Jimmy Sawyers


Jimmy Sawyers helps banks tackle issues ranging from strategic technology planning and system selection to cybersecurity and enterprise risk management.

A graduate of Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee, Jimmy started his career in financial services technology at a fast-growing bank, where he was chosen at the young age of 21 to lead the bank’s operations and technology division, becoming one of the youngest officers in the history of the 100-year-old bank.  Later, he directed the consulting division of a prominent CPA and consulting firm before joining a tech startup and then co-founding Sawyers & Jacobs LLC.

Jimmy is on the faculty of the Barret Graduate School of Banking at Christian Brothers University, the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University, The Southeastern School of Banking at Belmont University, the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management at the University of Virginia, and the Mississippi School of Banking at the University of Mississippi, where he teaches technology, payments, cybersecurity, and/or risk management courses at all five schools.

Jimmy has authored two books on technology and risk management in community banks, is a frequent contributor to industry publications, and is a regular on the banking industry speaking circuit.

Known as one of the most independent and informed voices in the industry, in addition to being nationally recognized for his entertaining presentations that engage, inform, and educate, Jimmy always delivers valuable takeaways, practical advice, and a fresh perspective on complex issues.

Joshua Jacobs


Joshua Jacobs has 22 years of experience providing information technology consulting services and solutions focusing on financial institutions. He is an Indiana University Kelly School of Business graduate with a Master of Science in Finance (MSF) and a Christian Brothers University graduate with a Master of Business Administration (MBA), a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Information Technology Management, and a Graduate Certificate in Project Management (GCPM).

He has served as an adjunct faculty member at his alma mater, Christian Brothers University, teaching a course on Digital Forensics that is part of the Cybersecurity & Digital Forensics degree program.  Joshua is also on the faculty of the South Carolina Bankers School at Lander University, where he teaches the cybersecurity and banking course.  He holds numerous IT and IT security certifications, including the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), the GIAC Penetration Tester (GPEN), and the Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP).  He specializes in cybersecurity assessments and penetration testing, network design and support, and network virtualization.

Lindsey Alexander, CPA

Vice President of Consulting

Lindsey Alexander helps our clients with tech provider evaluations, vendor management programs, and risk assessments.  Additionally, she plays an active role in new talent recruitment for the firm and manages our social media presence.

Experienced in pricing analyses, advanced data analytics, and financial risk management, Lindsey has worked as a Senior Credit Analyst at a large regional bank, a Financial Analyst at a Fortune 500 company, and at a regional accounting firm.  She brings a vast knowledge of financial analysis to our system selection engagements and our vendor management programs, helping our clients get the best return on investment in their tech provider relationships, while also providing helpful insight into our clients’ technology vendors.

Lindsey currently serves as an adjunct professor of accounting at Christian Brothers University and Rhodes College. She graduated from Christian Brothers University with a B.S. in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) with a Concentration in Forensic Accounting. Alongside her postgraduate education, Lindsey is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Lindsey, her husband Cale, and their two dogs and cat live in Hernando, Mississippi.

Brendan Burke

Associate Consultant

Brendan Burke provides cybersecurity and consulting assistance to our clients through a variety of engagements, such as facilitating vulnerability scans and conducting simulated spear phishing tests to measure the security awareness of our clients’ employees.  A graduate of Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, Brendan studied computer science, information systems and criminal justice before finding his passion for cybersecurity.  He ultimately achieved his Bachelor of Arts in Cybersecurity, and he plans to further his education by achieving Security+ and PenTest+ certifications in the near future.

Brendan has always loved knowing how things worked.  As a child, he dissected and reassembled remote control cars to change their functionalities.  Throughout his formative years, this intense curiosity continued to grow, and he even experimented with using broken computers and old phones as isolated sandboxes to test security features in his spare time.  He brings this passion to the team at Sawyers & Jacobs through his desire to learn the ins and outs of our clients’ network systems, with the ultimate goal of improving their security against the latest cybersecurity threats.

