Congressional Bank

Management Team

Our Senior Management Team is comprised of knowledgeable banking professionals who strive to provide the best experience and solutions possible. Our executives are dedicated to our clients and they work closely with them to deliver customized solutions to meet their needs. We strive to create personal relationships with our clients, and work hard to earn their trust. We invite you to meet our team:

The Team

Don Cole

Chief Executive Officer

Don Cole is the Chief Executive Officer of Congressional Bank. From 2012 to 2018, Don served as Chief Financial Officer of Alliance Partners. From 2009 to 2011, Don served as Chief Financial Officer of CapitalSource. From 2003 to 2009, Don served in various senior management positions at CapitalSource including Chief Operations Officer, Chief Accounting Officer, and Chief Information Officer. Don received his BS and MBA from the State University of New York at Buffalo and his law degree from the University of Virginia.

Lori Bettinger

Co-President of Alliance Partners

Prior to joining Alliance Partners (a Subsidiary of Congressional Bank), Lori served as the Director of the TARP Capital Purchase Program at the Department of the Treasury, focusing on the implementation, investing, and restructuring cycles of the $205 billion portfolio. From 2004-2008, she was a financial economist with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Trading and Markets. Lori received her M.A. from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and her B.A. from Yale University.

Kenneth Elias

President of Speciality Lending Division

Kenny Elias joined Congressional Bank in 2011 and now serves as the President of the Specialty Lending Division where he oversees lender finance and specialty real estate groups. Kenny previously founded various national specialty lending business units at the bank, including the cash flow and leveraged finance division, lender finance, and specialty real estate businesses. He also previously served as Chief Lending officer of the Bank and oversaw the banks community lending efforts from 2017-2019. Prior to Congressional Bank, Kenny served various roles in leveraged finance, private equity, and accounting. Most recently he was with Blackstreet Capital where he sourced, underwrote, and managed control equity buyouts of underperforming companies. Prior thereto, Kenny was a Director of Portfolio Management for Leveraged Finance at Capitalsource Bank where he managed several billion dollars of performing and non-performing loans throughout his tenure. His previous experience includes roles with Allied Capital Corporation (now part of Ares Capital) and regional CPA firm Watkins Meegan LLC. Kenny is a CPA and received his MBA from the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. He also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Delaware.

Amy Heller

President, Healthcare Lending

Amy Heller joined Congressional Bank as the SVP – Healthcare Lending in 2013. Prior to Congressional Bank, Amy was most recently Managing Director of the Healthcare Credit Group at CapitalSource Bank where her responsibilities included originating, structuring, underwriting and negotiating asset-based, leveraged and real estate loan transactions within the healthcare industry. Her previous experience includes a variety of roles within CapitalSource, Heller Financial and its predecessor, Healthcare Financial Partners where she managed various portfolios of loans, including complex restructuring transactions. Amy graduated from The George Washington University, cum laude, with a degree in Business, concentrating in Finance.

Vince Twomey

Co-President of Alliance Partners

Prior to joining Alliance Partners (a Subsidiary of Congressional Bank), Vince served as a Managing Director for CapitalSource from 2006 to 2010. From 2000 to 2006, Vince held various positions at CapitalSource including Chief Underwriting Officer and Senior Investment Officer. From 1996 to 2000, Vince was with Fleet Capital Corporation, and its predecessor company Barclays Business Credit, where he was a Senior Vice President responsible for Underwriting and Field Examination for the Northeast Region. From 1990 to 1996, Vince held a number of underwriting can credit positions at Fleet Capital. Vince received his undergraduate degree in accounting from St. Joseph’s University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Craig Underhill

President of Community Banking Division

In January of 2020, Craig Underhill accepted the position of President of the Community Banking Division, a newly created position. Prior to joining Congressional Bank, Underhill served as President and Chief Executive Officer for Freedom Bank of Virginia where he tripled the bank’s asset size during his 8-year tenure. Additionally, Craig has held leadership positions with Potomac Bank, Allfirst Bank, Central Fidelity, and Dominion Bank over a 30 plus year career in banking.

Patience Gaskill

Executive Vice President, Deposits

Patience Gaskill joined Congressional Bank in 2012. She manages the Deposit Sales team including the Business Development Officers and the staff at the bank’s branches. Prior to Congressional Bank, Patience was Senior Vice President, Retail Administration for Suntrust Bank where she managed sales and operations for 14 branches in Washington, DC. She was with Suntrust Bank for 12 years prior to joining Congressional. Patience graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland Smith School of Business.

Eartha Morris

Executive Vice President, Chief Operations Officer

Eartha Morris rejoined Congressional Bank in 2019 with 30 plus years of demonstrated success in leading and managing financial institutions specializing in the areas of Bank Operations, Information Technology, Risk and Project Management,  Process Reengineering, and Change Leadership. Prior to rejoining Congressional Bank, she served in similar roles with EagleBank, South State Bank,  Congressional Bank,  Provident Bank of Maryland and  Riggs Bank. Eartha holds a BS degree in Business Administration and an MBA  from the University of Maryland University College.

James Peterson

Executive Vice President, Chief Credit Officer

Jim Peterson joined Congressional Bank as Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer in 2013 and was named Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer in 2014. Prior to Congressional Bank, Jim was with CapitalSource for 11 years, most recently as the Senior Vice President and Director of Credit & Credit Policy where his responsibilities included: credit policies and procedures, credit approvals, regulatory relations, and managing a loan administration department. His previous experience includes business development, underwriting, and relationship management during 17 years with Bank of America in various commercial lending roles. Jim graduated from the College of William & Mary with a degree in Economics.

John Protzman

Executive Vice President, Chief Technology Officer

John Protzman joined Congressional Bank as the Chief Technology Officer in 2018. Before Congressional Bank, John was the Head of IT for AlliancePartners starting in 2012 and he served as Manager and Director of Network Operations at CapitalSource starting in 2002. Prior to that John was President and CEO of Streams Consulting, a Microsoft Certified Solutions Provider,  which provided IT and consulting services to regional government and commercial firms from 1997 to 2001.  John received his BSEE from Vanderbilt University in 1979 and his MSEE from Johns Hopkins in 1985.  John holds numerous certifications, including being a CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker), and an EnCE (EnCase Certified Examiner) for computer systems and network forensics examination.  John began his career in 1979 working as an electrical engineer developing computer system interfaces and other related electronics for military aircraft and ship simulators including systems for electronic warfare, radar, and sonar systems.

James Robertson

Senior Vice President, Human Resources

James Robertson joined Congressional Bank as Senior Vice President of Human Resources in 2016. Prior to Congressional Bank, James was the Vice President of Human Resources for World Duty Free Group, headquartered in London, England and with Seneca One Finance in Bethesda. His previous experience includes roles as Vice President of Human Resources as well as Operations, Organizational Development and Talent Management. James graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and received his MBA from The George Washington University in Washington DC.

Pat Rusnak

Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Pat Rusnak serves as Chief Financial Officer of Forbright Bank. Pat brings more than 20 years of financial management experience. Most recently, he served as the Chief Financial Officer of PacWest Bancorp from 2015-2020. There, he was responsible for all financial functions at the $30B bank holding company with nationwide specialized commercial lending operations and a California community banking depository franchise.

Any of our leaders can be reached at

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