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 Chief Executive Officer
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.
President and Board Member
Longacre is responsible for the overall management of all lending and loan-related functions as well as branch operations in and outside of Anchorage. He serves on the Board of Directors and chairs the bank 401(k) Committee. 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
Not far removed from her 40-year First National employment anniversary, Buzitis's years of experience and work in almost all areas of banking at First National give her 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. Buzitis joined First National as a Mini Proof Clerk in January 1977. She spent subsequent years on multiple projects like installing the bank’s first ATMs, and played an instrumental role in the 1997 conversion to a new software and hardware mainframe.
Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and Board Secretary
Gillian oversees the bank’s Human Resources and Corporate Communications division. An Alaskan for 45-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.
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.
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 the Interior’s regional manager.
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 leadership experience to the CFO position. She directs the bank’s financial reporting, treasury and securities portfolio management, shareholder relations, property and facilities and Wealth Management departments. Schuh is a graduate of the University of Washington and the Pacific Coast Banking School.
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.
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 now oversees all phases of the commercial lending process in Anchorage and in branch communities outside Anchorage. Upon graduating from Colorado State University, 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 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.
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.
Senior Vice President and Compliance Senior Legal Counsel
For Pamela Keeler, banking is in the family. Inspired by her father who worked in banks in New York and California, Pamela began her First National story in 2001 as a Trust Officer. After the birth of her daughter, Keeler 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, regulations and rules.
Pamela’s legal expertise is rooted in her diverse education, with a number of degrees in political science-public service, education and law from prestigious schools University of California, Davis; Western Washington University and University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law.
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.
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.
Senior Vice President and Corporate Lending Director
Raised on the Kenai Peninsula working at canneries and hatcheries, Chad Steadman has a deep understanding of Alaskans’ specific financial needs. In his role at First National, Steadman utilizes 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 and an education from the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University, Steadman uses his banking knowledge to enrich the community, working shoulder-to-shoulder with local businesses and teaching construction finance management courses at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
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.
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.
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 the 49th state for more than 35 years. He began his career as a teller, and over the course of 30 years in local banking gained a wealth of financial expertise he now uses to oversee the Special Credits department at First National. According to Flake, his success stems from a genuine desire to help customers succeed and his ability to find the humor in most any situation.