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2017 Fall Conference Speakers
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Jim Blasingame

Noted Author and Radio Host

Jim Blasingame is one of the world’s leading experts on small business and entrepreneurship. He is the creator and award-winning host of the world’s only syndicated weekday radio program dedicated to small business, The Small Business Advocate Show, since 1997. Author of three books, including his multiple award-winning new book, The Age of the Customer: Prepare for the Moment of Relevance, which has sold over 75,000 copies. Jim has been a syndicated columnist since 1999, contributing weekly to newspapers and online publications, including,, American City Business Journals,, etc. For his thought-leadership as a champion of Main Street businesses, Jim has been recognized by numerous national organizations. Jim teaches businesses – small and large – how to achieve relevance in the Age of the Customer. This is the 50th anniversary of his first W-2 job – his gray hair is not premature.


Jeffrey P. Marsico

Executive Vice President, The Kafafian Group

Mr. Marsico is an Executive Vice President, shareholder, and founding member of The Kafafian Group, where he specializes in facilitating the development of client strategies; mergers & acquisitions; profit/process improvement consulting engagements; profitability consulting; and regulatory order assistance. He has worked in or has served banks since 1985 in IT, Trust, Retail Banking, merger consolidations, process improvement, and strategy development. He also served seven years in the United States Navy as an intelligence analyst.

Cam Mirisola-Bynum

Communications Director, Grant Marketing

Cam Mirisola-Bynum has an extensive background in publishing and communications, with a diverse skillset in content creation and development, editing, and marketing, and holds a BA in communications arts and sciences with a minor in English. Prior to joining Grant Marketing, Cam worked in product marketing for an educational assessment company and was senior editor of a regional adventure and discovery magazine distributed in 11 states. Cam is adept at synthesizing details to create core messaging and is a prolific writer—producing marketing and branding messaging, research and technical pieces, and blog and social media content. She has been in customer-facing business endeavors throughout her career and works closely with clients, from the production floor to C-suite, to extract and develop the vital information that prospects and customers search for to make informed decisions via online content. 
In her role as Communications Director at Grant Marketing, Cam strategizes and guides clients through inbound and content marketing practices that help capture leads and increase company growth. She and her team run Content Marketing Workshops for clients to help build a pool of writers from within each organization. One of the top benefits of the workshops is the brainstorming session that kicks off a viable list of 30 to 50 topics that will become blogs or larger pieces of valuable online content. Grant Marketing is a certified HubSpot Partner and Cam holds an inbound certificate through the HubSpot Academy.


Karen E. Partee, CFMP

Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Texas Bank and Trust Company 

Karen Partee, CFMP, serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Texas Bank and Trust, headquartered in Longview, Texas. In her role, Karen leads the bank’s Marketing Division in strategic market programming and planning, creative design, brand management, advertising, digital marketing, social media, corporate communications, sponsorships, and marketing support to 21 branch locations throughout the northeast Texas region. 

Karen joined Texas Bank and Trust in April 2004 as a business development officer; and is noted for her passion for financial literacy and the development of several key programs for TB&T, to include the bank’s award-winning Cool Kids Savings Club in 2005 - a comprehensive savings program for elementary-aged children, celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, and more than $2.5 million in youth savings. She was also instrumental in the establishment of the bank’s innovative T3 (Tier 3 Level) Tech Team in 2011. Now a full service e-banking service center, TBTmyWay provides direct customer support for the growth of the bank’s online services. As CMO, Karen’s goal is to strengthen Texas Bank and Trust’s brand as the leader in financial literacy and money management resources in each of the markets it serves. 

Since moving to East Texas in 1997, Ms. Partee has dedicated her service to organizations and initiatives that advance the causes of women and children in the community. She is a sustaining member and past president of the Junior League of Longview. Currently, she is co-chair of the American Bankers Association Marketing Advisory Board, and is a member of the Longview Regional Medical Center’s Women’s Advisory Council. She has also served on the board of directors for Junior Achievement of East Texas and the University of Texas – Tyler College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Council. 

In 2007, Karen was recognized with the inaugural Rising Star Award by the Independent Bankers Association of Texas; and as a Star Over Longview – a prestigious community award given by Longview Regional Medical Center, to recognize the achievements of women through their service.

Karen holds a bachelor’s of arts degree in journalism, having graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas Tech University, and is also a 2010 honors graduate of the ABA School of Bank Marketing & Management. Karen resides in Marshall, Texas, with her husband, Bryan, and their ten-year-old son, Noah.


