BNB Bank CEO Kevin O’Connor: Job Offer Came as Surprise

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Kevin O’Connor became president and chief executive of Bridge Bancorp and its subsidiary Bridgehampton National Bank, now BNB Bank, in January 2008 after 20 years at North Fork Bank, where he rose to become treasurer. A Brooklyn native, O’Connor moved to Farmingville with his family and attended school there. After getting his associate’s degree at Suffolk County Community College, he completed his bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Adelphi University. He is a past president and advisory board member of Suffolk County Council of the Boy Scouts of America and serves on the American Red Cross’ Long Island Board of Directors. He has three sons and resides in Great River. Here are excerpts of our conversation:Warren Strugatch: Our parents are our first influencers. How did yours influence you?Kevin O’Connor: My father, Jack, was a New York City cop. My mother, Carole, stayed home. We lived in Brooklyn and Queens, then moved to Suffolk. When I was in high school I had a landscaping business and worked at Genovese Drugs. When I worked at Genovese, my dad would take my truck on his days off and take the kids working for me out to mow lawns. When I was in college, I thought of dropping out to chase the easier dollar. We fought many times during college to keep me from giving up. I’m glad he won those arguments, although I’m sorry he didn’t live to see me graduate.WS: What did those jobs teach you?KO: I learned about scheduling, dealing with customers, and managing people. I learned that if you committed yourself to do something for somebody you had to get it done regardless of the weather, your truck breaking down or someone not showing up for work.WS: What did you learn from your supervisors?KO: At Genovese Drugs, the store manager was Larry Onufrak. He saw early on that I could be a shift supervisor. Frank Del’Aglio was a senior manager at Pete Marwick, now KPMG, when I worked there right out of college. He went to North Fork in 1987 and became CFO under John Kanas. I joined him and that’s where I spent the next 20 years.WS: John Kanas is a banking legend. What was he like to work with?KO: John was very inspirational. You were really part of a team. He had a vision. He was going to get there and you would follow him because you wanted to be where he was. He was demanding but fair. John allowed you to take chances and make mistakes. He was as respectful to entry-level employees as he was to the most senior. Many of the things I deal with today I first dealt with at North Fork.WS: Long Island banking has changed enormously over the past generation.KO: It has. We don’t have the Grummans and Fairchilds here anymore, but there is still manufacturing and distribution. The guys here now may not make the whole plane but they make the forward struts or pieces of the nose cone. Those are the kind of companies we bank.WS: How were you hired at BNB?KO: After Capital One acquired North Fork in 2006 my services were no longer needed. I interviewed at a few banks and one was Bridgehampton. I interviewed for the CFO position. Tom (Tobin), the CEO, was looking to retire. Instead of offering me the CFO position he offered me the CEO position. I was scared out of my mind!WS: What did you do?KO: First I wished my father were here to talk with. Then I thought about 30 seconds and said yes.WS: You’ve expanded the bank enormously. How?KO: Probably two-thirds of our growth has been organic. That means hiring talented bankers. When I go to visit potential customers, I don’t ask who their bank is, I ask who their banker is. If they don’t know, fine, that’s an opportunity. If they do know and like that person I try to go meet them and see if they’re happy where they are. We aggressively pursue good bankers to hire and build businesses around them.BNB BankFounded: 1910Headquarters: BridgehamptonAssets: App. $4.3BBranches: 44 serving Long Island and greater New York metropolitan areaRanking: Among Top 3 New York community banks – American BankerWarren Strugatch is a partner with Inflection Point Associates, a consulting firm in Stony Brook. Contact him at [email protected]last_img read more

HOW: Lack of manpower in the hotel industry is a problem facing the entire region

