Thomas J. Shara
President and Chief Executive Officer
Lakeland Bancorp, Inc. and Lakeland Bank
We believe our colleagues are the primary reason Lakeland Bank stands apart from its competitors. Being recognized as New Jersey’s #1 Best-In-State Banks by Forbes, rated a 5-Star Bank by Bauer Financial and named one of New Jersey’s 50 Fastest Growing Companies by NJBIZ are all accolades that are hugely attributable to our colleagues. While we have a resilient, talented and committed team of tenured professionals, over the last several years we have broadened our workforce with new associates who have the knowledge, expertise and leadership skills needed to support Lakeland’s rapid growth and long-term profitability. And in our quest to be an employer of choice and enhance our culture, we have made substantial changes to improve internal communications, expand training and development opportunities, and increase colleague engagement across departments as well as in the community.
Being a responsible corporate citizen is another important aspect of the culture at Lakeland Bank. Giving back to the communities we serve has been an integral part of our 50+ year history and is one of our essential core values. Lakeland has been a stalwart partner for many non-profits and has relationships that have been nurtured for over 25 years. Our core philanthropic initiatives focus on education, affordable housing and health which are all critical components to building strong, healthy and vibrant neighborhoods. The Bank donated more than $1,000,000 last year to charitable and nonprofit organizations and our colleagues provided nearly 8,000 volunteer hours of community service. Additionally, the Bank has awarded over $2 million in scholarships to local students since its first Annual Scholarship Golf Outing--the Bank’s longest-standing philanthropic initiative!
Our history spans five decades and our success has been built on a solid strategic platform–which we intend to stand on as we head into a new decade. We have launched an initiative that will focus on achieving a digital transformation that will encompass nearly every aspect of the bank: data management, customer centricity, products and services, and operations. Overall, our goal is to become a digitally-enabled business with the organizational readiness to deliver the optimum banking experience while ensuring our success for continued profitable growth.
We are excited about the future and will continue to strive to be the best and most respected bank in New Jersey!