For 17 years, this local bank has battled the big names, thanks to individualized service and a canny market approach
by Jessica Jones Gorman • Photos by Amessé Photography
Founded in 2000 by a group of local business professionals and seasoned bankers looking to apply their expertise at an independent bank dedicated to the economic and social well being of the community, Two River Community Bank has been an important part of the New Jersey landscape for nearly two decades. Today, thanks to years of steady growth, the locally focused institution continues to thrive.
“Community banks are the backbone of Main Street, USA,” noted Bill Moss, Two River’s president and CEO and one of its founders. “The majority of small business loans across the country are made by your local community bank, and here at Two River, the board of directors and employees bring extensive experience from a variety of industries within our local market. This specialized know how, combined with local and swift decision making, means our customers benefit from the right support at the right time.”
Focusing on customer care and the latest in online and mobile banking tools, Two River made a small acquisition in 2006 to establish a presence in Union County while also becoming a public company.
“That provided a major benefit to our shareholders, while creating an avenue for the bank to access additional capital for continued growth,” Moss said. “We are proud to have achieved this, and to have served our communities through two historic challenges: the Great Recession of the late 2000s and early 2010s as well as Super storm Sandy. The dollars reinvested in communities and the hours our employees volunteered through all of these events reflect the important role locally focused banks serve.”
That dedication is evident in the staff. Besides Moss, two more founding members are still here: Senior Vice President Antha Stephens, the bank’s operations officer, and Vice President Bernice Kotza, its loan operations manager.
“This core group has steered us through numerous successes and has continually instilled the bank’s core values over the years,” Moss said.
Moss, who has served in several capacities since the bank was founded, previously held positions with a number of other financial institutions, including Midlantic National and Central Jersey Bank and Trust. A 1987 graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Pennsylvania, he is on the New Jersey State Banking Advisory Council and is also first vice chairman of the New Jersey Bankers Association, on the board of the Atlantic Community Bankers Bank, and is vice chairman of the Christian Brothers Academy board of trustees.
“In truth, I chose this career because my father cautioned me about commuting to New York City,” Moss said. “He had done that for 25 years and suggested that the balance of family and work was very important. My early education was completed in Monmouth County, including attending Christian Brothers Academy, where I remain involved today. I attempted, unsuccessfully, to find a job in banking after graduating from college during the 1979 recession, so I came home to Rumson. Through a friend, I connected with Midlantic and was hired as a trainee in their credit department. This opened the door to my career, which I have enjoyed immensely over the past 37 years. It is truly exciting to see the businesses I’ve helped grow and succeed.”
Moss’s first title at Two River was senior loan officer. He was named president in 2006 and CEO the following year. In 2010, he became president and CEO of Two River Bancorp, the parent holding company.
“The team we’ve assembled sets us apart,” he explained. “Our industry and market experience, coupled with local decision making, give our clients an edge in timing and flexibility,” adding that they can also take advantage of the latest in online and mobile banking, including mobile deposit capture, person to person payments, bill payments, and compatibility with Apple Pay. The bank is also part of the MoneyPass network, which gives customers fee free access to thousands of MoneyPass ATMs nationwide.
“While these services are important in allowing our customers to bank when and where they want, we prefer not to refer to them as ‘innovative,’ ” Moss said. “We feel the innovative aspect at work here is the personalized customer care we deliver. Our customers have direct access up through the executive leadership.
“But, even as we strive to help our neighboring businesses and residents meet their financial goals, we also remain committed to giving back by supporting the local nonprofit organizations that are the backbone of our communities.”
Last year, Two River Community Bank was involved in nearly 200 charitable initiatives through monetary or in kind contributions. Highlights included volunteering during dinner service at Red Bank–based Lunch Break, participating in a Corporate Beach Sweep with Clean Ocean Action, hosting a bank wide children’s book drive in partnership with the United Way, and supporting the expansion of the Count Basie Theatre.
“Earlier this year, we were proud to receive the NJBankers Community Service Award for bank members in the $500 million to $999 million in deposits category,” Moss said. “This year marks our second Community Service Award over the past three years, which goes to NJBankers members that have demonstrated significant contributions to local communities over the previous year.”
Moss anticipates continued growth for Two River in both asset size and geographic footprint all while staying true to its model of hands on service.
“As a fifth generation Monmouth County resident, it has been incredibly rewarding to make a significant impact in our growing footprint by fostering the steady growth of a successful financial institution,” he said. “This impact includes providing jobs for a tremendous group of banking professionals, providing financial support for local businesses that produce goods and services while creating jobs, helping individuals reach their financial goals, creating housing and infrastructure, and rewarding shareholders for their support.
“But perhaps more importantly, I am grateful to be in a position to give back to our communities and to be surrounded by a group of like minded professionals passionate about helping our neighbors in need and supporting the arts and culture. Ultimately, we are proud to contribute to why New Jersey is a wonderful place to live and work.”
Two River Community Bank
Tinton falls, with locations in Monmouth, Middlesex, Ocean, and Union Counties
732.389.8722 / tworiverbank.com