The AAEA proudly presents nationally recognized industry leaders that bring small business training, coaching, and marketing services right to your computer or mobile device. These professionals are dedicated to educating and equipping minority-owned businesses to build assets and operate more efficiently in order to compete effectively within the marketplace. These once-a-week Zoom workshops are FREE to participants and sponsored by the AAEA and its partners.
Description: There is much information in the media about banking and the industry's temperature. Knowledge is the first step to keeping a level head and clearly understanding what is happening with the banks that work closely with our communities. For the next 4 weeks, the AAEA will host partner banks to discuss current programs, growth opportunities for small businesses, and community resources they have. April 11th, 2023, Valley Bank will have AJ Stephens, Vice President of Business Development Officer and Community Lending with Valley Bank, presenting. Their specialized minority programs and discuss their growth.
Your Presenter: AJ Stephens, Vice President Business Development Officer and Community Lending with Valley Bank, Alabama Platforms
AJ Stephens was born and raised in Birmingham, AL. He is a 2014 Minor High School graduate and received his Bachelor's Degree of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2018. AJ's career started in Communications, where he was the Marketing/Multimedia Tech for the UAB School of Optometry. While in that role, he felt empty and wanted to do something where he felt like he would be living out his purpose and able to add value to people daily. This led him to the banking industry, where he started on the ground level as a part-time teller in 2020. In 2021 he was promoted to Assistant Branch Manager at Robertson Banking Company as the first Assistant Branch Manager in the company's history and the youngest Manager. After a short tenure in that role, he was recruited to become the Small Business Development Officer at Sabre Finance. He provided small business loans and technical assistance, covering the Auburn/Opelika AL metro areas and West GA. He now serves as the Vice President and BusinessDevelopment Officer for Community Lending at Valley Bank. In this role, he covers the state of Alabama providing various loan products for minority and women-owned small businesses, teaches financial literacy, and establishes relationships/partnerships for the bank. With his passion for serving others through economic empowerment, he launched #MoneyMonday and #FinanceFriday, giving where he gives out Financial Advice on his social media accounts @theajsfinance. You can always find AJ active in the community throughout the state of AL, where he spends most of his free time volunteering with various organizations or teaching financial literacy workshops. He's a member of the Rotaract Club of Birmingham and a former ex-officio board of directors member of the United Way of Central Alabama. He also sits on the junior board for Girls Inc. of Central Alabama.