The Faculty

Cynthia S. Rowan, EdD

President, Performance Management Solutions
Financial Leaders Institute Academic Program Director

Cynthia Rowan is a seasoned professional with an extensive background in banking; having successfully served in a variety of positions within the retail, lending, and credit areas as well as an officer in the areas of human resources, training, and employee development.  Since 1992, Rowan has served as president of her own consulting firm, Performance Management Solutions. During her consulting career, she has helped a variety of financial service institutions improve their profitability by designing and implementing training initiatives in the areas of leadership, management, talent development, performance management, and coaching culture development.

Cindy designed and developed the Emerging Leaders Program offered through NJBankers and served as its Academic Program Director from 2016-2020. In addition to her consulting and training practice, Dr. Rowan serves as an adjunct professor; instructing graduate-level courses in Human Resource Training & Development, Organizational Behavior, and Organizational Development.  An active member of the American Society for Training & Development (now ATD), Cindy has made numerous presentations at local, national, and international conferences on such topics as leadership development, mentoring talent development, and training. 

Cindy is a two time international, best-selling author and she has received numerous honors for her work. She is a certified instructor for some of the nation’s leading firms dedicated to training, assessment, and professional development.  She holds a professional certification in Career Planning & Development from the University of Michigan’s Graduate School of Business Administration and a doctoral degree from Seton Hall University’s College of Education and Human Services in Leadership, Administration, and Policy. 

Cindy serves as the Academic Program Director of Financial Leaders Institute (FLI) and shares her extensive expertise in the areas of personal leadership, organizational and talent development, and workplace culture.


Albert Giobbie, BS

Vice President, Senior Retail Experience Manager
Kennebunk Savings Bank

Albert Giobbie has 30+ years experience in the banking industry.  He currently serves as Vice President, Senior Retail Experience Manager at Kennebunk Savings Bank, a mutual community bank with $1.6 billion in assets headquartered in Kennebunk, Maine.   In this role, Al oversees the retail branch network in all aspects of engagement:  sales and relationship building, leadership development, coaching, staff development, lending, operations and compliance.  Al works closely with his teams to ensure all customer experiences are consistently excellent.

Al joined Kennebunk Savings in 2019 as a Regional Retail Banking Manager, overseeing half of KSB’s branch network.  Before joining KSB, he worked at Provident Bank in NJ for 20 years as Regional Manager for Monmouth and Ocean counties.  Al has also held positions in retail banking and commercial lending with Monarch Bank, Chemical Bank, Crossland Savings Bank and Staten 

Island Savings Bank.  Al earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Pace University in New York in 1991, and is a proud graduate of America’s Community Bankers – National School of Banking, class of 2004.

Al has held top leadership positions with many community organizations. He has been recognized for his engaging, approachable management style, and his high level of commitment to his team, organization, and community.

In 2016, Al joined the faculty of NJBankers’ Emerging Leaders program along with Cindy, Connie and Susan and discovered a new passion – teaching!  Al’s expertise in team development along with his knowledge of bank strategy and synergy makes him a valuable asset to the Financial Leadership Institute


Susan Mach, Ph.D.

Owner, Mach Creative Services

Susan Mach is a communication trainer, coach and strategist who works with a broad array of clients, ranging from executive leadership teams to customer service teams.  She is owner of Mach Creative Services, a full-service communication firm.  The firm helps clients communicate clearly, crisply and convincingly to the media, shareholders, analysts, customers, employees, consumer advocates, nonprofits and public officials.  Mach Creative coaches executives in client-friendly report writing, leadership communication, negotiation, fostering a sales culture and change management.  

The firm has served such clients as AT&T, Bank of China, Euromoney Learning Solutions, Brink’s, Banco Popular, Ford, General Electric, Lucent Technologies, New York Life, Prudential, Siemens, Sprint, Toyota, IBM, UPS, and Time Warner.  It has also consulted with leaders in the nonprofit sector including The International Rescue Committee, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Communication for Social Change Consortium, Lincoln Center Institute, The Asian American Federation of N.Y., The Asian Pacific American Women’s Leadership Institute, CUNY City College, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., Leadership Newark, Inc., the Center for American Women and Politics, Prevent Child Abuse N.J. and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.  

Susan has extensive Fortune 10 experience.  For 10 years, she was a public relations manager at AT&T global headquarters, where she developed expertise in media relations, employee communication, annual reports, publications, executive speechwriting and public policy.  AT&T won the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award when she was consumer affairs director.  

