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Vermonters want a different kind of bank.

So we started one.

Why Bank of Burlington

Tech Forward

Bank of Burlington uses three main providers, focused on cloud-based solutions for greater responsiveness, convenience, and reduced overhead compared to branch-centric banks.

Highly Focused

We are focused on Commercial Businesses. The small organizational structure enables creative lending solutions to grow small and mid-size businesses.

Local Knowledge

We are guided by a deep understanding and commitment to local market landscape, enabling nimble and flexible local decision-making.

Local banking is back.

“Vermont is about community, and it deserves a local bank run by locals. We will bring extensive knowledge of our market, creative and custom solutions, and best-in-class technology to grow Vermont businesses. We will be quick; we will be nimble; we will be responsive to our customers needs.”

As a career banker, Mr. Hesslink is passionate about helping business owners prosper through providing access to capital and partnering with them to strategically help grow their businesses.

Prior to forming Bank of Burlington, Mr. Hesslink had served as President and Chief Executive Officer, and served on the Board of Merchants Bank and its holding company, Merchants Bancshares, Inc. which were headquartered in South Burlington, Vermont. He started his employment with Merchants Bank in 1995 as Vice President and Commercial Banker working on business development and problem loan resolution. Mr. Hesslink was promoted to Senior Vice President and Senior Lender, managing Commercial Banking, Problem Loan Resolution, Government Banking and Mortgage Banking in 2006. He was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2013, to President and Chief Executive Officer of Merchants Bank in 2015 and was appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Merchants Bancshares, Inc. effective January 1, 2016. Following the acquisition of Merchants Bancshares, Inc. by Community Bank Systems, Inc. in May 2017, Mr. Hesslink served as Regional President New England for Community Bank Systems until his resignation in October 2018.

Mr. Hesslink served on the board of the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation, Special Olympics of Vermont, Wake Robin Corporation, and was a member of the Vermont Business Roundtable.

CEO/Chairman, Geoffrey R. Hesslink

Management

Prior to joining the Bank of Burlington, Mr. Greiner served as a Senior Commercial Relationship Officer with TD Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Toronto Dominion Bank. He began his employment with TD Bank in 2004 as Vice President and Commercial Lending Officer and was promoted to Senior Commercial Relationship Officer in 2012. Mr. Greiner served in that capacity until his retirement in 2020. Mr. Greiner has been a member of the Board of Directors of Evernorth (formerly Housing Vermont) since 2015 and chairs the board’s Real Estate Development Committee. He also serves on the Governing Board of Evernorth Rural Ventures, a community development entity using New Markets Tax Credits resources to support investment in the economic, environmental, and social well-being of northern New England communities and its regional economies. Mr. Greiner brings extensive experience in loan and deposit business development, commercial credit underwriting, team leadership and risk management to the Board.

Alison Abry has a diverse financial background. She is an entrepreneurial and systems oriented financial leader, focused on improving operations, developing people, and controlling costs while increasing revenue and profits. Most recently, she was Director of Finance & IS for Rhino Foods, where she managed the financial reporting and technology. Prior to Rhino Foods, Alison spent five years as the Chief Financial Officer at MyWebGrocer. At this Private Equity held company, she worked with the management team to rapidly grow this technology business and executed a successful merger with a technology holding company. She began her career in Public Accounting. As a partner in a local accounting firm, she specialized in medium to large sized businesses. Her client based spanned many industries including technology, manufacturing, healthcare, and services. She assisted clients with their tax and auditing requirements but preferred the consulting aspect of her practice. These consulting services focused on assisting clients with growth plans and general business planning. Outside of work, Alison enjoys everything about the outdoors, including skiing the Vermont mountains and activities on Lake Champlain. Alison received her BS in accounting from the University of Vermont and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Anthony Wyand will lead the company’s technology strategy including technology design, IT vendor selection, and all IT security related efforts. Tony has over 20 years’ experience in the technology space where he has held several IT related positions in multiple different capacities. At GE Healthcare, Tony was responsible for the design, build, and implementation of critical healthcare technologies specific to medical billing, Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS), and Radiology Information Systems (RIS). All systems were HIPAA compliant and held to the highest standard from a regulatory and compliance perspective. Later in his career, Tony navigated toward a Retail and CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) IT hosting provider, MyWebGrocer, where he directed a team of 15+ System Engineers, Network Engineers, and Database Administrators all supporting 24×7 systems, websites, and other various digital solutions. During his tenure, he led and participated in SOC 2 compliance efforts ensuring the uptime, availability, stability, and security of all hosted systems. Most recently, Tony served as the Director of IT Operations for DealerPolicy, an Insurtech startup where he implemented IT policies and procedures and developed plans and strategies to obtain and maintain PCI DSS compliance for the entire organization. Tony studied Business Management at Champlain College but his passion for technology and IT security motivates him to remain in the IT space for many years to come. To further his professional development, Tony plans to obtain either CISM or CISSP certifications in the 2022 calendar year.

