Community Bank System, Inc. Elects Michele Sullivan as New Director

January 19, 2024, Syracuse, N.Y.  —  Community Bank System, Inc. (NYSE: CBU) (the “Company”) announced today the election of Michele Sullivan to its Board of Directors (the “Board”) as a new independent director, effective as of February 1, 2024. Ms. Sullivan is a retired partner of Crowe LLP (“Crowe”) where she served in Crowe’s consulting practice specializing in the financial services sector. She worked with top United States and global banks, as well as mid-market insurance carriers and fintech companies, providing consulting services on risk, compliance, internal audit, technology, strategic acquisitions, merger integration, and governance matters. Ms. Sullivan is a certified public accountant (CPA) and a certified risk management professional (CRMA).

Ms. Sullivan joined Crowe in 1992 and, prior to her retirement in March 2023, served on Crowe’s Board of Directors for seven years and its Audit and Risk Committee. During her time on Crowe’s Board, she developed and led the Corporate Governance Strategic Initiative. She was a founding member of Crowe’s Exceptional Client Experience and Women Into Leadership programs and served on their steering committees. 

Ms. Sullivan’s election expands the Company’s Board to 14 Directors, 12 of whom are independent. Ms. Sullivan was also appointed to the Board of Directors of Community Bank, N.A., the Company’s wholly-owned banking subsidiary. The Board has determined that Ms. Sullivan is a qualified financial expert and she will serve on the Board’s Audit Committee and Risk Committee.

“We are pleased to welcome Michele Sullivan as a new independent director to the Board of Directors of Community Bank System, Inc. and Community Bank, N.A.,” said Eric E. Stickels, Chair of the Board of Directors. “Her audit, compliance, governance and risk management experience as a partner at Crowe are valuable additions to the Board. Her appointment reflects the Board’s continued focus on enhancing the Board’s depth of experience and diversity to ensure an appropriate level of expertise and perspective to provide effective oversight of the Company and its subsidiaries.”

Dimitar Karaivanov, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated “Michele brings over 30 years of financial industry experience to our boardroom and, together with her governance and risk management expertise, she is a great addition. I am looking forward to her insights as we continue to deliver exceptional returns to our shareholders.”

Ms. Sullivan graduated from Indiana University with a B.S. in Accounting and has completed Board and Corporate Governance course work through Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management Executive Development Program.

About Community Bank System, Inc.

Community Bank System, Inc. is a diversified financial services company focused on four main business lines – banking, benefits administration, insurance services and wealth management with total assets of $15.4 billion. Its banking subsidiary, Community Bank, N.A., is among the country’s 100 largest banking institutions and operates more than 200 customer facilities across Upstate New York, Northeastern Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Western Massachusetts. In addition to a full range of retail, business, and municipal banking services, the Company offers comprehensive financial planning, trust administration and wealth management services through its Community Bank Wealth Management operating unit. The Company’s Benefit Plans Administrative Services, Inc. subsidiary is a leading provider of employee benefits administration, trust services, collective investment fund administration, and actuarial consulting services to customers on a national scale. The Company’s OneGroup NY, Inc. subsidiary is a top 100 U.S. insurance agency. Community Bank System, Inc. is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Company’s stock trades under the symbol CBU. For more information about Community Bank visit or