Naugatuck Valley Financial CEO to resign

John Roman

NAUGATUCK — John Roman has submitted written notice of his intent to resign as president and CEO of Naugatuck Valley Financial Corp., effective in 60 days.

The resignation notice was confirmed Thursday by both Roman and Carlos Batista, the chairman of the bank’s board of directors. The notice was dated June 5, Batista said.

Roman, 57, has been president and chief executive of Naugatuck Valley Financial Corp. since 2004. He has been the president and CEO of its subsidiary, Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan, since 1999.

Neither Roman nor Batista would discuss the reasons behind the resignation.

When asked whether the letter of resignation had been submitted freely by Roman or whether he had been asked to submit it, Batista simply said, “It came from John.”

Batista said the company is making every effort to assure a “smooth transition,” adding the bank has a “very strong management team in place.”

Batista said the board of directors has hired a consultant to help it in its search to find Roman’s successor, but would not confirm that the search had commenced.

Batista also said the bank’s shareholders and employees had been informed of the resignation.

“We wish John nothing but the very best in his future endeavors,” Batista said.

Roman, who lives in the Kensington section of Berlin, was hired by the bank in 1998 as a senior vice president and chief lending officer. He became its president and CEO a year later when Ronald Lengyel resigned those positions to become the chairman of the bank’s board of directors.

In 1999, the bank had total assets of about $150 million, three retail banking offices and about 45 employees. Today the bank has assets of $575 million, 10 retail offices and about 150 employees.

Roman guided the bank through a major transition in 2004, when it converted from a state-chartered mutual savings bank, owned by its depositors, to a federally chartered savings bank, owned by stockholders.

The transformation resulted in the creation of Naugatuck Valley Financial Corp. Roman has been the only president and chief executive in the eight-year history of that company.

Earlier this year, the bank was told by its new federal regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, that it needed to upgrade and improve its policies and practices in certain areas, including its risk assessment practices and in the administration of its loan portfolio.

Roman began his banking career while still an undergraduate at Central Connecticut State University, when he enrolled in a student intern program held in cooperation with Liberty Bank of Middletown. After his graduation, Roman became a branch manager at the Liberty Bank offices in Cromwell in 1979, and in Marlborough in 1981, before joining American National Bank as the manager of that bank’s Cromwell office.

From there, Roman moved to Dime Savings Bank of Wallingford, where he spent 10 years running the bank’s commercial department before taking a position as a commercial loan officer with Midconn Bank, the successor to Berlin Savings Bank, in the mid-1990s.

In 1998, he was named a senior vice president of commercial lending with Eagle Bank, which had acquired Midconn Bank a few years earlier.

In 2009, Roman received the Waterbury Regional Chamber’s annual Malcolm Baldrige Leadership Award and the Naugatuck Chamber’s Lewis A. Dibble Sr. Award, which honors outstanding contributions to the business and socio-economic well-being of Naugatuck.

Roman serves on the boards of both the Waterbury and Naugatuck chambers, and was on the executive committee of the Waterbury chamber’s board.

“John has been an incredible leader for both the Naugatuck and Waterbury chambers,” said Lynn Ward, president and CEO of both chambers. “His insights and contributions are going to be missed at both board tables.”