Philip C. Smith II has over 28 years of commercial banking experience in Chittenden County across multiple business segments, including commercial lending, product development, key account management and retail banking.  Most recently, since 2016 he served as Senior Vice President-Commercial Banking for Bank of America, where he established a commercial lending office in Burlington, Vermont and was responsible for business development to a wide variety of businesses and industries in Vermont, Northern New Hampshire and Northern New York.  As a commercial lender for Bank of America, he was actively involved in loan portfolio administration, renewals, documentation, loan covenant compliance and annual credit reviews, among other duties.  Prior to joining Bank of America, Mr. Smith served as a Senior Vice President-Consumer Banking for KeyBank, NA in Burlington from 2010 to 2015 and as a KeyBank Vice President-Senior Business Banking Relationship Manager from 2008 to 2009.  Mr. Smith began his Banking career at Merchants Bank in Burlington in 1993, where he worked with Mr. Hesslink.  Mr. Smith initially served as a Cash Management Administrator for Merchants Bank and subsequently worked on various special project assignments for Merchants, including assisting in the development and implementation of a small business credit scoring system, working on implementation of a credit risk management platform for the commercial banking team and assisting with restructuring deposit product offerings. From 1997 to 2007 he served as Vice President-Corporate banking Officer for Merchants Bank, where he had primary responsibility for business development, actively managed a portfolio of relationships with a view toward risk management, business retention and cross-selling of products and services, conducted credit analyses, structured loan transactions and was involved in all aspects of loan portfolio administration. 

Our Founders

Our bankers aren’t just bankers. We used to be business banking customers who just couldn’t find the kind of bank in Vermont we wanted. So we started a new kind of bank that’s based on reducing costs and expenses, and passing those savings on to our customers with better rates and smarter products. Yes, that’s pretty different. But that’s who we want to be.

Jeffrey I. Beer Founder
Co-Founder, CFO, Select Design

William G. Bissonette Founder & Director
Owner, Al’s French Frys/Bissonette Properties

Corey N. Bronner Founder
Partner, Deputy CIO, CIPVT

Scott D. Ireland Founder
President, CEO, S.D. Ireland Companies

Joseph F. Larkin Founder & Director
Principal & President, Larkin Realty

Bruce M. Lisman Founder & Director
Chairman (ret) Global Equities JP Morgan Chase

Pietro J. Lynn Founder & Director
President, Lynn Lynn Blackman & Manitsky P.C.

William B. (Billy) Mauer Founder
President, Grandview Farms

Timothy R. Miller Founder
Principal, Partner REM Development

Thomas H. Moody Founder
Founder, Moody Advisors, LLC

Judith W. O’Connell Founder & Director
CEO & Founder, CIPVT

Eric P. Ode Founder & Director
Partner, President/COO, CIPVT

Kevin J. Owens Founder
Co-Founder, CEO, Select Design

Russell B. Scully Founder
Owner, Hula, The Spot, Scully Interactive

Brian J. Tarrant Founder
Founder, Amicus Healthcare, MyWebGrocer

Jerry F. Tarrant Founder & Director
Founder, Amicus Healthcare, MyWebGrocer

Richard E. Tarrant Founder
Partner, Fabre Partners, (former CEO MyWebGrocer)

J. Larry Williams Founder
CEO, Redstone Commercial Group

Board of Directors

Mr. Hesslink brings experience in business management, finance and accounting, banking industry knowledge, customer service, crisis response, leadership, strategic planning, credit underwriting and risk management to the Board.

Mrs. O’Connell is the Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer at Champlain Investment Partners. Prior to founding the firm, Mrs. O’Connell held the position as a Senior Vice President at National Life Group and served as a director at RCM Capital Management Mrs. O’Connell brings to the Board a finance background, business and management experience, leadership, customer-based experience, and strategic planning experience.

