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Panelist Biography

Guest Speaker Biographies - James Young

Last Updated: January 26, 2008

Mr. Young joined Citizens Trust Bank of Atlanta on February 2, 1998 as President & Chief Executive Officer as a result of the merger of the institution and DeKalb County’s First Southern Bank, where he had been President and CEO since 1993. During his First Southern Bank tenure, he guided that bank’s expansion by opening two new branch locations, the establishment of a holding company and the acquisition of a mortgage company. Under his leadership, First Southern bank grew from $22 million in assets to $58 million at the time of the merger. The merger of the two institutions created a financial services company with $184 million in assets and 11 Metro-Atlanta banking locations, one of the top five African-American owned commercial banks in the country.  In February of 2003, Citizens Trust Bank acquired the $104 million asset Citizens Federal Savings Bank of Birmingham, Alabama. The acquisition, the bank’s first venture across state lines, provided an exciting new market for Citizens Trust and easier access to capital for the residents and small businesses of the Birmingham area.  At December 31, 2006, the total assets of the company stood at $335 million.  In addition, the company was cited by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as one of Georgia’s Top 100 publicly traded companies ranked by 2006 performance.  Citizens Trust Bank was the only African-American owned company qualified for inclusion on the list.

He received his initial training in banking in 1971 in New York City as a Management Trainee with the Chase Manhattan Bank. After extensive credit training, Mr. Young became a Lending Officer in that institution in 1972. After completing lending assignments in Chase’s Corporate Banking Department, he became a Vice President and Team Manager in the Bank’s Credit Audit Division where he was responsible for assessing the quality of the Bank’s loan portfolio worldwide. He later became a Human Resources Specialist and was in charge of Chase’s Equal Opportunities Program before leaving in 1989 to join City National Bank of New Jersey as Vice President -Chief Commercial Loan Officer. After working with the President of City National to successfully return that institution to sound and profitable operations, he was promoted in 1990 to Senior Vice President-General Administration & Commercial Loans.

Mr. Young, a native of Cleveland, Tennessee received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Tennessee State University in 1971. 

He is a member of the Board of Directors of: The National Bankers Association, The Georgia  Chamber of Commerce, The Atlanta Action Forum, Central Atlanta Progress; The Commerce Club; Rock-Tenn Company.  In addition he is a member the Board of Councilors of The Carter Center; the DeKalb County Chapter of 100 Black Men of America and Antioch AME Church in Stone Mountain. 

He has been married for thirty-five years to Rebecca Young, a DeKalb County Public Schools teacher. They are the parents of three sons and a daughter.