January Banking People Moves: Who Stayed, Left and Got Promoted

In the fourth edition of this new monthly feature, we tell you where the notable bankers and c-suite executives moved around in the industry. Here are the moves from January, and keep an eye next month to see who went where in the first month of 2024.

January 2024 kicked off with a bang: Ally Bank found an interim president and chief executive after Jeffrey Brown stepped down last October, plus a handful of banks and credit unions got new chief executive officers.

Welcome to the fourth edition of the Banking People Moves from The Financial Brand, our monthly record of the c-suite executives, marketing VPs and other professionals moving around the industry that should be on your radar — whether they’re arriving from other industries, moving from one institution to another or getting promoted within their own bank or credit union.

Did you miss our December Banking People Mover? Check it out.

January’s Big Announcements

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Doug Timmerman

Institution: Ally Financial (Detroit, Mich.)
New position: Interim chief executive officer
To take effect immediately


Keep in mind: Jeffrey Brown, the former chief executive of Ally Financial, announced in October 2023 that he would be stepping down at the end of January 23. At the time, there had been no announcement of his successor. In December 2023, Diane Morais, the president of consumer and commercial banking, said she will also be stepping down “to pursue new opportunities” on July 1, 2024.

Banking Retirements

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Gary Parker

Institution: 1st University Credit Union (Waco, Texas)
Retiring as: President and CEO
To take effect immediately


What else to know about Parker’s new move: Straight from the press release announcing Gary Parker’s retirement:

“His prestigious credit union career began in 1975 when at 20 years old he became the youngest leader of a credit union in the state of Oklahoma, taking the helm at Bison Federal Credit Union in Shawnee. The small credit union was affiliated with Oklahoma Baptist University, and Parker had been a working volunteer for a while there when he was asked to step into the top position after his mentor’s death.

Parker spent nearly 14 years at Bison FCU, followed by several years at First Family Federal Credit Union in Henrietta, Oklahoma. In 1996 he was asked to fill in temporarily as head of Baylor University Employees Credit Union, which later became 1st University. That temporary role turned into a permanent, 27-year position.

Parker’s retirement goals include travel, particularly to all the national parks in the U.S.”

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Jim Esposito

Institution: Goldman Sachs (New York, N.Y.)
Retiring as: Co-head of global banking and markets division
To take effect immediately

What Esposito said about his retirement: “Lately, I’ve been consumed by a feeling of merely going through the motions which isn’t in my DNA. Ultimately you reach a point where opportunities for change become more limited.”

New Banking Moves in January

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Pierre Habis

Institution: Synchrony Bank (Stamford, Conn.)
New position: General manager and head of consumer banking
Coming from: Santander (Boston, Mass.)
Old position: Chief consumer banking/digital transformation officer

What to know about Habis’ new move: Pierre Habis is familiar with the roles and heavy responsibilities associated with managing consumer banking for regional banks. He started his career as regional manager of retail banking at Wells Fargo, where he worked for 14 years, followed by working as managing director at Bank of America for four years. He also has worked MUFG Union Bank and Santander before now settling at Synchrony. He sits on the board of Sky Systems.ai, the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and was a board member of the Consumer Bankers Association for five years.

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Andrew Downin

Institution: O Bee Credit Union (Lacey, Wash.)
New position: President and chief executive officer
Coming from: Vantage West Credit Union (Tucson, Ariz.)
Old position: Chief strategy and growth officer

What Downin said about his new position: “I’m eager to work with the O Bee team to build on its proud 68-year legacy that began by serving employees of the Olympia Brewery, its mission-driven credit union philosophy, and its CDFI certification. Together, we will continue to expand our growth, impact, and service to those who call Washington home.”

What to know about Downin’s new move: Per his LinkedIn, Andrew Downin’s first professional role was financial auditor for the State of Arizona Office of the Auditor General. His experience includes 13 years at Partners Federal Credit Union in Los Angeles as the vice president of marketing, a five-year stint at Filene Research Institute and over six years as chief strategy and growth officer at Vantage West Credit Union.

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Benjamin Denay

Institution: Wildfire Credit Union (Saginaw, Mich.)
New position: President and chief executive officer
Coming from: Gateway Financial Solutions (Saginaw, Mich.)
Old position: Chief financial officer

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Nicole Sherman

Institution: Utah First Credit Union (Salt Lake City, Utah)
New position: Chief operating officer
Coming from: Numerica Credit Union (Spokane Valley, Wash.)
Old position: Chief operating officer

What Sherman said about her new position: “I’m beyond thrilled to return to my home state and join the all-star team at Utah First Credit Union. The level of consciousness towards members is like nothing I’ve seen. It aligns with my core values, which makes this opportunity truly significant. I’m excited to contribute to the admirable mission and culture that sets Utah First apart.”

