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First Bank Announces 15 Promotions After Strong Results in 2020

Community bank recognizes top performance amid challenging environment.

HAMILTON, N.J. —First Bank (NASDAQ: FRBA) announced today that it has promoted 15 employees who played key roles helping the bank thrive and grow while supporting customers and communities throughout 2020. 

Maria Mayshura and John Shepardson were promoted to Executive Vice President; Thomas Fehn, Jr. was promoted to First Senior Vice President; Paula Huergo and Larry Lee were promoted to Senior Vice President. 

“To build a true community bank that neighbors can rely on, you need people who care and go above and beyond – no matter the circumstance,” said First Bank President and CEO Patrick L. Ryan. “Our top and bottom-line performance for both the fourth quarter of 2020 and full year would be considered strong in a normal economic environment, but it’s particularly satisfying in the current period of uncertainty.  We have an unbelievable team here at First Bank.”

In 2020, First Bank added $324 million to its loan portfolio, which included $187 million from non-Paycheck Protection Program organic opportunities. At the same time, total deposits increased 16% with non-interest-bearing deposits surging 53.8%.

As a result, First Bank’s net income for 2020 was $19.4 million, or $0.97 per diluted share, compared to $13.4 million, or $0.69 per diluted share in 2019.

First Bank Adds to the Executive Management Team

  • Shepardson, who lives in Yardley, Pa., has been promoted to EVP/Chief Operating Officer. He oversees Human Resources, Facilities and Information Technology. He joined First Bank in 2018 as FSVP/Chief Administrative Officer.
  • Mayshura, who lives in Belleplain, NJ, has been promoted to EVP/Chief Risk Officer and reports to the President and CEO. As Head of Internal Audit and Chief Risk Officer, she will continue to report to the Board of Directors via the Audit Committee. She joined the company in 2016 as VP/Internal Auditor.
  • Fehn, who lives in Carmel, N.Y., has been promoted to FSVP/Retail Market Manager.  He is responsible for retail banking and business development in Northern and Central New Jersey. He joined First Bank in 2018.
  • Huergo, who lives in Pennington, has been promoted to SVP/Operations Manager. She oversees compliance and strategic planning. She joined First Bank in 2019 as AVP/Corporate Secretary & Executive Assistant.
  • Lee, who lives in Manasquan, has been promoted to SVP/Loan Workout Manager. He joined First Bank in 2018.

Additional First Bank promotions include:

  • Ruth Powell – VP/Branch Operations Manager
  • Stacy Schwartz – VP/Head of Operations
  • Andaz Ali – AVP/Senior IT Support Specialist
  • Samantha Dayton – AVP/Loan Accounting Assistant Manager
  • Renee Denton-Clarke – AVP/Branch Operations Manager
  • Kelly Valenza – AVP/Human Resources Coordinator
  • Julianne Silletti – Assistant Treasurer/Human Resources Generalist
  • Carrie Walchko – Assistant Treasurer/BSA Investigator
  • April Rivas – Head Teller
  • Linda Rowe – Senior Loan Administrator

First Bank’s New Branding Matches Experience

Finding great people has been a big part of the community bank’s recipe for success. As a result, First Bank was recently named one of S&P Global Market Intelligence’s Best Performing Community Banks in the United States for record growth and profitability. It also has been recognized by NJBIZ as part of its “Fast 50” in recent years.

First Bank’s tagline, “Personal Bankers. Real Relationships” speaks directly to its market differential. In fact, it succinctly captures the customer experience from a lending and deposit perspective.

How First Bank Keeps Growing

There are several reasons why First Bank is one of the fastest growing community banks in the nation.

For example, the bank believes in local decision-making. In other words, clients actually have access to First Bank’s decision-makers. The bank’s market executives have lending authority—and use it. For larger clients, customers can expect to talk to the bank’s CEO, who plays a pivotal role in helping to foster lasting business relationships.

Most importantly, the community bank views itself as a solution-provider, where everything begins with a conversation.

First Bank’s employees listen intently and ask smart questions, so they can provide the best answer.

In addition, First Bank operates with a long-term mindset. It recognizes that its reputation is its most valuable asset. To preserve its good name, First Bank keenly focuses on delivering the best long-term results.

By providing great recommendations and following through on its promises, the community bank continues to build its reputation and base of happy customers.

The community bank’s branches offer the bank’s full range of financial solutions for families and businesses, including:

The bank offers traditional deposit and loan banking services for individuals, families and commercial clients.

The bank has approximately 208 employees working throughout New Jersey in Burlington, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset and Morris counties, as well as Bucks and Chester counties in Pennsylvania.

To learn more about First Bank, visit or

About First Bank

First Bank ( is a New Jersey state-chartered bank with 16 full-service branches throughout New Jersey in Burlington, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset, and Morris counties, as well as in Bucks and Chester counties, Pennsylvania.

With $2.35 billion in assets as of December 31, 2020, First Bank offers a traditional range of deposit and loan products to individuals and businesses throughout the New York City to Philadelphia corridor.

First Bank’s common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Global Market exchange under the symbol “FRBA.”