A management reorganization at Evans Bancorp has left one of its top executives - one of two women at that level - without a job.
The Hamburg-based company said in a filing this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it had laid off Cynthia M. Rich, former executive vice president of operational excellence, "effective immediately" on Aug. 29. Rich's responsibilities were reassigned to other executives, and she will receive a cash lump-sum severance payment under her employment contract, the bank said.
CEO David Nasca said the decision reflected a change in organizational structure, and not anything specific to Rich.
"It's pretty simple. We reorganized some responsibilities among the senior leadership team, and when it all fell out, there was less of a role for her to play in that, and we eliminated that position," he said. "She happened to be sitting in the seat."
He acknowledged the suddenness and speed of the layoff but said that is better for the bank. "It was quick. I don't believe it's ever great to have executives who have been senior leaders sort of dwindle around," he said.
But he stressed that it was not a reflection of any problem with Rich or the bank. "It wasn't disciplinary. It wasn't any problem with the company. It was just a change in the structure. It's growth and change," he said. "She did a great job for us, helping us grow the organization and putting structure in the organization in the early years, but there's some different needs that we have."
Nasca said the bank's total assets have grown by 83 percent in the 5½ years. At this point, he said, that growth necessitates more strength in credit and risk, which the bank plans to add, but "that wasn't really Cindy's background."
Rich, who joined the bank in 2007 after 20 years at M&T Bank , had overseen credit, collections and bank operations, as well as marketing and facilities. She was responsible for leading efforts to improve operations and efficiency. At M&T, she had been a vice president and manager of a bankwide infrastructure initiative. Earlier, she had managed retail deposit products, delivery and operations.