Berkshire Bank Expands Private Banking and Wealth Management Services in Albany, New York

ALBANY, NY – July 15, 2015 – Berkshire Bank, America’s Most Exciting Bank®, has expanded its private banking and wealth management services in the Capital Region of New York through the addition of three experienced managers.

Cindy Barford, SVP, Private Banking, comes to Berkshire from KeyBank where she held multiple positions, most recently SVP, Senior Relationship Manager for Key Private Bank. Leveraging more than 30 years and multiple roles in the financial services industry, Barford works with affluent customers throughout the region, to provide comprehensive, customized personal and business banking solutions. She holds the NYS Life Accident & Health Insurance License, Variable Annuities License and Certified Wealth Strategist Designation.

Mary Ellen Cologero, SVP, Senior Portfolio Manager, comes to Berkshire with over 25 years of investment management experience, most recently as SVP, Senior Portfolio Manager and Market Leader with Key Bank. She will be focused on providing financial and investment guidance to high net worth families in the Albany, Hudson Valley and Metro New York area. Cologero earned her bachelor's degree in economics and business from the State University of New York at Albany, and holds a certificate from the School of Advanced Financial Management. She is currently enrolled in the Certified Investment Manager Association (CIMA) program, provided through the Wharton School of Business. She is a board member of Hospice Ulster/Dutchess County and Hope Fund.

Kevin Smith, VP, Wealth Advisor, joins Barford, Cologero and the Commercial and Small Business teams in the region to deliver trust and wealth management solutions. He has over a decade of experience, most recently with Trustco Bank where he served as a Trust Officer. Smith received a B.A. from SUNY New Paltz and has completed the Cannon Trust School - Levels I, II and III. He holds the CFP®, CDFA and CTFA designations and has a NYS Life Accident & Health Insurance License. Smith is also a board member of the Estate Planning Council of Eastern NY and the Schenectady Community Home.

Michael Daly, President and CEO commented, “This is another step forward in our fast growing New York presence where we added branches and recruited small business and commercial bankers in the last year. Our ability to attract and retain high caliber people, like Cindy, Mary Ellen and Kevin, is a competitive advantage, and we look forward to continuing to strengthen all of our banking, wealth, and insurance offerings in Albany and our other expanding regional markets.”

Bob Curley, New York Chairman, added, “We have been making significant strides towards integration and expansion of our services for high-net worth individuals and their families across our footprint. Cindy, Mary Ellen and Kevin are well-known in this market for their relationships, experience, and client-first approach. We continue to see opportunities in New York and are excited to be making a further commitment to this market with an experienced team that will service both existing clientele and referral business.”

Contact Berkshire’s Albany Private Banking and Wealth Management Teams
Barford, Cologero and Smith are located in Berkshire’s Albany Regional Headquarters at 41 State Street, Albany, NY 12207. Cindy Barford, SVP, Private Banking can be reached at 518-729-1448 or Mary Ellen Cologero, SVP, Senior Wealth Portfolio Manager, can be reached at 518-729-1425 or Kevin Smith, VP, Wealth Advisor, can be reached at 518-729-1449,

About Berkshire Bank
Berkshire Hills Bancorp (NYSE: BHLB) is the parent of Berkshire Bank, America’s Most Exciting Bank®. The Company, recognized for its entrepreneurial approach and distinctive culture, has $7.3 billion in assets and 96 full service branch offices in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Vermont providing personal and business banking, insurance, and wealth management services. In 2014, Berkshire Bank was named one of Massachusetts Most Charitable Companies by the Boston Business Journal. To learn more, visit or call 800-773-5601.

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