Effective Boards

Board games, team players

It’s the stuff of Hollywood drama and CEO nightmares. Dysfunctional boards of directors – at least in movies and bad dreams – can be the source is interminable meetings, uninspired deliberation, corporate gridlock and even hostile power grabs.

In everyday business life, however, a board of directors doesn’t have to be anything like that. A great board should involve a group of engaged thought-leaders, diverse professionals and perhaps a few entrepreneurial superstars. This dynamic team will help tackle key challenges, explore growth opportunities, grapple with succession, and strategically advance the company. So, how do you create a highly talented and effective board for your company?

Map skills and needs

Begin by analyzing the strengths of current board members and identify skills gaps that should be filled by future members. A fully capable board of directors typically includes folks with industry and management expertise, plus specialists in finance, law, human resources, technology, risk, governance, innovation and markets—to name a few.

The board’s nominating committee should focus on candidates with proven qualifications, said Margaret Pederson, President and CEO of Amirexx LLC “Many people want to be considered for board positions when they are years away from being appropriate candidates. People have asked me, ‘Do I have to fully understand a P&L to sit on the board?’ They should have run a P&L before they join a board.”

Diversify, diversify

Many board meetings, unfortunately, still live up to the stereotype of being gatherings of older, white men. Improving diversity within boards is essential, Peterson said, “but I define it as diversity of thought, experience and expertise. The board needs to fully represent the world that the company serves, and be able to communicate with all company stakeholders, especially customers and employees. You want to have a diverse slate of candidates that understand markets across various income levels, geographies, cultures and other demographics.”

Value soft skills

Just as any new employee should fit well with the company’s culture, new board members need to blend well with the board’s culture. A board candidate’s communication style, priorities, personality and even emotional intelligence should be considered to determine how that person would interact with existing board members.

When creating or adding to a board, make the effort to craft an effective team that will collaborate well, challenge and inspire each other, and respect differing points of view. Ultimately, it will help your board achieve its goals of providing leadership oversight, making the best decisions, and advancing critical business strategies.

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Northwest Bank Names Head of Commercial Banking

August 7, 2019 Warren, PA — Mark T. Reitzes has been named Executive Vice President and Head of Commercial Banking for Northwest Bank, according to Ronald J. Seiffert, Northwest Chairman, President and CEO. In his new role, Mr. Reitzes will develop and execute Northwest’s commercial banking strategy, including a comprehensive and consistent sales delivery model across the bank’s footprint, as well as new commercial products and services.

During his 36-year career, Mr. Reitzes has gained extensive knowledge and experience serving in various roles in commercial and retail banking, including Commercial Banking Division Head and, subsequently, Regional President, for Huntington National Bank’s Southern Ohio/Kentucky Region. Mr. Reitzes also served as President and CEO of Cheviot Savings Bank, a $575 million community bank in Cincinnati. His background also includes supervisory regulatory experience with The Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) and with the Cincinnati office of KPMG as a CPA in the Financial Institutions practice.

Mr. Reitzes has also provided expert testimony before the United States Congressional House Banking Committee and was recognized as an EY Leading Financial Executive, Cincinnati Magazine’s Power 100 and Cincinnati Magazine’s Leading Influencer of Greater Cincinnati.

In making the announcement, Mr. Seiffert said, “Mr. Reitzes is an experienced banker with an extensive commercial background. He will add a tremendous amount of value to our organization and is uniquely qualified to lead our Commercial Banking efforts as we continue to profitably grow and expand.”

Mr. Reitzes is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati and The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business Executive Leadership program. He is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Ohio Society of CPAs.

Northwest Bank operates 172 full-service offices and ten free-standing drive through locations. Founded in 1896, Northwest offers a complete line of personal and business banking products including employee benefits, investment management services, insurance and trust. Northwest Bancshares, Inc. is the holding company of Northwest and is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market as NWBI. More information about Northwest can be found online at www.northwest.com.

S&T Bank Names Marketing Leader

July 24, 2019 Indiana, PA S&T Bank (NASDAQ: STBA), a full-service financial institution with assets of $7.3 billion, and current operations in five markets including Western Pennsylvania, Central Pennsylvania, Northeast Ohio, Central Ohio, and Upstate New York, is pleased to welcome Dana Wysinger as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).

