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Dan Chappell

Dan Chappell: A Beacon for Authenticity in Banking

Dan Chappell, the Chief Human Resources Officer at Seacoast Bank, has had a distinguished career in Human Resources. He began as an Organizer and Business Agent for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW). He later transitioned into corporate roles with companies including American Cyanamid, Honeywell, and Avaya.

Dan’s journey in the corporate world was marked by a personal realization related to his sexual identity. It wasn’t until he embraced his authentic self as a “fully out in the workplace” executive that he truly unlocked his potential. His tenure at Bank of America allowed him to excel in Human Resources and participate in high-profile Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

For the past nine years, Dan has served as the CHRO at Seacoast Bank. During his time, he has achieved remarkable results, including:

  • Creating Seacoast Bank’s Acquisition Cultural Playbook, facilitating the integration of 17 organizations into Seacoast.
  • Building a highly respected Human Resources Organization that has earned numerous awards, such as Best Places to Work Designations, Great Place to Work Certification, HRC Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality, American Banker Best Banks to Work For Award, and Quantum Workplace’s Gold Standard of Engaging Experience.
  • Establishing a comprehensive Diversity and Inclusion Program, featuring a diverse internship program and five active Associate Resource Groups, contributing to world-class diversity and inclusion engagement outcomes.
  • Managing Seacoast Bank’s growth from $4 billion to over $15 billion in assets, accompanied by a workforce expansion from 400 associates to more than 1,600 associates.

Dan’s impactful leadership has transformed Seacoast Bank, making it a beacon of excellence in the banking industry, particularly with cultural integration during mergers and acquisitions.

From Union Organizer to Chief Human Resources Officer

Dan began his career in 1985 after graduating with a bachelor’s degree. He started by working for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) as an Organizer and Business Agent. His early career experiences fueled his passion for helping others understand their value and place within the business world and realize their professional and personal potential. Working in a progressive union like UFCW provided valuable insights into the dynamics between workers and managers.

After his time at UFCW, Dan transitioned into the corporate world, drawing on his unique background in Labor Relations and Organizational Behavior. He took on various leadership roles in Human Resources within manufacturing, research and development, and sales sectors at companies such as American Cyanamid, Honeywell, and Avaya. However, he faced personal challenges related to self-acceptance, particularly regarding his sexual identity. This inner conflict at times limited his full engagement and growth in his career.

A pivotal moment arrived when Dan, while exploring consulting and teaching opportunities, made a personal commitment to himself to only join organizations where he could be completely authentic. This decision led Dan into the financial services sector, where he found a breakthrough in his personal and professional performance by serving as an “out in the workplace” executive. This experience led him to excel in human resources for over a decade, participating in various high-profile Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives and holding several prominent HR roles. Furthermore, his involvement in large-scale M&A integrations honed his expertise in effectively integrating organizational cultures during such transitions.

In 2014, Dan was presented with an opportunity to re-energize the Human Resources function at Seacoast Bank. Since then, he has held the position of Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) at Seacoast Bank, where he continues to make a significant impact to the success of the organization.

Customer-Centric Culture and Commitment to Technological Innovation

Dan emphasizes that Seacoast Bank’s culture is its differentiator in the markets, defining how they support customers and collaborate internally. For nearly a century, their dedication has been to help people improve their lives and build better communities. Seacoast Bank aims to provide exceptional experiences that enhance and protect the financial well-being of their customers, businesses, and communities. They have encapsulated their core beliefs in Four Promises to their customers:

  • Get customers comfortable with the right products and the right team to serve them.
  • Make day-to-day banking simple.
  • Resolve out-of-the-ordinary items responsively.
  • Invest in customers and their communities.

Seacoast Bank’s values include:

  • Sense of belonging: Inclusivity, respect for values and opinions.
  • Transparency: Respectful and honest communication.
  • Purposeful evolution: Continuous improvement through flexibility and agility.
  • Open to change: Embracing change for positive impact.
  • Empowered: Enabling associates to make the best decisions for clients and the bank.

Regarding technological innovation, Seacoast Bank strives to provide simpler, smarter, and safer solutions for customers and clients. As banking becomes more commoditized, Seacoast Bank sets itself apart from others by prioritizing excellent customer service. They seek technology to enhance every transaction and provide digital solutions for their associates, maximizing their experience with learning, performance management, onboarding, development planning, and providing feedback through regular surveys.

Insights on Right-Sizing Balance Sheets

Dan believes that in today’s uncertain economic and financial services landscape, it is crucial for banks to focus on right-sizing their balance sheets for long-term survival. Striking the right balance between personal human contact and robust, secure technology will also be a key to success.

Vision for Seacoast Bank

Dan’s vision for Seacoast Bank is to build upon its reputation as an employer of choice and continue expanding its presence as an aggregator of financial institutions in Florida. The goal is to become “Florida’s Bank of choice.”

Key to Exceptional Customer Experiences

Dan’s advice to aspiring entrepreneurs emphasizes the importance of engaged associates in delivering exceptional customer experiences. He encourages them to prioritize the moments that matter for their employees, knowing that engaged and satisfied associates will naturally excel in creating moments that matter for customers. This people-centric approach can be a key driver of success in any dynamic industry.

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