John R. Koelmel became a Trustee in June 2012, after being nominated by Governor Andrew Cuomo and confirmed by the State Senate.
Mr. Koelmel is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of First Niagara Financial Group, Inc., and its principal subsidiary First Niagara Bank, N.A. He joined First Niagara as its Chief Financial Officer in January of 2004, and was appointed to his current position in December of 2006. He served on the Buffalo, N.Y. company’s board of directors from 2007-2013.
During Mr. Koelmel’s tenure as CEO, First Niagara grew to a top-25 U.S. bank by assets and market capitalization, with almost $37 billion in assets, $28 million in deposits, 6,000 employees and approximately 430 branches serving New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Mr. Koelmel is a regular banking industry commentator for some of the country’s major media outlets, appearing often on CNBC and routinely featured in national and trade publications such as The Wall Street Journal, CNNMoney, Bank Director, American Banker and Dow Jones Newswires.
Mr. Koelmel has been recognized by numerous organizations for his business acumen and innovative leadership. In 2012, he was named a “Citizen of the Year” by The Buffalo News; “Man of the Year” by The Buffalo Renaissance Foundation; and was named by Leadership Niagara as “Leader of the Year.” In March 2011, he received the Buffalo Niagara Sales & Marketing Executives (BNSME) “2010 Executive of the Year” award; and in November 2010, he was recognized by the University at Buffalo School of Management as its “2010 Buffalo-Niagara Executive of the Year”. In 2009, Mr. Koelmel was named “Community Banker of the Year” by American Banker.
Mr. Koelmel began his professional career with KPMG LLP. During his 26-year career as a Certified Public Accountant, he served many banking and financial services clients, and was Managing Partner of KPMG’s Buffalo office and KPMG’s Upstate New York Business Unit, which included its Rochester, Syracuse and Albany offices.
Mr. Koelmel, 59, has served on several boards including: Kaleida Health, where he served as Chairman; Great Lakes Health; Buffalo Niagara Partnership; Buffalo Place; and the New York Bankers Association. He is also a member of the WNY Regional Economic Development Council.
Throughout his career, Mr. Koelmel has been actively involved with, and has had leadership roles in, numerous other community organizations in Buffalo and Western New York. A native of the Buffalo area, Mr. Koelmel earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and accounting from the College of the Holy Cross in 1974. He and his wife, Marsha, live in E. Amherst, New York with her three children, Tommy, Lauren and Caroline. Mr. Koelmel has two adult children, Jeffrey and Elizabeth.