-based boutique M&A advisory firm, and also at JP Morgan in New York as a member of the Private Bank Structured Investments group. Jay Tuli graduated Magna Cum Laude from Georgetown University with a double major in Finance and Technology Management and a minor in Economics. Mr. Tuli earned his MBA from Harvard Business School in 2011.