Berkshire Bank Names Costello President of First Choice Loan Services Inc.

New Role Leading First Choice Executive Team Supports Compliance, Culture and Growth

Pittsfield, MA January 27, 2017 - Berkshire Bank, America's Most Exciting Bank®, has announced the appointment of Allan Costello as President of its wholly-owned subsidiary First Choice Loan Services Inc., a best in class mortgage banking business originating loans across a national platform.

As President, Mr. Costello will work with the current leadership team of First Choice Loan Services including Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Norman T. Koenigsberg and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Ralph Picarillo in developing strategic initiatives. With this new position, Costello will be instrumental in setting corporate policies and procedures for this subsidiary consistent with the strong compliance culture at Berkshire Bank. In addition, he will continue to serve as Executive Vice President for the Bank's Home Lending Division leading its sales and operations functions including loan origination, underwriting, compliance, processing and servicing.

Costello has been integral to developing the growth, improved operational efficiencies and strong mortgage oversight and governance of Berkshire Bank Home Lending. In his new role, he will execute on First Choice Loan Services' strategic vision and cultural integration as part of Berkshire Bank, and support its current leadership in driving Berkshire to new heights in performance and regulatory compliance.

Costello brings a strong understanding of governance and compliance requirements with over 30 years of experience in auditing, risk management, compliance, accounting, operations and banking. He joined Berkshire Bank in 2011 and held the position of Senior Vice President, Audit before transitioning to the Home Lending Division. Prior to Berkshire Bank, Costello's career was focused in the auditing and financial fields, including Director at Accume Partners, Divisional Vice President of Bank Protection at Charter One Bank and Chief Financial Officer at Rhinebeck Savings Bank.

"Since opening its doors in 2009, First Choice Loan Services has evolved into an extremely well respected and nationally recognized leader in the mortgage industry," said Mr. Costello. "I'm excited to join Norman, Ralph and the rest of their outstanding leadership team and continue to build on their tremendous success."

Mr. Costello holds a Bachelors of Business Administration-Accounting from Siena College and graduated from the American Bankers Association- Graduate School of Banking. Costello is a Certified Internal Auditor and Certified Fraud Examiner.

About Berkshire Bank

Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE: BHLB) is the parent of Berkshire Bank, America's Most Exciting Bank®. The Bank, recognized for its entrepreneurial approach and distinctive culture, has $9.1 billion in assets and 97 full-service branch offices in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey and Pennsylvania providing personal and business banking, insurance, and wealth management services. To learn more about Berkshire Bank, visit

About First Choice Loan Services Inc.

First Choice Loan Services Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Bank headquartered in East Brunswick, New Jersey. Founded in 2009, the company is licensed to originate and close residential mortgage loans nationwide, excluding Arkansas, Hawaii and New York. With 12 locations across 6 states and close to 500 employees, First Choice Loan Services offers FHA and VA programs, Jumbo loans, fixed and adjustable rate loans, and refinancing and renovation programs. First Choice Loan Services Inc. is an Equal Housing Lender, NMLS #210764. Licensed by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. AZ BK# 0918586. To learn more about First Choice Loan Services, visit

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Contact: Elizabeth Mach
Berkshire Bank
Phone: 413-445-8390

Chad Peterson
First Choice Bank
Phone: 972-467-2964