Jessica Dawn Shaffer

VP Product Development, Leader Bank, N.A.   General Manager, ZRent

Jessica Shaffer serves as the Vice President of Product Development at Leader Bank. Jessica joined Leader Bank in 2008, just six years after the financial institution was formed. In her current role, she oversees the Product Development team and focuses on the creation and implementation of new products and services. Over the past few years, Jessica has lead the team to introduce several successful programs within the retail banking network, including Zeugma Rewards Relationship accounts for consumers and Business Cash Back checking accounts for businesses. Along with Jay Tuli, she has spent the past two years focused on their newest addition, ZRent - an online rent collection for landlords that is now being licensed to other community banks and credit unions.

Prior to that, Jessica served as the Assistant Vice President of Retail Banking at Leader Bank. In this role, she managed the Retail Operations team and administered numerous operational improvements and new product implementations from third party vendors.

Jessica Shaffer graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Missouri University of Science and Technology in 2007. Since then, she has continued her formal training through online certificate programs offered by Harvard Business School. 


Jay Tuli

Senior Vice President of Residential Lending & Retail Banking, Leader Bank, N.A.

Jay Tuli is Senior Vice President of Residential Lending & Retail Banking at Leader Bank. Mr. Tuli joined Leader Bank in 2006 when Leader Bank was in its 4th year of operations. In the last decade, Leader Bank has become one of the largest residential lenders in Massachusetts, originating consistently over $2 Billion in annual loan volume. Currently, Leader Bank has grown to $1.2 Billion in Assets.

Mr. Tuli focuses on new product development, growth strategy, recruiting, and overall operations for the Residential Lending and Retail Banking business units of Leader Bank. Through his leadership, he has introduced several successful programs that have helped fuel the Bank's growth including the Community Bank Jumbo program, ZRent online rent collection for landlords, Zeugma Rewards Checking accounts. Mr. Tuli has also spearheaded the expansion of the Bank's footprint into the Boston Seaport area.

Previously, he worked at Revolution Partners, a Boston-based boutique M&A advisory firm, and also at JP Morgan in New York as a member of the Private Bank Structured Investments group. Jay Tuli graduated Magna Cum Laude from Georgetown University with a double major in Finance and Technology Management and a minor in Economics. Mr. Tuli earned his MBA from Harvard Business School in 2011.





Christine Tieri

President & Certified Brand Strategist, Idea Agency

With a passion for problem-solving and a quest for continuous improvement, Christine works with businesses, brands, communities and individuals to create amazing transformations never before imagined. As the only Certified Brand Strategist in the northeast, Christine is driven to discover her clients' unique position to help them put their stake in the ground, and align their business, brand, and marketing strategies.

A graduate of Syracuse University, Christine has worked with clients in the financial industry in New England and New York for over 20 years. She consults with CEOs and CMOs on developing brand experience and marketing strategies as well as building internal culture programs. Christine has been named Business Person of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce, Outstanding Woman in Business by the Worcester Business Journal and member of The Brand Establishment Leadership Council and the National Speakers Association. Christine is a sough-after speaker on brand and performance marketing. She is the author of - little ditties that build big brands.


Kristin Sundin Brandt

President, Sundin Associates

As president of Sundin Associates, Kristin works directly with clients as well as oversees the ever-expanding suite of online services offered by the agency, including website development, online advertising and social media. Kristin holds the Certified Financial Marketing Professional (CFMP) designation from the Institute of Certified Bankers and is on the faculty of the ABA's Bank Marketing School and the New England School of Financial Studies.

James Pannos, CFMP

President, Pannos Marketing

Financial services marketing veteran and Pannos Marketing President, Jim Pannos, has led the agency in its journey to become an industry pioneer since 1994. As a former banker with over 30 years of bank marketing and sales experience, Jim has a comprehensive knowledge of the ever-evolving financial services world.

This expertise in conjunction with his strategic mindset, creative eye and knack for innovative thinking has proven to be invaluable to clients looking to gain a competitive edge. Jim has a passion for initiating and fostering lasting business relationships with clients in order to assist them in achieving success. He cultivates a professional working environment in which the agency's team is encouraged to push creative boundaries and explore innovative ideas for his clients.


Maureen Wilkinson

Vice President, Community Education, CRA Officer, Director of HarborOne U®

Treasurer and Secretary, HarborOne Foundation

Maureen “Mo” Wilkinson has served as Vice President of Community Education at HarborOne Bank since May 2009. As Director of HarborOne U, Wilkinson oversees HarborOne’s industry-leading community outreach initiatives, working as an educator, leader and manager.  In 2014, Maureen took on the additional role of the bank’s CRA Officer, managing the Bank’s community reinvestment initiatives, and in 2016 she was also named Treasurer and Secretary of the bank’s new charitable foundation.

