A friend of a friend-Sybil Bullard-Larry Chavis-October 11

One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for October 11, 2015.

My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.

On Friday night UNC Pembroke hosted a great event for Chancellor Club Members at the Chancellor’s Residence. The UNCP Chancellor’s Club members are individuals or businesses that have contributed $1,000 or more to the university in the past year. My wife and I are members and we got to interact with many wonderful leaders that care about higher education and specifically UNCP.

One member that was in attendance was Larry Chavis and his wife Loleta.

Larry serves as president of Lumbee Guaranty Bank. There may not be a business that has done more to partner and support UNCP than this bank. If you walk across campus you can’t help notice that the university’s football team plays at Lumbee Guaranty Bank Field and the main gymnasium in the Jones Center is home to Lumbee Guaranty Bank Court.

Aerial shot of Lumbee Guaranty Bank Field on the campus of UNC Pembroke.


Lumbee Guaranty Bank was incorporated under the laws of North Carolina on September 29, 1971, and commenced operations as a North Carolina state-chartered bank on December 20, 1971.  When it started it was called Lumbee Bank and it was historic because it was the first Indian owned bank in the United States when it opened its doors in 1971.

The Bank was originally founded by area residents who believed that there was a growing need and demand for a locally owned and operated commercial Bank. Those founders were correct. Today Lumbee Guaranty Bank is located in many towns in our region including Fayetteville, NC. You can find Lumbee Guaranty Bank branches in Rowland, Fairmont, St. Paul’s, Raeford, Lumberton, and of course Pembroke. The headquarters are located right off NC 711 in a beautiful building.

lumbe bank

Larry Chavis began his career with Lumbee Guaranty Bank in July 1987 as President and CEO and has over 40 years of banking experience.  His arrival as president has seen the bank expand from one location to fourteen. His leadership has the bank being in possession of over more than $300 million in assets and employs 100 plus people.

Larry is a man who truly cares about his community and it is evident by his involvement in non-profit boards such as the Duke Heart Center, Southeastern Region Medical Center Foundation Board, Thomas Family Center and UNCP Foundation & Endowment Board. He also has been a strong supporter for the Boy Scouts of America.

UNCP is proud to call him a graduate. He earned a degree in accounting from then Pembroke State University. He also has a MBA from Campbell University along with completing a number higher education banking programs.

Larry has received several awards including Business Man of the Year 1992, Silver Beaver Award from Boy Scouts 1999 and UNCP-Distinguished Alumni Award. For many of us being able to call him a friend is also a reward.

One member of Lumbee Guaranty Bank Board of Directors is Sybil Bulllard.


larry chavis

The Friend of the Friend-SYBIL BULLARD

Sybil Bullard

One smart lady

Sybil Jones Bullard grew up on a farm in Pembroke, NC but don’t let that fool you in to thinking you are not dealing with one intelligent and very sophisticated businesswomen. After finishing high school she attended one of the south’s most prestigious institutions Davidson College.

I got to know Sybil when she served on the UNC Pembroke Board of Trustees. At the time she was a board member I was the university’s athletic director. She was one of the instrumental BOT members that supported UNC Pembroke bringing back football. That decision has proven to be a good one. She was also on the board when they approved the hiring of Pete Shinnick as UNCP Head Football Coach.


After Sybil graduated from Davidson College she worked as an International Banking Officer for Wachovia Bank and Trust. In May of 1983 Sybil came back home to join the family business, JR Jones Grain, where she served as President and General Manager until joining Southeastern Grain Company LLC in May of 2013. Today at Southeastern Sybil serves as Vice-President. Southeastern Grain is committed to helping farmers receive the best price for the grain they worked hard to produce.

Sybil serves on the Board of Directors at the Lumbee Guaranty Bank, COMtech, and as I mentioned above previously on the Board of Trustees at University of North Carolina at Pembroke. She also is a member of the Pembroke First United Methodist Church.

The success of Lumbee Bank can be credited to a lot of factors. I don’t discount a big part of it is leadership. Larry Chavis and Sybil Bullard are two examples of that home grown type of visionary leadership.


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