Clay Adams, VBA Chairman, President & CEO, Mascoma Bank

Clayton Adams became President and CEO of Mascoma Bank in January 2017.  He had served on the Bank’s Board of Directors for five years during which time he was a member of the Strategic Planning and Wealth Management Committees. Mr. Adams graduated from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Government.  He also was awarded an MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College. Currently he is a Director of the Montshire Museum of Science, Alice Peck Day Hospital, Ford K. Sayre Memorial Ski Council and Vital Communities Corporate Council.  Mr. Adams’ community service includes being a past Chairman of the Delta Dental Plan of Vermont and Vital Communities.


Cheryl LaFrance, VBA First Vice Chairperson, Executive Vice President & COO, Northfield Savings Bank

Cheryl LaFrance is a Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Northfield Savings Bank.  Throughout her 32 years at NSB, Ms. LaFrance has had the privilege of serving in multiple roles of increasing responsibility throughout the company.  In her current position, she provides strategic direction for the Bank’s customer facing areas of Community Banking, Residential Mortgage Lending and Wealth Management, and has direct responsibility for several support functions.  Ms. LaFrance also oversees the activities of the NSB Foundation. Having graduated from Bryant University, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, she obtained an MBA from Norwich University.  Ms. LaFrance is also a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking. She is a current Board member of the Montpelier Development Corporation and has served as Trustee for the Northern New England School of Banking.


Steve Kendall, VBA Second Vice Chairman, Executive Vice President  & Sr. Residential & Consumer Loan Officer, Union Bank

Steve Kendall is an Executive Vice President, Sr. Residential and Consumer Loan Officer and member of the Senior Management team at Union Bank, where he has been employed for the past eighteen years.  A life-long Vermonter, Steve has been in community banking for over thirty years, having started his career with Vermont National Bank in 1989.  Steve’s banking experience includes commercial lending, branch management, and mortgage and consumer lending. Steve is a graduate of Champlain College, Franklin Pierce University and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking.  He has served as the Chair of the Vermont Bankers Association Mortgage Committee for ten years and is the current Chair of the Vermont Mortgage Bankers Association.  Throughout his life he has been a volunteer member or served on the board of multiple community service or non-profit organizations, including the Shelburne Planning Commission, Lyric Theatre Company, Essex Rotary, Champlain Islands Parent Child Center, Meals on Wheels, United Way, Little League, and the National Ski Patrol.  Steve lives in Shelburne with his wife, Kelly.


Executive Council Members


James Kisch joined Passumpsic Savings Bank on October 11, 2016 as Chief Executive and President. Prior to joining the Bank, he was Chief Strategy/Information Officer and Co-Founder for Continuity, a New Haven, Connecticut based cloud computing software company serving community financial institutions nationwide.  He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota-St. Paul and the Graduate School of Banking from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Jim started his career in banking 30 years ago. Jim held a variety of executive positions in the banking industry for over fourteen years before joining the Minnesota Bankers Association, as President of the association’s Insurance and Service Division and Consulting Group, the association’s wholly owned bank compliance and IT consultancy Jim serves on the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum Board as Treasurer; as the Vermont Bankers Association’s Chairperson; Chairman of the Board of Northeast Home Loan; Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital Corporator, and is an active member of the Catamount Film & Arts, Northeast Kingdom Collaborative, and Plymouth State University College of Business Administration Advisory Boards Jim and his family reside in Waterford, Vermont.

Bryan Young is the President and CEO of The First National Bank of Orwell, where he is the fifth generation of his family in leadership of the Bank. Prior to his appointment in 2016, he served as Vice President and CFO from 2005. He worked previously for National Specialty Insurance in Madison, Wisconsin, and Thomson Financial First Call in Boston, Massachusetts. He earned a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in Geography and Economics from the University of Vermont and a master’s degree in Finance, Investments and Banking from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Bryan serves as President of the board of Addison County Home Health and Hospice, Treasurer of the Town of Orwell, Vermont, and as a ski instructor at Pico Mountain. He plays in several local musical ensembles. He lives in Orwell with his wife, Sheri, and their two boys.


Bruce Bernier has over twenty-five years of banking experience including roles in credit, loan review, residential, municipal, and commercial lending.  Mr. Bernier joined Community Bank, NA by merger in 2017 as Team Leader and currently serves as the Commercial Lending Group Manager for the New England Region.  Prior to joining Community Bank, Mr. Bernier served as the Senior Lender for Merchants Bank.    

James Brown started work at The Bank of Bennington in 2001 as its credit officer and was named President and CEO in 2008.  He is a graduate of Saint Lawrence University with a BA in Economics and received his MBA from the University at Albany.  He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Southwestern Vermont Health Care and Bennington County Industrial Corp.  

Caroline Carpenter, is President of National Bank of Middlebury, headquartered in Middlebury, VT.  She has been part of the banking community in Addison County since 1991 serving at Vermont Federal Bank before joining the National Bank of Middlebury in 1997.  Caroline is a graduate of the University of Vermont and the New England School of Banking at Williams College.  Currently she is a director of Community Financial Services Group (CFSG), Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA), and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston (FHLBB).

Dan Werme, is NBT Bank’s Regional President of Vermont and Western Massachusetts. He joined NBT in 2017 as Regional Commercial Banking Officer and has over 25 years of banking experience in Vermont and Massachusetts. Dan has served in both retail and commercial banking roles throughout his career. He is a graduate of the University of Vermont and the New England School of Banking at Williams College. Active in his community, he currently serves on the Town of Bristol’s Revolving Loan Fund.