Shaun P. Merriman – President and CEO
A 28-year banking veteran, Shaun began organizing Gateway Bank in November, 2006, during the most adverse banking climate seen in Southwest Florida in decades. He authored a convincing business plan, managed a $19.5 million capital raise, and assembled a notable board of directors and talented banking staff. Shaun then took the aggressive approach to open three banking centers within the first 12 months of operation. Under Shaun’s leadership, Gateway Bank has grown to over $230 million in total assets and reached sustained profitability in just 31 months of operation. Prior to organizing Gateway Bank, Shaun served as Southwest Florida’s Area Executive for AmSouth Bank in Sarasota. He oversaw 45 Banking Centers in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, and Collier counties. Over two-thirds of Shaun’s career was spent with SouthTrust Corporation. He held several senior leadership positions including Senior Vice President of General Bank Administration in Birmingham, Alabama as well as CEO of SouthTrust’s Suncoast Market in Sarasota, Florida and CEO of SouthTrust in Houston, Texas. Shaun is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin system with a major in Finance and a minor in Accounting. He is also a graduate of Wisconsin School of Commercial Banking and The Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is active in the Sarasota community currently serving as the immediate past chair for Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Chair Elect for Doctors Hospital, trustee board member of the Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child – Sarasota County, board member of the Van Wezel Foundation, and past Chairman for the United Way of Sarasota County. Shaun is a four-time recipient of the “President’s Volunteer Service Award,” a national award recognizing his community service in the Sarasota community. Shaun has been a resident of this area since 2000.
Richard A. Hicks – Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer & Chief Operations Officer
Richard joined Gateway Bank in November, 2007, as Chief Financial Officer and later also became Chief Operations Officer. He has 27 years of banking experience, specializing in overall financial responsibility as the Chief Financial Officer for several denovo banks. Richard was instrumental in opening Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida, and has helped our organization reach profitability before projected plan. Prior to joining Gateway, Richard was involved in opening a national bank in Lake Mary, Florida. Richard’s previous experience includes a correspondent bank and a denovo bank in Central Florida with four offices. He was also an Examiner for the Florida Comptroller’s Office (now known as the Office of Financial Regulation) for 10 years. Richard has an MBA from Crummer Graduate School of Business, Rollins College, in Winter Park, Florida, and an undergraduate degree in Economics from University of Florida. He also attended LSU Graduate School of Banking in Louisiana, and Florida School of Banking at the University of Florida. Richard was a finalist for the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 2013 CFO of the Year Award, and is a 2013 graduate of Leadership Sarasota County. He is currently involved in Leadership Sarasota County, Toastmasters, Riverview High School Advisory Committee, Kiltie Band Boosters, and Scouting.
Brian Hall – Executive Vice President and Private | Wealth Director
A 34-year banking veteran, Brian joined Gateway Bank in October, 2013, bringing over a decade of top level Sarasota banking experience. He leads the bank’s dynamic private banking and wealth management division. Most recently, he served eight years as President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Sarasota-based Sabal Palm Bank. He organized Sabal Palm in 2005 and opened the bank in 2006. Prior to Sabal Palm, Brian was recruited in 2001 by Shaun Merriman to join SouthTrust in Sarasota as Senior Vice President and Senior Lender. After only 18 months, performance was so vastly improved the bank received the coveted “Champions of Quality” award as the highest performing bank in the SouthTrust system in 2002. In 2003, Brian was promoted to the position of President & CEO for SouthTrust in Sarasota. Prior to joining SouthTrust in 2001, Brian held a number of senior management positions in a 21-year career with the Star Bank and Irwin Financial organizations in Indiana and Ohio. Brian has a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Indiana University, and an MBA in Management from the University of Cincinnati. Brian has been a resident of the Sarasota area since 2000. He is an active volunteer, and his community involvement includes director and board chair of Samaritan Counseling Services of the Gulf Coast, regional director and past Sarasota community campaign chair of United Way Suncoast, past director and treasurer of the Education Foundation of Sarasota, and volunteer youth basketball coach.
Cherie Mooney – Senior Vice President and Human Resources and Marketing Director
Cherie has 27 years of Human Resources experience - the last 17 years have been in the banking industry. Cherie joined Gateway Bank in June, 2007, and provides Human Resources direction for all three markets of Gateway Financial Holdings of Florida, Inc. Her office is located in Sarasota, and she has recruited a talented employee base from four to now forty individuals in the Southwest Florida location. Her expertise spans all areas of human resources including technology, benefit development, policy development, recruiting, training and development, employee relations and compensation. She is involved in Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida’s strategic planning as a member of the executive management team. Cherie is a graduate of University of South Florida, with a master’s degree in Business Administration. She has obtained Senior Professional Human Resources certification, and is a board member of the Sarasota-Manatee Human Resources Management Association. Cherie is also a member of United Way Suncoast’s Allocations Committee.
Dennis Murphy – Senior Vice President and Senior Loan Officer
Dennis Murphy has been in banking in the Sarasota/Manatee market for 11 years, and he joined Gateway Bank in January, 2008. Dennis leads the bank’s lending, credit administration, and loan operations divisions as Senior Vice President and Senior Loan Officer. Dennis and his lending group work diligently to provide each client with quick response times during the loan process, as underwriting is done in-house and decisions are made at a local level. Dennis’ excellent credit and lending skills, combined with his commitment to provide best in class customer service, have enabled him to develop relationships and become referral partners with some of our regions’ esteemed community leaders. Dennis has supported our local community through committee roles with the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, including his current participation on the Finance Committee. He serves as board member and Treasurer for First Tee of Sarasota/Manatee. He is also an active participant of the Commercial Investment Division (“CID”) of the Sarasota Association of Realtors, as well as other industry related networking groups. In 2011, Dennis received the President’s Volunteer Service Award (Bronze), a national award recognizing over 100 hours of community service in one year. He attained a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida (Finance/Economics) in 2002 and a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) from the University of South Florida in 2003. Dennis is also a 2009 graduate of Leadership Sarasota County.
Cindy S. Denison – Group Vice President and Consumer Banking Manager
Cindy Denison has 30 years of retail banking experience, and she joined Gateway Bank in April, 2008, to lead our Retail Banking Team. She is the Banking Center Manager for our Manatee Avenue office, and oversees the South Trail and University Parkway locations as well. Cindy excels in building client relationships and ensuring operational safety and compliance. A born leader, Cindy has been in a managerial role her entire career. Prior to joining Gateway, she managed a deposit base of $150 million and supervised an office staff of 10. She is the leader of Gateway Bank’s Quality Service Council, and past leader of the Product Development Committee. Cindy earned an Associate of Arts degree in Business Administration at State College of Florida. A lifelong Bradenton resident, Cindy is actively involved in the community as a board member / secretary (since 1999) for Just For Girls, Inc. Foundation in Bradenton. She is Secretary for the Financial Institutions Security Officer Association for Sarasota/Manatee, and is a member of the Florida Bankers Association BankPAC. Cindy also serves as corporate board member and allocations committee member (since 2007) for the United Way of Manatee County.