Investing in Future Finance Professionals

In February 2003, American Savings Foundation announced a gift to Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) establishing the American Savings Foundation Chair in Banking and Finance.

CCSU Chair Group.jpg

The gift represented a permanent legacy of the bank that created the American Savings Foundation, and an investment in Banking and Finance as a career for future generations. It was announced on the same day that American Savings Bank merged with Banknorth (now TD Bank).

Establishing the Endowed Chair at CCSU had tremendous meaning for everyone involved with American Savings Bank and the Foundation it established, especially for Robert T. Kenney, chairman of the Bank, and chairman of the Foundation’s board of directors.

A primary goal of establishing the Chair was to provide focused educational opportunities for students who have the interest and potential to pursue careers in the banking and finance industries. The focus was to connect academic programs at CCSU to current practitioners in banking, who provide practical training and bring real-world experience to the classroom. The result is solid, practial career preparation for students with an industry that offers tremenous growth opportunities for Connecticut students.


The gift also endowed an annual Distinguished Lecture in Banking and Finance at CCSU. Guest speakers have included Economist Laurence J. Kotlikoff from Boston University; Economist James K. Galbraith from the University of Texas at Austin; Thomas R. Keene, Editor-at-Large for Bloomberg News; and Eric Rosengren, Chairman of the Boston Federal Reserve. Recent lectures have featured rich panel discussions on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; and the Future of Fintech – Financial Technologies in the Banking World.

Current Chairholder Martin Geitz has over 40 years' experience in the banking industry.  He is the past President and CEO of Simsbury Bank, which was based in Simsbury. He subsequently served as Executive Regional Director of Liberty Bank after Simsbury Bank was acquired by Liberty Bank in 2019. Mr. Geitz also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston.  Mr. Geitz is also involved in the community, having served on numerous boards of directors, including the Simsbury Free Library, the Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce, Hartford Stage, and Charter Oak State College Foundation. 

As Chairholder, Mr. Geitz assumed responsibility for teaching an existing academic course, Bank Management (FIN 420). Mr. Geitz reoriented the course to focus on the major drivers of bank performance and risk management. He supplemented the textbook with  industry guest speakers who provided real world perspectives on each topic. Mr. Geitz connected with CCSU’s Career Development Office to ensure that guest speakers represented banks and companies recruiting CCSU students for internships and full-time employment. Companies not previously connected with CCSU were also pleased with the opportunity to connect with students.


George Hermann, CCSU alumnus and Windsor Federal Board Chair, moderator, with Thomas Curry, former Comptroller of the Currency, and James Ballentine, principal of Ballentine Strategies

Together with Lisa Frank, Dean of the School of Business, and her team, Mr. Geitz has worked to present two editions of the American Savings Foundation Distinguished Lecture Series. In 2023, the program entitled "Accelerating Trends in Bank-Fintech Partnerships" was presented to an audience of approximately two hundred  student, faculty, staff, government, and banking industry attendees. In 2024, the program titled “Fallout from the Silicon Valley Bank Failure" offered legislative, regulatory and industry perspectives on how the March 2023 collapse of Silicon Valley and three other banks occurred, and outlined steps necessary to avoid a recurrence.  

CCSU Chairs in Banking and Finance

  • 2006 Brian Charlebois – Former Senior VP of Commercial Lending at United Bank.
  • 2013 Peter J. Sposito - Former President and CEO at Bankers' Bank Northeast
  • 2015 Howard Pitkin – former Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Banking.
  • 2017 Richard A. Leone – President of COCC
  • 2022 Martin Geitz - Former Chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston; former President & CEO at Simsbury Bank