Celebrating the long-standing career of one of its highly respected leaders, Tompkins Community Bank announced the retirement of Karen Parkes, senior vice president and commercial banking regional manager of its Central New York market. Parkes began her career at Tompkins more than 30 years ago, steadily rising through the company’s ranks in various capacities until her promotion to commercial banking regional manager in 2017. She is succeeded by Lawrence Harris, vice president and commercial banking relationship manager, effective March 31.
“Karen has worked on several cross-company initiatives in her three decades with Tompkins. She’s renowned for being a strong contributor and cherished leader who always maintained a great sense of humor and great compassion for people,” said Greg Hartz, president of Tompkins, Central New York. “She’s been very active in the community where she is well-known and respected by customers and community organizations, and we will all miss her greatly.”
Throughout her career at Tompkins, Parkes became a trailblazer for women in the banking industry. She broke new ground by remaining an officer of Tompkins while reducing her hours, to create a balance between her career and growing family. A key contributor to the commercial lending team, Parkes later became a small business lender before being elevated to lead Tompkins’ small business lending program, where she forged relationships and helped to ensure the success of Central New York communities’ economic development and prosperity. Extending beyond Tompkins, Parkes has actively served her community through a number of organizations, including serving board appointments at the YMCA, American Red Cross and Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce.
As Parkes’ successor, Lawrence Harris will fill the role of commercial banking regional manager upon her departure. With 35 years of experience in the banking industry, Harris brings deep expertise and insight to the position, in which he will be responsible for all facets of managing banking relationships including real estate and construction financing, providing working capital, and structuring financial transactions.
“Larry brings a tremendous and diversified portfolio of experience to Tompkins,” said Hartz. “He has quickly gained a reputation for his positive, customer-focused work ethic and is a valued member of our team. We look forward to the success he’ll have in his new role.”
Before joining the Syracuse-based commercial lending team with Tompkins in March of 2022, Harris led commercial banking teams across upstate New York with HSBC, First Niagara and most recently, Citizens Bank, where he served as vice president and market manager. He currently serves on the boards of the Broome Tobacco Asset Securitization Corporation and the Pursuit Regional Loan and Advisory Committee. A graduate of Binghamton University, Harris resides in Endwell with his wife Cynthia and is father to two daughters.
Founded in 1836, Tompkins Community Bank serves the Central, Western, and Hudson Valley regions of New York, and the Southeastern region of Pennsylvania. Through their unique local decision-making model, the bank offers personalized service and exceptional responsiveness, while delivering a broad range of products and services for consumers and businesses. Insurance services are offered through Tompkins Insurance Agencies, and wealth management services are available through Tompkins Financial Advisors. Further information is available at www.tompkinsbank.com.