Community Events

Sunstate Bank Goes Over the Edge to Stop Youth Violence

On Saturday, February 25, 2017, the Sunstate Bank team participated in the 2017 Rappel for a Cause event to raise money for Youth for Christ to stop youth violence. The bank was able to fundraise over $ 1,250 in participation with the Juvenile Justice team. 

Around 4:00 PM, Ms. Saumell, representing Sunstate Bank, was able to catch her breath, step up to the edge and rappel ten stories down the Keyes Building in downtown Miami for Greater Miami Youth for Christ. With over 60 rappellers and more than six hundred donors, this year’s Rappel for a Cause raised over $70,000 and is still accepting new donations through the end of March. 

The bank’s sponsorship and participation helps to fund prevention programs with mentors and aftercare services to youth re-entering the community. Sunstate Bank is proud to sponsor Greater Miami Youth for Christ and we wish next year’s Rappel for a Cause even greater success than 2017’s event. 


For over 65 years Miami YFC has had a distinctive history of youth outreach in Miami-Dade County. The YFC organization was incorporated in 1945 and the Miami chapter was incorporated in 1948 with the mission of positively impacting young people everywhere by working together with the local community.

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Picture 1: Left to right, Mr. Glenn Douglas Craig, Financial Officer from Greater Miami Youth for Christ next to Ms. Saumell from Sunstate Bank; View from below from the Keyes building. 


Picture 2: Ms. Saumell at the Edge of the Keyes Building

Source: Jack Goras Photography:

Sunstate Bank participates in the 8th Annual Chili Day in Cutler Bay

On January 21, the Sunstate Bank team participated in the 8th Annual Chili Day in Cutler Bay, and we have for a number of years. Contestants from all over the area bring their Chili, Salsa, and Cornbread recipes ready to compete in different categories, such as the best Chili and the best-decorated booth.

Even though Sunstate Bank didn’t participate as a contestant, the team brought their own delicious homemade Chili and cornbread to the event.  Chili Day took place at the Cutler Ridge Park and started at 2:00 PM. Visitors from all over the town and surrounding areas participated, and Cutler Bay’s hometown band “Cutler Stew” gave a musical touch to the event with classic rock covers throughout the entire afternoon.

About the Town of Cutler Bay

Cutler Bay is a town incorporated in Miami-Dade County, Florida established in 2005, with a current population of approximately 44,300 Since 2005, the Town of Cutler Bay has provided residents with outstanding public schools, green areas, a Town’s Circulator bus and many other amenities. Now Cutler Bay is governed by a five-member Town Council and operates under a Council-Manager form of government. The earliest settlers in the region now occupied by Cutler Bay were the Tequesta. These indigenous people inhabited the extreme southern portion of Florida for thousands of years before European settlers arrived. 



2017 CCIM Outlook Conference

Sunstate Bank proudly sponsored the Florida CCIM Chapter Miami-Dade Monroe District that held its annual Commercial Real Estate Outlook Conference on Wednesday, January 18, 2017. The event was organized by the CCIM Institute (Certified Commercial Investment Members), which was established in 1954 to give commercial real estate practitioners a previously unrealized opportunity to further their business practices through focused education and networking opportunities. During the event, keynote speaker George Ratiu, from the National Association of Realtors, discussed the national economy and then specifically addressed the Miami/South Florida economy and commercial real estate market. Mr. Ratiu was followed by local experts in the office, industrial, investments, retail and financing markets. The conference took place with approximately 300 commercial real estate brokers, attorneys and lenders at the Coral Gables Country Club. 

