Mel Tull, Class of 2010
Virginia Bankers Association
What is new and exciting with you now or since your LEAD VIRGINIA class year?
Six months ago, I joined the Virginia Bankers Association as General Counsel. In my new role, I serve as the primary legal counsel for the VBA and its for-profit affiliates, which include an insurance agency, an employee benefits company, several title insurance agencies and a management services company. My duties include: (i) helping our member banks interpret and comply with banking laws and regulations; (ii) lobbying state and federal legislatures and regulatory agencies on behalf of the banking industry; and (iii) addressing the general corporate and transactional legal needs of the VBA and its for-profit affiliates. Previously, I was a partner at Hunton & Williams where my legal practice focused on corporate and securities transactions.
In addition, I recently joined the board of directors of the Children’s Home Society of Virginia, a full-service non-profit adoption agency that has been finding permanent loving homes for children, including special needs children, throughout Virginia for more than 100 years. In addition to serving on the board, I serve as chairman of the finance committee.
Finally, in all my spare time, I trained for and completed an ironman triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run) in October and lived to tell about it.
How did your LEAD VIRGINIA experience help to shape you as a leader?
I’ve lived in central and northern Virginia for much of the last 25 years. LEAD VIRGINIA broadened my exposure to other regions of Virginia, enhanced my understanding of the local economic and social issues facing each region, and strengthened my appreciation of each region’s unique culture. The statewide regional perspective I gained from LEAD VIRGINIA helps me every day at the VBA as I work with, and advocate for, banks across Virginia of all sizes and varieties, from large national banks, to small community banks serving unique local communities.
Since LEAD VIRGINIA, how have you put social capital to work?
LEAD VIRGINIA introduced me to a fantastic network of talented individuals in a wide variety of business, government and non-profit organizations and industries. I consulted with a number of these individuals as I considered changing the focus of my professional career. The experiences and advice they shared provided me with a variety of new perspectives. They also identified a number of great professional opportunities for me. Ultimately, several of these individuals played a direct or indirect role in my joining the Virginia Bankers Association. I cannot thank them enough!
In return, I’ve had the pleasure of providing professional assistance and referrals to several LEAD VIRGINIA alumni, and I look forward to having the opportunity to help many more.
What is something that LEAD VIRGINIA inspired you to do that you were not doing before your class year?
For most of my professional career as a corporate attorney, I focused on helping clients understand and comply with existing laws and regulations. During LEAD VIRGINIA, I thoroughly enjoyed our discussions with regional leaders and my classmates of Virginia’s issues and possible solutions. In this way, LEAD VIRGINIA inspired me to get involved in the public policy debate that influences and shapes our laws and regulations. This is now a large part of what I do at the Virginia Bankers Association as an advocate for the banking industry before the Virginia General Assembly.
LEAD VIRGINIA also highlighted for me the important contributions many non-profit charitable organizations make to our communities. This inspired me to get more involved in working with non-profit charities, such as the Children’s Home Society of Virginia, and devote a portion of my time and talents to community service and helping others.