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Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Thomas M. O’Brien
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and President
Mr. O’Brien has served as our Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer since June 2020. In connection with hiring Mr. O’Brien, the Board of Directors of the Company appointed Mr. O’Brien to fill the Board of Directors vacancy created by the resignation of Thomas Lopp. Mr. O’Brien was similarly appointed to the board of directors of Sterling Bank. These appointments were effective June 3, 2020 pursuant to the interim non-objection of the OCC, and confirmed pursuant to the final non-objection of the OCC on September 21, 2020. Prior to his appointment, Mr. O’Brien provided consulting services to the Bank beginning in March 2020. Mr. O’Brien is an accomplished leader in the financial services industry with over 44 years of industry experience. Most recently he served as Vice Chairman of New York City-based Emigrant Bancorp, Inc. and Emigrant Bank from October 2018 to March 2020. Mr. O’Brien served as president, chief executive officer and on the boards of Sun Bancorp, Inc. and Sun National Bank from April 2014 to February 2018. Mr. O’Brien previously served on the boards of BankUnited, Inc. and BankUnited, NA from May 2012 to April 2014. Prior to that, Mr. O’Brien served as president, chief executive officer and a director of State Bank of Long Island and State Bancorp, Inc. from November 2006 to January 2012. From 2000 to 2006, Mr. O’Brien was president and chief executive officer of Atlantic Bank of New York and, following the acquisition of Atlantic Bank of New York by New York Commercial Bank, continued to serve as president and chief executive officer during the post-closing transition. From 1996 to 2000, Mr. O’Brien was vice chairman and a board member of North Fork Bank and North Fork Bancorporation, Inc. From 1977 to 1996, Mr. O’Brien was chairman, president and chief executive officer of North Side Savings Bank. Mr. O’Brien served as a director of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York from 2008 to 2012 and served as chairman of the New York Bankers Association in 2007. Mr. O’Brien is currently trustee and chairman of the audit committee of Prudential Insurance Company of America $175 Billion Annuity Fund Complex, and vice-chairman of the board and chairman of the finance committee of Archcare and Catholic Healthcare Foundation for the Archdiocese of New York. Mr. O’Brien received a B.A. in Political Science from Niagara University in 1972 and an M.B.A. from Iona College in 1982.
    Peggy Daitch
    Ms. Daitch joined the Board in 2019. She brings over 40 years of experience as a highly respected and recognized advertising and marketing executive, innovative thinker and community leader. She spent the majority of her career with Conde Nast where she was the leader of Detroit's Conde Nast office representing, at its peak, 29 of America’s most celebrated magazine titles and online sites including Vogue, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Golf Digest, Architectural Digest, Wired, Bon Appetit,;; and Ms. Daitch has also represented titles from Hearst Corporation, National Geographic and other leading media companies. After retiring from advertising, she pivoted to her current role at Strategic Philanthropy, Ltd. stewarding the growth of the 20-year old philanthropic advisory firm in Michigan. Ms. Daitch is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
    Tracey Dedrick
    Ms. Dedrick was appointed to the Board in December 2020, and is our Lead Independent Director. Ms. Dedrick brings over 40 years of experience in the financial services industry to the Board. She is a former Executive Vice President and Head of Enterprise Risk Management for Santander Holdings U.S., where she was responsible for enterprise risk, operational risk and market risk for the Americas until her retirement in 2017. Prior to that role, Ms. Dedrick was Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer at Hudson City Bancorp from July 2011 until November 2015 and served with its successor, M&T Bank, from November 2015 to February 2016. From January 2010 to February 2011, Ms. Dedrick served as the Treasurer of PineBridge Investments, an asset management company with $83 billion in assets under management. Prior to this, Ms. Dedrick was employed by MetLife, the largest insurance provider in the United States, where she served as Vice President and Assistant Treasurer from June 2001 until July 2004, Vice President and Head of Investor Relations from July 2004 until July 2007 and then served as the Senior Vice President and Head of Market Risk from July 2007 until September 2009. Ms. Dedrick currently serves on the board of directors of First BanCorp., where she is also the Chair of First Bancorp.’s Risk Committee. Additionally, Ms. Dedrick currently serves as a board member and as the Chair of ISACA, the Information Systems Audit and Control Association. As a board member of ISACA, Ms. Dedrick is a member of ISACA’s Risk and Technology Committee and Compensation Committee as well as the Chair of its Executive Committee. Ms. Dedrick obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities.
    Lead Director
    Michael Donahue
    Mr. Donahue brings to the Board a wealth of legal and banking experience in the financial services industry. He is a former Global Head of Securitization for BNP Paribas, arranging short- and long-term financing, both on and off balance sheet, for corporate and bank clients through the commercial paper and debt capital markets with teams based in New York, London, Paris, Milan, and Tokyo. Prior to joining BNP Paribas, Mr. Donahue was a Senior Managing Director for Merrill Lynch in London where he co-headed the group charged with executing all transactions involving structured debt and collateralized loan/bond/debt obligations. Before that, Mr. Donahue was a Director and Deputy Head of Deutsche Bank AG’s European Securitization Group, a practice he co-founded and helped grow into the leading securitization group in Europe with an emphasis on regulatory capital relief. Before joining Deutsche Bank, Mr. Donahue was an associate in Lehman Brothers’ Mortgage Finance Group.  Mr. Donahue began his Wall St. career as an associate attorney in the capital markets practice at the law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft. Since leaving BNP Paribas in 2005, Mr. Donahue has focused on his personal investments including most recently the growing of a portfolio of renovated single-family homes for rent subsidized tenants in Chicago. Mr. Donahue has a B.S. in business management from the University of Maryland and a J.D. from Cornell Law School and is admitted to the New York Bar.
    Steven E Gallotta
    Mr. Gallotta was appointed to our Board of Directors on September 22, 2020, effective upon receipt of regulatory non-objection from the OCC, which was recently received. Mr. Gallotta brings over 35 years of financial reporting and assurance experience in the financial services industry to the Board of Directors. Mr. Gallotta spent the majority of his career at KPMG, from 1975 until his mandatory retirement from the firm in 2013. He became an audit partner in the New York Financial Services Practice of KPMG in 1986, serving all types of financial institutions, including depository institutions. During this time, Mr. Gallotta also served as an Advisory partner in KPMG’s Office of General Counsel. Since 2016, Mr. Gallotta has served on the board of directors of St. Patrick’s Home for the Aged and Infirm, a non-compensated role, in the Bronx, New York. Mr. Gallotta has been a certified public accountant licensed in New York since 1979. He obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration from Iona College.
    Financial Expert
    Denny Kim
    Mr. Kim has served as a member of our Board since 2020. Mr. Kim brings over fifteen years of financial experience to the Board of Directors. Mr. Kim is an Advisor at Gemspring Capital, a lower middle market private equity fund with $1.1 billion in assets under management. He is also the Managing Principal of 7911 Partners, a private investment and advisory firm focused on early-stage startups. Mr. Kim spent more than eleven years as a private equity investor dedicated to investing in financial services companies, having worked at WL Ross & Co. and J.C. Flowers & Co. Mr. Kim began his career at Credit Suisse First Boston’s Investment Banking Division, where he advised on mergers, acquisitions and capital raising initiatives for financial institutions. Mr. Kim previously served as a member of the board of directors of Talmer Bancorp, Inc. and as a board observer at Sun Bancorp, Inc. Mr. Kim earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University and an MBA from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.
    Christine Meredith
    Director, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