ABOUT CCIM Institute

  • CCIM is comprised of one of the largest commercial real estate networks in the world.
  • Approximately 13,000 professionals, only six percent of all commercial real estate practitioners, hold the respected CCIM designation throughout every state, across Canada and Mexico, and in more than 30 nations overseas.
  • The CCIM network represents a diverse group of commercial real estate professionals that reflect multiple disciplines within the industry, including leasing, appraisal, commercial brokerage, investments, property management, lending/mortgage banking, legal and development.
  • The CCIM designation makes you a part of a special group of like-minded professionals who all share the same aspirations – to be successful in their careers and to help others like ourselves to be successful as well.
  • If you ask around the industry, you’ll learn that companies and other real estate professionals are more likely to seek out experts who possess the CCIM designation, as they know CCIM stands for trust, knowledge, reliability, hardwork and ethics.


Picture: Britt Rosen, Executive District Committee Chair and owner of Brittex Appraisal Services, Inc. standing next to the 2017 CCIM Conference Sponsor’s panel.

SFBI CEO Panel 2017

South Florida Banking Institute started the new year by introducing several prominent leaders of the banking industry for the SFBI CEO Panel 2017. The event took place on January 18, 2017 at the Miami Airport Hilton’ and featured special guest speakers that included President and CEO of Sunstate Bank of Florida - Lloyd Devaux, President and CEO of Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust - Angel Medina, President and CEO of Pacific National Bank - Carlos R. Fernandez-Guzman, and Executive Vice President of First National Bank of South Miami- Veronica B. Flores. 

During the event, the speakers discussed leadership success and best practices. The night was enlightened by the leader’s experience in how to best lead and empower their organizations. Exercising good mentorship practices, such as believing and curating your team, will help maintain drive performance and growth within your organization. One of the critical points discussed was the importance of staying aligned with your core mission. These leaders inspired encouragement and passion through their personal experiences on their journey to leadership. Never feeling satisfied, staying current, and being the best person you can be are just small parts of becoming a great leader. Passion is contagious.

The mission of the South Florida Banking Institute (SFBI) is to serve the banking community by providing educational opportunities and creating an environment that allows the building of relationships. SFBI provides a forum for addressing topics relevant to the banking industry. Through these efforts we create value by providing resources to our member organizations in the ever changing banking environment


Picture 1: Mr. Lloyd DeVaux President and CEO of Sunstate Bank of Florida speaking at the SFBI CEO Panel 2017.


Picture 2: From left to right, Ms. Veronica B. Flores, Mr. Carlos R. Fernandez-Guzman, Mr. Angel Medina and Mr. Lloyd DeVaux at the SFBI CEO Panel 2017.


Picture 3: From left to right, Ms. Veronica B. Flores, Mr. Carlos R. Fernandez-Guzman, Mr. Angel Medina and Mr. Lloyd DeVaux speaking at the SFBI CEO Panel 2017.

Source: South Florida Banking Institute website:

Sunstate Bank sponsor the 36th Annual West Perrine Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration

On January 12, 2017, the Sunstate Bank executives participated in the West Perrine Community Development Corporation Celebration Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast their 36th Annual Holiday Celebration.  For almost two decades Sunstate Bank has been supporting the "dreams" of our South Florida Communities. For 2017, Sunstate Bank is again proud to sponsor the West Perrine Community Development Corporation Celebration Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The event that was sponsored by more than 33 organizations took place at the Miami Airport & Convention Center DoubleTree by Hilton. The keynote speaker Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr., who is a reputed (is reputed the right word or is renowned better. Is it written somewhere? Reputed means it is said but may not necessarily be true) Civil Rights Movement activist, minister, educator, lecturer and authority on the strategy of Nonviolent Social Change. The event was also animated with the Motown Sound & like Music of the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s from “The Old Skool Gang” music band.

The West Perrine Community Development Corporation Celebration Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast was only the tip of the iceberg for a celebration that had a busy schedule with events such as the “MLK Business EXPO” on January 13, followed by the “Holland & Knight” and the “Chicks & Wings” on January 14 and closing the celebration with the “Dr. King’s Holiday” on January 16

About West Perrine Community Development Corporation Inc

Since its inception in 1985, the West Perrine Community Development Corporation (WPCDC) has sought to address the redevelopment of the West Perrine area in a measured and comprehensive manner. A strategic plan of action was developed to promote the creation of affordable housing, new, viable business enterprises and to foster the growth of established businesses. 


