The American Bankers Association has promoted five staff members to its executive staff.

James Ballentine and Ken Clayton were given new government relations titles following the Dec. 31 retirement of the ABA's chief lobbyist, Floyd Stoner. Ballentine was promoted to executive vice president for congressional relations and political affairs. Ballentine had previously been senior vice president for grassroots and political operations. Clayton was named executive vice president for legislative affairs and chief counsel. Clayton, formerly senior vice president and chief counsel for federal legislative operations, will continue to run the ABA's Card Policy Council.

Meanwhile, Christy Walika was named executive vice president, Community Bank Group. Walika will still oversee the Community Bankers Council, the National Conference for Community Bankers and ABA Women's Forum. Under her new role, Walika will oversee the ABA's Government Relations Summit and Summer Leadership Meeting. She was previously senior vice president for the Community Bankers Council.

Paul Katz was promoted to executive vice president, Large Bank Group. Katz's duties include overseeing the American Bankers Insurance Association. He was previously senior vice president for the ABA's Executive Office, and before that led the association's membership department.

James Chessen will remain the ABA's chief economist, but he has been promoted to the trade group's executive staff.

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