Sandy Spring Bank Announces Executive and Senior Leadership Appointments

Company Reorganizes and Prepares for Future Growth

Sandy Spring Bank today announced a series of leadership appointments and promotions. The individuals stepping into these executive and division executive roles will play a critical role in helping to develop future talent, build the Bank’s capacity, improve operational processes and grow the company.

“We have enjoyed an extended period of rapid growth and tremendous success. We know our market well, we have top talent and we offer a broad range of sophisticated services,” said Daniel J. Schrider, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sandy Spring Bank. “These leadership appointments will help us capitalize on our strengths and ensure that we are prepared to continue to grow organically and thrive as a larger, more complex institution.” 

Chief Human Resources Officer 
Gary Fernandes has been promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. He will continue to oversee the Human Resources Group and help the company focus on developing its people, preparing the next generation of leaders and recruiting and retaining top talent. Fernandes has been with the company for six years as a Division Executive. He has played a lead role in enhancing the employee experience and elevating the Bank as an employer of choice. Fernandes has managed the complex HR needs associated with several bank, wealth and insurance acquisitions. During his tenure, the employee base has grown from 700 people to more than 1,200 people. Fernandes serves on the Board of Directors of MedStar Montgomery Medical Center and is a member of the ABA Professional Development Council. He also represents the Bank on the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management and as a member of the Wharton Financial Services Group.   

Chief Operations Officer 
Executive Vice President Ronda McDowell will take on the new role of Chief Operations Officer. She will launch a new Operations Group that will focus on streamlining processes and providing operational excellence for both clients and employees. McDowell has been with the company for 25 years, and she has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer for the past eight years. Ronda began leading Credit during a season of significant growth. She guided the company through two strategic bank acquisitions and impressive organic growth, while maintaining excellent credit quality and delivery for clients. Most recently, she helped lead the Bank’s successful Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) participation, which rivaled competitors of all sizes and connected small business clients with $1.5 billion in relief funding. McDowell serves on the Maryland Bankers Association Board of Directors, and she is the Chair of the Board of the Maryland Title Center. She is also involved in Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program and represents the Bank in its partnership with the Washington Spirit. 

Chief Credit Officer 
Heather Skigen Romagnoli has been promoted to Division Executive and Chief Credit Officer. Romagnoli joined Sandy Spring Bank last year as Senior Credit Officer. She has more than 25 years of credit experience at banks of all sizes throughout Northern Virginia, including as Chief Credit Officer. She will be responsible for leading the company’s Credit Risk Management division, setting the credit strategy, overseeing transactional decisions, and managing the overall credit portfolio. Romagnoli will work closely with McDowell to ensure a smooth transition. She serves as the Vice Chair of the Virginia Bankers Association Lending and Credit Executive Committee and as a member of Business Finance Group’s Small Business Administration 504 Loan Committee. She has also been involved with the Potomac Chapter of the Risk Management Association for more than 20 years.  

President of Sandy Spring Bank Mortgage
Lynne Pulford has been named President of Sandy Spring Bank Mortgage. As President, she will continue to oversee the Mortgage Division, which is expanding to include Residential Construction Administration and Mortgage Loan Servicing operations. These moves will allow Mortgage to operate as a more streamlined and holistic division. Pulford has been with the Bank for more than 35 years. Under her leadership, the Mortgage Division achieved a record year in 2020 with more than $2 billion in originations. She started with the company as a mortgage loan processor and rose through the ranks to Division Executive and now President. She has led the development of innovative first-time homebuyer programs and special mortgage solutions that have helped thousands of people achieve homeownership. Pulford serves as a Trustee of the Sandy Spring Bank Foundation. She is a member of the National Association of Home Builders Professional Women in Building, the American Bankers Association’s Mortgage Markets Committee, and the Maryland and Metropolitan Washington Mortgage Banking Associations.  

Community Banking Executive 
Carol Richardson has been named the Community Banking Executive. Richardson joined Sandy Spring Bank last year as Division Executive of Personal and Business Banking. She will continue to lead the Bank’s branch network and small business banking group, and her role will expand to include oversight of the Client Service Center, Retail Administration and the Small Business Loan Center. As the Community Banking Executive, Richardson will continue to focus on delivering the best possible experience for retail and business clients through traditional and digital banking channels. Richardson has more than 25 years of experience in regional, national and international banks and financial institutions. She is a member of the Independent Community Bankers of America, the Retail Banking Executive Circle of North America and the National Association of Female Executives.

Division Executive for Corporate and Institutional Banking
Mark Moore has joined the company as Division Executive for Corporate and Institutional Banking. In this newly created position, Moore will focus on building upon the Bank’s capabilities and accelerating growth in the middle market, government contracting, non-profit, and specialized lending spaces. He has 35 years of broad-based banking experience in strategic planning and overall operations. He has held senior positions at financial institutions of all sizes in Northern Virginia. Most recently, he was a Regional President of Atlantic Union Bank. He is a Board Member of the Small Emerging Contractors Advisory Forum (SECAF), the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business’ Finance Advisory Board. He is also a member of the Association for Corporate Growth.

About Sandy Spring Bancorp, Inc.
Sandy Spring Bancorp, Inc., headquartered in Olney, Maryland, is the holding company for Sandy Spring Bank, a premier community bank in the Greater Washington, D.C. region. With over 60 locations, the bank offers a broad range of commercial and retail banking, mortgage, private banking, and trust services throughout Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Through its subsidiaries, Rembert Pendleton Jackson, Sandy Spring Insurance Corporation and West Financial Services, Inc., Sandy Spring Bank also offers a comprehensive menu of insurance and wealth management services.

Media Contact
Samantha Price
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