She was AT&T’s public relations manager on the innovative project known as Africa One, a global communication consortium that built a leading-edge fiber optic network to serve the Continent. She advised AT&T executives regarding mergers and acquisitions in the Asia-Pacific Region, Europe, Canada and Latin America.  

Susan has been a part-time professor at top metro-New York business schools: NYU Stern, Rutgers Business School and the CUNY Baruch/Mt. Sinai Healthcare M.B.A. program.  She teaches M.B.A. students from all over the world how to develop the ultimate career advantage: being a strong communicator at work.  She served as a member of  faculty of the NJ Bankers Emerging Leaders Program.  

She has worked with employee resource groups, including the Women’s Association of Verizon Employees, Women in Defense at Picatinny Arsenal, Women @ Medco Healthcare Solutions, Inc. and the Women’s Leadership Initiative of Johnson & Johnson. 

She has been the keynote speaker at the N.J. Bankers Women’s Conference and spoken about communication strategy at the N.Y. Bankers Women’s Conference. She has written a blog about careers and leadership for “The Financial Professionals’ Post,” the online publication of the N.Y. Society of Security Analysts.  

Susan has conducted communication boot camps for such clients as the Center for Financial Training, the N.J. Bankers Association, the N.Y. Society of Security Analysts, the N.Y. Department of Transportation, the N.Y. Municipal Credit Union, Portfolio Evaluations, Inc. and the N.Y. Department of Housing.  She has spoken at N.J. Bankers Growth Conference, its Senior Leadership Conference, its Women in Banking Conference and its HR Conference.  Her Bryn Mawr doctorate is in modern European history and philosophy.  

Susan brings her strong prowess in “power communication” to the Financial Leaders Institute.  She shares her expertise in influential written communication and presentation.

Connie Whitman, MBA

CEO, Whitman and Associates

Known for her high-energy, passionate, and enthusiastic approach to teaching and coaching, Connie Whitman helps ambitious business executives, leaders, and sales teams build powerhouse organizations by growing and scaling revenue results.

She has more than 35 years’ experience as a sales, service, coaching, training, and development expert in the banking industry is a #1 International Best-Selling author of her book ESP (Easy Sales Process): 7 Steps top Sales Success, speaker, podcast host, and influencer.

Connie’s inspired teaching, transformational tools and content ensure that business leaders and salespeople grow their revenue streams through enhanced communication skills while developing strong relationship-based sales cultures.  

Connie has been the CEO of Whitman & Associates, LLC for the past two-decades.  She is a trusted strategic partner who builds lasting relationships with innovative business owners, thought leaders, and organizations worldwide.

Connie holds an MBA in Finance from Monmouth University.  Connie has been inducted, as an honored member, into the Trademark “Who’s Who” 2016 Edition for Professional Excellence. 

She is also excited to share her radio shows (podcasts) ―Heart-Centered Sales Leader and Enlightenment of Change ― as a free resource for leaders and professionals looking to fast-track their careers.

Connie brings her practical expertise of change and personal leadership to the Financial Leaders Institute along with her expansive knowledge of sales/service leadership and culture development

Gail K. Tilstra, BS

President, Strategic HR Partners

Gail is an accomplished human resources professional in the banking industry. Throughout her expansive career, she has had responsibility and demonstrated success as a Senior Vice President for numerous aspects of human resources including: employment, employee relations, benefits and compensation administration, training, and affirmative action.

As an instructor for the Center for Financial Training, Gail has shared her expertise with banking professionals in the areas of human resources management, supervisory/management skills, business communications, and change management.  She serves as a volunteer instructor for Dress for Success and Renew Life, facilitating workshops that focus on resume development, interviewing skills, and change strategies. Similarly, she is an instructor for the Department of Workforce Development and Professional Education at Ocean County Community College (Toms River, NJ).

Throughout her career, Gail has been actively involved and served on committees through the New Jersey Bankers Association, American Bankers Association, and the Society for Human Resource Management.  She presently serves as the  President of her own human resource consulting firm, Strategic HR Partners. Her firm focuses on helping clients in the areas of effective hiring, onboarding, performance assessments, retention strategies, and leadership/management development.

Gail holds a BS degree in Business Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University and numerous professional certifications within her field. She was named as a TWIN (Tribute to Women & Industry) Honoree which pays tribute to women who have excelled in their fields and made significant contributions in their industry in executive, managerial, and professional roles.

Gail brings her vast knowledge of human resources to the Financial Leaders Institute and shares her passion for developing leaders through the Launching to Leadership Program.