Each week we will feature new Convention speakers and share their stories. Learn where they work, what they do, and their special talents and skills. Gain familiarity with not only who are speakers are, but how they can help you and your organization within their fields of expertise.
Scroll down to view the biographies of our speakers.
Ferraro, Amodio, & Zarecki, CPA’s
September 19, 2018
Mr. Amodio is a Certified Public Accountant, a Master Analyst in Financial Forensics and is Certified in Financial Forensics.
Mr. Amodio is a Partner with Ferraro, Amodio & Zarecki, CPAs Forensic Accountants and Financial Advisors and specializes in the areas of insurance loss accounting, economic damage analysis, litigation support and financial investigations. In addition, Mr. Amodio has provided lost profits and business interruption training to several insurance companies and trade associations.
Mr. Amodio has extensive experience in the conduct of No-Fault auto lost wage claims and Business Interruption claims. He analyzes and reports on lost wage and substitute wage assessments for self-employed motorists involved in automobile accidents. In addition, he analyzes lost profit and extra expense claims for businesses that have experienced an interruption and provides forensic accounting services of claims for financial motive and investigation of employee thefts.
Mr. Amodio is a member of the local and national Associations of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA), and the New York State Chapter of Special Investigation Units (NYSSIU). He earned his Master of Business Administration Degree with a concentration in accounting from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York, and a Bachelor of Science Degree from Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, North Carolina.
Mr. Amodio will be our panel discussion moderator on Thursday, September 27 at 10:30 a.m., with the discussion of “Investigating and Preventing Employee Misconduct: Cybersecurity to Fraud”.
Asst. Vice President, Business Development
September 19, 2018
During his seven years at COCC, Mr. Charette has repeatedly demonstrated COCC’s “get it done” attitude when it comes to delivering results.
Most recently, Mr. Charette has been critical in building COCC’s sales support team, which has been responsible for supporting the incredible efforts that have allowed COCC to sign several new clients over the past few years. Mr. Charette truly leads by example and is a shining example of the collaborative culture that is so important to the success of COCC.
Mr. Charette will be presenting on Wednesday, September 26 at 10:15 a.m., along with Brent Biernat, with their presentation “Threats and Opportunities: Navigating the FinTech Evolution”.
Sr. Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer
September 19, 2018
With over two decades of experience at COCC, Brent H. Biernat has proven to be the best ambassador for the company’s growth. Prior to coming to COCC, Mr. Biernat managed his own computer consulting firm, as well as worked for the University of Connecticut Computer Center. During his time at COCC, Mr. Biernat played a primary role in building the company’s network services platform and managed their security services while leading their numerous technical teams to great success. That experience, coupled with Mr. Biernat’s client-centric focus and leadership, has springboarded him into becoming the perfect answer for COCC’s business development strategy. Since his transition into this role, Mr. Biernat has created a business development team with excellent synergy and energy, enabling the company to sell more effectively than ever before.
Mr. Biernat earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and an Executive Certificate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management focusing on executive leadership in the field of technology. Mr. Biernat has served on the board of the Connecticut Technology Council and as Chairman of AT&T National Focus Board. Mr. Biernat is a sought out and frequent speaker at financial industry events throughout the country.
Mr. Biernat will be presenting on Wednesday, September 26 at 10:15 a.m., along with Kyle Charette with their presentation “Threats and Opportunities: Navigating the FinTech Evolution”.
September 12, 2018
Joe Salesky is CEO of CRMNEXT, the largest global provider of CRM in financial services, where he is responsible for the company’s entry into the U.S. market. A seasoned expert in software and financial services, Joe has spent more than 25 years developing and delivering disruptive technology-enabled solutions. He holds 21 patents on technologies currently used by both consumers and large enterprises, including mobile banking and the original patent for web-conferencing.
A luminary in his space, Joe has deployed mission critical systems at more than half of the Fortune 500 companies and is a respected speaker at industry and media events. He has been quoted in leading national, international and industry publications and has led his companies to achieving numerous prestigious awards.
