Executive Leadership

The talented management team that leads Cadence Bank is made up of some of the most accomplished and respected bankers in the region.

Paul B. Murphy, Jr.   


Sam Tortorici          


Valerie C. Toalson



Jerry Powell   

 Hank Holmes  Debbie Innes  

Sarah Peterson  


Randy Schultz


Mark Wesson




Paul B. Murphy, Jr.

Chief Executive Officer, Cadence Bancorp, LLC 
Chairman, Cadence Bank, N.A. 

Paul B. Murphy, Jr. is the Chief Executive Officer and President of Cadence Bancorp, LLC, and Chairman of Cadence Bank. In 2010, Cadence Bancorp raised $1.0 billion to invest in the distressed banking industry. To date, the company has made three acquisitions bringing the combined company to $8 billion in assets with 80 branches across five states. Cadence is privately held by major pension plans, university endowments and institutional investors. 

Previously, Murphy spent nearly 20 years at Amegy Bank of Texas as the Chief Executive Officer and a Director. Amegy started with little more than $50 million in assets and one location in 1990, and grew to $11 billion in assets and more than 85 banking centers throughout the greater Houston, Dallas and San Antonio metropolitan areas at the time of his departure in 2009. During Murphy’s tenure, Amegy completed several successful acquisitions and sold to Zions Bancorporation for $1.7 billion in 2005, with original investors realizing 36 times their investment.

Murphy is an advocate of the community. He is a board member of the Houston Endowment, Inc., the largest endowment in Texas with more than $1.5 billion in assets. In addition, he serves on the boards of the Hines Real Estate Investment Trust, Inc., Oceaneering International, Inc., Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas - Houston Branch, The Kinkaid School, and the Children’s Museum of Houston. He is active in the World Presidents Organization. 


Sam Tortorici

Chief Executive Officer, Cadence Bank, N.A. 

Sam Tortorici is Chief Executive Officer of Cadence Bank and a member of the board of directors. He has served in this role since July 2011.   

Tortorici, a well-known banking leader in the Southeast, had a distinguished 24-year career at Regions Bank and its predecessor AmSouth Bank. Immediately prior to joining Cadence, he led Regions’ commercial & industrial (C&I) business which is comprised of more than 500 commercial and specialty banking professionals across 16 states, over $30 billion in loan commitments, and annual revenue in excess of $1 billion. While overseeing Regions’ C&I business, Tortorici led the development of a number of commercial industry specialty businesses that generated significant client and revenue growth, including healthcare, transportation, franchise restaurant, and technology and defense. He also held leadership responsibility for sales and services across a variety of banking businesses at Regions and AmSouth, including Central Region President, Alabama Regional President, North Central Alabama Area Executive, Corporate Banking Executive and Chief Financial Officer.

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Tortorici continues to be intensely engaged in his alma mater as a member of the President’s Cabinet. He is an active citizen in his community. He has served as the United Way of Central Alabama Board Chairman and General Campaign Chairman, and on the boards of St. Vincent’s Hospital Foundation, Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce, Operation New Birmingham, and the Alabama Business Charitable Trust Fund. 


Valerie C. Toalson

Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Cadence Bank, N.A. 

Valerie Toalson, Chief Financial Officer for Cadence Bank, brings more than 25 years of banking experience in accounting and accounting operations, financial and regulatory reporting, treasury, and investor relations. She also has played key roles in budgeting as well as customer and relationship profitability management.

Most recently, Toalson served as CFO of BankAtlantic Bancorp. Prior to that, she held several leadership positions at Bank of Oklahoma, including Manager of Credit Services, Corporate Controller, Manager of Process Improvement, and Chief Auditor. A CPA, Toalson began her career in audit at Price Waterhouse.

Toalson is actively involved in her community. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Oklahoma State University. 


Hank Holmes

President, Cadence Bank, N.A.

Hank Holmes serves as President of Cadence Bank, having joined the organization in 2011. Since that time, he has built the bank’s lending team across the Southeast and in Texas to more than 85 relationship-focused lenders intent on bringing their clients solutions on both side of the balance sheet. Holmes oversees nearly $3 billion in loan activity among eight lending groups, including commercial & industrial, middle market commercial, commercial real estate, energy upstream, energy midstream, energy services, international, and community banking. 

A member of Cadence Bank’s Senior Management Committee and Senior Loan Committee, Holmes also is integrally involved in the bank’s merger and acquisition activity, regulatory relationships and business development, having played a role in the $1.6 billion acquisition of Houston-based Encore Bank in July 2012. 

Holmes began his career at Amegy Bank in its commercial real estate department, and over seven years closed more than $750 million in loans while servicing one of Amegy’s largest portfolios. Under his leadership, Amegy’s private banking department grew from $400 million to $800 million between 2003 and 2009, outperforming industry standards with minimal loan loss and high profitability. Holmes assumed leadership of the bank’s special assets group in 2009, where he implemented policies to meet regulatory and other audit requirements. 

With more than 20 years of banking experience, Holmes is a frequent guest lecturer at leading universities and a recurrent presenter on issues relating to banking and the economy. He serves on the board of directors for the University of Mississippi’s School of Banking and Finance as well as Neighborhood Centers, Inc. He also is a member of the Young Presidents Organization.

Holmes earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Mississippi in 1993, majoring in managerial finance.


