Celebrating the Future Leaders of Tomorrow!

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce professional development and community leadership division, Leadership Lackawanna, celebrated 44 high school juniors who graduated from the organization Tomorrow’s Leaders Today (TLT) program. Tomorrow’s Leaders Today is sponsored by NBT Bank.

Tomorrow’s Leaders Today is a seven-month program that develops the leadership, interpersonal, and managerial skills of high school juniors and provides real-world experiences in financial literacy, health care, STEAM, philanthropy, crime and corrections, nonprofit organizations, and community service. 

Class of 2024 participants:

  1. Dhruv Amin
  2. Jacob Antolick
  3. Ashley Bossick
  4. Giada  Costa
  5. Joseph DiStasi
  6. Chloe   Dong
  7. Gabriella Estadt
  8. Nicholas Giumento
  9. Abigail Harshbarger
  10. Joseph Healey
  11. Matthew Hill
  12. Cole Johnston
  13. Zachary Kovaleski
  14. Kylie Krzak
  15. Caroline Luyster
  16. Jordan Malar
  17. Jack Maloney
  18. Mandie Martin
  19. Isabelle Maurer
  20. Sarah  McCullon
  21. Roland McLaine
  22. Isabella Moher
  23. Declan Moran
  24. Reese  Morgan
  25. Clinton Muir
  26. Ivy Neureuter
  27. Sarah O’Brien
  28. Justin Osman
  29. Ava Page
  30. Dante Pallazari
  31. Margaret Pegula
  32. Anthony John  Piestrak
  33. Abygale Plevyak
  34. Hope Polishan
  35. Gabriella Potis
  36. Lily Rozzi
  37. Elizabeth Schneider
  38. Gia Serge
  39. Akhilesh Velaga
  40. Ava Wallace
  41. Makayla Walton
  42. Nico Warhola
  43. Elizabeth Washine
  44. Faith Wormuth

Throughout the program, students were engaged in various sessions facilitated by local organizations serving the greater Scranton area. In addition to invaluable lessons in the program focus areas, students were given the unique opportunity to engage with business leaders and network with students from 16 local schools. Their program culminated with the allocation of $15,000 in grant money from the Scranton Area Community Foundation to five deserving local nonprofits selected by the students. The nonprofits that received the 2024 grants are the Catherine McAuley Center, Indraloka Animal Sanctuary, Keystone Mission, Lackawanna County Area Agency of Aging, and the Women’s Resource Center. 

In addition, each student completed five service hours for a total of 220 hours, dedicated to helping 8 local nonprofit organizations.

Leadership Lackawanna’s TLT Program accepts applications from sophomores who attend high school in Lackawanna County and its surrounding areas, as well as all charter and technical schools and homeschool students. Learn more online at www.LeadershipLackawanna.org.

Tomorrow’s Leaders Today Class of 2023

Leadership Lackawanna, an affiliate of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, recently celebrated the graduation of 42 high school students from its teen program, Tomorrow’s Leaders Today (TLT), which is graciously sponsored by NBT Bank.

Leadership Lackawanna’s seven-month TLT program develops the leadership, interpersonal and managerial skills of high school juniors and provides real-world experiences in financial literacy, health care, STEAM, philanthropy, crime and corrections, non-profit organizations, and community service. 

Throughout the program, students were engaged in various sessions facilitated by local organizations serving the greater Scranton area. In addition to invaluable lessons in the program focus areas, students were given the unique opportunity to engage with business leaders and network with students from 14 local schools. Their program culminated with the allocation of $15,000 in grant money from the Scranton Area Community Foundation to three deserving local nonprofits selected by the students. In addition, each student completed five service hours dedicated to helping 14 local nonprofit organizations.

The 2023 Tomorrow’s Leaders Today graduates :

