Meridian Financial Services Inc. in East Boston has hired Mark L. Abbate as the treasurer and chief financial officer for Meridian and its East Boston Savings Bank unit.

Abbate had been an executive vice president and the chief financial officer at Strata Bank in Franklin, Mass., since 2007. Middlesex Savings Bank bought Strata in July.

Before that Abbate had been a project consultant for financial institutions in 2006 and a vice president and the controller at Firstfed America Bancorp Inc. in Swansea, Mass., since 2000.

He began his career at Deloitte & Touche LLP in Los Angeles.

He will join the $1.3 billion-asset Meridian on Jan. 4.


Penn Liberty Bank in Wayne, Pa., has announced the retirement of its vice president and community relations officer, Joan A. Morello.

Morello had been the community relations officer of the $412 million-asset bank since 2006. She joined Penn Liberty in 2004 as a vice president of commercial banking.

Before that she was the senior vice president of business development at Madison Bank. Earlier she worked for Peoples Thrift Savings Bank.

Provident Bank in Montebello, N.Y., has promoted William F. Vacca to senior vice president of retail banking and community business lending, and Thomas Fitzgerald to vice president.

Vacca was the regional vice president of retail banking and community business lending. He joined the $3.4 billion-asset bank in 2004. Before that he was a senior vice president at Warwick Savings Bank.

Fitzgerald was an assistant vice president. He will remain the corporate services officer.

Before he joined the bank he was a major account representative for the Times Herald-Record newspaper in Middletown, N.Y.


BankUnited in Coral Gables, Fla., has hired Brian S. Clay, Rick Thrill, John Thomas Fanning and Jason Shrode for its commercial banking department.

Clay will be a senior vice president and the team leader. He was the leader of the commercial banking sales teams for Broward and West Palm Beach counties at SunTrust Banks Inc.

Before that he was the leader of the commercial sales team in Miami-Dade County.

Thrill will be a senior vice president and senior relationship banker. He was a commercial relationship manager at SunTrust Bank. Before that he was a relationship manager at GE Capital Finance.

Fanning and Shrode will be vice presidents and relationship bankers.

Fanning was a commercial banker at SunTrust Bank in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and before that was a financial adviser at Morgan Stanley.

Shrode was a commercial relationship banker at TD Bank and before that was a relationship manager at SunTrust.

BankUnited has $11.2 billion in assets.


First State Bancorp. in Albuquerque announced the resignation of its president and chief executive officer, Michael R. Stanford, to take effect today.

Stanford had been president and CEO of the $2.8 billion-asset company and chairman and CEO of its First Community Bank since 1988.

Before that he was the senior vice president of loan administration at New Mexico Banquest Corp.

H. Patrick Dee will succeed Stanford as president and CEO of First State Bancorp. He has been the chief operating officer of the company and First Community Bank since 1996.


First Republic Bank in San Francisco has hired Mike Franks to be a managing director and leader of the venture capital, private-equity and investment management teams.

Franks was a managing director and director of private-equity services at Silicon Valley Bank where he had worked for 10 years.

Before that he worked for Greater Bay Bank and Comerica Bank, both in the San Jose area.

American Principle Bank in San Luis Obispo, Calif., has hired Mark A. Crawford as its executive vice president and chief credit officer.

Crawford had been the senior executive vice president and chief risk officer at Guaranty Financial Group in Texas since 2001.

Before that he had been Guaranty's chief credit officer since 1998 and the asset review manager since 1993.

He also worked at the Office of Thrift Supervision and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He began his career at Richardson Savings and Loan.

American Principle Bank has $187 million in assets.

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