Prime Meridian Welcomes New Market President Upon 13th Anniversary
Prime Meridian Bank, which moved into Lakeland two years ago, celebrated its 13th anniversary in February 2021. The bank was founded in Tallahassee by Sammie Dixon in 2008 and now has four Florida locations: two in the state’s capital, one in Crawfordville and one in Lakeland.
Tanya Isaman, Prime Meridian’s new market president for Polk County is proud to have called Lakeland home since spending her college years at Florida Southern College and now in her new role.
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Dixon sponsored Isaman’s class when she attended the Florida School of Banking from 2016-2018.
“He taught us more than just instructional training; he taught us how it’s really done. I knew from his instruction that there was something different at Prime Meridian Bank, that it had a culture that wasn’t like your typical bank.”
Its core values — passion, integrity, grace, tenacity and accountability — help give the bank depth and character she said, making it a bank you want to do business with. It’s what attracted her to Prime Meridian when she found out Dixon planned to open a branch in Lakeland.
Stephanie Colon, the bank’s vice president of business development, said Dixon’s “vision and his passion about this bank is what we strive to live and work for. It is an honor and pleasure to work here.”
Prime Meridian’s Goals
Isaman, who started at Prime Meridian in January 2021, has several goals for the bank:
- Grow the local client base.
- Build deposits and consumer loans.
- Grow the brand.
- Provide good banking service to the community.
“Banking is changing,” she said. “At a lot of community banks, clients get that extra customer touch, but as banks get bigger, they pay less attention to clients. We want to make sure we take care of our clients’ needs with flawless execution.”
She plans to grow the bank by building relationships with local businesses, which she said is the foundation of future growth.
“We have an advisory board here made up of local business owners, CPAs, attorneys, real estate investors, etc., who we will lean on to help grow our client base. We will also help our advisory board by referring clients to them,” Isaman said. “We believe our community involvement will help open doors for business development. Also, our association with the Central Florida Development Council will keep us educated on future growth and development within our market so we can be ready and available to help finance that growth.”
The ultimate goal, for now, is to grow Prime Meridian in Lakeland, then expand east to Winter Haven or Auburndale.
“As Polk County grows and develops, we want to be part of that,” Isaman said. “We want to help finance it and bring in new clients and serve our county’s banking needs.”
She’s excited to be working with clients again, especially with a great team that’s already in place, she said. Following the bank’s core values and focusing on customers is critical — they want to be able to help their clients.
“Give me a few good reasons why we can do this loan to help our client. That’s part of what drives us. It’s what makes the bank special to work for and hopefully, clients will think the same.”
The Road to Prime Meridian
A native of Riverview, Isaman moved to Lakeland to attend Florida Southern, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance. During her senior year, she interned at Barnett Bank, which got her hooked on banking.
She decided to stay in Lakeland, a city she loves and has been in banking ever since.
After serving as vice president of the Bank of Central Florida for two years, she moved to CenterState Bank in 2010. She was senior vice president when she left in January 2020.
“When I started at CenterState 10 years ago, it was about the same size as Prime Meridian. It was a joy over the last 10 years to help CenterState grow.”
The bank was on a trajectory to grow from $700 million to $35 billion, she said, and had just merged with SouthState Bank to become a larger, regional bank where she was on the support side, not the client-side. “I missed that client interaction, helping clients and our businesses grow,” she said.
Beyond the size of the bank — “I love being at a small community bank,” she said — she was also attracted to Prime Meridian’s culture, which mirrored CenterState’s.
“With a community bank you can take a look at a loan and try to structure it in a way that might not necessarily fit into a box, but it provides your client with what they need. You’re partnering with your client and helping them grow, and by doing that you’re helping the community grow.”
Isaman has been chair of the board of the Central Florida Speech & Hearing Center for about 18 months. Her passion for the organization started when her son was born.
“He had a speech delay because of fluid in his ears, and when we got tubes, the Central Florida Speech & Hearing Center was the first place I took him. He was 2, I was a new mom. They were wonderful. They got him into a speech therapy program,” she said. Now 19, you would never know he had a speech delay.
She will encourage her team to get involved in any community organizations they are personally passionate about, she said. And the bank will be a good partner in the community.