Firestone Financial’s Michael Smith Succeeds David Cohen In Company’s Top Leadership Post

Posted On: 5/30/2019

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NEEDHAM, MA --Firestone Financial, a subsidiary of Berkshire Bank, announced today that executive vice-president and chief operations officer Michael Smith has assumed the company’s top leadership position. Longtime chief executive David Cohen transitioned out of the company in mid-May.

Smith joined Firestone Financial in 2008. He was hired to lead key operational areas as vice-president of credit, operations and risk management. In 2015, Smith, an attorney, was appointed senior vice-president and portfolio risk officer and led the credit, risk, loan operations, and portfolio management teams. In 2018, he was named executive vice-president, and chief operations officer, adding oversight of sales and marketing, technology and finance functions. He has more than 30 years of finance and lending experience, previously working as director of operations and legal counsel for AGFA Financial Services Inc.

“I come into my expanded role excited to continue the foundation David set and bring a renewed energy and excitement for the future,” remarked Smith. “David’s commitment to the growth and prosperity of all the industries we serve is ingrained in everything we do. And that commitment will remain the same.”

The management change is part of a well-coordinated succession plan that was in process since Berkshire Bank acquired Firestone Financial in 2015. Smith has led all key functional areas of the business during his tenure and brings a deep knowledge of the business and its customers. Officials said customers and partners will experience no significant changes in the management of their account or points of contact during or after the transition.

“Firestone is at a point where we not only want to continue in the industries that the business was built on, but also deepen relationships with channel partners, vendors, manufacturers and distributors as well as expand into additional industries,” said Firestone senior vice-president of sales and marketing Tom Varriale.  “Coming off a record year in 2018 and under Mike’s leadership we’re poised better than ever to meet our aggressive goals, increase efficiencies and deliver even more value to our customers and partners.”

Founded in 1965, Firestone Financial is a nationwide finance company serving the amusement, carnival, fitness, vending and laundry industries.