September 17, 2015 PITTSFIELD – Following an extensive national search, the Board of Greylock Federal has selected John Bissell as its next President and Chief Executive Officer. Bissell will replace retiring CEO Marilyn Sperling effective October 1, 2015. Sperling will remain actively engaged with Greylock to help complete the merger with Berkshire Federal Credit Union.
Board Chair Jerry Burke said that Bissell’s leadership experience within the Credit Union and in the community were deciding factors in the selection. “Marilyn has done an outstanding job of improving Greylock’s financial strength and building a strong team over the past 5 years, and John has been her strong partner throughout that process,” Burke said. “John is well-recognized as a passionate and effective leader in the community. He understands Greylock’s unique connection to Berkshire County, and how important it is for us to make business decisions with an eye to the greater good.”
Marilyn Sperling said she is pleased with the Board’s decision. “John and I have worked closely together for many years,” Sperling said. “We share the same values and the same vision of Greylock as a key partner in helping to improve the financial lives of the people in Berkshire County. I’m delighted to be leaving Greylock in John’s very capable hands. He will be leading from a very solid foundation with his knowledge and experience.” Sperling added, “I know the Greylock employees and our Membership will embrace the Board’s choice of John as our next CEO.”
Bissell said “I am honored and humbled to be chosen as Greylock’s CEO. Marilyn has been a great leader and I know I have some big shoes to fill. More than 70,000 people have entrusted us with $1 billion of their financial assets, which makes Greylock a significant part of Berkshire County’s economic engine.” Bissell praised the caliber and commitment of Greylock’s 245 employees. “I believe we have the strongest financial services team in the region, and it is my privilege to lead this team forward to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”
Bissell joined Greylock in 2003 as Vice President of Marketing and Human Resources. He was promoted to Senior Vice President in 2007 and was named Executive Vice President in 2010. A native of Berkshire County, Bissell earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Amherst College in 1989, graduated from the New England School for Financial Studies program at Babson College in 2011, and is currently earning his MBA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Bissell’s volunteer roles have included serving on the Colonial Theatre Board, chairing the Berkshire United Way Board of Directors, and founding Pittsfield Promise, an early literacy initiative. He serves on the 1Berkshire Foundation Board and chairs the Berkshire Initiative for Growth. In 2015 he was named by Berkshire Magazine as one of “25 Most Dedicated, Most Creative, Most Influential” people in the county. He received the Esther Quinn Award in Recognition of Exemplary Community Service from the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce in 2014, the Nancy Kaufman Service Award from Berkshire Children and Families in 2013, and the Robert K. Agar Volunteerism Award from Berkshire United Way in 2012.
Retiring CEO, Marilyn Sperling established a distinguished 40-year career as a financial services professional in Berkshire County. Long recognized as the foremost real estate lender in the region, she established Greylock Federal Credit Union as the top mortgage lender in Berkshire County. In 2003, Sperling was named Greylock’s first woman senior vice president and held responsibility for Greylock's entire branch network. She was named President and CEO in 2010.
Burke praised Sperling’s leadership over the past 5 years. “We were fortunate to have a highly capable leader in Marilyn as CEO,” Burke said. “She has skillfully steered Greylock through the Great Recession. When we asked Marilyn to take on the role of CEO, she was very up front about her plans to retire in 2015.”
Bissell noted, “It’s been my honor to serve beside Marilyn. She’s been a wonderful leader, mentor and friend to me and all of Greylock’s more than 200 employees.”
The Board of Greylock Federal has selected John Bissell as its next President and Chief Executive Officer.