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Officers & Directors

Bankwell Financial Group, Inc.

Officers & Directors

Executive Management

Christopher Gruseke
Christopher Gruseke
President & Chief Executive Officer
Christopher Gruseke Christopher Gruseke is the President & Chief Executive Officer of Bankwell Financial Group and its subsidiary bank, Bankwell.

He is a former director of the Company and brings more than 25 years of capital markets, operations, sales and finance experience to his role at the firm. Most recently, he was a member of the Executive Committee at CRT Capital, a Stamford, Connecticut based broker/dealer. He also served as Co-Chief Operating Officer and a Member of the Board of Directors of Greenwich Capital Markets.

Mr. Gruseke earned a B.A. from Williams College and an M.S. from the Stern School of Business at New York University.
Christine A. Chivily
Christine A. Chivily
Executive Vice President & Chief Risk and Credit Officer
Christine A. Chivily Christine Chivily is Executive Vice President and Chief Risk and Credit Officer of Bankwell Financial Group and its subsidiary, Bankwell.

She has more than 35 years of experience in banking and real estate finance. She previously served as Risk Manager for the CRE and CEI loan portfolio at Peoples United Bank.  Her prior experience also includes 5 years as Director of Freddie Mac's New England region for Multifamily Properties and 11 years as Senior Credit Officer at RBS Greenwich Capital.  She also has over 10 years combined experience in lending, loan administration, and workouts at other various banking institutions.

Ms. Chivily received her BA from Mt. Holyoke College.
Heidi S. DeWyngaert
Heidi S. DeWyngaert
Executive Vice President & Chief Lending Officer
Heidi S. DeWyngaert Heidi DeWyngaert is Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer of Bankwell Financial Group and its subsidiary bank, Bankwell.

She is a career banker, with over 35 years of commercial real estate and commercial banking experience. She previously worked for Webster Bank, where she managed the Fairfield County commercial real estate group.

Ms. DeWyngaert received her undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester and her MBA from American University. She is active in the community, and is on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority
Penko Krassimir Ivanov
Penko Krassimir Ivanov
Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Penko Krassimir Ivanov Penko Ivanov is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Bankwell Financial Group and its subsidiary, Bankwell.

Mr. Ivanov has more than 25 years of experience in accounting and finance. His more recent roles included CFO for the US Operations of Doral Bank and CFO of Darien Rowayton Bank. He has a proven track record in building, improving and overseeing all areas of Finance, including Controllership, SOX, Treasury, FP&A, as well as internal and external reporting functions.

He holds MBA and Bachelor Degrees in Accounting and Finance from the University of South Florida and is a Certified Public Accountant. He is also Six Sigma Black Belt certified.
Laura J. Waitz
Laura J. Waitz
Executive Vice President & Chief of Staff
Laura J. Waitz Ms. Waitz has over 30 years of experience for various businesses and previously was Senior Managing Director, Global Head of Human Resources at The Blackstone Group. She also served as Managing Director and Global Head of Compensation at Citi Alternative Investments and as Head of Compensation (Americas) for Deutsche Bank. Prior to that she served as Global Compensation Manager for private equity and investment banks. Ms. Waitz received her BS from Penn State University.

Board of Directors

George P. Bauer
George P. Bauer
George P. Bauer Chairman
GPB Group, Ltd.
Wilton, CT
Gail E. D. Brathwaite
Gail E. D. Brathwaite
Gail E. D. Brathwaite President & CEO
G.E.D.B. Consulting
Stamford, CT
Richard E. Castiglioni
Richard E. Castiglioni
Richard E. Castiglioni Partner
Diserio, Martin
O’Connor & Castiglioni LLP
Stamford, CT
Eric J. Dale
Eric J. Dale
Eric J. Dale Partner
Balance Point Capital
Westport, CT
Blake S. Drexler
Blake S. Drexler
Executive Chairman
Blake S. Drexler Partner
Five Mile Ventures
Rowayton, CT
James M. Garnett
James M. Garnett
James M. Garnett Retired
Darien, CT
Christopher Gruseke
Christopher Gruseke
Christopher Gruseke Christopher Gruseke is the President & Chief Executive Officer of Bankwell Financial Group and its subsidiary bank, Bankwell.

He is a former director of the Company and brings more than 25 years of capital markets, operations, sales and finance experience to his role at the firm. Most recently, he was a member of the Executive Committee at CRT Capital, a Stamford, Connecticut based broker/dealer. He also served as Co-Chief Operating Officer and a Member of the Board of Directors of Greenwich Capital Markets.

Mr. Gruseke earned a B.A. from Williams College and an M.S. from the Stern School of Business at New York University.
Daniel S. Jones
Daniel S. Jones
Daniel S. Jones President
NewsBank, Inc.
New Canaan, CT
Todd Lampert
Todd Lampert
Todd Lampert Managing Member
Lampert, Toohey &
Rucci, LLC
New Canaan, CT
Victor S. Liss
Victor S. Liss
Victor S. Liss Retired
Stratford, CT
Carl M. Porto Sr.
Carl M. Porto Sr.
Carl M. Porto Sr. Principal
Parrett, Porto, Parese & Colwell, P.C.
Hamden, CT