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Sunstate Bank Holiday Card Selection and Southwood Middle School Center for the Arts

Since 1999, Sunstate Bank has partnered with Southwood Middle School Center for the Arts to design the Bank’s Holiday Card. On December 20, 2016, the President & CEO of Sunstate Bank, Mr. Lloyd DeVaux, and the Executive Vice President & COO, Ms. Yvonne Debesa, announced the winner and runner-ups of the contest that was opened to the 7th and 8th graders, and Magnet Art Students. The finalists were pick from over 30 cards submitted by the students. The winning card was printed by Sunstate Bank, with a thumbprint of the four runner-ups on the back, and mailed to the bank’s Customers. Cards were also printed for the school to mail to the Parents and school partners.

Each student was awarded a cash prize and recognized for their talents. Ms. Julie Fontes was the First Place Winner, followed by the finalists in alphabetical order: Ms. Almudena Barroso Gallegos, Ms. Harmanpree Kaur, Ms. Dayna Veazey, and Ms. Fabiola Quereguan.

Sunstate Bank also awards the end-of-year Principal’s Awards in May each year to top honor students graduating from Southwood. Sunstate Bank is proud to Partner with a school that exemplifies preparing today’s student to become productive, responsible, and self-reliant citizens ready to meet the challenges of tomorrow’s technological and multicultural society.

About Southwood Middle School:

Since Southwood Middle school opened its doors in 1975, it has exemplified academic excellence and creative expression in the arts. Through their devoted dedication to achievement, the students, and teachers- have created a legacy that transcends the 14 consecutive "A" ratings by the Florida Department of Education, but  is more accurately portrayed by the countless accomplishments students and teachers alike have shared throughout a spectrum of endeavors. Southwood Middle school has defined itself as a premier institution that propels its students to capture the essence of fulfilling their dreams and aspirations.



Sunstate Bank helps building a home for a single mother of two

On Saturday December 7th 2016, Sunstate Bank’s Executive Vice President and COO Ms. Yvonne Debesa participated together with the Miami Habitat's Women's Leadership Council in a Women Build. Since 1989, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami has been working to eradicate poverty housing and homelessness by offering low-income families an opportunity to build and purchase a home of their own. Sunstate Bank has been sponsoring the organization since 2016, when the bank participated in fundraising for Habitat’s Women Leadership Council. As a project for the coming New Year, the Sunstate team landscaped and a Women’s Build sponsored construction of a new house at Liberty City for Ms. Johnson, a single Mother of two children.  The happy owner will finally be able to move into the new house in early 2017. From Sunstate Bank we are proud to continually help the Community and improve our neighbor’s quality of life. We wish a happy life to Ms. Johnson and her family in her new home.  

Since 1997, 11 Women Build homes have been built in Miami with volunteers from all walks of life. Though our neighborhoods are comprised largely of women and children, they are also the populations most likely to be affected by poor living conditions. Our Women Build events provide the opportunity for women to take a proactive step in serving their communities. The proceeds of this event will be directed toward construction costs of a Women Build home.

Since 1989, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami has been working to eradicate poverty housing by offering low-income families an opportunity to build and purchase a home of their own. The families must invest a minimum of 250 hours of “sweat equity” on their homes and the homes of other partner families prior to purchasing the homes with a zero percent mortgage. Habitat is a Non-Profit, Christian ministry that houses people of all faiths and backgrounds. Funding for Habitat’s mission comes from individual and corporate donations, grants, proceeds of home sales and ReStore revenues. Habitat’s ReStore sells donated home improvement goods such as furniture, appliances and more.



