NORTH ADAMS -- MountainOne Financial Partners has tapped a Burlington, Vt., bank executive as its next president and chief executive officer.
Thomas S. Leavitt, who currently serves as executive vice president for operations at Merchants Bancshares Inc., will join the local financial institution Sept. 4, replacing outgoing CEO and President Steven Crowe, who recently announced he will retire at the end of the year.
MountainOne Board of Directors Chairman Daniel E. Bosley said Monday that Leavitt was the "top pick" of candidates interviewed by the board's search committee.
"I think we all found him to be inspirational," Bosley said. "Not only was he well-prepared during the interview process, but it was clear to see why he has been so successful in banking and in his business endeavors. He has a quiet confidence about him and he's quite comfortable in his own skin. He is confident in his abilities and he exudes that, which is an important quality in a leader."
MountainOne, which includes Hoosac Bank, Williamstown Savings Bank, South Coastal Bank, True North Financial Services, and Coakley, Pierpan, Dolan & Collins Insurance Agency, began its search for a new CEO and president in the fall of 2011.
"We looked at a lot of excellent candidates, both internally and externally," Bosley said. "We probably had 25 or 26 candidates to start. We narrowed that initial number by about half and then continued narrowing it down during
One of the qualities that made Leavitt stand out from the other candidates was his interest not only in the bank, but in the community, too.
"Of all the candidates we interviewed, it was quite clear that Tom had done his research," Bosley said. "Not only did he research our holding company, but he also had come to town to learn about the community. He was conversant about the North Adams community during his interview. We all felt that he was a comfortable fit -- not just for the bank, but socially and culturally as well. We think he'll be an inspirational leader and continue to make this holding company the best it can be."
Bosley said there will be some overlap between Leavitt's arrival and Crowe's departure, leaving ample time for a transition period.
"That being said, we know that Tom will hit the ground running when he arrives. He already has a list of items he wants to accomplish," he said.
Prior to becoming Merchants Bank's executive vice president for operations in January 2012, Leavitt led Merchants' community banking division from 2006 to 2011. He has been a member of Merchants Bank's executive team since 1996, having joined the financial institution in 1987. He also is a member of the executive council of the Vermont Bankers Association and has served on numerous nonprofit community organization boards.
"I look forward to partnering with the talented people of MountainOne to advance the company on many fronts," Leavitt said in a release. "Steve Crowe has been the architect of an institution with strong potential for growth. I will bring all of my energy and skills to building upon the past 10 years of MountainOne development."
Leavitt earned a master's degree of business administration in corporate finance and marketing from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a bachelor's degree in business from the University of New Hampshire.
He and his wife, Diane Boyajian Leavitt, reside in Burlington and are planning to relocate to the Berkshires. They have two grown sons, Joseph and John.
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