  1. Adrian Agnello, Western Wayne HS
  2. Riley Aquilino, Valley View HS
  3. Brittain Banull, West Scranton HS
  4. Braden Beecham, Riverside HS
  5. Brooke Beemer, Abington Heights HS
  6. Brooke Bilski, Holy Cross HS
  7. Katherine Boykin, Abington Heights HS
  8. Caden Brennan, Carbondale Area HS
  9. Jocelyn Brown, Carbondale Area HS
  10. Dinello Capalongo, West Scranton HS
  11. Rhayni Carroll, Western Wayne HS
  12. Megan Cosklo, Carbondale Area HS
  13. Elizabeth Cummings, Old Forge HS
  14. Haylee Czyzyk, Commonwealth Charter Academy
  15. Kate Evans, West Scranton HS
  16. Natalie Fuller, Valley View HS
  17. Roger Getts, Scranton Prep
  18. Madeline Herold, Abington Heights HS
  19. Andrew Houseknecht, Commonwealth Charter Academy
  20. Dane Huggler, Abington Heights HS
  21. Mae Kaufman, Mid Valley Secondary Cent
  22. Alexandra King, Scranton HS
  23. Geanna Kirchner, Dunmore HS
  24. Corrina Maldonado, West Scranton HS
  25. Odin Marrow, Commonwealth Charter Academy
  26. Patricia McAndrew, Lakeland Jr/Sr HS
  27. Brian McCormack, Scranton HS
  28. Natalie Micknick, Lakeland HS
  29. Mason Miluszusky, Carbondale Area HS
  30. Connor Peters, Valley View HS
  31. Mason Peters, Valley View HS
  32. Julia Possanza, Lakeland Jr/Sr HS
  33. Grace Rodriguez, Scranton HS
  34. Emily Romanowski, Western Wayne HS
  35. Carolena Ryon, Lackawanna Trail HS
  36. Paris Santee, West Scranton HS
  37. Emily Stefani, West Scranton HS
  38. Gavin Walsh, Scranton Prep
  39. Ethan Warring, Scranton HS
  40. Alexa B. Williams, Riverside HS
  41. Mary Zabielski, Valley View HS
  42. Yingqi (Angela) Zeng, Abington Heights HS

Leadership Lackawanna’s TLT Program accepts applications from sophomores who attend high school in Lackawanna County and its surrounding areas, as well as all charter and technical schools and homeschool students. Learn more online at www.LeadershipLackawanna.org.

Photo: Front L-R; Riley Aquilino; Madeline Herold; Elizabeth Cummings; Mae Kaufman; Brooke Bilski; Alexa Willliams; Natalie Fuller; Corrina Maldonado; Angela Zeng; Jocelyn Brown; Emily Romanowski; Paris Santee; Grace Rodriguez; Brooke Beemer; Kate Evans; Second Row L-R: Odin Marrow; Caden Brennan; Braden Beecham; Rhanyni Carroll 

Emily Stefani; Carolena Ryon; Julia Possanza; Geanna Kirchner; Patricia McAndrew; Haylee Czyzyk; Megan Cosklo; Gavin Walsh; Back Row L-R: Dane Huggler; Adrian Agnello; Mary Zabielski; Mason Peters; Connor Peters; Brittain Banull; Roger Getts; Dinello Capaolongo; Mason Miluszusky; Katherine Boykin; Brian McCormick; Alex King; Natalie Micknick; Not Pictured: Ethan Warring; Andrew Houseknecht

About The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit organization that works to improve the area’s economic environment and quality of life by offering programs and services which stimulate economic growth, promote business prosperity and nurture educational opportunities. For more information about the Chamber, visit www.scrantonchamber.com.

About Leadership Lackawanna
Leadership Lackawanna is a 501(c)(3) charitable, nonprofit organization in northeastern Pennsylvania dedicated to community leadership and professional development.  Its six programs – Tomorrow’s Leaders Today, Leadership Collegiate, Core, Leadership Fundamentals 2.0, Executive and Welcome Scranton! – enhance the skills, connections and knowledge of emerging and established leaders, enabling them to better serve in our communities, workplaces and organizations.  Established in 1982, Leadership Lackawanna has created more than 2,500 community leaders.  For more information, visit www.leadershiplackawanna.com.

NBT Bancorp and Salisbury Bancorp Announce Agreement To Merge

NBT Bancorp Inc. (NBT) (NASDAQ: NBTB) and Salisbury Bancorp, Inc. (Salisbury) (NASDAQ: SAL) announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which Salisbury will merge with and into NBT. The merger consideration is 100% stock and is valued at approximately $204 million and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2023 subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by the shareholders of Salisbury and required regulatory approvals. The combination, approved unanimously by the boards of directors of both companies, will provide market extension for both institutions and join two high-quality franchises with long histories of service to their customers and communities.

