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Robbie Roepstorff, president, Edison National Bank/Bank of the Islands

Dec. 22, 2012
Robbie Roepstorff
Robbie Roepstorff

Robbie Roepstorff

» Title: President/founder of Edison National Bank/Bank of the Islands
» Oversees: Operations of the bank, which is the only locally based community bank in Lee County.
» Industry service: Past Florida Bankers Association director.
» Industry honors: Florida Bankers Association “Banker of the Year” 2010; past commissioner, Florida Transportation Commission, 1997-1999; Sanibel-Captiva Chamber Citizen of the Year Award, 2004.
» Age: 60
» Born: Florence, Ala.
» Family: Husband, Geoff; one son.


Robbie Roepstorff is one of the finalists for The News-Press People of the Year – but she recently became a member of an even more exclusive club.

Edison National Bank/Bank of the Islands, where Roepstorff is president and co-founder, was awarded a BauerFilnancial five-star rating for fiscal soundness — the holy grail of credibility for bankers.

It’s a mark of Roepstorff’s modest and understated style that she was actually agonizing over whether it would be appropriate to put a stick-on announcing the rating on her bank’s front door.

“It’s not good to be boastful,” she mused, studying the stick-on and the door.

That’s the way Roepstorff rolls with the bank that she and her husband Geoff co-founded in 1997. They pay more attention to factors such as making sure they know the people they’re doing business with – and never putting all their eggs in one basket.

“She is the epitome of a community banker,” said Bill Valenti, executive vice president and market president for IberiaBank's Lee County operations. “Oftentimes there’s a gap between people who say these things and people who do those things. Not only does she do those things but she’s extremely involved in the betterment of the community.”

Roepstorff’s community activities run the gamut of how someone could be involved in Southwest Florida, but it’s clear her heart is in the area of education.

“I have a passion for education,” she said. “Education’s the cornerstone for everything, in my opinion.”

Roepstorff’s backed that up with a plethora of education-related activities – at present she chairs the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools and serves on the Florida Gulf Coast University Board of Trustees.

“I don’t propose to go in and tell education leaders what to do,” she said, but business people can help support at-risk children who are in danger of losing their chance at success in life because of hard economic times. “Mentoring makes all the difference in the world to these kids.”

The other strong theme of her community involvement is the need to improve the economy and attract new businesses to the area.

She’s a member of the Horizon Council, Lee County's private/public economic development partnership, and is on its task force to suggest guidelines for the county's business incentive program.

Roepstorff has been president of Edison for 16 years and has spent most of her life in the banking industry, but said it was almost chance that brought her there.

She was working in a dress shop in her hometown of Florence, Ala., in 1974 when the president of the First National Bank of Florida — who knew her because her job was to make the shop’s bank deposits — gave her a standing invitation to come aboard as a teller.

The rest is a story of steady advancement, long work weeks and increasingly important roles in the community.

Roepstorff’s in no hurry to change that.

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