first_img“After the GDPR, we have a regulation on e-privacy… Are you sure you are ready?” Is the name of the workshop that opened the second and final day of the 2nd edition of the HOW Festival, which took place on Wednesday on the island of Sv. Nikola at Valamar Isabella Island Resort. Marija Zrno, a lawyer from the Zagreb company Bardek, Lisac, Mušec, Skoko with CMS presented the regulation on e-privacy, which should be adopted at the end of this or the beginning of next year and which will be directly applied in all EU countries. While the GDPR provides for the protection of personal data of individuals, the regulation will bring security of communication in the e-world, ie through mobile phones, websites and social networks. “Unfortunately, the adoption of this regulation is delayed, it was planned to be adopted in May this year, so business systems could be harmonized in parallel. But a regulation that will primarily mean greater protection for legal entities is not as comprehensive as the GDPR and will not have as much time to comply. All this will affect direct marketing, ie mostly newsletters and communication via social networks and websites”, Said Zrno. She explained that our existing law provided that the submission of newsletters required the consent of end users. The new regulation will have the same principle, but a broader definition, which means promotion on websites and social networks. Consent from legal entities will also be sought. She also mentioned cookies, which the regulation will also regulate. Users will decide for themselves on their computer which cookies they want. She concluded that it would be good for companies to inquire now about what the new regulation will bring, for which there is a lot of information on the Internet. If a company is already compliant with the GDPR, this does not automatically mean that it is also compliant with the ePrivacy Regulation.The most attention of the participants of this conference was attracted by the panel discussion on employee engagement and retention led by the moderator Mirjana Pajas, project director in Profil grupa, and her experiences were shared by Jelena Šuleić, general manager of group A hotels from Serbia, Tea Cergna, director of education and development in Poreč’s Valamar Riviera and Gordana Kolenko, director of BHV Consulting. Lack of manpower in the hotel industry is a problem facing the entire region.It was pointed out that Serbia is “fighting” with the problem of labor outflows mostly to Slovenia and Croatia, because it has the lowest average salaries in our area, while Croatian companies are facing the departure of people to Germany and Ireland. With the general conclusion that quotas are expected to increase for the import of foreign labor, not only from nearby countries, but also  from around the world (as Dubai, for example, has solved the problem), the importance of political will to reduce state payroll taxes has been stressed. But it’s a fight with windmills, it was noted on the panel. Cergna stated that Valamar tried to get higher quotas for labor from abroad, but the number of unemployed in Croatia also appears as a problem, which is why the state refuses to do so. They then asked for a list of the unemployed from all the counties they could hire, there were several hundred of them, of whom they eventually managed to hire only 17. Cergna noted that they called just about everyone from that list, but people were mostly not interested. The importance of education and cooperation with schools as a way to find and retain employees was mentioned. Šuleić stated that they achieved the best results with their employees when they were able to have their teeth repaired by contracted dentists, and a five-day stay with families in all their facilities – hotels, swimming pools, water parks and restaurants in the period from August 20 to September 10. . “People need to be dealt with constantly, they want to be taken care of. “, pointed out Šuleić. But she admitted that after three years, as long as it takes them to prepare one middle-level manager, they mostly lose that person because they go to another job. At the same time, the salary in Serbia is always a problem. For example, how much better it is for women there to go to work in the summer in Croatia is shown by the fact that they will earn 300 euros a month at home as maids, while Valamar will give them 700 euros, plus free accommodation and food. Then they return home and, for example, go to work in the mountains in Slovenia in the winter. Cergna, on the other hand, said that the salary is one of the key factors for retaining employees, so this year Valamar offered HRK 5.000 net as the minimum income for everyone. Also, the largest Croatian hotel company has an elaborate system of communication with employees who inform about everything, but also ask what they want in their career, then 18 programs of rewards and incentives, education, mentoring and scholarships. Valamar’s plan is to open its own university in the fall of next year, Tea Cergna announced.”How a hotel bar can be a part of the experience and the importance of education and development of bar staff” is the title of the panel discussion where opinions and experiences were presented by Andrea Klemenčić, F&B consultant at Dubrovnik’s One Suite Hotel, Filip Verbanac, strong alcohol development manager for Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina at Coca-Cola HBC, and, as panel moderator, Vedran Gulin, a consultant from Bar Three. Everyone stressed the importance of staff education, without which at least he will not be successful. Important elements in the bar are the offer and service, with which they will stand out from the competition. In Croatia, they singled out only 30 bars that stand out from the average. The bar is a mirror of the hotel, they pointed out. Its good position in the hotel, and excellent offer and quality, allow it to be open to the local population. Therefore, Klemenčić emphasized that local people come to the bar of that hotel, so it works best in winter. They focused on local products and groceries, and what they all have in common is that it has to be of extra quality. The staff is well educated, the standard of what they have to offer is known exactly (if the coffee is not a cannon it doesn’t go out of the bar) and they are constantly monitored and corrected in their work. Of course, a system of rewards and incentives has been organized in order to motivate and keep them, which depends on the reviews of guests, ratings of superiors and the realized traffic. Verbanac emphasized that his company now has five people for the education of employees in the field, and they are planning their program of education and training of people. Over the next ten years, Coca-Cola will focus on people who want to do business in the F&B sector and are willing to learn.Moderator Berislav Herceg, director of the Zagreb company DivisIT, which develops software solutions, Dragan Bodiroga, director of the Service Center from Dubrovnik, Tamara Čimbur, director and owner of the Zagreb restaurant Baltazar, and Vladimir Marinković spoke about the need to introduce modern procurement in the hotel business. general manager of Belgrade’s Saint Ten Hotel.The emphasis of the workshop was on automated data entry and exchange between customer and supplier, which speeds up the procurement process and brings savings. Manual data entry, which it still has, is a waste of time, and errors are common that make it impossible to control the state of the warehouse. It was noted that data entry automation must be inexpensive and easily applicable in all systems, whether they are small or large hotels, because not all are the same and not all have the same number of suppliers. One of the solutions, as a new standard in business, are personalized vendor web shops that will adapt to both large and small systems.last_img read more

