Banking Magazine Spotlights Meridian Bank Executive’s Role in Florida Expansion

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Meridian Bank top workplace
Image via Meridian Bank.

Meridian Bank and its current EVP, Wayne Griest, were featured in Independent Banker magazine regarding the bank’s expansion into Florida with Griest at the helm, writes Bridget McCrea for Independent Banker.

Communities banks have been expanding beyond their traditional geographic boundaries, and Meridian Bank is one of them. The bank recently opened a new business office in Bonita Springs since many of their Pennsylvania customers also have homes in Florida for colder months. Furthermore, some customers were either moving to Florida permanently or investing in real estate down there.

Growing up in PA, Griest was the former CEO of Continental Bank and moved to southwest Florida for retirement. However, upon Meridian’s expansion, CEO Chris Annas had the perfect person in mind the run office: his long-time colleague.

“Chris and I talked about opening a loan production office in Bonita Springs,” said Griest. “He got board approval to do so, and I found the office space and hired two experienced bankers from this market. We opened our doors three months ago.”

The Florida team works from a loan production office where they are working to establish new business banking relationships, including in lending. He has the goal of opening several full-time Meridian Bank branches in Florida.

“In several cases, we’ve started working with customers who already had relationships with Meridian in Philadelphia and who are in the process of moving here, establishing a business here or buying a commercial property and in need of financing for it,” he said.

Read more about Wayne Griest and the expansion in Independent Banker.

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