President, Chief Executive Officer
Donald J. McGowan has served as President and CEO of BankFIRST since 2003, and has had a highly distinguished 35 year banking career. From 1987 to 1999, he served as Founder, President and CEO of Flagship Bank and Trust Company, a Worcester, Massachusetts commercial bank with more than $300 million in assets prior to its sale to the Chittenden Corporation in Burlington, Vermont. Flagship Bank was recognized as one of the most successful de novo banks in the country specializing in serving small and medium sized businesses. In addition, Flagship Bank was Massachusetts' leading Small Business Administration (SBA) lender. Under McGowan's leadership, Flagship won the highest national banking award for product development for its SBA program, which led to McGowan being named the "National Small Business Financial Services Advocate of the Year" by the United States Small Business Administration. McGowan also won a second "Golden Coin Award" from the Bank Marketing Association for his socially responsible banking program. He was named "Business Person of the Year" by the Worcester Business Journal, "Citizen of the Year" by the Worcester Telegram and Gazette and received the prestigious "Torch Award for Commitment to the Community" by the Better Business Bureau.
Previously, McGowan held other executive banking positions in Massachusetts and Florida. He served as President of the $500 million, 11 branch Central Massachusetts region of Bank of Boston, was the President and CEO of FinancialFed Mortgage Corp. and concurrently the Chief Loan Officer for its parent company, Financial Federal Savings and Loan Association in Miami Lakes, Florida. He was the Senior Vice President for Strategic Planning and Corporate Development for The Conifer Group, a $4 billion community bank holding company in Worcester, Massachusetts. McGowan started his career in the management training program of Marine Midland Bank, New York, N.Y where he became a Regional Commercial Loan Officer responsible for all commercial lending in the eastern part of Long Island.
Following the sale of Flagship Bank, McGowan moved to Vero Beach, Florida for a brief retirement before joining U.S. Trust Company in Vero Beach. In October 2003, McGowan was named President and CEO of BankFIRST in Winter Park, Florida.
McGowan has remained actively engaged in a number of professional and community organizations throughout his career. He served as Chairman of the Massachusetts Bankers Association, Massachusetts Biotechnology Research Institute, Alliance for Education, Massachusetts Housing Partnership, and Community Healthlink. He was also a Director of the Memorial Hospital and the health maintenance organization, Health Source of Massachusetts. In Florida, McGowan serves on the Government Relations Committee of the Florida Bankers Association, Leadership Winter Park, the Board of Directors of the National Entrepreneurial Center, and is the Vice Chairman of the UCF Small Business Development Center.
He is a graduate of Dowling College with a BBA, the Stonier Graduate School of Banking and attended the Boston University MBA program.
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