Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE: BHLB), the parent company of Berkshire Bank, a leading socially responsible community bank with financial centers located in New England and New York, today announced that James “Jim” Brown and Philip Jurgeleit, two experienced commercial banking and credit executives have joined Berkshire in executive management roles. Mr. Brown joins Berkshire as SEVP, Head of Commercial Banking and Mr. Jurgeleit as EVP, Chief Credit Officer.
“We’re pleased to welcome both Mr. Brown and Mr. Jurgeleit to Berkshire in their respective executive leadership roles. Their extensive backgrounds in commercial banking and credit risk will bring valuable perspectives to our strong commercial banking and credit teams, support Berkshire’s Exciting Strategic Transformation (BEST) program and continue to accelerate the progress we’ve made in our performance, customer experience and purpose,” stated Berkshire CEO Nitin Mhatre. “These hires further enhance our existing, talented leadership team, and highlight how Berkshire Bank continues to attract high-quality financial services leaders to accelerate our journey towards becoming a high-performing, leading socially responsible community bank,” added Mhatre.
As SEVP, Head of Commercial Banking, Mr. Brown will oversee all aspects of Berkshire’s commercial banking operations. He will report directly to CEO Nitin Mhatre and replace George Bacigalupo. Mr. Bacigalupo transitioned to the position of Director – Commercial/Enterprise Sales Management effective January 1, 2023 through December 2023 at which time he will retire from his position at the Company and the Bank.
As EVP, Chief Credit Officer, Mr. Jurgeleit will oversee all aspects of the company’s credit underwriting, policy, and approval processes. He will report directly to SEVP, Chief Risk Officer, Greg Lindenmuth and replace recently retired Chief Credit Officer Georgia Melas.
CEO Mhatre added, “In addition to welcoming Mr. Brown and Mr. Jurgeleit to their respective roles, I want to thank George and Georgia for their years of dedicated service to Berkshire, our customers and communities.”
“I’m excited to join the Berkshire organization and work alongside every employee in every location across the footprint to support the growth and success of our clients, employees, shareholders, and communities,” stated Mr. Brown. “The Company has a best-in-class commercial banking franchise and a strong team which I look forward to working together with, to take Berkshire to even greater heights,” added Brown.
EVP Jurgeleit stated, “I’m proud to step into this leadership role at an organization with more than a 176-year history of helping its customers and communities through all economic environments. Berkshire has a strong credit risk management practice with many experienced team members and a supportive culture. I look forward to continuing to find ways to support the credit needs of our borrowers and communities while maintaining disciplined credit decisioning.”