Mr. Salesky will be presenting on Thursday, September 27 at 9:40 a.m. with his presentation “Providing a Frictionless Banking Experience: What Banks Can Learn From Apple”.
Senior Manager, Business Intelligence
Freed Maxick CPAs, P.C.
September 12, 2018
Mr. Gerena is the leader of the Freed Maxick Business Intelligence Practice, tasked with crafting the vision and roadmap to transform its clients’ cultures toward becoming more data-driven and analytical. He is also responsible for providing strategic guidance on product offerings and sales collateral for healthcare clients, while guiding developer resources on the tactical details on design of business intelligence solutions.
Mr. Gerena has an MBA in coding and programming skills. He is able to translate stakeholders’ requirements into a full-fledged set of solutions that exceed expectations. In addition, Mr. Gerena has a dvanced knowledge of relational database design and SQL, including use of analytical functions (ranking, lag/lead, statistical functions, etc.) and authoring of complex queries.
He is an expert in developing presentation-ready dashboards using Tableau Desktop & Server Software, including geospatial dashboards, extracts, actions, parameters, etc.
Mr. Gerena will be presenting on Wednesday, September 26 at 4:31 p.m. with his presentation “How to Identify and Assess Commercial Lending Using Analytics”.
Director of Market Devlopment
The Pacific Institute
September 12, 2018
Chris Scaffidi, Director of Market Development for The Pacific Institute, has more than 15 years of experience in the industry. He is a nationally recognized speaker, and partners with organizations to develop strategies to improve employee engagement, motivation and maximize performance.
Presently, Chris oversees The Pacific Institute’s Catholic Education Initiative. The initiative collaborates with dioceses to optimize school cultures and elevate performance. In addition to Chris’ work in Catholic Education, he currently consults with community banks around the country, helping them to develop employee engagement and change readiness strategies. Chris is dedicated to community development work with U.S. cities, helping to build “cultures of collaboration” between government, private business and education.
Chris’ consulting experience also spans a variety of industries, including pre- and post-secondary education, private sector business, United States Military, professional athletics, federal government and social service institutions. He has been involved in The Pacific Institute’s Higher Education Initiative, which serves over 300 colleges around the United States. Chris has done extensive work with the United States Department of Labor, Office of Job Corps, helping the agency to both assess and create change readiness strategies across the nation.
Chris received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UCLA and a Master’s degree from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary.
Chris lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa with his wife Dee Dee and their six children: Mark, Olivia, David, Christopher, Benjamin, and Sophia.
Mr. Scaffidi will be presenting on Thursday, September 27 at 8:35 a.m. with his presentation “Mindset Matters: Improving Profitability By Changing Mindset”.
Fenimore, Kay, Harrison & Ford, LLP
September 5, 2018
Robert’s practice at Fenimore, Kay, Harrison & Ford, LLP focuses on the corporate and regulatory representation of commercial banks, thrifts, holding companies, and other financial institutions. He has experience in various fields including:
- Experienced with matters related to the acquisition or sale of existing financial institutions (including shell charters), and the acquisition, sale, establishment and relocation of branch offices.
- Advises clients on strategic planning designed to enhance or protect shareholder value, including Subchapter S restructuring, share repurchases/tender offers, holding company formations, anti-takeover strategic planning and corporate succession matters.
- Advises clients on all aspects of obtaining new financial institution charters (national bank, state bank),including the regulatory application process, capital acquisition phase and early stage development, as well as continued representation following bank opening.
– Employee Benefits
- Experienced in the design, implementation and administration of tax qualified and non-qualified retirement and compensation arrangements, including significant experience with arrangements subject to Code section 409A.
- Advises clients on the design, implementation and administration of employee stock ownership plans and related transactions.
- Advises financial institution clients on ERISA, tax and corporate law requirements concerning employee benefit and employee compensation matters.
- Advises clients in the impact of M&A transactions on compensation matters, including non-compete and nonsolicitation provisions, golden parachute considerations and related employment matters.
