Synovus Announces 2021 Chairman’s Awards Winners

COLUMBUS, GA, April 14, 2022 — Synovus announced today, the winners of its annual Chairman’s Awards. The James H. Blanchard Leadership Award, the James D. Yancey Customer Covenant Award, the William B. Turner Community Impact Award, the Synovus Game Changer Award, and the newly established Kessel D. Stelling Emerging Leader Award honor team members who best represent the company’s culture and its focus on leadership, customer satisfaction, serving others, and innovation. Winners of the awards, collectively known as the Chairman’s Awards, are selected from nominations submitted by team members across Synovus’ five-state footprint. This year’s winners are:

James H. Blanchard Leadership AwardChris Abele, Middle Market Banking Senior Director, Birmingham, Ala.

This award recognizes individuals who demonstrate the best use of leadership and interpersonal skills such as teamwork, communication, and coaching in various corporate, departmental, and community roles. It was named after retired Chairman and CEO James H. Blanchard, who set a high standard for leadership throughout his 36-year tenure at Synovus.

James D. Yancey Internal Customer Covenant AwardDebbie Teague, Senior Commercial Support Manager, Columbia, S.C.

James D. Yancey External Customer Covenant AwardKelly Rabstejnek, Wholesale Relationship Associate, Atlanta, Ga.

Named in honor of the former Synovus Chairman who always put the needs of the customer first, Yancey was instrumental in the creation of the Customer Covenant, the company’s pledge to deliver exceptional internal (Teague) and external (Rabstejnek) customer service.

William B. Turner Community Impact AwardKim Yarbrough, Manager, Corporate Credit Admin Columbus, Ga.

This award was named in honor of the former Chairman of Synovus’ Executive Committee for his deep commitment to serving individuals and the community. Turner has inspired others through his deep moral and spiritual convictions to make a difference in the lives of team members and their families.

Kessel D. Stelling Emerging Leader AwardMichael Clark, Director of The Family Office, Columbus, Ga.

This award is named for the current Executive Chairman of the Synovus Board who served as CEO from 2010 until April 2021, navigated the company through the Great Recession, consolidated 30 historic bank charters into one, repositioned the company for long-term growth, and led a historic transition from 26 separately branded divisions to one Synovus brand.

Synovus Game Changer AwardJarrett Hindrew, Financial Planner, Atlanta, Ga.

This award recognizes high-performing team members for making a significant and positive impact on the company with forward-thinking and innovative ideas.

Synovus Bank, a Georgia-chartered, FDIC-insured bank, provides commercial and retail banking and a full suite of specialized products and services, including private banking, treasury management, wealth management, mortgage services, premium finance, asset-based lending, structured lending, and international banking through 272 branches in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee. Synovus is a Great Place to Work Certified Company and is on the web at, and on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.