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Hamilton-Based First Bank's CEO Named Finalist for EY's National Entrepreneur Award

Hamilton Township (Mercer)

By: Aaliyah Amos 

First Bank announced today that its CEO and President Patrick L. Ryan had been named a finalist for EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 National Awards.

According to Ryan, earlier this month, he was honored in a class of recipients by EY as the 2022 Entrepreneur of the Year for New Jersey. The judges reviewed several criteria: entrepreneurial spirit, growth, purpose and impact.

“On behalf of our growing team, I am grateful for this prestigious award,” said First Bank President and CEO Patrick L. Ryan. “But First Bank has never been about one person. Together, we are building a great company that gives team members a sense of pride in their work as they add value to our communities every day. While we have pride in our accomplishments, we have more strides to reach our potential.”

Ryan said he was part of an investment group that recapitalized First Bank with $20 million in late 2008.

Before the acquisition, he gained valuable entrepreneurial insight in mergers and acquisitions at Goldman Sachs and as a management consultant at Bain.

Based on its most recent quarterly filing, First Bank has $2.6 billion in assets. According to the CEO, he made the difficult decision to leave more lucrative professions to follow his passion and never looked back.

His vision was clear: Build a community bank focused on providing best-in-class services and access to capital for business owners and entrepreneurs in the New York City to Philadelphia corridor.

To create long-term value for all stakeholders, Ryan leveraged a simple value proposition: “We’re relationship-focused community bankers,” he said. As a result, First Bank is agile, flexible, creative and responsive.

According to Ryan, after First Bank established its value proposition, it created a healthy, balanced, and aspirational work environment where people want to provide outstanding service. Then, the community bank made a symbiotic “win-win” relationship with key players and organizations in the community where team members could help their “neighbors,” and they could reciprocate.

To incentivize success and recognize significant achievement, First Bank has promoted more than 50 employees, or 25% of its team members, in the last two years.

Ryan explained, like a dependable neighbor, First Bank also has taken action during times of uncertainty. 

During the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ryan made the most of his purpose: Doing well by doing good.

According to him, the community bank helped save more than 750 small businesses with critical Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) relief, totaling almost $300 million to support Main Street businesses.

And First Bank has done well by doing good. Net income increased 82% to $35.4 million in 2021, compared to $19.4 million in 2020. Total deposits increased 11% in 2021, while lending added $151 million from non-PPP-related opportunities.

From year-end 2007, First Bank’s first year of operation, the Bank has delivered a 41% compounded annual growth rate in total assets.

EY will announce its Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 National Awards in November. To learn more about First Bank, visit or