Sunstate Bank sponsored the Palmetto Elementary School Winter Social & Silent Auction

On Thursday December 1, 2016, Sunstate Bank sponsored the Palmetto Elementary School Winter Social & Silent Auction. The funds raised by this event will be used to pay for educational programs, classroom supplies, campus improvements and technological resources beyond what the state of Florida or Miami-Dade Public School District can provide.  Last year, Palmetto Elementary School was able to help defray the costs of technological upgrades in classrooms throughout the school by installing environmentally-friendly water bottle refilling stations. This was not the first time supporting Palmetto Elementary School as Sunstate Bank has been participating and sponsoring this great initiative for many years.

About Palmetto Elementary School

Palmetto Elementary School’s motto is Pride, Excellence and Respect. The school has the mission of providing an outstanding education within an effective learning environment that addresses the individual needs of all students, there by developing life-long learners who demonstrate pride, respect, and excellence in all endeavors. Palmetto Elementary School is an A+ School.


Future Bankers’ Camp — Class of 2016 Graduation Ceremony

Yvonne Debesa, Monica Koblinski, and Joyce Saumell Represented Sunstate Bank at the Future Bankers’ Camp, class of 2016 Graduation Ceremony.  Juniors and seniors from local high schools and trade schools got a jump-start on great careers this summer during the intensive Future Bankers' Camp.

An endeavor of the Center for Financial Training at Miami Dade College, the four-week-long program focused on introducing talented students that are interested in careers in the financial services industry. The Future Bankers’ Camp included an intense 150-hour classroom component at Wolfson Campus. The program included math, communication and financial literacy skills and a two-week internship at different banks in the Miami area.

Sunstate Bank hosted three student interns for the second consecutive year.  The students were Shadif Palacios, Mark Hayes, and Rory Leon from Coral Gables and Miami Jackson Senior High School.  The students interned at our Falls and Coral Gables branch.  The students were trained in the Teller Line, the Accounting Department, Loan Servicing Department as well as other areas of the bank.

After successfully completing the program, the students are eligible to receive the American Bankers Association Bank Teller and Customer Service Representative Certificates.

Sunstate Bank congratulates the future bankers and is proud to have been part of the Future Bankers 'Camp and we will continue participating with the same enthusiasm and support in the growth of the students in the banking industry.

Miami Wild Run & Walk

On November 12,  the Sunstate Bank team Alina Dominguez, Carlos Vazquez, Joyce Saumell, Lupe Diaz and Robert Lesueur completed the Miami Wild Run & Walk going wild in the zoo for at-risk youth. For many of the team-members this was not their first time around the track as Sunstate Bank has been participating and sponsoring this great cause for many years.

Over 7,000 youths were served last year by the outreach of the Miami Youth for Christ Organization. During the 2015 Miami Wild Run event, over 1,000 peopole participated and raised $103,000. The Sunstate Bank team was there. Check out the Sponsor page for more information:

Miami Wild Run & Walk

About the Miami Youth For Christ Organization

For over 65 years, Miami YFC has been working together with other like-minded partners to help young people make good choices, establish a solid foundation for life, and positively impact the world around them. The YFC organization was incorporated in 1945 and the Miami chapter was incorporated in 1948 with the mission of positively impacting young people everywhere by working together with the local community.

In 1993, the KIX neighborhood outreach program was established in West Homestead with the mission of offering help, hope, and wholeness to at-risk children and youth. KIX has provided all-inclusive, free after-school services for urban children and youth from Kindergarten through High School for over 20 years. Today, KIX serves more than 500 children and youth in three locations of Miami-Dade County: West Homestead/Florida City, Jordan Commons in Princeton, which is the nation's largest Habitat for Humanity community, and in Overtown at the Miami Rescue Mission.

Miami YFC is committed to empowering the children, youth, and families of our community by providing faith-based services that enhance their emotional, spiritual, physical, and educational well-being through our educational and outreach programs. Sunstate Bank values Miami YFC efforts!