Milner: That was the best of City

first_imgManchester City midfielder James Milner believes Europe has now seen the best of the Blues after their thrilling fightback at Bayern Munich. “But to go on and win at Bayern is a great achievement, and doing it after being two goals behind is fantastic.” City could face a team such as Barcelona in the last 16 of the competition. The draw takes place on Monday and City, as runners-up in their section, are guaranteed to face one of the winners of the other groups and play the second leg of the tie away from home. However Milner is full of confidence after the triumph in Germany. He said: “It was massive for us for going forward in the competition. “We are obviously going to get a tough draw in the next round. But we know we can beat the reigning champions on their own patch, scoring three goals, so that is a massive confidence boost and gives us massive momentum for the next round.” Both City and Bayern had already qualified for the knock-out stage before Tuesday’s game, but first place in the group was at stake. A 4-2 victory for second-placed City was one of the outcomes that would have seen them leapfrog Pep Guardiola’s side and secure top spot, ensuring the Blues – theoretically, at least – an easier last-16 draw. But it appeared City were completely unaware that winning by just one more goal would have been sufficient, with Milner saying: “We didn’t know if 4-2 would be enough or if we would need 5-2 – we thought it needed to be 5-2 to be honest.” City boss Pellegrini said he would have been tempted to bring on substitute striker Sergio Aguero if his team had netted a fourth, adding: “It was difficult to score two (more) goals.” The club’s top scorer was being rested ahead of Saturday’s Barclays Premier League home clash with Arsenal. Defender Pablo Zabaleta also indicated the Blues had believed all along that only a victory by a three-goal margin would send them top. “The manager said before the game that in football you never know – anything can happen – and we talked about trying to win by three goals,” Zabaleta, who came on as a substitute early on for the injured Micah Richards, told City TV. “We knew it was difficult to do that, but in the end it was important also just to win, taking revenge for the last game, when we played against Bayern at home.” Although City are now facing the prospect of a tricky last-16 tie, they will surely head into the next phase in a positive frame of mind off the back of their latest result. Certainly, that is the suggestion from Zabaleta, who said: “I think we are coming back to Manchester feeling really strong because when you win against probably the best team in the world, that is really important.” Press Association And after admitting City were out of sorts for the early stages of the Champions League Group D contest, England international Milner now wants Manuel Pellegrini’s men to stay in top gear for the tough opener they are sure to face in the knock-out stages. City, who were outplayed by defending champions Bayern when the German outfit beat them 3-1 in the reverse fixture at the Etihad Stadium, appeared set for an even more chastening experience at the Allianz Arena when their hosts raced ahead through strikes from Thomas Muller in the fifth minute and Mario Gotze in the 12th. City looked highly vulnerable at that point but turned the match around in remarkable fashion for a 3-2 win. Milner was involved in all three of his side’s goals, teeing up David Silva’s close-range finish in the 28th minute, winning a penalty that Aleksandar Kolarov converted in the 59th and then slotting in expertly from Jesus Navas’ cross in the 62nd. Asked afterwards what had changed for City following Bayern’s second goal, Milner said: “Probably the real us came out then. “I think it was a different team in the first 15 minutes – we were sloppy on the ball and off the ball. “It was unlike us, but after that we tightened up, looked a bit more of a threat going forward and stopped them playing a bit better. “At half-time we changed a few things around in terms of how we wanted to stop them playing and play like we know we can. “We said before the game that we wanted to get some revenge after the first match, which was a disappointing performance for us. “We didn’t turn up then, and it looked like it was going to be like that after 15 minutes this time as well. last_img read more