McDermott + Bull Recruits Chief Credit Officer for First Northern Bank

May 3, 2024 – Irvine, CA-based search firm McDermott + Bull has assisted in the recruitment of Brett Hamilton as chief credit officer of First Northern Bank in Dixon, NY. This search was led by McDermott + Bull president Brandon Biegenzahn, managing director Courtney Dorrel, and executive recruiter Rachel Camonayan. “Brett’s leadership and financial acumen should be instrumental in guiding our credit culture and supporting our Strategic Plan and helping us achieve our annual performance metrics,” said Jeremiah Smith, president and CEO of First Northern Bank. “His extensive experience combined with the Bank’s already established sound lending practices should position Brett as a key driver of the Bank’s continued growth throughout the region and surrounding communities we proudly serve.” 

With more than 25 years of experience in the banking industry, Mr. Hamilton brings a vast background and expertise in credit risk strategies, portfolio management, and regulatory relations. As the chief credit officer, he will oversee the quality and diversity of the credit portfolio, and have responsibility for ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements, and optimizing risk management practices at the bank.

Mr. Hamilton most recently served as the senior vice president and senior credit administrator at Tri-Counties Bank where he led a team of credit analysts, commercial underwriters, and regional credit administrators. Prior to this, he spent over 15 years with Rabobank in credit analysis, credit risk, and reporting and analytics roles for both the Northern American bank division and the agrifinance business. His foundational career was built in portfolio management and relationship management roles with U.S. Bank and Bank of America.

First Northern Bank, an independent community bank, specializes in relationship banking. Headquartered in Solano County since 1910, the bank serves Solano, Yolo, Sacramento, Placer, Colusa, Glenn, and Contra Costa Counties, as well as the west slope of El Dorado County. Experts are available in small business, commercial, real estate and agribusiness lending, as well as mortgage loans.

McDermott + Bull provides mission-critical permanent executive placement and interim solutions for a range of domestic and global clients. The firm serves private and public companies, private equity firms and their operating companies across multiple industries, including technology, financial services, biotech and life sciences, and professional services.

Mr. Biegenzahn holds dual roles as president of McDermott + Bull and chair of the firm’s financial services practice group. As president, he leads day-to-day operations as well as the strategic buildout of the team of executive search managing directors. As chair of the financial services practice group, Mr. Biegenzahn is a partner to an array of financial services firms, including investment banks, commercial banks, private banks, credit unions, asset managers, institutional investors and fintech companies.

Related: McDermott + Bull Recruits CIO for Bank of Marin

Ms. Dorrel partners with the principal consultants on executive-level searches. Her prior professional experience includes admissions recruitment for a nationally-recognized trade college, as well as recruiting for technology and pharmaceutical/medical device professionals at small boutique firms.


McDermott + Bull Recruits CFO for Community West Bank
McDermott + Bull has placed Richard Pimentel as CFO at Community West Bank. He will serve in this capacity for both the bank and the holding company, and he will oversee both accounting and finance, as well as investor relations. He succeeded Susan Thompson, who recently transitioned to SVP, interim SEC reporting manager. “We are delighted to have Richard join our executive management team as CFO,” said Martin E. Plourd, chief executive officer. “Richard brings over 20 years of financial leadership experience in community banking. As a member of the bank’s executive team, Richard will be responsible for overseeing all finance, accounting and regulatory reporting for the organization. His banking expertise and his understanding of our clients and our business community will be an advantage as we continue to grow our company.”


Ms. Camonayan serves as an executive recruiter for McDermott + Bull’s financial services practice, where she works closely with the firm’s managing directors to source senior leadership talent for clients. Prior to joining the firm, she served for three years at a retained executive search firm based in Los Angeles that specialized in conducting senior and executive-level searches for clients in the financial services industry. Namely, their clientele was composed of banks, credit unions, and financial technology organizations.

Recent Search

McDermott + Bull recently recruited Natalia Coen as executive vice president and chief risk officer at Bank of the Sierra. “We are overjoyed to add Natalia to the team at Bank of the Sierra,” said Kevin McPhaill, the bank’s president and CEO. “The addition of Natalia is yet another sign that our company continues to grow, and we know her abilities and experience will be critical to our future success.”

Bank of the Sierra is a community-centric regional bank, which offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking services through full-service branches located within the California counties of Tulare, Kern, Kings, Fresno, Ventura, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara. The bank also maintains an online branch and provides specialized lending services through agricultural credit centers in Templeton and a loan production office in Roseville, CA.

Related: McDermott + Bull Recruits Chief Banking Officer for Pacific Mercantile Bank

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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