Salisbury is a premier community bank franchise headquartered in Lakeville, CT and had assets of $1.51 billion, deposits of $1.33 billion, and net loans of $1.18 billion as of September 30, 2022. Its primary subsidiary, Salisbury Bank and Trust Company, is a Connecticut-chartered commercial bank with 14 banking offices in northwestern Connecticut, the Hudson Valley region of New York and southwestern Massachusetts.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, each outstanding share of Salisbury common stock will be converted into the right to receive 0.7450 shares of NBT common stock upon completion of the merger, which equates to a value of $35.00 per Salisbury share and based on NBT’s volume-weighted average closing stock price of $46.98 for the 10-day trading period ending on November 29, 2022. The transaction is intended to qualify as a reorganization for federal income tax purposes, and as a result, the receipt of NBT common stock by shareholders of Salisbury is expected to be tax-free.

NBT expects the transaction to be approximately 9.8% accretive to first full-year proforma GAAP earnings per share after close and 4.9% per share accretive to cash earnings excluding the impact of purchase accounting adjustments, including fair value marks to securities and loans and the establishment of a core deposit intangible asset.

“We are very excited to partner with Salisbury and to extend our footprint into their attractive and complementary markets,” said NBT President and CEO John H. Watt, Jr. “Importantly, the organizational values upheld by the Salisbury team align very well with those of NBT. We look forward to welcoming these dedicated financial professionals to NBT and growing our combined company together. We are also pleased that Rick Cantele, Salisbury’s President and CEO, will become a member of NBT’s Executive Management Team. Salisbury has an impressive history of service to their customers, communities and shareholders, and we are honored to have the opportunity to build on these relationships.”

“We are proud to become part of a long-standing, high-performing franchise like NBT Bank,” said Salisbury President and CEO Richard J. Cantele, Jr. “We believe this combination will create significant value for Salisbury shareholders, both immediately and longer term. Furthermore, we are confident the operating philosophies shared by NBT and Salisbury will ensure that our customers continue to receive high-quality service from people they know and trust. NBT has been consistently recognized for superior customer satisfaction and offers comprehensive omni-channel solutions. Through the partnership between Salisbury and NBT, our customers will gain access to an expanded set of products, services and capabilities.”

 In recognition of both organizations’ strong community focus, NBT has committed to maintaining charitable support in the markets served by Salisbury at consistent levels following the merger. NBT has also pledged to contribute an additional $500,000 in incremental support to demonstrate the company’s ongoing commitment to these markets.

NBT Bank Listed in Forbes 2022 World’s Best Banks

NBT Bank has earned a spot on the Forbes World’s Best Banks list released on April 13, 2022, and is the highest ranked bank based in New York and the highest ranked bank in Connecticut and Vermont.

NBT is one of only 75 banks in the United States to be included on this list, out of the tens of thousands of financial institutions globally that are able to be considered for the recognition.

“We’re incredibly honored to have earned this powerful affirmation that NBT truly has the best team in community banking,” said NBT Bank President and CEO John H. Watt, Jr. “As a community bank, our customers are at the core of all we do and their satisfaction is the driver of our success.”

The rating is based on customer satisfaction. Forbes surveyed more than 45,000 customers around the globe for their opinions on their current and former banking relationships. The banks were rated on overall recommendation and satisfaction, as well as five subdimensions: trust, terms and conditions, digital services, customer services and financial advice.

NBT Bank Recognized by AARP as Banksafe

NBT Bank has earned a BankSafe seal from AARP recognizing the bank’s efforts to stop financial exploitation. In order to earn the BankSafe seal, more than 80% of frontline staff were required to complete a special training and the bank demonstrated further commitment with its policy to report suspected financial exploitation. NBT Bank was also confirmed by AARP to be in good standing based on a review of Better Business Bureau ratings as well as legal and regulatory activity.

“We consider training of our employees to be a critical tool in protecting our customers from financial exploitation,” said Senior Director of Information Security Terra Carnrike-Granata. “Attaining this seal is further demonstration of our commitment to a robust fraud prevention plan.”

Based on a Virginia Tech study from October 2019, it is estimated that BankSafe-trained employees helped stop more than $110 million from being stolen from the accounts of older adults. More than 2,000 professionals from the financial industry, trade associations, adult protective service agencies, non-profits, government organizations, regulators and the legal field helped AARP in the development of the training. The BankSafe Trained seal is not a product or service endorsement, but indicates that a financial institution’s frontline employees have been substantially trained in financial exploitation prevention.

NBT Bank Welcomes Diana Hill as Human Resources Business Partner

NBT Bank’s Chief Human Resources Officer Cindy Smaniotto announced that Diana Hill has joined the team as Human Resources Business Partner. Hill is based at NBT’s Scranton Financial Center.

