New Technology Leader Joins Board of Pensions

Philadelphia, PA March 6, 2017 The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has hired Doug Batezel as Vice President, Information Technology. Prior to joining the Board of Pensions, Doug served as Managing Director of Beneration, LLC. In his new role he will report to the Chief Operating Officer of the organization.

Doug previously spent 22 years in a variety of marketing and technology leadership roles with Philadelphia-based Independence Blue Cross. Doug holds an undergraduate degree from Temple University and an MS degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

The Board of Pensions currently manages over $9 billion in pension assets, as well as a number of benefit plans covering thousands of current and former church employees and their families.

Peoples Bancorp Elects New Director

Marietta, OH, January 27, 2017 – Peoples Bancorp Inc. (“Peoples”) (NASDAQ: PEBO) today announced that Terry T. Sweet has been elected to its Board of Directors, as well as the Board of Directors of Peoples’ Ohio state banking subsidiary, Peoples Bank.  Mr. Sweet, 65, is a former partner of KPMG LLP (“KPMG”), a professional services company and one of the “Big Four” U.S. accounting firms, which is headquartered in New York City, New York. He retired from KPMG in 2012.

“We are delighted that Terry has joined our Board,” said David L. Mead, Peoples’ Chairman. “The knowledge he brings from nearly 34 years of financial services industry public accounting experience will be of tremendous value to us.”

Chuck Sulerzyski, President and CEO of Peoples, said that he too is pleased with Sweet’s election. “As an audit engagement partner and bank practice leader with KPMG for many years, Terry oversaw the execution of hundreds of financial institution audit engagements. He is an excellent addition to our Board, and I am thrilled that he has joined us.”

Mr. Sweet was employed by KPMG from 1979 to 2012, and was admitted as a partner in 1989. From 2006 to 2012, he was Filing Review Partner for KPMG’s U.S. Capital Markets Group in London, England and New York City, New York, where he served as the lead filing review partner for the U.S. capital raises and related regulatory filings of KPMG’s largest financial services clients. From 1989 to 2006, he was Audit Engagement Partner and SEC Reviewing Partner in the Philadelphia office of KPMG where he served as the lead audit partner on public and private banking and finance company audits throughout the Mid-Atlantic area.  A Certified Public Accountant, Mr. Sweet holds a Master in Business Administration degree from Lehigh University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pennsylvania State University.

Peoples is a diversified financial products and services company with $3.4 billion in assets, 79 sales offices, including 71 full-service bank branches, and 78 ATMs in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. Peoples makes available a complete line of banking, investment, insurance, and trust solutions through its subsidiaries – Peoples Bank and Peoples Insurance Agency, LLC. Peoples’ common shares are traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market® under the symbol “PEBO”, and Peoples is a member of the Russell 3000 index of US publicly traded companies. Learn more about Peoples at

Equity Bank Names President

Wichita, KS, January 26, 2017 — (NASDAQ:EQBK), the Wichita-based holding company of Equity Bank, has announced the addition of a President to oversee the operating function, lending and strategy of Equity Bank throughout its 34 branches.  Wendell Bontrager will join Equity on February 20, 2017. Bontrager most recently served as Region President for Old National Bank in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Bontrager will report to Equity’s Chairman and CEO, Brad Elliott, who attributes the addition of a bank president to the Company’s continued growth.

“Wendell is a great fit strategically for Equity Bank, and is also a key fit within our Company’s culture and future plans. We expect that Wendell will be a tremendous resource as we continue to grow from a $2 billion bank,” said Elliott. “We’re at the point in our organization that merits the addition of a strong leader to help us continue our path of organic growth, and managing the newly merged companies into our organic growth platform. Wendell has worked for financial institutions large and small, helping banks define competitive strategies, develop customers, and navigate business combinations. He’ll be a great fit for Equity Bank.”

Mr. Elliott will continue to serve as the Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of both Equity Bank and Equity Bancshares, Inc.

Mr. Bontrager served as Executive Vice President for Tower Bank & Trust Company (“Tower”), headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  He was employed from March 1999 through Tower’s merger into Old National Bancorp on April 25, 2014, and oversaw Tower’s transition from Tower Bank to Old National Bank in 2014. He led Old National’s northeast sales efforts following the combination.