- Assist with ESOP transactions for public and private companies to infuse equity, manage corporate succession and restructure corporate groups; represented trustees and fiduciaries.
- Prepare and design ESOP documents, including plan documents and trust documents.
- Assist with ESOP related matters, including operation and administration matters ranging from distribution issues to Code section 409(p) analysis and resolution.
Mr. Flowers will be presenting on Wednesday, September 26 at 1:36 p.m., along with Geoffrey S. Kay, with their presentation “Opportunities to Access New Capital–The Case For & Against”.
Fenimore, Kay, Harrison & Ford, LLP
September 5, 2018
Geoffrey focuses on corporate, securities and regulatory representation of small ($20-$25 million) to mid-size (several billion dollars) financial institutions and their holding companies at Fenimore, Kay, Harrison & Ford, LLP.
Geoffrey has experience is in various fields including:
Capital acquisition – Advises clients on all aspects of structuring and raising equity and debt through public or private offerings (underwritten or self-directed), including through the sale of common and preferred stock, synthetic equity, and senior or subordinated debt (including trust preferred securities).
Acquisition transactions – Advises clients on all matters related to the acquisition or sale of existing financial institutions (including shell charters), and the acquisition, sale, establishment and relocation of branch offices.
Regulatory compliance – Advises clients on a broad variety of bank regulatory and securities compliance matters, including SEC reporting and compliance (including Sarbanes-Oxley Act), blue sky issues, Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering compliance, response to formal and informal administrative actions, Regulation O, transactions with affiliates and other general compliance matters.
Strategic business planning – Advises clients on strategic opportunities designed to enhance or protect shareholder value, including Subchapter S restructuring, “going private” transactions, “going public” transactions, share repurchases/tender offers, charter conversions, holding company formations, expansion of existing financial lines of business (insurance, securities and non-banking activities), anti-takeover strategic planning and corporate succession matters.
New bank charters – Advises clients on all aspects of obtaining new financial institutions charters (national bank, state bank, thrift, limited purpose and specialized financial institutions charters), including representation in connection with the regulatory application process, capital acquisition phase and early stage development.
Mr. Kay will be presenting on Wednesday, September 26 at 1:36 p.m., along with Robert N. Flowers, with their presentation “Opportunities to Access New Capital–The Case For & Against”.
September 5, 2018
Josh is a regulatory attorney at Ketsal Consulting who has focused, since 2014, on legal issues affecting blockchain technology. He has worked with every type of entity to help them understand how law touches applied cryptography. Developers, exchanges, investors, institutional funds, banks, nonprofits, policy shops, U.S. congressional staffers, and international regulators have all sought his advice.
Josh focuses on securities, commodities, money transmitter, lending, and consumer protection issues. He has established himself as a thought leader through his work on the SAFT Project, other digital asset distribution financings, industry self-regulation, and guidance for new projects navigating the maze of global regulatory issues.
Mr. Garcia will be presenting on Thursday, September 27 at 7:45 a.m. with his presentation “Banking Blockchain”.
Senior Vice President, Loan Trading Dept.
August 29, 2018
Greg Roll is a Senior Vice President in the Vining Sparks Loan Trading Group. Greg began working in the depository sector in 1994 managing the strategic planning function for a regional bank. Since 2000, Greg has been working in the capital markets helping financial institutions formulate balance sheet strategies that create optimal income and return for shareholders.
Currently he is focused on loan trading strategies to enhance loan portfolio performance, while incorporating the institution’s asset/liability position, liquidity and capital constraints, funding profile, and current market expectations. Greg attended the University of Oklahoma and The University of Memphis, earning BBA and MBA degrees in finance. In addition, Greg has earned the CFA designation and is a member of the CFA institute.
Mr. Roll will be presenting on Wednesday, September 26 at 11:11 a.m. with his presentation “Balance Sheet Management and Your Loan Portfolio”.
Director—WolfPAC Solutions, Member of the Firm
Wolf & Company, P.C.
