Tompkins Financial (TMP) in Ithaca, N.Y., has picked the successor to its founding chairman.

Thomas Rochon will become chairman after the retirement of James Byrnes in May 2014, the $4.9 billion-asset company said Thursday. Tompkins' board expects to elect Rochon next spring.

Byrnes, 71, has been chairman since the company's formation in 1995; he has been a director of its predecessor since 1989. He was the company's chief executive from 1995 to 2006.

Rochon, 60, is president of Ithaca College, a post he has held since 2008. He has been on Tompkins' board since 2007.

Rochon "brings executive-level expertise running a complex business in an extremely competitive, yet highly regulated, marketplace," Byrnes said in a press release. "He is a great choice to help position Tompkins for the future."

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