Bontrager began his banking career in Fort Wayne in 1992 and is an alumnus of Goshen College (Goshen, Ind.). He has been active in the northeast Indiana and Fort Wayne communities throughout his career, including board memberships with the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnerships and DuPont Hospital, and is a Future 40 Award Recipient of 2006, awarded by the Fort Wayne Business Journal.

Equity Bancshares, Inc. is the holding company for Equity Bank, which offers a full range of financial solutions, including commercial loans, consumer banking, mortgage loans, and treasury management services. As of December 31, 2016, Equity had $2.19 billion in consolidated total assets, with 34 locations throughout Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri.


Old Point CFO to Retire After 31 Years

Hampton, VA, January 19,, 2017    Old Point Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: OPOF) announced today that after more than three decades of dedicated service to Old Point National Bank and parent Old Point Financial Corporation, Laurie Grabow, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer has announced her intent to retire in the summer of 2017.

Old Point Financial Corporation’s Chairman, Robert F. Shuford, Sr. said, “I’ve known Laurie for many years and her commitment to this bank, our employees, and the stockholders is unmatched.  She contributed greatly to the growth of this organization and will be deeply missed.  However, at Old Point, we value family, so we are delighted that Laurie will be able to spend more quality time with both her children and grandchild.”

Old Point has engaged Kaplan Partners, an executive search firm headquartered in Philadelphia, to lead the search for a new Chief Financial Officer.  Kaplan Partners specializes in attracting C-level executives to clients in the banking and financial services industry.  Rob Shuford, Jr., President and CEO of Old Point National Bank added, “Laurie’s dedication through the recession positioned our company well for the future.  She certainly won’t be easy to replace, but we are confident that a strong candidate who believes in the values of community banking will emerge.  This is an exciting time to be at Old Point and it’s a great time to live in Hampton Roads.”

Old Point Financial Corporation (“OPOF” – Nasdaq) is the parent company of The Old Point National Bank of Phoebus, a locally owned and managed community bank serving all of Hampton Roads and Old Point Trust & Financial Services, N.A., a Hampton Roads wealth management services provider.


Halliday Joins NBT as President of Commercial Banking

Norwich, N.Y., January 18, 2017  — NBT Bancorp Inc. (NBT) (NASDAQ:NBTB) President and CEO John H. Watt Jr. announced today that Sarah A. Halliday has joined NBT as Executive Vice President and President of Commercial Banking. She will also serve on NBT’s Executive Management Team.

In her new role, Halliday will assume overall responsibility for NBT’s Commercial Banking Division. “We’re excited by the opportunity to have Sarah drive our commercial banking efforts and join the NBT leadership team,” said Watt. “We have a strong, talented team of commercial bankers who will welcome her leadership and enthusiasm as we continue to offer local and relationship-based service and financing solutions that meet the current and future needs of our customers.”

Halliday has 25 years of experience in banking and commercial lending. She comes to NBT from M&T Bank where she was most recently employed as Capital Region Market President. Prior to joining M&T in 2005, Halliday worked for the New York Business Development Corporation for 11 years as Vice President and Loan Officer. She started her career with Fleet Bank.

Halliday is a native of Syracuse and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Colgate University, graduating with honors in Economics. She resides in the Albany area and will maintain offices in both Albany and at NBT’s headquarters in Norwich.

NBT Bancorp Inc. is a financial holding company headquartered in Norwich, N.Y., with total assets of $8.9 billion. The company primarily operates through NBT Bank, N.A., a full-service community bank and through two financial services companies. NBT Bank, N.A. has 154 banking locations with offices in New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.  EPIC Advisors, Inc., based in Rochester, N.Y., is a full-service 401(k) plan recordkeeping firm.  NBT-Mang Insurance Agency, based in Norwich, N.Y., is a full-service insurance agency. More information about NBT and its divisions can be found on the Internet at:

Bankwell Financial Group Names CFO

New Canaan, Conn.-based Bankwell Financial Group Inc. named Penko Ivanov CFO and executive vice president of the company and unit Bankwell Bank, effective Nov. 9.  He replaces Ernest Verrico Sr., who is set to retire Jan. 31, 2017. Verrico will serve the company in an advisory role until his retirement.

Prior to joining Bankwell Financial, Ivanov was CFO of Doral Bank‘s U.S. Operations and CFO of Darien Rowayton Bank.

