Merchants Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBVT), President and CEO, Michael R. Tuttle, announced the appointment of Geoffrey R. Hesslink as the 13th President and CEO of Merchants’ main operating subsidiary, Merchants Bank, effective Jan. 1, 2015. Hesslink currently serves as Merchants Bank’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. The Board of Directors of Merchants Bank voted to approve this appointment at their meeting on Nov. 20.
Tuttle will retain his position as President and CEO of Merchants Bancshares, Inc. and will delegate the day-to-day responsibilities for running the bank to Hesslink. “I have worked with Geoffrey for over 20 years. Geoffrey brings a deep knowledge of banking, our company and our market to his new position. His passion for the business is unique in my experience. As our Chief Operating Officer Geoffrey has a great breadth of experience that includes planning and implementing strategy for the bank. This change reflects continuity and consistency which serve our customers, employees and shareholders so well,” said Mr. Tuttle.
Tuttle will focus his energies on strategic initiatives for Merchants Bancshares, Inc. “We have a successful business model, which has served our shareholders very well over the past ten years. As we look to the future, we will explore opportunities to further enhance our performance in the current banking environment.”
Hesslink added, “I have been privileged to work alongside Mike Tuttle and the Merchants Bank team for nearly 20 years. I am grateful to Mike and the Board for their support over these years and am excited for this new role. Merchants Bank has a superior performance history and is well positioned for the future. I am confident we have the right team, model and plan to continue to grow the value of this fine organization.”
Hesslink graduated cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree in business administration-finance from the University of Vermont in 1987 and completed a management training program at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company in 1989. Hesslink joined Merchants Bank in 1995 and was promoted to the position of Corporate Banking Officer in 1996, Senior Vice President and Senior Lender in 2006, and Chief Operating Officer in 2013.
Michael G. Furlong, Chairman of Merchants Bank’s Board of Directors commented, “The Board of Directors is very pleased that Geoff Hesslink will be our next President, continuing a tradition of extraordinary Merchants bankers, and that we will retain the benefit of Mike Tuttle’s proven leadership in strategic initiatives. We expect this transition to enhance Merchants’ position as Vermont’s community bank.”