Officers & Directors

Senior Management

Geoffrey R. Hesslink
President & CEO
Geoffrey R. Hesslink serves as President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Merchants Bancshares, Inc. and Merchants Bank. Mr. Hesslink joined Merchants Bank in 1995 as Vice President and Commercial Banker working on business development and problem loan resolution. Mr. Hesslink was promoted to Senior Vice President and Senior Lender, managing Commercial Banking, Problem Loan Resolution, Government Banking and Mortgage Banking in 2006. He was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2013, to President and CEO of Merchants Bank in 2015 and was appointed to his current role as President and CEO of Merchants Bancshares, Inc. and Merchants Bank effective January 1, 2016. He serves on the board of the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation and is a member of the Vermont Business Roundtable. Mr. Hesslink graduated cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree in business administration-finance from the University of Vermont in 1987 and completed a management training program at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company in 1989.

Marie A. Thresher
Executive Vice President & COO of the Bank
Marie Thresher joined the Company in December 2013 and currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer, responsible for operations, information technology, human resources, risk management and marketing. Prior to this role Ms. Thresher served as Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer. Ms. Thresher brings over 20 years of experience in financial services and risk management at regional and national financial institutions. Prior to joining Merchants, she was the Senior Vice President and Chief Auditor for People’s United Bank (formerly Chittenden Bank). She began her banking career at Fleet Financial Group (now Bank of America) holding various positions, including Vice President of Retail Delivery and Consumer/Small Business Lending, Audit in 1999. Ms. Thresher holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance, from Central Connecticut University. She serves on the board of directors of Vermont CARES.

Jacqueline Dragon
Senior Vice President of the Bank
Jacquie Dragon joined Merchants Bank in 2013 as Senior Vice President, Human Resources. Ms. Dragon has over 20 years of HR, organizational development and employee performance management experience in a variety of industries including financial service, consumer goods, manufacturing, health care, retail and telecommunications. She holds an MS in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, a BS in Social Work, and SPHR from the Society of Human Resources.

Laura Abbott
Senior Vice President of the Bank
Ms. Abbott has served as Senior Credit Officer since December 2012 and was appointed to her current role as Senior Vice President and Senior Credit Officer in January 2015. Ms. Abbott previously served as Vice President and Credit Operations and Loan Compliance Officer from 2001 through 2012 and has been with Merchants Bank for over 25 years.

Jonathan Watson
Senior Vice President of the Bank
Mr. Watson was appointed Senior Vice President, Chief Risk Officer in March 2015. Mr. Watson has over 11 years of internal audit and risk advisory services experience at regional financial institutions. Prior to joining Merchants as Vice President, and Audit Director in September 2014, he worked at People’s United Bank (acquired Chittenden Corporation) for 10 years. Mr. Watson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Vermont.

Bruce Bernier
Senior Vice President of the Bank
Mr. Bernier is Senior Lender and Senior Vice President of Merchants Bank. Mr. Bernier joined Merchants Bank in 2007 as a Corporate Banking Officer, and was promoted to the position of Northern Regional Manager Commercial Banking in 2011. Mr. Bernier has over 20 years in commercial banking experience with local banking institutions. Mr. Bernier was appointed to his current role as Senior Lender effective January 1, 2015.

Michael J. Cataldo
Senior Vice President of the Bank
Mr. Cataldo joined Merchants Bank in June of 2015 and currently serves as Senior Vice President, Director of Operations. He came to Merchants with over 30 years’ experience in the financial services industry, specializing in Bank Operations. He most recently worked for Webster Bank where he was responsible for operating and managing back office operations for the $17 billion bank. He attended Sacred Heart University and is a graduate of Penn State’s executive management program.

Eric A. Segal
Interim PFO, PAO and Treasurer
Mr. Segal, is the Interim Principle Financial Officer, Interim Principle Accounting Officer and Interim Treasurer of Merchants Bank and Merchants Bancshares. He is a partner in CFO Consulting Partners LLC and heads the firm’s Banking and Financial Institutions practice. Mr. Segal has more than twenty-five years of experience in senior financial management positions with companies ranging from the Fortune 500 to community banks. He was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Spencer Savings Bank, a $2 billion community bank in New Jersey, and is a 17 year veteran of American Express and Ameriprise Financial. Mr. Segal holds a BA degree from Carnegie-Mellon University and an MBA in Finance from Pace University.

Anita L. Bourgeois
Senior Vice President of the Bank
Ms. Bourgeois is Senior Vice President and Senior Director, Deposit Growth and Profitability of Merchants Bank. Ms. Bourgeois joined Merchants Bank in 2008 as the Manager of Government Banking. In 2010 she assumed responsibility for the Cash Management Sales group and in 2015 became accountable for the marketing division. Ms. Bourgeois has over 20 years in banking experience with local banking institutions. Ms. Bourgeois was appointed to her current role as Senior Director, Deposit Growth and Profitability effective May 20, 2016.

Board of Directors

Jeffrey L. Davis
Chairman of Merchants since 2015
Director of Merchants since 1993
Director of the Bank since 1993

Jeffrey L. Davis has served as a director of Merchants and Merchants Bank since 1993. He is President of J.L. Davis, Inc., a construction and development firm, and President of Taft Corners Associates, a development firm. He is also a former president of the Vermont Special Olympics.
Michael G. Furlong
Chairman of the Bank since 2001
Director of Merchants since 1991
Director of the Bank since 1991

Michael G. Furlong has served as a member of our Board and the Board of Merchants Bank since 1991. Mr. Furlong has served as Chairman of Merchants Bank’s Board of Directors since 2001. He is a member of the Burlington, Vermont law firm of Sheehey Furlong & Behm P.C., and is a former President of the Chittenden County Bar Association. He is a director of Lake Champlain Transportation Company, an emeritus director of Wake Robin Corporation and has served on the boards of several Vermont nonprofit organizations. Mr. Furlong is a graduate of Middlebury College and Cornell Law School.