August 29, 2018
Mike serves as Director of the WolfPAC Solutions Group at Wolf & Company. He is responsible for the strategic direction of the group and provides enterprise risk management (ERM) advisory services and board training to community based financial institutions. An expert on ERM, Mike routinely speaks on the topic before banking professionals nationwide and challenges many pre-conceptions while presenting practical approaches for community based institutions. Using his experience, Mike presents best practices on breaking down silos and building up better management models through ERM.
Prior to joining Wolf in 2003, Mike worked in multi-national financial institutions and technology start-ups. With over 25 years in the banking and technology industries, he has extensive knowledge in technology strategy and management issues, enterprise risk management programs, and corporate governance design.
Mike is an avid, extreme adventurer with 25+ years’ experience snowboarding, multi-day back country hiking, and rock climbing. When not acting as a “soccer dad” he tries to convince his teenage children that mom is really going ice climbing on the family vacation.
Mr. Cohn will be presenting on Wednesday, September 26 at 3:36 p.m. with his presentation “Exploring Changes in the Risk Universe”.
Luse Gorman, P.C.
August 22, 2018
Benjamin Azoff focuses his practice on financial institutions, including securities and general corporate law at Luse Gorman, P.C. His experience includes public and private offerings of equity and debt securities, mergers and acquisitions, mutual holding company reorganizations, mutual-to-stock conversions and branch acquisitions and sales.
In addition, he regularly advises public companies on corporate governance, fiduciary duties, insider trading, stock exchange listing requirements and filings under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including proxy statements and periodic financial reporting. Mr. Azoff has also assisted a number of financial institutions with bank regulatory and compliance matters.
Luse Gorman, P.C.
August 22, 2018
Jeff Cardone is a partner at Luse Gorman, P.C. He represents financial institutions in various corporate, regulatory, executive compensation and securities matters. He also represents financial institutions and other corporations in transactional matters, including in mergers and acquisitions, purchase and assumption transactions, branch sales, mutual-to-stock conversions, mutual holding company formations, public offerings and private placements, and ESOP transactions. Mr. Cardone also assists financial institutions with federal and state bank regulatory compliance matters.
Mr. Cardone counsels publicly-traded, privately-held and tax exempt financial institutions on a wide range of executive compensation matters, including designing and drafting executive and director compensation arrangements (including employment and change in control agreements, SERPs, 457(f) plans and equity and phantom stock arrangements), with a strong background in Sections 409A and 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code, quantifying potential change in control benefits and related tax planning to avoid or mitigate adverse tax consequences under Section 280G of the Internal Revenue Code, and complying with SEC executive compensation disclosure requirements.
Mr. Cardone will be presenting on Wednesday, September 26 at 9:16 a.m., along with Ben Azoff, with their presentation “Financial Reform Legislation and Regulation and Other Hot Topics– What’s in it for Community Banks?”
President & CEO
August 22, 2018
Chrystina (Tina) M. Giorgio is president and CEO of ICBA Bancard, the largest national credit card program exclusively for the nation’s community banks. She joined the company in 2016 and focuses on developing strategies to leverage the brand among current and new customers.
A former community banker with 30 years of experience, Tina served in senior leadership roles for nearly two decades at $7.5 billion Sandy Spring Bank in Maryland, most recently as senior vice president and director of deposit operations and digital delivery. Her expertise includes payment systems, digital banking, risk and fraud, vendor management, marketing, and client service. In addition, Giorgio has served on several boards and committees with the Federal Reserve, NACHA, various Fintech companies, and other industry organizations.
Tina holds a MBA from UMass Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management, and a BS in Business Management from the University of Maryland University College. She completed graduate work at the BAI program in Operations and Technology Management for Banking and Financial Services at Vanderbilt University and has been an Accredited ACH Professional (AAP) since 1993.
Ms. Giorgio will be presenting on Wednesday, September 26 at 2:40 p.m. with her presentation “If You Don’t Have A Digital Payments Strategy– Here Is Why You Should”.
Education & Heritage Coordinator
Albany Visitor Center
August 8, 2018
Albany Historian Maeve McEneny-Johnson will be our keynote dinner speaker on Tuesday, September 25 at 8:30 p.m.
