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Appointments: New Ops Chief for Ponce Bank; Esch Takes Helm at First Financial

Plus: Promotions and new presidents at Surrey Bancorp and Embassy National Bank

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  • Written by  Banking Exchange staff
Appointments: New Ops Chief for Ponce Bank; Esch Takes Helm at First Financial

Ponce Financial Group — The New York-based banking group as appointed Luis Gonzalez Jr as executive vice president and chief operating officer.

He joins Ponce Bank following 15 years at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, where he held several senior positions, including acting assistant deputy comptroller.

First Financial Bank Jamie Esch is the new chairman and CEO of Texas-based First Financial Bank’s Hereford region. Esch most recently served as senior vice president of private banking and commercial lending at Happy State Bank in Texas, having joined in 2017.

Summit BankAaron Walker has been announced as chief credit officer at Oregon’s Summit Bank.

Walker was most recently responsible for growing and managing a $1.2 billion portfolio of income property loans at Columbia Bank, where he was a commercial real estate manager.

The Victory Bank — The Pennsylvania community bank has promoted Alex Kroll to chief lending officer. He was previously president of bank’s business in the central Pennsylvania region and will now serve as a member of the executive management team.

Capital City Bank — Capital City has appointed Sharon Bradley as its first chief diversity officer (CDO). The Florida-based bank Bradley would focus on “ensuring diversity, equity and inclusion are at the forefront of [the bank’s] mission and goals”.

Surrey Bancorp — North Carolina’s Surrey Bancorp has promoted two senior management staff as part of its management succession plan. Pedro Pequeno II, previously the bank’s chief lending officer (CLO), has been appointed president, while William Johnson is to take over as CLO.

Edward Ashby III will remain CEO and will continue to serve as a director, the company said.

Embassy National Bank — The small business lender based in Georgia has announced Steven Smith as its new president. Smith joins with more than 20 years of executive leadership experience in the community banking industry.

JST Capital — The digital assets specialist has hired the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s chief compliance officerMartin Grant as global head of regulatory affairs and integrity.

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