Three New Banking Leaders to Grow Commercial Lending

We were excited recently to announce that we have hired three well-known and highly-regarded banking professionals with long-term industry experience in the Springfield area. Our President and CEO John F. Heaps Jr. said the trio will be helping us develop our commercial lending relationships in Hampden County as we expand in that region.
 
Michael Moriarty, of West Springfield, will serve as senior vice president / commercial team leader; Joseph Kulig, of West Springfield, will serve as vice president / commercial loan officer; and Candace Pereira, of East Longmeadow, will be assistant vice president / commercial portfolio manager.
 
Bringing Mike, Joe, and Candace on board is a big move for us, solidifying our strategic direction. We are committed to expanding in Hampden County, and we are thrilled to have these particular banking leaders from the region on our commercial team to shepherd new growth. They will make Florence Bank even stronger.
 
“These three professionals have industry experience and trusted relationships in the Springfield area,” John said. “They are truly renowned in the region’s commercial lending world.”
Our decision to do business in Hampden County began in 2007 with a loan production office in West Springfield. Commercial loan officers James Montemayor, Nancy Mirkin, and Hank Downey, along with Celia Alvarado, portfolio manager, have been instrumental in transforming the bank’s total commercial loan portfolio so that it is 44 percent Hampden-County based.

The three professionals join us on the cusp of the opening of our second Hampden County Branch on Allen Street in Springfield. Last year, we opened the Hampden County Banking Center in West Springfield, our first branch in the county.

Mike, Joe, and Candace previously worked at Farmington Bank, a commercial bank whose assets were recently purchased by Peoples United Bank. All three previously worked together at United Bank, and they are excited about the move to Florence Bank. “It’s a very well-run bank that is aggressively expanding into Hampden County, which is where I live and where I’ve marketed for 25 years,” Mike said.
 
Our president and CEO also has strong ties to Hampden County. John grew up in Springfield, lives in Longmeadow and began his banking career at Valley Bank & Trust Co. in Springfield. It was in Springfield, in 1987, that John was first named a bank president; at 37, he was reported to be the youngest bank CEO in Western Mass by the Springfield Union-News.
 
John has said that Florence Bank moved into the Springfield region precisely due to many bank mergers such as that experienced by Farmington Bank. Mike said the fact that Florence Bank is a mutually held bank with no obligations to shareholders makes it “a big plus for the team and I.”

“We’re excited to be growing and adding key individuals,” John said. “We’re going to be here in the community for a long time. That’s why it’s so important for us to seek out and hire like-minded employees to continue to provide the type of customer service we’ve become known for.”