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).
Board Chair and CEO/President
Lawer shapes the bank’s vision, strategies and goals today and moving forward. 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.
Senior Executive Officer and Chief Credit Officer
Franz brings decades of banking experience to First National. During his career, Franz has successfully overseen the management of retail and business banking in 16 Alaska communities with broad geographic, economic, and cultural diversity. As Chief Credit Officer, Franz uses his proven expertise to lead the bank's full complement of lending managers and officers across the Great Land. He also provides oversight of branch operations in bank communities outside Anchorage and the bank's loan processing team. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics and is a graduate of the renowned Pacific Coast Banking School. Franz is a board member of the University of Alaska Foundation Finance and Audit Committee, and the Alaska Support Industry Alliance.
Senior Executive Officer, Chief Administrative Officer and Board Secretary
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 helped lead to a strong corporate culture and well-respected brand. Her deep understanding of Alaskans is invaluable in helping the bank hire the right people and develop products to meet their customers’ unique needs.
Senior Executive Officer and Chief Banking Officer
Strong’s steady progression to the First National leadership team began more than 20 years ago when he joined the bank as a Management Associate. In his current role as head of the Retail, Treasury & Compliance Division, Strong leverages hands-on retail and business lending and operations experience. His responsibilities include oversight of the operations of Anchorage branches, Treasury Management, Mortgage Lending, Escrow, Compliance, and risk management. Strong earned a business degree from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from UAF. He is an active member and past president of the Alaska Bankers Association and serves as vice chair on the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors.
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 Chief Information Officer positions in California and Nevada. Griffin plays a key role in business continuity planning and 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 and online banking.
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
A third-generation banker and second-generation First National banker, Schuh brings more than 35 years of finance and leadership experience to her role as Chief Financial Officer. She directs the bank’s Property and Finance departments, encompassing a wide variety of functions including treasury and securities portfolio management, shareholder relations, facilities, financial reporting and tax. Schuh is a graduate of the University of Washington and the Pacific Coast Banking School.
Denise Brown Robinson
Senior Vice President and Corporate Communications & Customer Experience Director
Brown Robinson brings more than 20 years of marketing and communications experience to her role as Corporate Communications & Customer Experience Director. A lifelong Alaskan, Brown Robinson oversees the bank’s Business Development & Customer Experience and Marketing sections. Her expertise has helped First National earn national recognition for its “We Believe in Alaska,” rebranding and promotional campaigns. She has also played an integral role in the bank’s Branch Re-Engineering and Digital Adoption initiatives.
Senior Vice President and Corporate Services Director
A graduate of the University of Alaska Anchorage, Flake grew up in Montana and has lived and worked in Alaska for more than 40 years. He began his career as a teller and, over the course of 35 years in local banking, gained the wealth of financial expertise he now uses to oversee Credit Administration, Collateral Valuation and Special Credits at First National. Flake’s success stems from a genuine desire to help customers succeed.
Senior Vice President and Branch Administration Director
Heinz is proud to be the main character in a home-grown Alaska success story. He grew up in the Great Land and has lived in communities across the state. His deep understanding of Alaska, how it works and the people who live here 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 oversees all of First National’s branches outside of Anchorage. His involvement in numerous volunteer organizations across the state has given him a great appreciation for the importance of giving back to the many communities that First National serves.
Senior Vice President and IT Systems and Support Director
As a child, Hofeling showed an early interest in banking by sorting out the dollar bills in his allowance by serial number and Federal Reserve district. His attention later turned to information technology, and he earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science. He later earned his MBA, and he currently attends the respected Pacific Coast Banking School. As a 15-year banking professional, Hofeling is in charge of the bank’s core processing systems and technical support. Hofeling and his team have played an integral role in the development and deployment of First National’s online and mobile banking solutions.
Senior Vice President and Controller
Tiffany Hoogerhyde brings more than 20 years of management and leadership experience to First National. As Controller, Hoogerhyde is responsible for reporting financial information to the bank’s Board of Directors, managers and the public. Her expertise helps First National’s relationship bankers meet the short- and long-term financial goals of each customer. She holds a CPA certificate from the State of Alaska and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Senior Vice President and Compliance Senior Legal Counsel
For Keeler, banking is in the family. Inspired by her father who worked at banks in New York and California, Keeler began her First National story in 2001 as a Trust Officer. After the birth of her daughter, she took a break to focus on her family, as well as explore opportunities with Alaska Native Corporations, gaining experience in risk management. Keeler returned to First National in 2018, where she uses her wealth of legal knowledge to ensure the bank complies with banking laws and regulations. Her legal expertise is rooted in a diverse education, with a number of degrees in political science-public service, education and law from the University of California, Davis; Western Washington University and University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law.
Senior Vice President, Treasury Management and Anchorage Branch Administration Director
In her more than 25 years as an Alaska banking expert, Kroll has excelled in a variety of positions in marketing, human resources, training, branch and business relationship management. A graduate of State University of New York at Fredonia and the prestigious Pacific Coast Banking School, she has also earned the designation of Certified Treasury Professional. Kroll leverages her decades of experience to ensure First National customers receive exceptional service. Kroll has served on the board for Catholic Social Services, one of Anchorage’s largest non-profits, where she recently held the role of board chair.
Senior Vice President and Wealth Management Director
Neff brings more than 20 years of executive-level investment and financial experience to First National. As the Wealth Management Director, Neff relies on his extensive investment experience with large wealth funds, municipalities, and public pension funds to direct all wealth management and trust activities for the bank and help meet the financial needs of Alaskans. Neff is a frequent guest speaker and panelist at industry events and conferences across the country including the Alaska Southeast Conference, various Alaska chambers of commerce events, and the Alaska Pacific University MBA program. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Senior Vice President and Human Resources Director
With over two decades as a U.S. Army officer and more than 10 years of executive experience in both the public
and private sector, Patin knows the value of a strong team. As Human Resources Director, Patin leverages his
experience to provide strategic human resources leadership and to direct talent management, compensation
and benefits, employee relations and policies at the bank. His steadfast commitment to more than 600 employees
exemplifies why First National has been voted the Best Place to Work in Alaska by Alaska Business magazine
readers seven years running (2016-2022). Patin earned a Bachelor of Science from West Point concentrating in
Behavioral Science and Systems Engineering. He also holds master’s degrees in human resources management
and in administration and supervision, and a doctorate in business administration from the University of the
Senior Vice President and Corporate Lending Director
Growing up on the Kenai Peninsula, Steadman has a deep understanding of Alaskans’ unique financial needs. He uses his expertise in commercial underwriting and lending to coach First National’s skilled corporate lending bankers. Armed with a bachelor’s in finance from Utah State University, a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) and an education from the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University, Steadman uses his banking knowledge to enrich Alaska communities by working shoulder-to-shoulder with local businesses and teaching construction finance management courses at UAA.
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 lifelong Alaskan born and raised in Seward, Thorn provides 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 as at the bank’s branches in Valdez, Glennallen, Eagle River and Palmer.