Meet Senior Management - Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union Skip to main content

Meet the Senior Management Team

John Holt

Chief Executive Officer

John is the CEO of Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union. With several years in the financial services industry (mostly in credit unions), he brings a versatile combination of sales, service and operations management experience. He possesses a strong desire to help members achieve their financial goals and is committed to improving the communities Nutmeg serves. With a strong sense of business strategy, John consistently motivates change through teambuilding and the implementation of new products and services. John brings a unique philosophy to Nutmeg. He frequently strives to make the credit union more appealing by understanding the many financial needs of the membership. His vision is to become an industry leader through technology innovations, making it easier for anyone to transact regardless of delivery channel. Through this member-centric philosophy, John’s goal is ultimately to position Nutmeg as the best provider of financial services in all of Connecticut and beyond. In addition to his work at the credit union, John benefits the community by serving on many volunteer boards throughout the state. He earned a Master of Business Administration from Western New England College (Springfield, MA) and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh (Plattsburgh, NY).

Pat Ahern

President / Chief Operating Officer

Pat is responsible for the overall operation of the credit union. His experience includes credit unions, non-profits, donor advised funds, micro-finance and fin techs. Prior to joining Nutmeg, Pat served nearly 30 years as a credit union CEO leading his institution to local, state and national prominence. Prior to serving as CEO he served as a CFO and turnaround specialist for credit unions and was a trusted resource for the state and federal regulators. Pat's passion for people is exhibited in his care for members and employees. He has served on numerous boards and has been recognized in the credit union industry. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with a Minor in Economics.

Al Festini

Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships & Community Development

Al is a seasoned executive with a wealth of experience in community development and partnerships, operations, risk management, technology, and information security. With over 17 years of experience working with credit unions, Al has a deep understanding of the financial services industry and the importance of strong partnerships in driving success. He is passionate about leveraging technology and innovation to improve operational efficiencies, enhance security, and deliver exceptional member experiences. In addition to his extensive professional background, Al is fluent in Spanish and is dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace and beyond. He believes that by working together, we can create more equitable communities and help individuals and businesses thrive. With his experience, expertise, and passion, he is committed to delivering results and building long-lasting relationships based on trust and shared values.

Greg Angelillo

Senior Vice President, Chief Experience Officer

Greg's primary functions include leading the development and execution of all product and services, with a focus on using data and technology to model, and digitally target all marketing efforts, engaging our members and community's consumers, with a personalized experience, based on their unique current, and future financial needs. Greg's proven leadership track record, and strong digital and analytical background helps facilitate the alignment of Nutmeg's unique and highly innovative strategy to its existing operations, ultimately transforming the business, and increasing: community and consumer awareness; customized and targeted consumer engagement; membership value, product and solution relevance, and ultimately overall ROA. Greg's career includes a seasoned journey through small business, start-ups, and corporate America. Before joining Nutmeg, Greg spent much of the last decade at the Hartford Financial Services Group (Fortune 200 Company) working closely with best-in-class, extremely talented leaders, teammates & vendors. There he gained invaluable experience and a critical, broad knowledgebase of data usage and analysis, helping him transform and lead their digital marketing efforts, successfully driving measurable efficiency, which was ultimately used to drive meaningful, incremental, YOY growth. Greg has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, as well as various continuing education certifications aligned to his role, and an overall deep desire for winning through what he refers to as collaborative success.

Craig Knell

Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Craig leads Nutmeg State's finance, accounting, and enterprise risk management functions. He is charged with balancing fiscal responsibility, strategic growth and prudent risk-taking to deliver consistently reliable membership value. Prior to joining Nutmeg State, Craig served seven years in the United States Navy as a Non-Commissioned Officer before he began his civilian career with the FDIC. During his time in the military, he learned valuable leadership lessons, the power of teamwork, unwavering discipline and relentless work ethic. During his tenure with the FDIC, he specialized in asset liability management and credit risk, and led community bank examination teams to assess all risk types and trained junior staff to ensure the safety and soundness of the banking system. Craig holds a B.A. in Economics from Central Connectocut State University and is a Commissioned Financial Institution Risk Examiner.

Robin Del Vecchio

Senior Vice President, Technology and Operations

Robin comes to join Nutmeg with 37 years of experience in the financial services industry. She is an accomplished change agent and business optimization expert. Robin is skilled at driving successful initiatives within all aspects of banking / credit union operations including conversions, acquisitions, risk assessments and process improvements. She has a strong reputation for achieving exceptional results, consistently improving operations and inspiring teams to be creative and collaborative. Robin is considered a “professional volunteer” with deep roots within the community through volunteering, fund raising and being an active blood donator.

Heather Gates

Senior Vice President, Chief Lending Officer

Heather Gates is a seasoned lending professional with over 15 years of experience in credit unions. Throughout her career, she has established a reputation for pioneering growth and fostering a healthy team culture. Heather's exceptional leadership skills have enabled her sales teams to consistently rank among the top in the nation. Heather holds a degree in industrial/organizational psychology, which has equipped her with a deep understanding of human behavior and organizational dynamics. She leverages this knowledge to create a workplace that prioritizes employee satisfaction and fosters an environment of mutual respect and trust. Outside of work, Heather enjoys taking walks, reading, and exploring new culinary experiences with her husband and three children. Her passion for continuous learning and personal growth extends beyond her professional life and into her personal pursuits. Overall, Heather Gates is a dynamic and accomplished professional who brings a wealth of experience and expertise to any organization she serves. Her commitment to building strong teams and driving growth makes her a valuable asset to any team.