“S&T Bank is charting a course for growth by making strategic investments in our talent and technology to provide best in class solutions and services to our communities and businesses that we serve. Prioritizing the customers’ needs and exceeding their expectations is paramount to our continuous growth strategy,” said Todd D. Brice, chief executive officer of S&T Bank. “We are excited to welcome Dana to our team and believe her diverse experience in marketing, data and analytics, and digital technology will play an integral role in transforming our business.”

Prior to joining S&T Bank, Dana held senior executive positions at several Fortune 100 & 500 companies including Target Financial Services, Wells Fargo, and most recently SunTrust Bank. She has directed strategic planning, marketing, and product management and development. Her responsibilities included driving consumer and business banking deposits, credit and lending acquisition, and retention efforts. She served in other marketing leadership roles with treasury and payments solutions, small business, and private wealth management. Dana specializes in creating product solutions that meet client’s needs, implementing financial technologies to improve the client experience, and development of digital strategies and sales effectiveness that deliver significant business results.
“Dana is a customer-centric focused marketer who leverages data and client insights to deliver an unparalleled client experience at every touchpoint of the customer lifecycle,” said Becky Stapleton, chief banking officer of S&T Bank. In her new role as chief marketing officer, Dana will be spearheading all marketing, brand and demand generation, digital strategy, and product management. Dana will work closely alongside S&T Bank’s market presidents and lines of business to develop and execute market-based strategies to enhance the customer experience across all distribution channel platforms.

“S&T Bank is a relationship bank that excels in serving customers, the community, employees, and its shareholders,” said Dana Wysinger. “I look forward to bringing the bank a solid 25-year track record delivering business growth through results-driven and customer-first marketing initiatives.”
Dana graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from the University of California, Berkeley. She received executive education in advanced strategies in digital marketing and analytics from Wharton Business School and in organizational leadership from Harvard Business School. Outside of work, Dana actively participates in numerous professional and charitable organizations including Junior Achievement, United Way, and the United States Chamber of Commerce.

About S&T Bancorp, Inc. and S&T Bank
S&T Bancorp, Inc. is a $7.3 billion bank holding company that is headquartered in Indiana, Pennsylvania and trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol STBA. Its principal subsidiary, S&T Bank, was recently named by Forbes as a 2019 World’s Best Bank and a 2018 Best-in-State Bank. Established in 1902, S&T Bank operates in five markets including Western Pennsylvania, Central Pennsylvania, Northeast Ohio, Central Ohio, and Upstate New York. www.stbank.com

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A Conversation with Trish Wellenbach

KAPLAN PARTNERS COMMEMORATES 25TH ANNIVERSARY

Wynnewood, PA – March 8, 2019 – Kaplan Partners, a leading boutique executive search and talent advisory firm, today announced its 25th anniversary serving many of the nation’s leading financial institutions.

Specializing in executive search, board advisory services and management assessment, Alan J. Kaplan, Kaplan Partners founder and CEO, launched the firm in 1994, employing a holistic approach and proven methodology that finds the best solutions for evolving client leadership needs. Today, he and his team work directly with CEOs, boards, and investors to identify and evaluate leadership potential, leveraging best practices in corporate governance and succession management that ensure clients’ continued success in today’s demanding market.

“We are very proud of what we’ve accomplished over our first 25 years, and grateful to our clients, colleagues and friends who have enabled this journey,” said Kaplan. “Looking ahead, we are committed to setting a new standard for advising CEOs and boards on leadership succession, corporate governance, talent management, and enhancing diversity.”

Since its beginnings, the firm has served leading regional and community banks, asset management firms, private equity and venture capital funds, FinTech firms, mortgage and insurance companies, credit unions, technology companies, and high growth organizations.

<Visit here to watch Kaplan Partner’s 25th Anniversary Video message: http://kaplanpartners.com/>

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TRANSFORMATIVE TRANSACTIONS: REENGINEERING STRATEGIC GROWTH

A Conversation with Chris Franklin