Maeve McEneny-Johnson is the Education and Heritage Coordinator at the Albany Visitor Center. She is a 7th generation Albany descendant and lifelong resident. She graduated from Siena College in 2006 with a degree in English-Education and received her Master’s in English at the University at Albany in 2014. She has been a tour guide of the City of Albany for 10 years and is the author of several original tours, including Albany’s first Literary Pub Crawl and The Original Albany Ghost Tour.
Ms. McEneny-Johnson will be our keynote dinner speaker on Tuesday, September 25 at 8:30 p.m.
President & CEO
July 27, 2018
Rebeca Romero Rainey is president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA), the leading advocacy organization exclusively representing community banks. She is one of the nation’s foremost advocates of the community banking industry, with a focus on regulatory reform for our country’s nearly 5,700 community banks. She has met with President Obama and President Trump to discuss issues that are top of mind for community banks.
A third-generation community banker born and raised in Taos, N.M., Romero Rainey is the former Chairman and CEO of Centinel Bank of Taos. Upon graduating from Wellesley College, she returned home to Taos with the dream of continuing her family’s business of running the town’s only local community bank.
Her broader service to the community banking industry began when she joined the board of the Independent Community Bankers of New Mexico, where she served as president in 2007-08. She entered the national stage by becoming active within ICBA and serving on several committees. Romero Rainey also played a key role in the formation of ICBA’s Minority Bank Council and served as its first chairman. Later she was nominated to become a member of ICBA’s Executive Committee, and in 2016, became ICBA chairman.
Romero Rainey has also served on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Advisory Committee on Community Banking and the Kansas City Federal Reserve Community Depository Institution Advisory Council. She has been featured on CSPAN, MSNBC, CNBC, NPR, and has testified before Congress, and delivered speeches before the Federal Reserve, OCC and FDIC.
Romero Rainey has a long history of community engagement and collaboration among community stakeholders. She is the co-founder of the Bridges Project for Education, a nonprofit focused on helping first-generation college students. She was also selected as Taos Citizen of the Year in 2009 and has been awarded the New Mexico Governor’s Award for outstanding women.
In addition to graduating from Wellesley College, Romero Rainey holds a degree from the Pacific Coast School of Banking.
Ms. Romero Rainey will be our keynote dinner speaker on Wednesday, September 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Westover Strategy, Inc.
July 25, 2018
Susan Powell Byrd, CEO of Westover Strategy, Inc., will be our Wednesday morning keynoter and will focus on “A Pragmatic Approach To Strategic Planning.” She has extensive experience in all aspects of strategy, based on many years in a wide range of roles and industries, during which she has developed and leveraged her strategic capabilities. She also has in-depth practice using various methodologies to align an organization’s strategic direction with operations.
In 18 years at Xerox, she was General Manager of two successful businesses, Vice President of Strategy, Vice President of Alliances, Vice President of Customer Insight, Vice President of Strategy and Operations, and Chief of Staff to the company’s President. She also has over 25 years of not-for-profit and for-profit board experience, as Chair and Vice Chair. She has also been a member of various board committees, including Executive, Long Range Planning, Resource Development, Nominating, Program and Planning, and Governance.
Ms. Powell Byrd will be presenting on Wednesday, September 26 at 8:20 a.m. with her presentation “A Pragmatic Approach to Strategic Planning”.
NYS Department of Financial Services
June 20, 2018
New York State Department of Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo will address IBANYS’ Annual Convention as our luncheon speaker on Wednesday, September 26.
The Banking Division of DFS supervises — through chartering, licensing, registering, and examining safety & soundness, among other actions — nearly 1,900 banking and other financial institutions with assets of more than $2.9 trillion.
The division is composed of the following groups: Foreign & Wholesale Banks, Community Banks & Regional Banks, Licensed Financial Services, and Mortgage Banking.
Ms. Vullo will be our keynote lunch speaker on Wednesday, September 26 at 12:45 p.m.