Emily Dawkins, North Florida regional president of Truist Financial Corp., says Jacksonville is well positioned to continue to grow in terms of business, residents and assets.
“There is an influx of families and professionals and a continuing commitment from the city to bring more headquarters to Jacksonville. There are strong industries like logistics, fintech and healthcare. Those industries create opportunities for other small businesses,” Dawkins said.
“There is great opportunity ahead of us in this market.”
Charlotte, North Carolina-based Truist named Dawkins, 41, as North Florida regional president Sept. 7. She succeeded Scott Keith, who retired.
Dawkins grew up in the banking business.
The Pennsylvania native and her family moved south when her father, also a financial services professional, went to work for SunBank in South Florida.
“I remember Take Your Daughter to Work Days,” Dawkins said.
After receiving a degree in finance at the University of Florida, she began her career with SunTrust, which merged with Branch Banking & Trust in 2019 to form Truist.
Dawkins started interviewing with banks in her senior year and all the jobs she was offered were in Jacksonville.
“It was like an arrow pointing to the city,” she said.
Dawkins came to Jacksonville in 2003 and when Keith announced he was retiring, she knew where she wanted to be.
“I didn’t want to leave Jacksonville. It’s my home and regional president is the perfect job for me. We have the right people on the team with the drive and desire to serve our clients,” Dawkins said.
Advancing up the corporate ladder at SunTrust, Dawkins was a vice president and middle market relationship manager and then capital markets originator when she was selected to succeed Keith.
“I had been working regionally, so I already knew all of the heritage teammates in Florida and Georgia,” Dawkins said.
Almost all of her 18-year career has been involved with helping midsize companies and their owners advance their assets and business.
After SunTrust and BB&T merged, the “local presence with the expertise you expect a bank of our size to have” was preserved in the Truist brand, Dawkins said.
There are 49 Truist branch locations in Dawkins’ region from Amelia Island to Ormond Beach.
Trust has 27 branches in the five-county Northeast Florida area of Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as of June 30, 2021, with a market share of 2.43%.
Dawkins said Truist is dedicated to building better lives and communities by developing local relationships.
“And we have local decision-making authority,” Dawkins said.
Her predecessor was well known for his community service and Dawkins plans to continue that work.
On the personal level, she has served on the boards of the Association for Corporate Growth, Junior League of Jacksonville and The Cathedral School.
Dawkins also is involved with the United Way of Northeast Florida resource management team.
She said she will work with the Truist team to continue providing corporate community service opportunities throughout North Florida.
“The bank has a long history of volunteerism and diverse involvement with the community,” Dawkins said.