Brendan has moved to Memphis from Farmville, Virginia, and enjoys rock climbing and playing board and card games in his free time.

Jason Corder, CPA, CISA

Senior Vice President

Jason Corder helps our clients with a variety of IT and risk management issues while drawing on his extensive background in bank operations and regulatory compliance.  He also leads the Sawyers & Jacobs consulting team in our Northwest Arkansas office and manages relationships with our clients in that region.  

Prior to joining our team, he served as Chief Operating Officer and Information Security Officer for a community bank, with responsibilities including oversight of bank operations, information technology, loan review, risk management, and asset/liability management.  Jason’s banking experience also includes the role of Senior Bank Examiner for the Arkansas State Bank Department.  As a Safety and Soundness Examiner, Jason evaluated banks for regulatory compliance, financial soundness, and appropriate risk management controls.  He graduated from Arkansas State University with a B.S. in Finance and Union University with a Master of Christian Studies.  Jason is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and he holds the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification.

Jason, his wife Elizabeth, and their three children live in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Avery Ellis

Associate Consultant

Avery Ellis serves our clients as an associate consultant, with a focus on assistance in the areas of system selection and vendor management.  With scrupulous attention to detail, she assists with conducting thorough analyses of vendor proposals, contracts, and invoices for our clients.  In addition, she performs the comprehensive research required for vendor financial reviews and profiles as part of due diligence consulting services.

Avery is a graduate of Christian Brothers University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.  She is presently pursuing her Master of Accountancy (MAcc) and plans to further her education by becoming a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) after the completion of her graduate degree.  In her free time, she enjoys reading and listening to true crime podcasts and a wide variety of music.

Avery currently resides in Hernando, Mississippi.

Matthew Evans

Vice President

Matthew Evans helps our clients in several areas including business continuity consulting, risk assessment facilitation, IT reviews, and social media consulting.  He is a graduate of the University of Memphis with a B.B.A. in Marketing Management and has eighteen years of experience in the service industry.  He helps us deliver superior client satisfaction and cultivate successful long-term relationships with our clients and business partners.

Matthew, his wife Savannah, and their two daughters live in Collierville, Tennessee.

Patrick Glaser

Vice President

Patrick Glaser has over twenty years of experience in desktop and server support as a systems engineer and business analyst. Before joining the Sawyers & Jacobs team, his previous work included a technology support firm, regional CPA and consulting firm, and more recently a Fortune 100 corporation where he was involved in new product testing and development. Patrick’s educational background in telecommunications, his expert troubleshooting skills, and his dedication to superior client service make him a valuable member of our team and an excellent resource for our clients.

A native of Evansville, Indiana, Patrick, his wife, and two children live in Bartlett, Tennessee.

Chris Gulley

Vice President

Chris Gulley has 22 years of experience in the information technology field with a background in security operations, as well as design and implementation of technical infrastructure.  Before joining our firm, Chris served as Senior Security Analyst for a world-renowned children’s research hospital where he engaged cybersecurity measures to protect donor information.  A former community banker, Chris served as Information Security Officer (ISO) and Director of IT for a fast-growing community bank after serving in the same roles at a securities firm.

His roles have included researching and evaluating security practices, performing network penetration testing, and vulnerability scans, implementing Security Information Event Management (SIEM) systems, and managing server, network, and desktop support.  He holds his CompTIA PenTest+ certification.

A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, Chris, his wife, and two children live in Cordova, Tennessee.

Buzz Hardin


A native of West Memphis, Buzz spent his undergraduate years at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology before moving to Fayetteville and earning his Juris Doctor degree at the University of Arkansas School of Law.  While in law school, Buzz was published in the December 2020 edition of the Arkansas Law Review and studied topics ranging from secured transaction, federal income taxation, and bankruptcy to contracts, sales, and intellectual property rights.  Drawing on his history in complex data analytics, professional responsibility, and zealous client advocacy, Buzz assists our clients by providing information technology consulting and analyzing risk management strategies.

