Our Management Team
CornerStone Bank’s Executive Management team has the expertise and knowledge to provide a level of responsive and personalized service that is unique in this market. These talented professionals deliver on our pledge that CornerStone Cares.
J. Steven Grist, President
J. Steven Grist became the President of CornerStone Bank in 2014, succeeding his brother, T. David Grist, the founding CEO and President. Steve has served on the Board of Directors of CornerStone Bank since its inception in 2009. Before his role as President, he served as Vice Chairman of the Board, chair of the Asset/Liability Committee and was a member of the Executive Committee. Prior to joining CornerStone Bank, Steve had a private law practice in Lexington for many years that concentrated in trusts and estates, commercial and corporate law, and real estate. He served as Commissioner of Accounts for the Circuit Court of Lexington and Rockbridge County. A lifelong resident of Lexington, Grist graduated from Lexington High School, earned a B.A. with a double major in Economics and English from the University of Virginia and a J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law. He is a Past President of the Rockbridge-Buena Vista Bar Association, and is licensed to practice law in Virginia and Texas. He is past chair of the Virginia Conference of Commissioners of Accounts. He served on the Virginia State Bar Council for the 25th Judicial Circuit and on the Professionalism Course Faculty. Over the years, Steve has served in numerous local leadership roles including director of the Lexington Rotary Club; president of the Rockbridge Area Free Clinic (now the Rockbridge Area Health Center); president of the United Way of Lexington/Rockbridge County; president of the Lexington/Rockbridge County Chamber of Commerce; president of the Lexington/Rockbridge Jaycees; and president of the American Heart Association, Rockbridge Unit. He and his family attend R.E. Lee Memorial Church (Episcopal), where Steve has been a Sunday school teacher, served on the Vestry and is currently a Trustee.
L. Ben Johnson
Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer
Direct line – 540.462.6724
Ben is a native of Charlottesville and graduated from Albemarle High School. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University of Virginia in 1975. His career includes over 30 years of progressive management and business operations experience with an emphasis in accounting, funds management and data processing. He has served in Controller and Operations’ leadership positions for banks and businesses in the Charlottesville and Richmond areas.
Ben is responsible for managing all aspects of CornerStone Bank’s operational support areas including accounting, deposit compliance, shareholder relations and human resources. He and his wife, Barbara, have three grown children. A resident of Charlottesville, Ben is active with Habitat for Humanity and serves as an elder at Olivet Presbyterian Church.
Vice-President, Retail Banking Mortgage Specialist
Direct line – 540.462.6722
Cell – 540.784.0222
Mary graduated from Parry McCluer High School. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Longwood College in Elementary Education and is a 2000 graduate of the University of Virginia’s School of Bank Management.
Mary has over seventeen years in the banking and mortgage business and has extensive experience in retail bank management for both large and small financial institutions. She recently earned the mortgage loan originator (MLO) licensure. Before joining CornerStone Bank in 2008, Mary owned her own mortgage company specializing in residential lending.
A native of Buena Vista and an active civic and sports volunteer, Mary still coaches softball at Parry McCluer High School. She also organized, manages and coaches in a softball organization called “Blaze Softball” that contains three summer travel softball teams, a 10 and under, a twelve and under and a 14 and under team. Along with softball she has been a volunteer basketball coach for Buena Vista Little League.
Mary is responsible for managing all aspects of CornerStone Bank’s retail operations, including personal and business checking and savings accounts, personal and mortgage loans, and new branch development. Mary also manages the secondary mortgage department of CornerStone Bank. She and her husband Greg have four children, Caleb, Lexy, Logan and Kenton.
Frank W. Friedman
Vice-President, Financial Advisor
Direct line – 540.462.6736
Cell – 540.570.3485
Frank is a native of Radford, Virginia. He was raised in Lexington, Virginia beginning in second grade and graduated from Lexington High School in 1984. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Managerial Economics from Hampden-Sydney College. After graduating, Frank began his banking career in 1988 and held positions in Retail, Credit, Private Banking, and Investment management with major financial institutions in Jacksonville, Florida and Richmond, Virginia before returning to Lexington in 1997 as a financial advisor.
He holds a Series 7 license along with 6, 65, 24, life and annuities licenses. He has completed training in ethics, information security, and regulatory supervision. In addition to his professional experience, Frank has served as a member of the Lexington City Council, Lexington City School Board, the United Way, and Rockbridge Regional Tourism Board.
He is currently a board member of Kendal at Lexington, Stonewall Jackson Hospital Foundation, The YMCA of Rockbridge, and attends Lexington Presbyterian Church. With 24 years of experience in the financial service business, Frank is prepared to work with you towards your financial goals.