Brian A. Blake Named Community Bank Hero

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Spring Bank Vice President Brian A. Blake has been named a Community Bank Hero by The Warren Group and Banking New York magazine.

Spring Bank Vice President Brian A. Blake has been named a Community Bank Hero by The Warren Group and Banking New York magazine. Community Bank Heroes is an annual award that recognizes the leaders and visionaries of the New York Banking industry. In accepting the award, Mr. Blake stated that the award was actually a reflection of the hard work of the entire Spring Bank team.

“There should really be 35 names on this award,” said Mr. Blake in his remarks. “In just 7 years, Spring Bank has accomplished so much in pursuit of its mission to serve New York’s underbanked people and businesses. My colleagues and our board have built a bank that truly ‘walks the talk’ when it comes to economic development and financial inclusion.”

“It is a pleasure to recognize and honor the hard work and dedication of this year’s recipients of the Community Bank Heroes Award,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. “Each individual’s approach to their profession represents a true passion for their work and an admirable commitment to the communities in which they serve.”

Among other initiatives, Mr. Blake is the treasurer of the Frederick Douglass Blvd. Alliance and serves on the credit committee of Business Outreach Center Capital (BOC). He is also a frequent contributor to local “access to capital” panels, as well as national policy discussions, such as the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund’s BankOn 2.0 initiative. In 2015 Brian joined the New Leaders Council NYC as a 2015 Institute Fellow. He is a proud graduate of Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA (B.A), and Baruch College, CUNY, New York, NY (M.B.A.).

Banking New York magazine has been informing more than 10,000 bankers across the state for over eight years. It is part of The Warren Group’s suite of banking publications and events that serve more than 100,000 bankers in eleven states, and has been educating the industry since 1872.

The 2015 Banking New York Community Bank Heroes Award Recipients are:
Brian A. Blake, Vice President, Spring Bank
Ralph Branca, President & CEO, Victory State Bank
Nancy Foster, Senior Vice President, Bridgehampton National Bank
Drew Kessler, Vice President, M&T Bank
Marilyn Lipton, Director, Citi
Brenda Mikolajczak, Director of Retail Sales, Evans Bank, N.A.
Matt Nartowicz, Vice President/ Regional Manager, American Community Bank
Susan Proper, Branch Manager, National Bank of Coxsackie
James Terwilliger, Senior Vice President- Group Manager, Financial Planning, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust
Terri Vertalino, First Vice President, Area manager, First Niagara

Awards were distributed at a lunch event Thursday, April 2, 2015, during the Banking New York Conference at the Double Tree by Hilton in Tarrytown, NY. To see a full list of the Community Bank Heroes and more information about the awards lunch, visit:, and look for the special section with winner profiles in the June issue of Banking New York magazine.

About Spring Bank:
Founded in 2007 to serve New York City’s underbanked, Spring Bank is an FDIC-insured, independently owned community bank headquartered in the Bronx, New York. In December 2012, the Bank’s second branch opened in the Harlem community of Manhattan. Since its founding, the primary mission of the Bank has been to provide innovative products, services and education that enable low-wealth customers to benefit from mainstream banking. An SBA Preferred Lending Partner, Spring Bank is equally committed to supporting locally owned small businesses through affordable loans, stimulating job growth and the virtuous cycle of economic self-determination.

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Darlenny Cuicas
Spring Bank
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since: 10/2012
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