As you develop and grow your business, turn to local lending professionals who are prepared to help entrepreneurs and business owners find new success with the right financial support. Feel free to contact us and we will be happy to meet with you at your convenience.

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BILL FONTES
Senior Vice President, Commercial Lending
413.779.2034

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No one’s more dedicated than Bill Fontes at leveraging more than 30 years of commercial lending experience to help businesses unlock their potential. In fact, Bill’s assembled a broad array of expertise to help clients with disparate needs, including commercial and industrial clients, municipal clients, non-profit clients including those seeking tax-exempt financing, and businesses needing financing for merger and acquisition opportunities. Further, Bill has spearheaded bankESB’s affordable housing finance program including the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) financing. Before joining bankESB in 2013 he was senior vice president, commercial banking team leader at United Bank and commercial banking team leader at People’s United Bank. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Massachusetts and an MBA, majoring in finance, from Bryant University. Bill is passionate about his role in community service, serving as director of Valley Community Development Corporation in Northampton and a former director and coach with the South Hadley Baseball Association and St. Patrick’s CYO basketball. He also is the founding director of Promoting Downtown Amherst, Inc. Bill lives in South Hadley and, when not at work, enjoys a wide range of outdoor activities including biking, kayaking, fishing, and shell fishing on Cape Cod.

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CHRIS SUGRUE
Vice President, Commercial Lending
413.779.2475

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With nearly 25 years of commercial lending experience, Chris Sugrue knows how to help local businesses unlock their potential. In fact, he’s committed to working hard to get the deal done for his customers because he says, “I know running a business is extremely difficult. So, I want to make banking something business owners never need to think or worry about.” He joined bankESB from TD Bank in 2015, and has particular expertise in construction loans, ground lease financing, investment commercial real estate, and marinas. Chris earned his bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College and was enlisted in the United States Coast Guard for seven years. He’s as committed to giving back to the community as he is to his customers, serving on the board of directors of Home City Development, a Springfield-based non-profit that develops housing projects for low-income families. Previously, Chris was on the executive board of the Holyoke Chamber of Commerce and the board of directors of the Friends of the Holyoke Public Schools and was conservation commissioner for the City of Holyoke. Originally from Holyoke, Chris now lives in Westhampton with his wife and three daughters and says when he’s not at work, he spends as much time as he can hiking, skiing, or at the beach.

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MELISSA SOTO
Vice President, Commercial Lending
413.779.2482

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Over the past 30 years, Melissa Soto has garnered an impressive array of experience in banking and commercial lending. In fact, she’s demonstrated that she’s well-versed in a variety of lending types, with a concentration in commercial and industrial lending to help her clients unlock their full potential. In 2016, Melissa joined bankESB from TD Bank, where she was vice president, portfolio manager. Before that, she was portfolio manager at Bank of Western Massachusetts and assistant manager of the Loan Department of Hampden Bank. Melissa earned a bachelor’s degree from American International College and an associate degree from Springfield Community Technical College. When not at work, she gives back to the community as a board member of the Westfield Boys & Girls Club and a Walk Committee member with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Melissa lives in Westfield and loves both hiking and photography.

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TRENTON TAYLOR
Senior Vice President, Commercial Lending
413.779.2041

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Trent joined the bank as Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending. He brings over 40 years of experience in banking, most recently serving as Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending at Westfield Bank, managing a $270 million portfolio. Trent spent three years with Chicopee Savings Bank prior to its merger with Westfield Bank in April 2016. He also worked as Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending at Polish National Credit Union.

In his role as a senior commercial loan officer, Trent is responsible for growing the commercial loan portfolio with a concentration on Hampden County. He is based at bankESB’s loan center located at 241 Northampton Street in Easthampton, MA.

Trent is a graduate of Springfield Technical Community College and Holyoke Community College. He served four years in the U.S. Navy, having one tour in Vietnam. Taylor resides in Westfield, Massachusetts.

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MICHAEL OLEKSAK
Vice President, Commercial Lending
413.779.2042

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With more than two decades of business banking and commercial lending experience under his belt, Mike Oleksak recognizes the importance of listening intently to his customers so he can best help unlock their potential. “It’s about much more than just closing their loan,” Mike says. “It’s about being able to provide them with a financing solution that helps their business endeavors succeed!” Mike joined bankESB in 2018 from Westfield Bank, where he was vice president, commercial lending officer. Before that, he was assistant vice president, business banking with United Bank and relationship manager at CoBank. Mike earned both a bachelor’s and Master of Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University and is passionate about giving back to the community. He currently serves as a board member of the West Springfield Boys & Girls Club, a board member and treasurer of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County, and treasurer of Easthampton Neighbors, Inc. Mike grew up in Southampton, where he says he opened his first savings account with bankESB! He now lives in West Springfield with this wife and their son and daughter. Outside of work, Mike says he enjoys skiing, cycling, and coaching his kids’ sports teams.

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JOE WILLIAMS
Vice President, Commercial Lending
413.779.2283

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Joe Williams takes unlocking his customers’ potential very seriously. “Being up front, honest, and transparent is the best way to build a trusting relationship that lasts,” he says. So, it’s no wonder that, every day, Joe puts this philosophy of “always doing right by the customer” and his more than a decade’s worth of commercial real estate and commercial and industrial lending experience to work for his business customers. Joe joined bankESB in 2023 from PeoplesBank, where he served as assistant vice president, business banking officer. Before that, he was assistant vice president, credit officer at United Bank and commercial credit analyst with TD Bank. Joe earned a master’s degree from Bay Path University and a bachelor’s degree from Westfield State University. Outside of work, he is president of the East Longmeadow Baseball Association and a board member of the East Longmeadow Housing Authority. Joe grew up in Westfield, but now calls East Longmeadow home, with his wife and two sons. He enjoys spending free time with his family including coaching his kids’ sports teams, hiking, snowboarding, going to concerts and sporting events, and generally anything that keeps him and his family active.

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TIMOTHY CZERNIEJEWSKI
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Lending
413.977.6661

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Tim Czerniewjewski is passionate about understanding what makes his customers tick. Throughout his more than 15 years in banking, he’s made it his mission to get to know their business, their industry, and their business model so that he can fully understand their financing needs and what it takes to unlock their full potential. In 2016 he joined bankESB from TD Bank, where he held several roles including credit analyst team lead. Tim earned his bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Western New England University and is active in the community, serving as a Finance Committee volunteer with the Westfield Evangelical Free Church and previously as a member of the Programming Subcommittee of the Springfield Boys & Girls Club. Tim lives in Westfield with his wife and their two sons. In his spare time, he enjoys high intensity physical exercise, reading classic literature, playing chess, and cooking. In fact, Tim claims that his most highly rated dish is his meatloaf. “Best you’ve ever tried!” he says.