Scott F. Boardman
Director of Merchants since 2008
Director of the Bank since 2004

Scott F. Boardman was elected to our Board in 2008. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of Merchants Bank since 2004. Mr. Boardman is the President of Hickok & Boardman, Inc., a retail insurance agency in Burlington, Vermont. He serves on the boards of A.N. Deringer, Inc., the Lake Mansfield Trout Club, and PC Construction Company. Mr. Boardman is a former trustee of Trinity College in Burlington, Vermont, and is a former board member and past president of the Vermont Insurance Agents Association. He is also past president of the Vermont chapter of the Casualty & Property Insurance Underwriters Society.
Janette K. Bombardier
Director of Merchants since 2013
Director of the Bank since 2013

Janette K. Bombardier has served as a member of our Board, and the Board of Directors of Merchants Bank, since February 2013. She is the GLOBALFOUNDRIES Vice President of Facilities Engineering for the Vermont and East Fishkill Semiconductor Manufacturing Locations, as well as Senior Location Executive for the GLOBALFOUNDRIES Vermont facility. She is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Vermont. Prior to joining GLOBALFOUNDRIES in 2015 she worked for IBM and held a variety of positions including construction management, manufacturing engineering, product development and quality, as well as positions in cost reduction and continuous improvement.

Donald R. Chase
Director of Merchants since 2015
Director of the Bank since 2015

Donald R. Chase was appointed to our Board and the Board of Merchants Bank in 2015. Mr. Chase was Chairman of the Board of NUVO Bank and Trust Company in Springfield, Massachusetts. He also served as President and Chief Executive Officer, Vice Chairman, and Director of Westbank Corporation and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Westbank. Mr. Chase is the owner of Central New England Ag Services, Inc. in West Halifax, Vermont, Chase Ranch LLC, in Midland, South Dakota, and Chase Enterprises Corp. in Northampton, Massachusetts. Mr. Chase is Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts and also serves on the Board of Public Safety for the City of West Springfield, Massachusetts.
Karen J. Danaher
Director of Merchants since 2010
Director of the Bank since 2008

Karen J. Danaher was elected to our Board of Directors in 2010 and has served as a Director of Merchants Bank since 2008. She is a partner in Danaher Attig & Plante PLC, a public accounting firm located in South Burlington, Vermont. Ms. Danaher is a certified public accountant.
Joseph F. Larkin
Director of Merchants since 2016
Director of the Bank since 2016

Mr. Larkin was appointed to our Board and the Board of Merchants Bank in 2016. He has been Vice President of Larkin Realty since 2010. From 2007 to 2010, he was Vice President of Credit Research at Dwight Asset Management, a Fixed Income Asset Manager. Mr. Larkin currently serves as the Chairman of the Advisory Board at Rice Memorial High School.
Lorilee A. Lawton
Director of Merchants since 2003
Director of the Bank since 1996

Lorilee A. Lawton has been a member of our Board since 2003 and has served as a Director of Merchants Bank since 1995. Ms. Lawton is the owner and President of Firetech Sprinkler Corporation, a contractor specializing in the design, fabrication and installation of fire sprinkler systems, located in Colchester, Vermont. She also serves as a director of Vermont Public Television.
Raymond C. Pecor III
Director of Merchants since 2012
Director of the Bank since 2009

Raymond C. Pecor, III was elected to our Board in 2012. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Merchants Bank since 2009. He is President of Lake Champlain Transportation Company in Burlington, Vermont, and serves on the board of the Champlain Valley Expo.
Michael R. Tuttle
Director of Merchants since 2007
Director of the Bank since 2006

Michael R. Tuttle has served as a member of our Board since 2007 and the Board of Merchants Bank since 2006. He is the former President and CEO of Merchants Bancshares, Inc. (2007-2015) and Merchants Bank (2006-2014). Mr. Tuttle also serves on the board of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston. He is a former Director of Vermont Banker’s Association, Vermont Business Roundtable, Flynn Center for the Performing Arts and Fairpoint Communications, Inc.
Geoffrey R. Hesslink
Director of the Bank since 2015
Director of Merchants since 2016

Geoffrey R. Hesslink serves as President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Merchants Bancshares, Inc. and Merchants Bank. Mr. Hesslink joined Merchants Bank in 1995 as Vice President and Commercial Banker working on business development and problem loan resolution. Mr. Hesslink was promoted to Senior Vice President and Senior Lender, managing Commercial Banking, Problem Loan Resolution, Government Banking and Mortgage Banking in 2006. He was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2013, to President and CEO of Merchants Bank in 2015 and was appointed to his current role as President and CEO of Merchants Bancshares, Inc. and Merchants Bank effective January 1, 2016. He serves on the board of the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation and is a member of the Vermont Business Roundtable. Mr. Hesslink graduated cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree in business administration-finance from the University of Vermont in 1987 and completed a management training program at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company in 1989.
Merchants Bancshares, Inc., a Delaware Corporation, is the bank holding company of its wholly owned subsidiary, Merchants Bank.