MONTEBELLO, N.Y., April 13, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sterling National Bank (NYSE:STL) today announced several key additions to its Commercial Banking and Commercial Finance businesses.

In its Melville, Long Island office, the bank welcomes several new members to the Commercial Banking Team, focused on generating business opportunities and building client relationships. James Baranello joins as Senior Managing Director and Senior Vice President reporting to EVP and Long Island Market President, Ed Blaskey. Baranello will be leading a commercial banking team focused on commercial real estate and middle market lending. Baranello comes to Sterling after a long career at CIBC.

Building out the existing Long Island teams, Craig Clausen joins as Managing Director and Senior Vice President, reporting to co-team leads and SVPs Bob Bernard and Peter Welch. Clausen will manage the team’s activities and be responsible for generating new business opportunities. In addition, Robert Akalski will serve as Managing Director and Rich Fazio will serve as an Associate Managing Director, reporting to co-team leads and SVPs Jim Whitehouse and Mike Varrone. Akalski, joining the Multi-Family team, will oversee the team’s sales and service efforts. Fazio will be responsible for growing the portfolio of relationships across the Long Island market. Leo Mutchler joins as Managing Director, reporting to co-team leads and SVPs, Dan Liberty and Sean Umhafer. Mutchler will focus on fostering relationships and generating new business. Gary Harkins also joins as Managing Director, responsible for growing commercial loan and deposit relationships, and will report to team leader and SVP Tim Juliano. Harkins joins Sterling from Gold Coast Bank, Mutchler joins from BNY Mellon and Clausen, Akalski and Fazio all join from Capital One Bank.

Joining in the New York Metro market, and reporting to EVP and Market President David Bagatelle, Stephen Gibbs will serve as Senior Managing Director and Senior Vice President, and become co-team leader of the Legal Services team. He was most recently a law practice lead with JPMorgan Chase and brings over three decades of experience in building strong relationships in the commercial banking and legal services sector. The New York Metro market also welcomes William Farriss to the team as Managing Director, reporting to team leader and SVP Scott Morello. He will be responsible for managing commercial relationships across loans, deposits, and other products and services. Farriss formerly held senior roles at Patriot National Bank and Santander Bank.  

In the Westchester market, led by Lynn Bagliebter, EVP and Market President, the bank adds Shawn Gines as Senior Vice President and Senior Managing Director. As a co-team leader, Gines will focus on driving business development activities and managing diverse client relationships. Gines was most recently with Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

The bank also welcomes Lisa Adams as Managing Director and Senior Vice President in the Asset Based Lending team and Matthew Kelly as Managing Director and Vice President in the Franchise Finance Lending team. Based on the West Coast, Adams will focus on business development activities with middle market, asset-based lending clients. Adams most recently worked for The Private Bank and Kelly joins Sterling from the Franchise Capital group of Pacific Premier Bank, where he covered various franchise industry sectors.

“We are very pleased to welcome these new team members to Sterling,” said Tom Geisel, President of Corporate Banking at Sterling. “Each banker brings deep experience in servicing the financing needs of middle market clients, aligning with the common goals and growth aspirations of Sterling. Their rich backgrounds will strengthen our current business offerings and enable the bank to establish new rapports in both our core and national markets.”

About Sterling National Bank
Sterling Bancorp, of which the principal subsidiary is Sterling National Bank, specializes in the delivery of financial services and solutions for small to mid-size businesses and consumers within the communities we serve through a distinctive team-based delivery approach utilizing highly experienced, fully dedicated relationship managers. Sterling National Bank offers a complete line of commercial, business, and consumer banking products and services.  For more information, visit

Forward-Looking Statements
This release may contain "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may concern Sterling's current expectations about its future results, plans, operations and prospects and are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties, including inflation; the effects of, and changes in, trade; changes in asset quality and credit risk; introduction, withdrawal, success and timing of business initiatives; capital management activities; customer disintermediation; and the success of Sterling at managing these risks. Other factors that could cause Sterling's actual results to differ from those indicated in forward-looking statements are included in the "Risk Factors" section of Sterling's securities filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements included herein are only made as of the date hereof, and Sterling specifically disclaims any obligation to update these statements in the future.


Christina Favilla
Chief Operating Officer