Executive Management

The President, Executive Vice Presidents and Senior Vice Presidents each certify to the Board of Directors of First National Bank Alaska that in discharging their duties they adhere to and advocate the principles and responsibilities governing professional and ethical conduct (75 KB PDF).

Betsy Lawer

Chair and Chief Executive Officer

Lawer shapes the bank’s vision, strategies and goals today and moving forward and acts as management’s point of contact with the Board of Directors. She oversees the President, Information Technology, Human Resources and Corporate Communications, Financial/Trust, Bank Support/Corporate Compliance and Audit units.

As a third-generation Alaskan banker, Lawer grew up with many of Alaska’s business and community leaders. She learned the banking business literally at her father’s knee, earned her economics degree from Duke University, and returned in 1974 to work her way up to the leadership position she holds today. Lawer previously served on the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Board of Directors and their Audit Committee. She has served on the Smithsonian National Board since 2008.

Doug Longacre


Longacre serves on the Board of Directors and is responsible for the overall management of all lending and loan-related functions as well as branch operations in and outside of Anchorage. Longacre works closely with Betsy Lawer to help make sure customers gain access to innovative banking solutions that will help them succeed in the Great Land.

Longacre’s grandparents mined the gold fields north of Fairbanks in 1902 and were original First National shareholders. Longacre continues that tradition today by mining the potential of Alaskans and Alaska businesses. The West Anchorage High graduate worked his way through college doing construction work before joining the bank in 1974.


Executive Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer

Nearly four decades of work in almost all areas of banking at First National gives Buzitis the breadth and depth of experience vital to successful leadership. In addition to serving on the executive management team, she is also the Bank Secrecy Act Officer and oversees the Bank Support & Compliance division.

Cheri Gillian

Executive Vice President, Board Secretary and Chief Administrative Officer

Gillian oversees the bank’s Human Resources and Corporate Communications division. An Alaskan for 40-plus years, Gillian has spent most of those years marketing and promoting Alaska products and services, including more than two decades at First National managing broad internal and external communications initiatives that have led to a strong corporate culture and well-respected bank brand. Her understanding of the unique needs and characteristics of Alaskans is invaluable in helping the bank hire the right employees and develop and make available services that meet those needs.

Phil Griffin

Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer

Griffin began his banking career in the early 1980s after graduating from the University of Nebraska with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He arrived in Alaska after holding CIO positions in California and Nevada. Griffin is responsible for the bank’s information technology strategic planning, implementation and security, core and item processing systems, network services, software solutions and support, e-Payment services, card processing systems, ATMs, online banking and business continuity planning.

Bill Renfrew

Executive Vice President and Regional Manager Interior Alaska

Working a gold mine in the 70s taught Alaska-born Renfrew things about banking he couldn’t learn in school or behind a desk. The experience of making payroll and borrowing money during his stint as a miner helped Renfrew understand his customers’ needs. He uses that experience and the relationships he’s built from more than 35 years in Fairbanks serving as regional manager.

Michele Schuh

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

A third-generation banker, a second-generation First National banker and the bank’s Chief Financial Officer since 2013, Schuh brings more than 35 years of finance and accounting experience to the CFO position. She directs the bank’s financial reporting, shareholder relations, property, investment management and trust services departments. Schuh is a graduate of Anchorage’s Dimond High School, the University of Washington and the Pacific Coast Banking School.

David Stringer

Executive Vice President

Head of the Special Credits and Participation Loans Division, the third-generation native of Juneau and University of Alaska graduate worked his way through the bank’s management associate program in the 70s while serving in the Alaska National Guard. Stringer is a graduate of Pacific Coast Banking School. He has served in various areas of the bank, including Kodiak and Seward.

Ryan Strong

Executive Vice President and Chief Banking Officer

Also the bank’s Chief Risk Officer, Strong began his financial services career as a management trainee at First National. He soon moved up to Commercial Loan Officer and then to manager of bank branches in Palmer and Fairbanks. His strong leadership skills and real estate knowledge led him to the position of President and CEO of an Alaskan title insurance agency, expanding it into new markets and within existing ones. After a move back to First National, the bank’s customers again benefit from Strong’s know-how.

