COO, VP Tracey Smith to succeed Biondi
Merchants Bank Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Tracey Smith of Stroudsburg has been designated successor to the bank’s retiring CEO, Anthony J. Biondi, who announced his intention to retire well in advance to assure an orderly leadership transition over the next 10 months. Biondi’s decision to retire will bring to a close a career in banking of more than 40 years, the last 11 of which he served in his current position.
Biondi, seen with Smith, left, in the photo, will also retire from his position as CEO of the bank’s holding company, MNB Corporation, and will remain a board member of the holding company and the bank until his term expires in April 2017.
“I’ve been privileged and honored to lead, in my opinion, the best community bank in the region and look forward in continuing to share my knowledge and assist in the bank’s development as a director,” Biondi said. “After 11 years as CEO, it’s time to move on and transfer Merchants Bank’s helm to a new generation of leadership. I leave knowing that the Bank is operationally very sound and positioned for continued success. I, the board and others in the senior leadership team have laid out a vision for the bank that will guide it for many years to come and gives me great confidence about Merchant’s future.”
Richard Hotchkiss, chairman of the board, said of Smith’s unanimous selection, “The board has been focused on CEO succession planning for some time and Anthony has done an exceptional job coaching Tracey Smith for the position of CEO. Tracey’s decisive leadership, personal style and her meaningful experiences in banking uniquely qualify her to step into this role in July of next year. As with our customers and our community, she is well-respected across the industry, she inspires Merchants Bank’ employees and embodies the bank’s core values. The board looks forward to working with Tracey and is delighted to welcome her into this new role.”
With nearly 30 years of banking experience, Smith joined Merchants Bank in 2002 and promoted to executive vice president and COO in April 2013. Prior to her promotion, Smith served as senior vice president of Retail Banking. With dual Bachelor’s in both economics and management from East Stroudsburg University, Smith completed her MBA at DeSales University in 2013. Smith was recognized as a 2014 Lehigh Valley Business “Woman of Influence” and serves on numerous boards, including serving as vice chair for the Valley Youth House, chair of the Salvation Army of the Greater Lehigh Valley and treasurer of the East Stroudsburg University/UPI Inc. board of directors.
“Tracey has great vision, sound business acumen, tremendous customer service skills and a remarkable dedication to the community she serves,” Biondi said. “Given our culture, I cannot think of a single person better suited to take over the leadership role of Merchants Bank and I’m completely confident in her abilities to lead our bank.”
Established in 1890, Merchants Bank is a locally owned and operated community bank. Headquartered in Bangor, Merchants has two branch offices in Bangor and additional offices throughout the Lehigh Valley, including Mount Bethel, Wind Gap, Nazareth, Forks Township, Martins Creek, Easton and Bethlehem. MNB Investment Services is a division of the bank and offers investment and wealth management financial services. For more information, visit merchantsbangor.com.
Pocono Latino Real Estate Group helps in homebuying
The Pocono Latino Real Estate Group is a bi-lingual team of Realtors under the Better Homes & Gardens brand firmly dedicated to assisting in homeownership to families looking for a new life and moving to the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.
The founding members, Alexa Sanchez, Realtor; Christine A. Wilkins, executive vice president/general manager and Thomas R. Wilkins, CEO, agreed for the need of bilingual Realtors trained and having a passion to assist families moving to the area. A big part of The Pocono Latino Real Estate Group is being a part of the Hispanic community through a number of national organizations like the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP.org), National Hispanic Business Group (nhbg.org) and Pocono Republican Hispanic Association.
The Pocono group’s reach for purchase of a home spans from Bethlehem to Allentown, Mount Pocono to Milford, Hazleton to Mount Pocono for those wanting bi-lingual agents along with Spanish promotional materials, legal documents and a team of referring purveyors.
For those who are bi-lingual and looking for a career in Real Estate, licensed now and have little or no support marketing to the Hispanic Community or looking for a Buyer’s Agent who speaks Spanish to help purchase a first-time home, retirement home, Distinctive Collection home or simply a weekend getaway, call Alexa Sanchez, Realtor at her Bushkill office at 570-588-3440 or go to email@example.com or visit BHGWilkins.com.
Mountain Creek to hold wine tasting from local vineyards
Mountain Creek Grill located in Bartonsville will offer free wine tasting featuring several local wineries starting Saturday, Sept. 26, from 5 to 9 pm. when Blue Ridge winery will sample its full range of red, white, and dessert wines with a complete line of whites and blush wines.
Rowan Asher Winery of Stroudsburg will bring wine and hard cider from 5 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 3, at Mountain Creek Grill. Rowan Asher specializes in small handcrafted batches of wine. The freshest fruit is hand pressed in its old-fashioned wine press and then aged in oak barrels for 14 months, a method passed down from their family of winemakers for generations from Old World Italy. Try their gold-medal award winning Cabernet blend “Misty Love”.
Mountain View Winery and Distillery from Stroudsburg will join in from 5 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 10 at Mountain Creek Grill with its selection of wines, moonshine, vodka and brandy. Mountain View Winery and Distillery uses no artificial flavors or colors and has planted a new vineyard on its recently acquired 90 acres using only organic practices. Their winery will soon include a brewery in addition to their offering of wine, sparkling wine, port, apple pie shine, original moonshine, brandy and pure fruit-flavored vodkas. Mountain Creek Grill’s inaugural MCG Wine Festival will be held 1 to 6 p.m., Oct. 11.
Dimeco declares shareholders dividend
The Board of Directors of Dimeco, Inc. (OTC Pink: DIMC), based in Honesdale, declared a dividend on Sept. 10, of $0.38 per share to shareholders of record on Sept. 30. The dividend is payable on Oct. 23, the anticipated date to release earnings for the third quarter of 2015. Maintaining the dividend at a level of $0.38 per share produced a yield of 3.91 percent at the market value of $38.88 on Sept. 8.
Dimeco, Inc. is the holding company of The Dime Bank, a full service financial institution serving Northeast Pennsylvania since 1905. Dimeco, Inc. reported balances at June 30, 2015 of $611 million in total assets, loans of $461 million, and deposits of $488 million. For more information on Dimeco, Inc. and The Dime Bank, visit thedimebank.com.