Buzz and his wife Sarah are back at home in the Memphis area once again, living in Midtown Memphis with their son and two dogs.

Chelsea Hardwick

Client Relationship and Accounting Specialist

Chelsea helps our firm deliver engagements that result in superior client satisfaction and cultivate successful long-term relationships.  Through her impeccable organizational skills and careful attention to detail, she keeps all projects on track and prepares top-quality deliverables for our clients.

With over a decade of experience as a community banker, Chelsea has a keen understanding of the financial services industry.  She is well-versed in the areas of credit analysis, business development, and bank operations.  She has also served as an accountant for a Fortune 500 company.  This experience allows her to better understand our clients’ environments and provide an exceptional level of service.

Chelsea is a graduate of the University of Memphis with a B.B.A. in Accounting.  She is also a graduate of both the Southeastern School of Consumer Credit and the Southeastern School of Commercial Lending.  She is an active member of the Junior Auxiliary of Collierville and an alumnus of Leadership Collierville.

Chelsea, her husband Collin, and their twins live in Collierville, Tennessee.

Derrick Jones

Senior Consultant

Derrick Jones has 28 years of experience in the Information Technology field, with a strong background in Operations, Information Security, and Tech Design & Support.  Derrick served in several IT and security roles at a fast-growing community bank with multi-state operations where he helped this bank integrate systems at several acquisitions.

His banking career also included managing a team of helpdesk and network support specialists, overseeing patch and vulnerability management, and facilitating IT change management processes.  Derrick was on the team for security monitoring and incident response as he worked hard to protect the information assets of his bank.  Derrick holds several IT certifications, including the Security+, and he now brings that wealth of experience and work ethic to our team as he helps our clients in several tech and cybersecurity areas.

Derrick, his wife, April, and their two children are natives of West Tennessee.

Chance Lawson

Associate Consultant

Chance Lawson, originally from Searcy, Arkansas, serves our clients as an associate consultant, with a focus on projects related to information technology risk and business continuity planning.  Already a proven leader with managerial experience, he has a strong background in investing and insurance, bringing a business-minded approach to the risk management consulting services at our firm.

Chance graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas, earning his Bachelor of Science in Finance with an emphasis in banking.  During his college career, he spent a significant amount of time working with a community bank on a long-term risk analysis project, and he also completed internships that spanned a wide variety of areas related to financial services, from technology and cybersecurity to investment planning.

In his spare time, Chance enjoys competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitions and spending time with his cat, Maya.  He currently resides in Collierville, Tennessee.

Nicole Pedicord

Associate Consultant

Nicole (Nikki) Pedicord assists our clients by providing risk management consulting services, including the facilitation and delivery of our numerous risk assessments.  She also plays a pivotal role within the firm through conducting ongoing, in-depth research of the latest industry threats and updating our various risk assessments to reflect the ever-changing banking environment.

Nikki graduated from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, with a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science and Economics.  During her time at Rhodes, she held several student leadership positions, including director of finance for one campus organization where she created and maintained a $50,000 budget.  She also had several internships working with non-profits in both Memphis and Birmingham, focusing on community and business development in those communities.

When Nikki is not working, she enjoys reading fiction novels, learning fun historical facts, and exercising.  She currently lives in East Memphis with her cat, Octavia.

Daniel Pipkin

Associate Consultant

A native of Houston, Texas, Daniel spent his undergraduate years at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, where he completed a Bachelor of Business Administration in Information Systems with a minor in Computer Science and continued to finish an accelerated program for his Master of Science in Information Systems with a concentration in information assurance and security.  During his time at Harding, he founded the social club ROME and was active with the hacking team and his school’s chapter of the Association for Information Systems.  Daniel serves our clients in the areas of network consulting and support.