Charles Weimer

Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Lending Officer

Working in the fishing industry and as a construction worker before joining First National in the early 1980s, Weimer oversees all phases of the commercial lending process. Upon graduation, Weimer joined the bank’s management associate program, working in Anchorage before finding a permanent home on the Kenai Peninsula in 1984 where he served many years as senior regional manager and most recently as the Branch Lending Administrator.

Senior Management

Karl Heinz

Senior Vice President and Combined Regional Branch Manager

Heinz is proud to be a main character in a home-grown Alaska success story. He grew up in the Last Frontier and will always consider it his home. Heinz’s deep understanding of Alaska, how it works and the people in it help make him a valued member of First National’s senior management team. Heinz joined the bank in 2003. Today, the graduate of the respected Pacific Coast Banking School sees to it that customers’ needs are met at the Glennallen, Kenai, Kodiak, Soldotna and Valdez branches.

Dustin Hofeling

Senior Vice President and IT Systems and Support Director

Hofeling joined the bank in 2011. In charge of the bank’s core processing systems and technical support, Hofeling has played an integral role in the development of the bank’s online banking solutions. As a child, he received his weekly allowance and sorted out the dollar bills by serial number and Federal Reserve district. Hofeling has also collected coins his entire life. While interested in all things financial, his attention turned to information technology. He has earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a Master in Business Administration degree, combining the best of both worlds.

Brent Kimball

Senior Vice President and Controller

Kimball owns more than 30 years of banking experience and vast knowledge of bank operations, financial management and regulatory requirements. Kimball is responsible for the accurate reporting of the bank's financial information to the bank’s Board of Directors, shareholders, managers and the public. He also oversees financial forecasting, strategic planning and vendor and insurance management. Kimball’s concise and informative expertise helps First National's relationship bankers gain a clear understanding of the bank’s strength so they can better meet the short- and long-term financial goals of each customer.

Patty Miller

Senior Vice President and Human Resources Director

Miller arrived at the bank with more than 27 years of experience working in Human Resources. Miller guides and manages the overall provision of talent management, training, employee relations, compensation and benefits, policies, and programs for the bank’s 600-plus Alaska-based employees. Miller helps build the bank’s culture of engagement, agility and innovation by attracting and developing top talent throughout the organization. Under her leadership, First National has integrated talent functions in the areas of employee skill and career development, succession planning and performance management. Her work has helped First National to earn Best Place to Work two years in a row (2016 and 2017) as voted on by Alaska Business Monthly readers.

Chad Steadman

Senior Vice President and Corporate Lending Director

Steadman owns a great appreciation for everything the bank and its customers accomplish. His increased leadership role includes more involvement assisting the bank’s executive management team all while expertly specializing in commercial underwriting and lending. He understands that meeting the financial needs of Alaskans is definitely a group effort and he’s proud to be part of the successful team. In addition to leading and coaching a team of commercial lending experts, he works closely with local community businesses, corporations and commercial contractors to help make sure their financial needs are met.

Craig Thorn

Senior Vice President and Regional Branch Manager

Since 1984, Thorn has played an integral role in meeting the banking needs of Alaskans in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, the fastest-growing community in the state. A life-long Alaskan born and raised in Seward, Thorn has provided Valley customers solutions-based expertise to help make their financial dreams come true. Based at the Wasilla Branch, he oversees branch and lending operations and relationship building there as well at the bank’s branches in Eagle River and Palmer.

Stacy tomuro

Senior Vice President and Specialty Lending Director

Tomuro believes everyone deserves the opportunity to succeed whether their dreams are big or small. He began working in the financial industry nearly 32 years ago and joined First National in 2001. First calling Alaska home in 1977, Tomuro is a West Anchorage High School graduate. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Washington and graduated from the renowned Pacific Coast Banking School. Based at the Dimond Branch in Anchorage, Tomuro is responsible for leading and coaching the branch’s lending team and expanding the bank’s loan portfolio with Alaska-based commercial customers and through Participation, whole and SBA-guaranteed loans.