Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Company appoints three new board members


NASHVILLE, Tenn., – (TN Tribune) – The oldest continuously operating African-American owned and operated bank, Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Company, announces that it has named three Nashville business and community leaders to its board of directors: Jacky Akbari, Founder and Managing Director, Worthington Advisory; Charles Sueing, President, Sueing Insurance Agency, Inc.; and Julie Lilliston, Founder and President, Julie Lilliston Communications. The bank recently celebrated 118 years of business on January 16.

“We are delighted to welcome three influential Nashville business leaders to our Board of Directors,” said Sergio Ora, CEO of Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Company. “They bring diverse talents and leadership experience to serve the community. We look forward to collaborating on a new strategic direction for the bank to achieve our goals. »

Akbari is a global workforce engagement strategist with over 20 years of experience in economic development. His strategic consulting has resulted in successful relocation projects with dozens of major Middle Tennessee employers. She has received numerous accolades, including Nashville Business Journal’s Power 100 (three consecutive years) and Woman of Influence, YWCA Academy of Women of Achievement, TSU Women of Legend and Merit, and Nashville Post’s Most Powerful Women. Akbari is a graduate of The Ohio State University and UCLA Business Certified in Workforce Diversity. She has served on community boards including the YMCA of Middle Tennessee,, the Downtown Nashville Rotary Board, and the Maddox Charitable Foundation. She is an active member of the Leadership Nashville Alumni Association and Leadership Tennessee.

Sueing has nearly 30 years of experience in the insurance and financial services industry as an independent, full-service agency. He is active in business and community organizations and has served on numerous boards, including Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee, Teach for America, Center for Nonprofit Management, and Middle Tennessee Council of Boy Scouts. He received the Spirit of the Chamber Award from the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce for leading small business initiatives. His company was recognized as one of the 300 Best Small Businesses in the South and he was named 100 African American Leaders by Sueing is a member of the Downtown Rotary Club of Nashville and the Leadership Nashville Alumni Association. He received his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.

Lilliston has 25 years of public relations experience helping businesses and non-profit organizations improve their reputation, build their brand and grow their market share. His company is ranked among the top 15 PR agencies in Nashville by UpCity. She is a member of the PRSA Academy of Counselors and has served on community boards including the National Association of Women Business Owners, Nashville Chapter; Dismas House; and the GrowingTogether Women’s Committee of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. She is the recipient of the Women of Influence Award from the Nashville Business Journal and a nominee for the ATHENA Award. She sits on the Women’s Enterprise Forum with WBENC and is an alumnus of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. She received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the College of Wooster in Ohio.

Richard Manson, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Company, adds: “These new board members represent the bank’s intention to broaden our community involvement and bring expertise that will allow us to meet the needs of the entire Nashville community.

As a purpose-driven bank based in North Nashville with a presence in Memphis, Citizens Bank ended 2021 with $134 million in total assets and $118 million in total deposits. The bank generated $45 million in new loan production, a new annual record for the bank. The bank financed $15 million in development projects in the

heart of its home market, the 37208 ZIP code area in North Nashville, paving the way for additional community investment in the future.

About Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Company

Founded in 1904, Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Company is the first minority deposit-taking institution (MDI) established in Tennessee and the oldest continuously operating African-American-owned bank in the United States. It is a private company with assets of approximately $135 million. The bank is a Certified Development Finance Institution (CDFI) and is dedicated to expanding economic opportunity for underserved communities by providing access to financial products and services to individuals and businesses. Learn more at


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