 In 2010, Wilkinson led the expansion of the Bank’s award-winning MultiCultural Banking Center to take a broader role in the community by transforming the center into the innovative HarborOne U with two campus locations. As Director of HarborOne U, Wilkinson oversees all curriculum, programming and a staff that is committed to informing, educating and empowering local residents, youth and small business owners in the areas of financial education, life and business skills. To date, the U has hosted 15,000 people, and due to the goodwill generated, many attendees that were not previously customers have since selected financial services at HarborOne Bank, thereby generating an estimated $2.5 million in additional revenue annually.

 A veteran banking leader, Wilkinson has spent over three decades working at credit unions across the country. After six years as President and CEO of NationsHeritage Federal Credit Union, Wilkinson successfully merged the credit union with HarborOne in 2009. She has also held the position of President/CEO at Warren Federal Credit Union (Cheyenne, WY) and HP Rocky Mountain Federal Credit Union (Loveland, CO), and held senior management positions at Public Service Employees Credit Union (Denver, CO) and Justice Federal Credit Union (D.C.). 

Wilkinson currently graduated with a B.A. degree in Finance and English Literature from Anna Maria College and holds an Executive MBA from Loyola University, Maryland. Since 2007, Mo has been a member of the Board of Directors at the Hockomock Area YMCA, and currently serves as Secretary.  She further serves on the Board of Health Options/Community VNA in Attleboro, MA, for which she is also a member of the Investment Committee.  Wilkinson was honored by American Banker Magazine in October 2016 with the Community Impact Award.


Cynthia Hemeon-Plessner

Senior Vice President & Marketing Officer, New Hampshire Mutual Bancorp

Cindy Hemeon-Plessner is the senior vice president and marketing officer for New Hampshire Mutual Bancorp (NHMB).    NHMB, a mutual holding company, was formed in 2013 when two New Hampshire-based community banks, Meredith Village Savings Bank and Merrimack County Savings Bank, formally affiliated.  This strategic partnership has positioned the Banks to leverage each other’s strengths as they work together to advance a shared vision of maintaining and enhancing their community banking standards and values. MillRiver Wealth Management joined as a third subsidiary of NHMB in 2015, combining the financial advisory divisions of MVSB and The Merrimack.

In her role, Cindy is a member of the senior leadership team for the organization and is responsible for community development, marketing and communications.  She is lucky enough to have offices in both Concord and Meredith, NH.

Cindy has been involved with local community non-profits for most of her life and has developed a passion for grant review. She is the vice chair of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation Lakes Region Advisory Board, the secretary of the Greater Lakes Region Children’s Auction Board, a member of the Granite United Way Central Region Community Impact Committee.  She also volunteers for FIRST Robotics and the Gilford Parents of Performing Students, and is an alumni interviewer for the Saint Paul’s School Advanced Studies Program.

A native of Laconia, Cindy lived and worked in Washington DC, Houston and Los Angeles before returning to NH. She now lives in Gilford with her husband, Scott and son, Christopher. 

Julie Beckham


Julie Beckham

Community Relations Manager, Blue Hills Bank

Julie Beckham is the Community Relations Manager and Financial Educator for Blue Hills Bank. A graduate of NYU’s Tish School of the Arts, Julie made a creative entrance into marketing and finance by creating an original musical called “Ms. Money & the Coins” for the Blue Hills Bank Foundation and has spent the last six years “singing the tune for financial literacy” and teaching grade school children how to save, share and spend through song. “Ms. Money & the Coins” has been performed more than 300 times for over 50,000 Massachusetts elementary school students. 

A certified financial educator, Julie has created and collaborated on financial educational programs for elementary, middle and high school students and most recently developed a consumer protection for senior citizens program that she presents at senior centers and councils on aging. When not in the community as a financial educator, Julie manages Blue Hills Bank’s sponsorships, plans the bank’s participation in many local community events, encourages employee volunteer engagement, facilitates the Blue Hills Bank Foundation giving and contributes to the bank’s public relations and marketing team. Prior to coming to Blue Hills Bank, Julie founded and managed the Greater Boston Drama Studio in Canton and served as the interim executive director of Riverside Theatre Works in Hyde Park. 

Julie is a founding board member for Boston Women, Inc., serves on the advisory council for Boston Money Management, is a First Lady Mentor for the Boston Public Renaissance Charter School, coaches Girls on the Run and was honored by Banker & Tradesman in 2016 as a Community Bank Hero and by the New England Financial Marketing Award for Community Engagement.