Jerry Powell

Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Cadence Bancorp, LLC and Cadence Bank, N.A.

Jerry Powell is General Counsel and Secretary of Cadence Bancorp and Cadence Bank. Powell began his career as a clerk to the Honorable Seybourn H. Lynne, U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Alabama. He then practiced law with the firm now known as Johnston, Barton, Powell and Rose in Birmingham. There he represented numerous businesses and individuals in a general practice with emphasis on litigation, creditor’s rights, and consumer compliance until 1981, when he joined Compass Bank as Corporate Counsel. Mr. Powell became General Counsel of Compass Bank in 1986 and of its holding company in 1991. He retired from Compass in 2010 and joined the firm of Jones Walker as Special Counsel in their Financial Services Section. 

Powell is a member of the American Bar Association and the Alabama Bar Association, where he has served on several committees including the Committee on Delivery of Legal Services to the Poor, the Bar’s Speaker’s Bureau, and the Grievance Committee of the Birmingham Bar Association. He is the past President and member of the board of directors of the Association of Corporate Counsels Alabama Chapter. In addition, he is a frequent speaker on banking law and corporate governance.  

Actively involved in civic and community affairs, Powell currently is President of the board of directors of AIDS Alabama and was a founding director of Magic Moments, an organization dedicated to fulfilling the wishes of terminally ill children. Powell serves Birmingham-Southern College as a member of the President’s Advisory Council and the University of Alabama School of Law as a member of the board of trustees of the Farrah Law Society.    

Powell graduated Birmingham-Southern College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and received his law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law.  


Debbie Innes

Executive Vice President, Retail Banking and Treasury Management Executive, Cadence Bank, N.A.

With 30 years of banking experience, Debbie Innes was chosen one of U.S. Banker magazine’s 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking in 2006. From a field of more than 5,100 executive-level candidates in financial institutions across the country, Innes was the only Texas executive to rank in the top 25.

As Executive Vice President for Amegy Bank and Zions Bancorp after its acquisition of Amegy, Innes was responsible for the treasury management division, which generated more than $170 million in revenue. During her 20 years with these banks, she led her team to record revenue growth in treasury and a total increase of 19 percent in retail revenue. Innes also worked for First City National Bank as Treasury Management Senior Sales and Implementation Manager for 11 years and is a past recipient of the Houston Treasury Management Association’s Favorite Banker Award.

Innes is a popular speaker for industry organizations and is active in the community through I Have a Dream – Houston, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and ESCAPE Family Resource Center. She studied speech pathology at Texas Tech University, where she received her degree.


Sarah Peterson

Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Cadence Bank, N.A.

Sarah Peterson has more than 35 years experience in marketing, communications and investor relations across a range of industries. She began her career as a writer for The Houston Chronicle then moved to U.S. News & World Report as Southwest Bureau Chief.

Peterson managed marketing, internal and external communications, and public relations for St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital and Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation, both in Houston, and Main Line Health Systems in Philadelphia. She directed the international public relations firm Hill+Knowlton, providing media relations, public relations and marketing counsel to clients in the fields of energy, banking, healthcare, manufacturing, tourism and sports. In 2002 she joined Amegy Bank as Senior Vice President of Corporate and Investor Communications.

In Philadelphia, Peterson was active with the American Heart Association and the Forum of Executive Women, and served on the Boards of the Bryn Mawr Film Institute, Main Line Chamber of Commerce and Riddle Hospital.  She has served on the boards of the United Way of Greater Houston, Houston Symphony, Local Initiative Support Corporation and Sheltering Arms Senior Services. Peterson is an Emeritus Member of the Advisory Board, Department of Communications for the College of Charleston.

She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston.

Randy Schultz

Executive Vice President, Managing Director, Specialized Industries, Cadence Bank, N.A.

Prior to joining Cadence Bank to launch its Specialized Industries group, Randy Schultz was founder and Managing Director of Regions Bank’s Restaurant Banking Group, which was formed in April 2009. This group grew assets under management to approximately $1.3 billion from 2009 to 2011. Before joining Regions, Schultz was Managing Director of Bank of America’s Restaurant and Beverage Finance Group from 1996 to 2006, where he helped this group grow from $300 million in assets under management to approximately $7 billion in assets and $200 million in revenue.

Schultz led multiple lines of business on a regional and national basis during his tenure at Bank of America, including commercial banking, corporate and investment banking and global treasury management. 

Schultz received his Bachelor of Arts from Mississippi State University and his master’s degree in economics from Johns Hopkins University.


Mark Wesson

Executive Vice President, Wealth Services, Cadence Bank, N.A.

Before leading Wealth Services at Cadence Bank, Mark Wesson was Regional Private Banking Manager with The Private Bank at Wells Fargo, covering Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. He began his career at Wells Fargo and its predecessors in 1986, where he served as Regional Director and then Managing Director for Wachovia Wealth Management, and later as Wealth Management Director for SouthTrust Bank.

Wesson currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross, the Advisors Committee for the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, and is a member of the Certified Financial Planning Association and Birmingham Estate Planning Council.

Wesson earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Alabama and an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is a Certified Financial Planner and a 2004 graduate of the Southern Trust School at Spring Hill College.


Cadence Bank, N.A. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cadence Bancorp, LLC.

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