Bar Harbor Bankshares Names CFO

Josephine Iannelli was named executive vice president, CFO and treasurer of Bar Harbor Bankshares and unit Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, effective October. 23. The Bar Harbor, Maine-based company’s interim CFO, Bradford Kopp, will continue to serve as CFO until such date.

Prior to this appointment, Ms. Iannelli served as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (“Berkshire”), having previously served Berkshire as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer since January 2014. She was the principal financial and accounting officer of Berkshire, having joined as Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer in March 2013. Previously, Ms. Iannelli had senior accounting policy responsibilities at several banks, including PNC Financial, National City Corporation and KeyCorp. 

Iannelli is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace University, and began her career with KPMG Peat Marwick in Cleveland.


Temple Graduates Hear From Kaplan

(Philadelphia, PA) Alan J. Kaplan, Founder & CEO of Kaplan Partners, was the commencement speaker today for the 2016 Graduate Graduation Ceremony for the Temple University Fox School of Business.  Kaplan, a member of the Dean’s Council of the Fox School of Business, is a 1990 MBA graduate of Temple’s business school.

Kaplan’s commencement remarks highlighted lesson’s learned from his 29 years in the senior executive talent industry, and focused on three themes:  The soft stuff is the hard stuff; relationships matter; and reputation and integrity are everything. 

The Fox School of Business conferred 195 graduate degrees during this season, including MBA, Executive MBA, Master of Accountancy and Master of Science degrees.  There were also 12 Ph.D. degrees conferred.  Over 400 graduates and guests attended in person. 

First Commonwealth Hires New EVP

INDIANA, PA — First Commonwealth Financial Corporation (NYSE: FCF) today announced the hiring of Brian G. Karrip as Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer for First Commonwealth Bank. In this role, Mr. Karrip will report directly to  T. Michael Price, President and CEO of First Commonwealth Financial Corporation, and will serve as a member of First Commonwealth’s executive leadership team. Mr. Karrip will join First Commonwealth on September 19, 2016.

In his new role, Mr. Karrip will oversee all the credit functions within the bank, including credit policy and administration, and will manage commercial and retail credit risks. Mr. Karrip will also manage back-end credit processes, including the collections and loan workout areas.

“I could not be more pleased to welcome Brian Karrip to the First Commonwealth team,” Price said. “I am confident in Brian’s stewardship of our credit culture based on his extensive experience in capital markets, middle markets and consumer lending as well as his credit discernment and oversight. Brian has a proven track record and brings a diverse, forward-thinking perspective to our bank.”

In accepting the position as Chief Credit Officer, Mr. Karrip said, “I am excited to join the leadership at First Commonwealth Bank. First Commonwealth has a long tradition of supporting its communities and markets. I am looking forward to working with the team and serving our customers.”

Prior to joining First Commonwealth, Mr. Karrip served as Executive Vice President, Specialized Lending for FirstMerit Bank. In this capacity, Mr. Karrip managed a team of 100+ employees and focused on the strategic development and day-to-day operations for seven lines of business. Mr. Karrip’s financial services career also includes 16 years with National City Bank where he held a variety of roles primarily focused on the commercial lending division and served as Regional President of Michigan and Illinois. Prior to joining FirstMerit Bank, Mr. Karrip served as Managing Director and Group Head of Loan Syndications and Sales at KeyBanc Capital Markets.  A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Mr. Karrip earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan.

First Commonwealth Financial Corporation (NYSE: FCF), headquartered in Indiana, Pennsylvania, is a financial services company with $6.7 billion in total assets and 109 banking offices in 17 counties throughout western and central Pennsylvania and central Ohio, as well as a Corporate Banking Center in northeast Ohio and mortgage offices in Stow and Dublin, Ohio. First Commonwealth provides a full range of commercial banking, consumer banking, mortgage, wealth management and insurance products and services through its subsidiaries First Commonwealth Bank and First Commonwealth Insurance Agency.

New CEO at Mascoma Savings Bank

Lebanon, NH –  Mascoma Savings Bank announced today that Clayton Adams will succeed current President and CEO Stephen F. Christy upon Christy’s previously announced year-end retirement following nearly 27 years in the leadership role.

