BCB Bank announced Monday that chief operating officer Ryan Blake has been named to its board of directors.
Blake is just 32, but he is an experienced banking and financial services executive that has grown in successive roles within BCB for the past 14 years. He was named a senior vice president and chief operating officer last year.
He is believed to be the youngest senior C-Suite banker in New Jersey and the first LGBT+ executive to serve on a board of directors.
His youthful mindset sets him apart, bank officials said.
Through Blake’s strategic guidance, the bank has made aggressive updates to both their online and mobile banking experience to attract and better serve an increasingly younger and more diverse customer base.
BCB’s advanced banking experience allows it to meet customers’ evolving technological demands, while staying competitive with financial products that will help their retail customers and valued commercial clients meet their goals and loan needs.
Board member Judith Bielan said Blake’s youth is a huge plus.
“It is paramount to the future success of BCB that we have a younger director who understands the importance of technological transformation in the financial and banking industry in order to deliver our customers an optimal and convenient experience,” she said. “Ryan’s work – digitizing BCB – will make our financial products even more competitive, on par with larger retail banks, but with the tailored friendly customer service of a neighborhood banker.”
Bielan called Blake an all-around star.
“Ryan’s integrity is beyond reproach; he is qualified in every sense of the word,” she said. “He is charismatic, approachable, intelligent beyond his years – the board is very glad to have him.”
With more than $3.26 billion in assets, BCB is the 17th-largest financial institution in New Jersey and the 11th-largest NJ-based bank by deposit size. The bank has reached impressive growth within the region while remaining independent, ranking them as one of the top 10 community banks in the state due to their superior customer service and knowledgeable banking staff.
About BCB Bancorp
Established in 2000 and headquartered in Bayonne, BCB Community Bank is the wholly-owned subsidiary of BCB Bancorp, Inc.. The Bank has 28 branch offices in Bayonne, Carteret, Edison, Hoboken, Fairfield, Holmdel, Jersey City, Lyndhurst, Maplewood, Monroe Township, Newark, Parsippany, Plainsboro, River Edge, Rutherford, South Orange, Union, and Woodbridge – and three locations on Staten Island.
As a rising star, Blake got his start as an executive associate to the bank’s CEO & CFO while attending Kean University. He earned the trust and confidence of the bank’s CEO, Tom Coughlin, allowing him to progress in his career as a Financial Analyst, Investor Relations Manager, then on to becoming BCB’s Vice President and Controller.
Blake said banks need to adjust to a new generation – and too new communities.
“A major challenge that community banks must solve is rethinking their responsibility in strengthening a community’s quality of life, and that’s by understanding how strategic investments in diversity – minority-owned businesses, scholarships, financial literacy, and promoting employee volunteerism – is an advantage in building-up thriving communities,” he said.
“At BCB, we truly believe in Making An Impact for good by giving back to the neighborhoods we serve.”
Blake recently underwent executive leadership training from the American Bankers Association (ABA) Stonier Graduate School of Banking Program at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree at Rutgers University, and two Bachelor’s degrees from Kean University, Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.