Mr. Bissonette is the owner of Bissonette Properties, a family-owned and operated real estate investment and property management company serving the Burlington and Winooski, Vermont areas, including the Old North End and University of Vermont neighborhoods. Mr. Bissonette is also the owner of Al’s French Fry’s, an iconic Burlington-area burger and fries’ restaurant that has been in existence since the 1940’s. Mr. Bissonette brings to the Board business and management experience, industry experience, leadership experience, customer-based experience, and strategic planning experience.

Mrs. Blazewicz has served as Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel and Secretary of Coty Inc. (“Coty”) (NYSE: COTY), one of the world’s largest beauty companies with an iconic portfolio of brands across fragrance, color cosmetics, and skin and body care, since March 15, 2020. Mrs. Blazewicz is a member of Coty’s Executive Committee and serves on the Board of Managers of King Kylie LLC, the joint venture formed between Coty and Kylie Jenner. Prior to joining Coty, Mrs. Blazewicz served most recently as Vice President, Assistant General Counsel at Keurig Dr Pepper Inc. (NASDAQ: KDP). Prior to that, she was a corporate associate in the Los Angeles and San Francisco offices of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, a global law firm, from 2006 to January 2013. Mrs. Blazewicz brings more than fifteen years of in-house and law firm experience and has lived and worked in several global locations including her native U.S., China and the Netherlands.

Ms. Glynn is a director, shareholder and managing partner at Ryan Smith & Carbine, Ltd., a full-service law firm with offices in Rutland, Vermont and Glens Falls, New York. In her practice, Ms. Glynn represents financial institutions in commercial loan transactions, commercial loan workouts, restructuring, foreclosures, creditors rights, in and out of bankruptcy court. Ms. Glynn also represents corporations (for profit and not for profit), partnerships, limited liability companies in many facets of legal services, including commercial transaction borrowing, asset and real estate purchase and sales. She has achieved the highest “AV” rated by Peers in Martindale Hubbell, is recognized by “Best Lawyers in America” in the category of Financial Institutions law and rated in Chambers USA, which ranks the leading lawyers and law firms across the USA.

Mr. Larkin is a principal and President of Larkin Realty headquartered in Burlington, Vermont. Larkin Realty is an owner and developer of residential and commercial real estate. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Larkin was Vice President of Credit Research at Dwight Asset Management, a fixed income asset manager. He was a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. Mr. Larkin previously served as a director of Merchants Bank and Merchants Bancshares, Inc. He brings to the Board credit and risk management experience, banking industry knowledge, customer-based experience, industry experience, strategic planning experience, leadership experience and bank governance experience.

Mr. Lisman served as Chairman of Global Equities Division of JP Morgan Chase and Company before retiring in 2009. Prior to this position, Mr. Lisman served as the Chief Executive Officer of Institutional Equities of Bear Stearns and Company. Mr. Lisman served as director of Merchants Bank and its Parent Company, Merchants Bancshares, Inc., based in Burlington, for over ten years. Mr. Lisman brings to the Board corporate governance, finance industry experience, leadership and director experience, including bank governance experience, and strategic planning experience.

Mr. Lynn is the President of Lynn, Lynn, Blackman & Manitsky, P.C. located in Burlington, Vermont. He provides legal services for individual and institutional clients. He provides representation in civil litigation, employment and labor law, business disputes, education law, and construction law matters. Mr. Lynn brings to the Board business and management experience, legal judgment leadership experience, customer-based experience, and strategic planning experience.

Mr. Ode is President and Chief Operating Officer of Champlain Investment Partners. Prior to joining Champlain, Mr. Ode was a Vice President at Great Hill Partners focused on investment opportunities in the business and financial services sectors. Prior to that, Mr. Ode was a Corporate Private Equity Associate at The Carlyle Group in the Aerospace, Defense, and Government Services group. Mr. Ode currently serves on the Board of the King Street Center, a non-profit community center located in the heart of the south end of Burlington, Vermont. Mr. Ode brings to the Board a finance and accounting background, business and management experience, and strategic planning experience.

Mr. Tarrant has founded and invested in many different companies, including co-founding Amicus Healthcare Living Centers, Inc., a leading provider of senior housing for the elderly where he served as President. He co-founded MyWebGrocer, a leading software and digital media company connecting Retailers, Manufacturers and Consumers where he served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer. He is a partner of Stratton Aviation, LLC which uses its proprietary software to broker airline parts around the world. Mr. Tarrant recently co-founded SOOS, LLC, a startup developing tools that help companies manage their open-source software security and license vulnerabilities. Mr. Tarrant brings to the Board vast business and management experience, leadership, customer-based experience, and strategic planning experience.

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