Magyar Bank CEO Fitzgerald named new chair of NJ Bankers

OceanFirst’s Maher named first vice chair; Northfield’s Klein named second vice chair

John Fitzgerald, the CEO of Magyar Bank, has been installed as the new chair of the New Jersey Bankers Association for the 2021-22 fiscal year, the group announced Monday.

Chris Maher, chairman and CEO of OceanFirst Bank, was announced as the first vice chair. Steven Klein, chairman and CEO of Northfield Bank, will serve as the second vice chair.

Chris Maher. (Courtesy photo)

Founded 118 years ago, NJ Bankers is a trade association representing 72 banks and 172 service providers.

The NJ Bankers officers, along with the board of directors, guide the association as it implements its mission of representing the membership’s interests before state and federal government and regulatory authorities. The association also provides support in public and media relations, professional development and providing employee health insurance benefit programs through its licensed insurance brokerage facility, Bankers Cooperative Group.

NJ Bankers CEO John McWeeney said the association is blessed to have such strong leadership at a clearly important time for the sector and the economy.

“We’re very excited to have such a strong team of bankers lead NJ Bankers as New Jersey’s economy reopens from the pandemic,” he said. “New Jersey’s banks played a critical role of supporting consumers, small businesses and not-for-profits throughout COVID-19 and are well-positioned to lead our state’s economic recovery.”

Steve Klein. (Courtesy photo)

Fitzgerald has been with Magyar Bank, a community bank headquartered in New Brunswick, since 2001 — serving as CEO since 2010. An industry veteran of over 30 years, Fitzgerald established the bank’s Commercial Lending Department. He was previously the Bank’s chief operating officer, responsible for the bank’s branch network, retail deposit and loan operations departments.

A graduate of the University of Maryland, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in economics, and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking, Fitzgerald is involved in numerous community and professional organizations, and currently serves as vice chairman of the board of trustees for the State Theatre. He is also a past chairman of the board of the Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Maher joined OceanFirst Bank in 2013. OceanFirst is one of the oldest and largest commercial banks headquartered in New Jersey, and operates branches throughout New Jersey and metropolitan New York City and additional commercial loan production offices in New Jersey, greater Philadelphia, metropolitan New York City and the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., area.

OceanFirst has total assets exceeding $11 billion.

Maher also serves as chairman of OceanFirst Foundation; as well as serving as a director at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

Northfield Bancorp Inc. is a $5.6 billion publicly traded company providing community banking and investment services to businesses and consumers primarily located in Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon and Union counties in New Jersey, Staten Island and Brooklyn, New York, and eastern Pennsylvania.

Klein is responsible for leading strategic planning and execution related to lending, deposit gathering, technology deployment, customer and employee experience, and branding. Prior to joining Northfield, Klein was an audit partner in the New Jersey community banking practice of KPMG.

The 2021-22 NJ Bankers board of directors

  • James Andreacci, market president for New Jersey, Truist Bank;
  • John Borelli Jr., CEO/president, Newfield National Bank;
  • Thomas Comiskey, regional president of New Jersey, M&T Bank;
  • Robert E. Curley III, South Jersey market president, TD Bank N.A.;
  • Joanna DiCiurcio, retail market manager, PNC N.A.;
  • Effie Gikas, senior vice president/consumer banking region executive, Bank of America;
  • Jorge S. Gomes, CEO/president, Lusitania Savings Bank;
  • James A. Hughes, CEO/president, Unity Bank;
  • Thomas J. Kemly (former chair), CEO/president, Columbia Bank;
  • Douglas L. Kennedy, CEO/president, Peapack-Gladstone Bank;
  • Rohit Mehrotra, managing director/office team lead, JPMorgan Chase;
  • Craig L. Montanaro, CEO/president, Kearny Bank;
  • Jane Rey, president/chief operating officer, Spencer Savings Bank;
  • Ira Robbins, chairman/CEO/president, Valley Bank;
  • Patrick L. Ryan, CEO/president, First Bank;
  • Larry C. Schmidt, CEO/president, 1st Bank of Sea Isle City;
  • Thomas J. Shara (immediate former chair), CEO/president, Lakeland Bank;
  • William P. Taylor, chairman/CEO, Somerset Savings Bank;
  • Gregory S. Tornquist, chairman/CEO/president, Cenlar FSB;
  • Ferdinand R. Viaud, CEO/president, Glen Rock Savings Bank;
  • James H. Wainwright, CEO/president, Freehold Bank.