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Orange Bank & Trust Expands into Westchester

Q&A with Michael Gilfeather, President & CEO of Orange Bank & Trust Company

What is the catalyst behind Orange Bank & Trust Company’s expansion into Westchester and Rockland counties?

The plan to expand was put in place before I was brought in as President and CEO last year, but it wasn’t clear how the expansion would play out until I assumed my new role.

There are really three ways a bank can expand:

1) Expand within its current market, increasing its lending, and taking business from other banks.

2) Acquire another bank.

3) Expand into neighboring markets.

The decision was made to expand into neighboring markets, in part because of the successful recruitment of senior bank officers, Joseph A. Ruhl and John Bartolotta, as Regional Presidents in Westchester and Rockland Counties. Both are exceptionally well known in these markets and are perfect representatives of the Orange Bank & Trust model.

What types of services are planned for the full-service branches and executive offices in Westchester and Rockland?

We currently have temporary offices in White Plains in Westchester and New City in Rockland. The construction of our permanent high-end “private banking like” office in White Plains at the intersection of Maple and Waller Avenues is nearing completion and will open in August. We are still determining the location of our permanent office in New City. These full-service offices will open accounts, process loans, and take in deposits—all within a much more comfortable setting than the typical bank with teller lines. We handle these transactions at a desk sitting opposite our clients. Of course, we also have remote and mobile banking capability.

The phrase “Excellence in Orange” reflects the bank’s mission. Can you expand on the meaning behind that statement?

We began using the tagline “Excellence in Orange” as part of a broader-branding effort. The statement captures the culture of the bank, how we operate, the way we service customers, and our commitment to supporting the community.

Orange Bank & Trust has developed a reputation for being a customer-first bank. What can customers expect as a result?

There are two major categories of banks—large retail banks and the smaller community banks. As a community bank, we’re very focused on the individual customers whether business or personal. We have close banking relationships and are in sync with our customers. We know them by name and even see them frequently out and about. Many customers value that connection and, in turn, we attract customers who want that kind of banking relationship. The two new regional presidents we have hired are not only known for their strong banking skills, but also their exceptional customer relationships. They are real stars and rainmakers in the banking world and outstanding leaders in the community—quality people that customers want to be around.

For those who may not be familiar with Orange Bank & Trust, what do you feel most distinguishes you from other community banks?

Orange Bank & Trust is a relationship-based bank founded in 1892 with assets exceeding $770 million. We’re very experienced in commercial real estate related lending in both Westchester and Rockland. As the Tappan Zee project is completed, we expect our commercial lending to increase even further as business prosperity is expected on both sides of the Hudson. Customers can especially expect a trusted bank with senior leaders who have decision making authority and lending capacity. In addition to John Bartolotta and Joe Ruhl, Kate Maloney, SVP, also has joined our team from Hudson Valley Bank. As Director of Trust Services, she manages a core business of the bank and has a particular focus in ‘special needs’ trusts—a unique area geared towards individuals who receive settlements from personal injury and medical malpractice lawsuits. She has long-term expertise in this area, a significant following, and is highly regarded within the industry.

Under our new leadership team, we’re confident our bank will grow even stronger and provide an even higher level of excellence.

Orange Bank & Trust Company

Temporary Office

50 Main Street, Suite 1066
White Plains
(914) 422-3100; http://orangecountytrust.com/

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