In his spare time, Daniel enjoys kickboxing, grappling, and playing tabletop games with friends.  Currently, he resides in Collierville, Tennessee.

Kyle Santos


Kyle Santos assists our clients by providing cybersecurity and consulting services, with a specialization in vulnerability scans and targeted spear phishing tests.  His passion for computers and information technology started at an early age, influenced by a friend who built his own computer in middle school.  Since that time, Kyle has developed a robust repertoire of digital expertise that includes application and web development, computer system design and architecture, and security compliance and auditing.  One of the things he enjoys most about his role is helping our clients enhance their cybersecurity preparedness by determining any potential weaknesses and giving them practical, real-world advice on methods to make their security even stronger.

A graduate of Christian Brothers University with a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics with a minor in Mathematics, Kyle has earned his Security+ and PenTest+ certifications and aspires to deepen his skills by achieving even more certifications in his field.  When Kyle is not busy studying for his certification exams, he enjoys reading science fiction novels and keeping up with the latest independent and foreign films.  He currently resides in Olive Branch, Mississippi, with his puggle, Luke, and his goldendoodle, Rocket.

Lorri Schmitz


Lorri Schmitz helps our clients in the areas of risk assessment facilitation, engagement planning, project management, online learning, and RedTorch Academy enrollment.  Lorri also keeps projects on track, prepares quality deliverables, and serves as a consistent and available point of contact for clients.  A former banker, Lorri has worked in several banking areas, including compliance, operations, commercial lending, and mortgage lending.  Her banking experience allows her to better understand our clients’ environments and provide an exceptional level of client service.  A native Memphian, Lorri graduated from the University of Memphis with a Bachelor of Professional/Paralegal Studies.

Lorri and her husband, Terry, live in Cordova, Tennessee.

Nicolas Scott, CISA

Senior Consultant

A graduate of Williams Baptist College in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, Nick earned his Bachelor of Science in Finance while serving as captain of the baseball team.  Showing the same hustle he had on the playing field, and with over five years of experience in the banking industry, Nick holds the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification and provides consulting services in the areas of IT audit, business continuity, incident response, and risk management.  Nick draws on his experience in business operations to help our clients balance practical risk mitigation with an excellent customer experience and increased profitability.

A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Nick now resides in Arlington, Tennessee.

Ben Smith


Ben Smith provides cybersecurity consulting and information technology risk management services to our clients.  He has ten years of experience in bank operations, business risk management, computer networking, cybersecurity, data analysis, project management, and information technology audits and examinations.

Prior to joining our team, he served as Information Security Officer for one of the fastest-growing banks in the nation, Network Administrator for multiple community banks, Information Security Analyst and Information Security Officer for a community development financial institution, and Assistant Cashier for a community bank in his hometown.  His roles in banking have included front-office and back-office operations, IT support and IT support oversight, IT project management, business risk measurement and reporting, process improvement, information security program management, IT strategic planning, and served as IT Steering Committee Chairman.

Ben is a Henderson State University School of Business graduate with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with a concentration in finance, and he has also earned his CompTIA Security+ certification.

Ben, his wife Lauren, and son live in Northwest Arkansas.

Dana Wilkes

Vice President – Client Services

Dana helps our clients by being their personal connection and vanguard for the firm as we strive for 100% client satisfaction in all that we do.  She is involved with client projects on multiple levels, from initial engagement to client deliverables and ongoing client communication.

With over 25 years of experience working for national financial services consulting firms, she has a keen understanding of the issues unique to the industry. Prior to joining Sawyers & Jacobs, she was the team leader for a well-respected and long-running national executive peer group forum for community bankers, which involved directing and overseeing multiple continuing education and networking conferences annually across the nation.

Dana received her Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in history from Baylor University, and she also holds a Master of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing from Baylor.

Dana, her husband Bo, and their two sons live in Austin, Texas.