What to know about Sherman’s new move: Nicole Sherman has spent over 35 years in the banking industry in senior executive roles. She spent 15 years as senior vice president role for Zions Bank, six and a half years as chief banking officer at AmericanWest Bank and two and a half years at Numerica as chief operating officer.

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Aggie Tuxhorn

Institution: Citizens Bank of Edmond (Edmond, Okla.)
New position: Chief growth officer
Coming from: Emprise Bank (Wichita, Kan.)
Old position: Marketing manager

What Tuxhorn said about his new position: “People come into your life for a season or a reason and I truly believe I was at the right place at the right time when I met Jill Castilla [president and CEO of the bank]. I am beyond humbled and honored that you chose me to join your team. Thank you for believing in me, caring about my family, and welcoming us to the community.”

What else to know about Tuxhorn’s new move: Aggie Tuxhorn, with over 20 years of marketing expertise, has ten years of experience working in the banking industry. She has previously served as director of corporate engagement at Meritrust Credit Union and marketing manager at Emprise Bank.

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Jaimie Spruill

Institution: Shelby County FCU (Memphis, Tenn.)
New position: Chief operations officer
Coming from: Greater Kinston CU (Kinston, N.C.)
Old position: Chief executive officer

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Ira Williams

Institution: BayPort CU (Newport News, Va.)
New position: Chief retail officer
Coming from: Truliant FCU (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
Old position: Vice president of member experience


January Banking Promotions

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Kevin Hood

Institution: 1st University Credit Union (Waco, Texas)
New position: President and chief executive officer
Old position: Executive vice president

What else to know about Hood’s promotion: Kevin Hood had never held an executive role before 1st University Credit Union hired him as their new CEO. Hood cut his teeth in the banking industry as an intern teller in the 90s for 1st University. From there, he worked in a slew of technology-based roles, starting at 1st University, then at Cornerstone. He returned to the credit union in 2021 as the executive vice president.

Keep in mind: The news about Hood’s promotion came as the credit union announced it would be merging with Waconized Federal Credit Union. “With the glass plant closing, the board of directors and I realized that merging with another credit union was in the best interests of our members. After speaking with several potential merger partners, we made the strategic decision to merge with 1st University,” said Elizabeth Hamilton, manager and CEO of Waconized in a press release.

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Gary Schuette II

Institution: Vystar Credit Union (Waco, Texas)
New position: President and chief executive officer
Old position: Chief financial performance officer


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Anatoli Murha

Institution: Ukrainian Selfreliance Federal Credit Union (Feasterville, Penn.)
New position: Chief executive officer
Old position: Senior vice president

For a deep dive into Murha and his goals for the credit union, check out For incoming CEO of Philadelphia’s Ukrainian credit union, rapid growth is bittersweet.

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Melissa Wrycha

Institution: Park City Credit Union (Merrill, Wis.)
New position: Chief experience officer
Old position: Chief retail officer


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Patty Fuentes

Institution: First Financial Bank Texas (Abilene, Texas)
New position: Chief operating officer
Old position: Retail branch administrator


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Rebecca Marsh

Institution: Merchants Bank of Indiana (Carmel, Ind.)
New position: Chief marketing officer
Old position: Chief security officer


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Brenda Arndt

Institution: SouthEast Bank (Knoxville, Tenn.)
New position: Chief marketing officer
Old position: Marketing director


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Ashley L. Cunningham

Institution: General Electric Credit Union (Cincinnati, Ohio)
New position: Chief development officer
Old position: Chief member officer


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Melissa Morris

Institution: Kitsap Credit Union (Bremerton, Wash.)
New position: Marketing director
Old position: Senior marketing specialist


Other Banking Moves to Keep an Eye On

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Moe Matar

Institution: ONE (New York, N.Y.)
New position: Chief technology officer
Coming from: Citi (New York, N.Y.)
Old position: Global head of cloud at Citi

What to know about Matar’s new move: ONE, a digital banking fintech (that emphasizes it’s not a bank itself) founded in 2022 and backed by Walmart and Ribbit Capital, picked up Moe Matar from the banking industry. He previously worked on Goldman Sachs’ Marcus technology team and as managing director of Citi’s cloud team. In his LinkedIn profile he shared this story, which dives further into his move.

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