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 Management Team

MerrimanShaun P. Merriman President and CEO
A 29-year banking veteran, Shaun opened Gateway Bank in May 2008 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 $220 million in total assets and reached sustained profitability in just 31 months of operation. In recognition of the bank’s accomplishments, the bank was awarded the 2012 Small Business of the Year by the Manatee County Chamber of Commerce and the 2014 Small Business of the Year by The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, both of which were the first ever awarded to a bank by those organizations. Prior to Gateway Bank, Shaun served as Southwest Florida’s Regional President for AmSouth Bank in Sarasota. He oversaw 45 Banking Centers in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, and Collier counties with $2.5 billion in total assets. Prior to AmSouth Bank, Shaun’s career was spent with SouthTrust Corporation where, over a period of 15 years, Shaun held several senior leadership positions including Senior Vice President of Market Bank Administration in Birmingham, Alabama, 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. Shaun is active in the Sarasota community currently serving as Board Member of Florida Bankers Association (FBA) BancServ, immediate past Chairman for Doctors Hospital Board of Trustees, Chairman of the Van Wezel Foundation, Board Member and past Chairman for The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Director of the Florida School of Banking, past Board Member of the Team Tony Cancer Foundation, past Trustee Board Member of the Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child – Sarasota County Schools, and past Board Member and Chairman for the United Way of Sarasota County (now part of United Way Suncoast). Shaun is a six-time recipient of the “President’s Volunteer Service Award,” a national award recognizing his community service in the Sarasota community, and he is also a recipient of the 2013 Chairman’s Cup Award from the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. Recently, he received the 2015 Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire for Service to the Community and Professional Achievements. Shaun has been a resident of the Sarasota 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 28 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). Richard earned 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 the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University, 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 (Council member), Kiltie Band Boosters (Treasurer), Toastmasters, Riverview High School Advisory Committee, and Scouting.

Brian Hall Executive Vice President and Private | Wealth Director
NMLS #1130484
A 35-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, trustee of Plymouth Harbor, and volunteer youth basketball coach.

MooneyCherie Mooney, SPHR, CEBS Senior Vice President and Human Resources and Marketing Director
Cherie has 28 years of Human Resources experience - the last 18 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 Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) professional designation, Senior Professional Human Resources (SPHR) 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. She is a recipient of the 2013 “President’s Volunteer Service Award,” a national award recognizing her contributions to the community.

Dennis Murphy Executive Vice President and Senior Loan Officer
Dennis 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 also serves on the Chamber’s Sarasota Tomorrow Oversight Council “STOC.” Dennis is a 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 and 2013, 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 Senior Vice President and Consumer Banking Manager
NMLS #586638
Cindy has 31 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, and a member of the Girl Scouts board development committee. She 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. Cindy is a 2002 graduate of Leadership Manatee County. She is a four-time recipient of the “President’s Volunteer Service Award,” a national award recognizing her community service in the Bradenton community.
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