“Diana’s skillset is a great asset to our Human Resources Division as we continually seek new ways to enhance the employee experience,” Smaniotto said.

Hill brings more than 20 years of experience in human resources management, including employee engagement, talent acquisition, organizational development and performance management.

Hill earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Scranton. An active member of her community, Hill has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Junior League of Scranton and volunteered with the St. Joseph’s Women’s House and the St. Francis Food Kitchen, as well as chaired many charitable fundraising events throughout NEPA.

NBT Bank Makes Cybersecurity Resources Available to All

To mark National Cybersecurity Awareness Month this October, NBT Bank has published a series of cybersecurity webinars addressing the trends and concerns businesses should be aware of. These on-demand webinars were exclusive to NBT Bank partners and customers until now.

“With the dramatic shift to more people working remotely, this year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month is more important to consumers and businesses than ever before,” said Terra Carnrike-Granata, Senior Vice President, Director of Information Security at NBT Bank. “While we provide our individual and business customers with robust fraud prevention tools and information, we felt there was an urgent need to get this information out to all members of our community to help them understand how to better protect themselves from cybercrime.”

In 2020, the Federal Trade Commission received 4.8 million reports of identity theft and fraud, up 45 percent from 3.3 million in 2019. The rise is mostly due to the 113 percent increase in identity theft complaints. 

Carnrike-Granata says the best defense against cyber criminals is knowledge and awareness. Any individual who uses an internet-connected device, whether for personal or business use, should make it a priority to understand how cybercrimes can occur and how to best protect our personal and financial information from a potential security breach. 

NBT Bank’s webinar series comes in four 30-minute videos on the following topics:

  • The Current State of Cybersecurity: Protecting the Intangible
  • Are You Covered? Proactive Controls You Need Now
  • After A Breach: Effective Incident Response
  • Cybercrime Survivors: Stories & Lessons Learned

To view each webinar, visit: www.nbtbank.com/cyber.

NBT Bank Promotes Smaniotto to Chief Human Resources Officer

NBT Bank Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff Catherine Scarlett announced that Cynthia Smaniotto has been promoted to Chief Human Resources Officer. This achievement is the result of Smaniotto’s role in supporting the organization’s growth over the past 20 years, including expansion to more than 1,900 employees across seven states in the northeast.

“Cindy has repeatedly demonstrated her effectiveness as a leader throughout her two-decade tenure with NBT,” said Scarlett. “Recently, as facilitator of our NBT Forward team, Cindy has provided executive leadership and guidance in helping the company and employees navigate the challenges of the pandemic.”

Smaniotto joined NBT Bank in 2000 through the acquisition of LA Bank where she served as Director of Human Resources. During her time with NBT, she has held numerous roles, including Regional Employment Manager, Director of Employment Services and, most recently, Director of Human Resources. She is based at NBT’s Scranton Financial Center on Keyser Avenue.

Among her many contributions to NBT, Smaniotto has supported the development and expansion of the human resources division to include specialties, such as talent acquisition, health and wellness, diversity and inclusion, and career guidance. She has also served as a steadfast employee advocate by advising managers and executives on talent development best practices. “One of the most fulfilling accomplishments of my career has been the time I have spent supporting the cultivation of a successful and cohesive team here at NBT Bank,” Smaniotto said.

J. David Brown Joins NBT Board of Directors

NBT Bancorp Inc. announced that J. David Brown has joined the Boards of Directors for NBT Bancorp Inc. and NBT Bank, N.A.

Brown is President and CEO of the Capital District YMCA, where he has worked for 28 years to create better opportunities for all through community programs and services. A past member of the NBT Bank Capital Region Advisory Board, Brown also served on the Siena College Board of Trustees.

“We are excited to welcome David to board service at NBT,” said NBT Board Chair Martin A. Dietrich. “David’s valuable insights will help strengthen our efforts to be responsive to our customers and communities. His strong executive experience in the non-profit sector and knowledge of NBT’s Capital Region market make him a valuable addition to the Board.”

Brown’s experience also includes serving as a member of the Governor’s Regional Economic Council and the Diversity & Inclusion Council for the YMCA of the USA. His awards and recognitions include the Director of the Year from the Association of YMCA Professionals, NYS Governor’s African American Community Distinction, 40 Elite Alumni Honoree and 40 Under Forty Honoree by the Albany Business Review.