“In selecting the Bank’s new President and CEO, the Board’s first priority was to find the right person to capably carry forward the values of Mascoma Savings Bank as they relate to our customers, our employees, and our communities,” stated Board Chair Gretchen Cherington. “After a highly successful and storied tenure under the leadership of Steve Christy, the Board also looked for someone who can guide us strategically in an increasingly demanding banking environment, ensuring Mascoma’s continued success in the future. Finally, we looked for that special individual who can successfully navigate this significant transition in leadership. Clay Adams is uniquely capable in all these regards.”

The announcement of Christy’s successor follows an intensive six-month search by Mascoma’s Board of Directors, with the assistance of executive search firm Kaplan Partners of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Board’s search spanned the Northeast region, and ultimately circled back, ending close to home with the selection of local business leader Clay Adams as the first choice. Adams has been a member of the Mascoma Savings Bank Board of Directors since 2011, and presently chairs the Bank’s Strategic Planning Committee, as well as its wealth management subsidiary, Mascoma Wealth Management, LLC, and the Mascoma Savings Bank Foundation.

Outgoing CEO Stephen Christy shared his enthusiasm with the Board’s selection as well. “I commend the Board of Directors on its outstanding selection of Mr. Adams as the next steward of Mascoma Savings Bank.  I am extremely pleased that the next CEO is someone already living in, committed to, and deeply involved in the communities that the Bank serves, and that he is someone already associated with the Bank, who understands its mission and its mutual form of ownership.  Mr. Adams has demonstrated exceptional corporate leadership and caring for his co-workers in his prior work at RSG and Simon Pearce, as well as several nonprofits.  I am excited at the prospect of Clay Adams leading Mascoma into the future.”

According to Mr. Adams, “The opportunity to serve as Mascoma’s CEO is a real honor, and following in Steve Christy’s footsteps is humbling.  He and Mascoma’s leadership team have built an institution that is part of the fabric of the community.  As a mutually owned bank, our mission is to serve our community, helping families and businesses improve their economic standing.  I look forward to continuing to fulfill this mission.  Community banking, like many industries, must constantly evolve to serve customers, respond to a changing regulatory environment and incorporate new technologies.  This part of the job is what makes it both challenging and exciting.”

Adams is expected to join the Bank’s management team in the fall, and will work closely with Christy during the final months of the year before assuming the position of President and CEO on January 1st, 2017.

A Norwich, VT resident, Adams is currently CEO of Simon Pearce, a manufacturer and distributor of handcrafted glass products, which he joined as CEO in 2012.   Previously he served for a decade as chief operating officer and then chief executive officer with RSG, Inc., a White River Junction-based consulting firm that provides strategic insights for Fortune 500 and public sector clients through advanced data modeling, market research and forecasting. During his tenure at RSG, the company was honored among the Best Places to Work in Vermont for many years.

Earlier in his professional career, Adams was with Mercer Management Consulting in Boston; Putnam, Hayes & Bartlett, an economic consulting firm in Washington, D.C., and Booz, Allen & Hamilton, a consulting firm, also in Washington.   Adams holds a MBA from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, and a bachelor’s degree in government and environmental studies from Dartmouth. He also completed specialized coursework at Harvard Business School of Executive Education.

Always active in his community, Adams is a board member of the Montshire Museum of Science and the LoveYourBrain Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life of people affected by traumatic brain injury. He is also a corporation member of Mt. Ascutney Hospital in Windsor, VT, and a member of the Vermont Community Foundation. He is one of several Vermont business leaders chosen by Congressman Peter Welch to serve on the Business Advisory Council, which provides guidance on economic and regulatory issues.

“As a Board, this is the most important decision we will make for many years to come.  As difficult as it will be to say goodbye to Steve, we are thrilled to welcome Clay as our next President and CEO,” concluded Cherington.

Headquartered in Lebanon, New Hampshire, Mascoma Savings Bank is a $1.4 billion mutually  owned bank established in 1899 with 27 branch locations in western New Hampshire and  eastern Vermont, and two loan production offices in Vermont. The Bank also offers investment  services through Mascoma Wealth Management, LLC and insurance products through its wholly owned subsidiary, Centurion Insurance Group. In 2013 the Bank formed Mascoma Community Development, LLC to help raise capital, facilitate loans, and support community development throughout Northern New England.