Thomas J. Shara
President and Chief Executive Officer
Lakeland Bancorp, Inc. and Lakeland Bank
As we start the new year, I have been reflecting on the profound challenges that we faced in 2020. This past year has been nothing short of extraordinary and our associates’ display of courage and resilience has been remarkable.
In the face of an unthinkable adverse event, our team became superheroes in their own right. In the initial wave of branch closures and new hours of operation, our frontline staff stepped up to navigate a rapidly changing customer experience while back office staff made swift adjustments to work remotely. The immediate response by multiple departments to develop and implement a process to successfully continue bank operations in a matter of weeks is just an amazing feat! And as the economic devastation became quickly apparent in the wake of the pandemic, our associates did not miss a beat to do whatever was necessary to support our customers and communities.
Our associates worked tirelessly to implement programs for mortgage and consumer loan relief and also put forth a herculean team effort to process thousands of SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications to assist as many of our business customers as possible. The PPP loans were a lifeline for many of our business customers and kept an estimated 20,000 employees from losing their jobs in the communities we serve.
Every associate deserves a round of applause for their unwavering commitment to our customers and their dedication to preserving Lakeland Bank’s reputation as a trusted financial partner and pillar of strength in the communities we serve.
I am grateful for the privilege to lead such an exceptional team and look forward to working with them in 2021 to provide the exceptional service our customers have come to expect from Lakeland.