NBT Celebrates Another Award-winning Year In 2023
Published: February 9th, 2024
By: Zachary Meseck

NBT celebrates another award-winning year in 2023 NBT President and CEO John H. Watt, Jr. thanks the NBT team after being recognized with an award by Commerce Chenango for the company’s contributions to the community in 2023. (Photo from NBT)

NORWICH - NBT Bancorp Inc. celebrated another year of growth last year after receiving recognition for being a business of distinction by Commerce Chenango, being named one of Central New York’s best places to work, and making the list of Forbes World’s Best Banks.

NBT Bank  offers personal banking, business banking and wealth management services from locations in seven states, including New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Connecticut. The bank and its parent company,  NBT Bancorp Inc., are headquartered in Norwich, NY. NBT Bancorp had assets of $13.31 billion as of December 31, 2023 and is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol  NBTB.

The company continues to grow organically by focusing on the needs of the individual communities it serves. As NBT pursues opportunities to grow its company, optimize the experience of its customers and employees and build on its rich culture, it does so from a position of strength as a stable and well capitalized company. The company has more than 2,000 employees total, with nearly 500 of those based in Chenango County.

Expanding operations in 2023

From December 2023 through the end of January 2024, NBT will have opened three new retail banking offices within its footprint, including Pittsfield, Mass., West Hartford, Conn., and the much-anticipated branch in Oakdale Commons at 625 Harry L Drive in Johnson City.

“NBT is excited to be part of the revitalization taking place at Oakdale Commons,” said Director of Retail Banking Tom Sutton. “We are constantly evaluating business and retail trends in our communities, and this new location will provide a convenient extension of our services in this high-traffic area.”

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In August, NBT Bank completed its merger with Salisbury Bank. The merger added 13 banking offices to the NBT franchise in complementary markets, including northwestern Connecticut, the Hudson Valley region of New York and southwestern Massachusetts. NBT’s merger and integration with Salisbury Bancorp in 2023 expanded NBT’s footprint in complementary markets, increased its customer base, and enhanced its team.

Leadership said it also strengthened the bank’s position as they look to support the exciting opportunities for long-term organic growth along the Upstate New York Semiconductor Chip Corridor.

They said planned transformational semiconductor chip fabrication investments in New York State present an incredible opportunity for their customers and the communities they serve. They added that NBT is uniquely positioned to support this regional growth, with their branch network ideally situated along the chip corridor from greater Syracuse through to the Hudson Valley. NBT Bank now has 153 banking offices across their seven-state footprint.

NBT takes pride in fostering multiple partnerships with dedicated community organizations. Whether supporting the amazing work at Commerce Chenango—including their initiatives aimed at promoting local businesses—to being a friend of the arts by partnering with the Chenango Arts Council and sponsoring the NBT Bank Summer Concert Series in downtown Norwich each summer with the Chenango Blues Association, NBT is always looking for ways to connect with its community.

Investing in employees

NBT strongly advocates for providing the tools and resources to enhance the growth, development and satisfaction of its workforce. This includes implementing supportive elements into everyday activities, such as a coaching model for employees and managers to share two-way feedback, and mentoring opportunities for individual growth. In 2023, they also launched LinkedIn Learning for our 2,000 employees. This enabled on-demand access to training and education for employees to develop the right skills to grow their career.

NBT also offers a variety of formal programs to support employees in professional development and career advancement, including:

Professional Development Program – provides participants with opportunities to continue their professional development through additional training and skills development.

Management Development Program – provides high potential college graduates with fast-tracked opportunities to gain broad knowledge of the business of banking and develop critical skills for becoming future leaders of the company.

PATHS Program – provides employees with three or less years of experience in the financial services industry with the opportunity to explore career options based on their strengths and create a development plan to help reach their career goals.

Emerging Leaders – prepares qualified employees for future leadership positions.

Star Impact – prepares high potential, experienced leaders to assume expanded leadership responsibilities.

As an employer, NBT recognizes the talent that its local youth has and leadership said they are proud to offer many different career paths in Norwich and throughout NBT’s seven-state footprint. Since 2005, NBT has annually employed college-aged students through its Student Associate Program. Each year, about 50 students earn valuable professional experience during their summers with NBT, and some even return to work part time during their school breaks.

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In addition to NBT’s Student Associate Program, they also have a Management Development Program to provide participants with a broad knowledge of the business of banking and develop future leaders in their company. Development includes technical and soft skill training, cross divisional work experiences, performance coaching, mentoring and special projects, and regular access and exposure to senior and executive level management. The program is designed to fast track high-potential talent while providing the opportunity for professional growth and career development.

Welcoming a new CEO

On May 21, 2024, John H. Watt, Jr. will step down as NBT’s President and Chief Executive Officer and be succeeded by Chief Financial Officer Scott Kingsley as President and Chief Executive Officer of NBT Bancorp. In addition, Joseph Stagliano will be promoted to President of NBT Bank, N.A., and Annette Burns, NBT’s Chief Accounting Officer, will be promoted and assume the role of CFO on May 21.

Watt was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of NBT and NBT Bank, N.A. and became a member of the Company’s Board of Directors in 2016.

“I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to lead NBT and to work with the team I truly believe is the best in community banking,” said Watt. “I am proud of the way we serve our customers and communities and how we have continued to create long-term value for our shareholders. The Board has been very supportive of our strategy, and I am also thankful for their guidance over the last seven years.”

Those who are interested in learning more about NBT Bank may visit its website at www.nbtbank.com for additional information.