CBA’s Hunt Announces New Staff Hires, Promotions

CBA’s Hunt Announces New Staff Hires, Promotions

CBA Welcomes Former CFPB Counsel, Capitol Hill Communicators, Industry Expert


WASHINGTON – The Consumer Bankers Association today announced five new teammates in preparation for emerging trends facing the banking industry and a new legislative and regulatory environment in Washington, DC:


  • Joining the Regulatory Affairs team, Ebony Sunala Johnson will advocate for sound banking policy at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as Vice President, Associate General Counsel.
  • Joining the Education team, Susan Stutz will champion and facilitate CBA’s Advanced Education programs as Vice President, Advanced Education, and Alyssa Dean will join support operations for CBA’s Executive Banking School and other education programs as Education Coordinator.
  • Joining the Marketing and Communications team, Lauren Blair Bianchi will lead strategic communications and oversee day-to-day operations as Vice President, Public Affairs, and Billy Rielly will serve as spokesman and manage media relations as Assistant Vice President, Media Relations.


“I’m thrilled to welcome five new teammates to the CBA family,” CBA President and CEO Richard Hunt said. “As we work to come out the other side of the pandemic, these new hires bring a wealth of regulatory, political, and industry experience critical to promoting and defending the retail banking industry in ‘the new Washington.’ Ebony’s legal background and experience leading investigations at the CFPB will be critical to helping our members navigate what we expect to be an aggressive regulatory landscape. Lauren and Billy’s time leading public affairs campaigns on- and off- Capitol Hill will help us champion the benefits of retail banking and drive our policy objectives forward. And, as a graduate of CBA’s Executive Banking School who previously worked at one of our member banks, Susan brings invaluable knowledge and industry insights to further strengthen our advanced education programs, where Alyssa will help support opportunities to shape the next generation of retail banking leaders.”


CBA also announced the following promotions:

  • Angie Berkey, previously Director, Marketing & Communications, has been promoted to Assistant Vice President, Marketing, Creative & Design
  • Ryan Blake, previously Legislative Director, has been promoted to Assistant Vice President, Director of Committee Advocacy & Engagement
  • Jenny DeBerry, previously Membership Coordinator, has been promoted to Manager, Membership & Webinars
  • Jake Fowler, previously Director, Associate Membership & Exhibits, has been promoted to Assistant Vice President, Associate Membership & Exhibits
  • Allison Heimberg, previously Manager, Media Relations & Communications, has been promoted to Director of New Media
  • Karen Neeley, previously Regulatory Manager, has been promoted to Regulatory Director
  • Jordan Selmer, Director of Education Operations, has been promoted to Assistant Vice President, Director of Education Operations


“Over the last year, our team has worked exceptionally hard to support our member banks and the customers they serve, and I’m proud to recognize their efforts,” Hunt added.


More About CBA’S New Hires


Ebony Sunala Johnson, Vice President, Associate General Counsel. Ebony has extensive legal experience in both government and private sectors. Prior to joining the CBA, Ebony was Senior Litigation Counsel in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office of Enforcement where she led multiple investigations and litigated matters on behalf of the Bureau. Before that, she was a partner at a top international law firm focusing on complex civil litigation. A graduate of Howard University School of Law, Ebony started her legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Gerald Bruce Lee in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, commonly referred to as “the Rocket Docket.” Ebony is a decorated Air Force veteran who graduated from the Air Force Academy and spent many years on active duty and in the reserves as a military intelligence officer.


Lauren Blair Bianchi, Vice President, Public Affairs. Lauren has nearly a decade of experience leading public affairs and advocacy efforts on and off Capitol Hill. Prior to joining CBA in March, Lauren served in various communications roles in both the House and Senate, including most recently serving as communications director for a high-profile U.S. Senator. In 2017, Lauren was recognized in Forbes 30 Under 30 for her work as press secretary on the House Ways and Means Committee during the historic passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Off the Hill, Lauren has led media relations, issue campaigns, and crisis communications for corporate, non-profit and advocacy organizations. A graduate of Tulane University, Lauren now lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and goldendoodle.


Susan Stutz, Vice President, Advanced Education. Susan has over three decades of experience in Retail Banking serving in numerous roles within the banking industry. Prior to joining CBA Susan served on the SunTrust now Truist team for over 12 years currently in Virginia, prior to Virginia, South Florida. Susan was a graduate of the 2017 CBA-Executive Banking School class. She has been a part of numerous leadership development programs and brings a wealth of knowledge to CBA.


Billy Rielly, Assistant Vice President, Media Relations. Billy is a Pittsburgh native who graduated from Wake Forest University with a major in Political Affairs and Entrepreneurship. He comes to CBA with experience working on political campaigns, Capitol Hill and in public affairs for leading corporate advocacy clients. Previously, Billy served as Special Assistant to Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) and as Communications Director for Congressman Dan Meuser (PA-9).


Alyssa Dean, Education Coordinator. Alyssa has graduated from the University of New Hampshire in International Affairs and Italian with a minor in Political Science and Asian Studies. During her undergraduate career she taught English in Thailand and Laos and served as UNH’s Student Body Health and Wellness Chair. Prior to joining CBA in May, Alyssa has held many administrative roles for several DC-area firms, both as an intern during college and after graduation.


Learn more about the CBA team here.




About the Consumer Bankers Association:

The Consumer Bankers Association represents America’s leading retail banks. We promote policies to create a stronger industry and economy. Established in 1919, CBA’s corporate member institutions account for 1.7 million jobs in America, extend roughly $4 trillion in consumer loans and provide $275 billion in small business loans annually. Follow us on Twitter @consumerbankers.