N.J. Bankers recognizes 22 ‘Rising Stars’

gold star trophy against blue sparks background

The New Jersey Bankers Association — proud of its next-generation leaders — has named 22 recipients of its 2023 Rising Star Awards.

The awards recognize the rising stars of the New Jersey banking industry and their impact on the communities where they live and work.

Honorees are nominated by their bank and chosen by an independent panel of judges based on their leadership qualities, contributions to the banking industry and their commitment to better serving their community.

A reception will be held Thursday at the Stone House at Stirling Ridge in Warren to recognize the honorees.

The 2023 award winners (in alphabetical order by bank):

  • Blue Foundry Bank: Craig Atkinson of Rahway, assistant vice president, central support manager;
  • Colonial Community Bank: Pedro Figueroa of Mount Laurel, vice president, business development officer;
  • Columbia Bank: Minoska Mateo of Elizabeth, senior vice president, community development and Community Reinvestment Act officer;
  • ConnectOne Bank: Dawn Machacek of Englewood Cliffs, vice president, strategic coordinator;
  • Cross River Bank: Matthew Brazda of Thornwood, payments product manager;
  • First Bank: Shatha Abbasi of Hamilton, assistant vice president, internal auditor;
  • First Commerce Bank: Jawan Graham-Worrell of Teaneck, assistant vice president, community banking relationship officer;
  • First Commerce Bank: Vanessa Hanhart of Toms River, assistant vice president, loan operations supervisor;
  • Kearny Bank: Katherine Buzza of Florham Park, assistant vice president, private client representative;
  • Lakeland Bank: Christina Agugliaro of Waldwick, assistant vice president, branch operations coordinator;
  • Lakeland Bank: Jamel Brown of Haledon, information security engineer;
  • Magyar Bank: Ryan Read of Phillipsburg, senior Bank Secrecy Act analyst;
  • Manasquan Bank: Julie Olters of Point Pleasant, senior human resources generalist;
  • Manasquan Bank: Tina Reid of Manasquan, vice president, director of internal audit;
  • Northfield Bank: Alison Ruane of Middletown, assistant vice president, financial reporting;
  • Peapack-Gladstone Bank: Kate Sant’Angelo of Somerville, vice president, retail administrator;
  • Spencer Savings Bank: Dushyant Abhyankar of Wayne, senior vice president, treasurer;
  • Unity Bank: Elizabeth Sobolewski of Linden, deposit operations small- and medium-sized enterprises lead, assistant treasurer;
  • Union County Savings Bank: Chandni Randhawa of Carteret, assistant vice president, assistant Bank Secrecy Act officer;
  • United Roosevelt Savings Bank: Amanda D’Alessio of Port Reading, executive assistant;
  • Valley Bank: Lina Duque of Clark, first vice president, relationship manager;
  • Valley Bank: Paul Roberts of Tinton Falls, vice president, market manger II.