    Ms. Meredith was elected to our Board of Directors effective April 1, 2024. Ms. Meredith served as the Company’s and the Bank’s Chief Risk Officer from February 2020 until her promotion to Chief Operating Officer effective April 1, 2024. In July 2023 she was promoted to Senior Executive Vice President. Ms. Meredith has over 25 years of experience as banker, regulator, and consultant to the financial services industry. Prior to joining the Company, Ms. Meredith served as Senior Vice President and Director of Enterprise Risk Management at Columbia Banking System from 2010 through 2020. Its subsidiary, Columbia Bank, was a regional bank based in Tacoma, Washington. Ms. Meredith served as a Risk Management Examiner with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in Seattle, Washington from 2009 to 2010, with a focus on credit and financial risk reviews. Ms. Meredith worked with Washington Mutual from 2003 to 2008 in various capacities including enterprise risk management, commercial real estate product development, and regulatory implementation. Ms. Meredith was a consultant with the Secura Group, a boutique financial services consulting firm based in Washington, DC, from 2002 to 2003, and previously from 1996 to 1998. Ms. Meredith worked for Arthur Andersen in Los Angeles, California as a Business Process Consultant from 2000 to 2002. In 2000, Ms. Meredith was commissioned as a Safety and Soundness Examiner for the Federal Reserve’s Twelfth District in San Francisco, California, where she conducted risk management, compliance, trust, and information technology examinations.

    Ms. Meredith is a member of the American Bankers Association’s Certified Enterprise Risk Professionals Board. Previously, she served on the Mid-Tier Bank and Enterprise Risk Management Councils for the Risk Management Association. Ms. Meredith also served as Chair of the Enterprise Risk Management Committee for the Washington Bankers Association. Ms. Meredith received her Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Georgetown University.

      Eboh “Duke” Okorie
      Mr. Okorie brings over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry to the Board. Mr. Okorie serves as President and CEO of Windy Hill Capital, a financial consulting firm providing expertise in the areas of financial and banking regulatory compliance, risk management, and financial instrument analysis. Mr. Okorie also has prior experience as an Examiner for the Federal Reserve Bank, the Office of Thrift Supervision, and the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York and as a senior compliance officer at two banks in the New York Metropolitan area. Mr. Okorie has a B.A. and M.B.A. from the University of Kansas.
      Benjamin Wineman

      Mr. Wineman has served as a member of our Board since 2013. Mr. Wineman has extensive commercial real estate and financial experience. Currently, He is a Principal at Mid-America Real Estate Corporation. Based in Chicago, Illinois, the firm is a part of Mid-America Real Estate Group, a midwestern full-service retail real estate organization with offices in Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis. Mr. Wineman co-leads Mid-America's Retail Investment Sales Group, focusing specifically on the disposition of shopping centers and retail properties throughout the greater Midwest region for institutional, REIT, and private owners. Prior to employment with Mid-America, Mr. Wineman worked at LaSalle Investment Management (JLL) as a Financial Analyst in the Private Equity Acquisitions Group, where he was responsible for the valuation, due diligence, and closing of commercial real estate transactions on behalf of its institutional pension fund clients. Within the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), he is a member of the Illinois State Committee and the Government Relations National Economic Policy Sub-Committee. Within the community, Mr. Wineman is a member of the Executive Committees of the Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation and the Ravinia Festival Associates Board, where he is the incoming Board President. Mr. Wineman graduated from DePauw University with a Bachelor's of Arts Degree.