United Community Bank is expanding its commercial real estate (CRE) lending division in Florida with the announcement of Chris Willman as Senior Vice President, Commercial Real Estate Relationship Manager. In this new role, Willman will be responsible for sourcing and managing financing opportunities related to CRE across the entire state. This expansion is a result of the recent acquisition of Seaside Bank and Trust on July 1 and supports United’s plan to broaden the commercial banking solutions available to clients in the Florida market.
“We’re focused on expanding the elite team we already have in place in Florida and the addition of Chris is a testament to that priority,” said Rich Bradshaw, Chief Banking Officer for United Community Bank. “Seaside Bank and Trust has always had a top-tier team, and our goal is to supplement their existing capabilities with our complementary products. Putting Chris in this position is just the first step to making our partnership as strong as possible, and I’m eager to see how he will help us grow.”
“I’m excited to transition to United Community Bank and help bring a new product offering to our Florida customers,” said Willman. “The Commercial Real Estate market is experiencing continued strength, and it will be a pleasure to help my Seaside team members engage with and assist our clients on an entirely new level.”
Willman has worked in the financial services and real estate industries for nearly three decades. His experience includes time spent as a Client Advisor for Seaside Bank, which was acquired by United in July 2020; a Managing Member of Argentum Financial, LLC; and as President and CEO of Bank of Florida. He earned a graduate degree in banking from Louisiana State University, an MBA from the University of Tampa and a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida.
“Chris has a wealth of lending knowledge and experience with the Florida market,” added Lisa Shelnutt, Commercial Real Estate Division Manager for United Community Bank. “He is directly tied to a very loyal client base, and I’m confident that he’ll be able to tap into our strong suite of products to bring a new level of financial solutions to clients throughout the state.”
Earlier in his career, Willman served on the Dean’s Advisory Board for Sykes College of Business at the University of Tampa. He currently serves on the Board of Fellows for the University of Tampa.