Photo Release -- First Niagara Names Westchester Native to Serve as Tri-State Regional President

Cathie Schaffer

NYACK, N.Y., April 8, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Niagara Financial Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:FNFG) named Cathie A. Schaffer to serve as Regional President for the bank's newly formed Tri-State Region, which includes markets in Lower Hudson Valley, Fairfield County, CT and Northern New Jersey. In this role, Schaffer will lead a team of bankers responsible for Business Banking, Middle Market Lending, and Corporate Lending activities in the region. She also has overall responsibility for the alignment and collaborative delivery of all consumer and commercial products across the region. Schaffer reports to David V. Ring, Managing Director, Enterprise Banking, who has corporate-wide responsibility for commercial business lending activities in all the markets where the bank operates.

Cathie Schaffer, First Niagara Bank's Tri-State Regional President

A photo accompanying this release is available at

Schaffer is a Westchester native who has served the commercial banking needs of the Westchester and Hudson Valley markets for more than 20 years. She joins First Niagara from J.P. Morgan Chase, where she was Senior Vice President & Division Manager, responsible for managing Middle Market Banking activities within a market territory that spanned Hudson Valley, Westchester, the Bronx, and Southern Connecticut. Schaffer began her banking career in New York with The Bank of New York, where she held commercial banking positions of increasing responsibility, culminating in her role as Senior Vice President & Group Head of Commercial Banking for the Westchester/Putnam/Bronx region. She has served on the boards of the Business Council of Westchester and the Food Bank for Westchester.

"We are thrilled to have Cathie on board to lead this important growth region for First Niagara," said David Ring. "She knows this market and its needs inside and out, and has a proven track record of strengthening customer relationships, delivering top notch sales and service results, and providing innovative solutions to meet customer needs. She is exactly the person we were looking for to expand lending and drive customer-focused services across our newly organized Tri-State Region."

"I am excited by the opportunity to help make a real difference for customers in a market that I know so well," Schaffer said. "I am inspired by First Niagara's strong track record and customer-focused approach, and am anxious to execute on the company's growth plans for this region."

Schaffer earned her undergraduate degree from Goucher College in Towson MD; studied International Finance at Columbia University in New York City; and received her MBA in Finance from Loyola College in Baltimore, MD. She will split her time between the company's Tri-State Region central office in Nyack, NY, and a regional office in Norwalk, CT, which serves Fairfield County customers. She resides in Mount Kisco, NY.

First Niagara's Tri-State Region includes 26 branches in the Hudson Valley in (Westchester) Mount Kisco, Bedford Hills, Ossining, Yorktown Heights and Baldwin Place; (Dutchess) East Fishkill, Millerton, Hyde Park, Wappingers Falls, Pleasant Valley and Poughkeepsie; (Orange) Highland Falls, Middletown and Vails Gate; (Putnam) Brewster; (Rockland) Blauvelt, Pearl River, New City, Nyack, Nanuet, Spring Valley, Stony Point, Suffern and Tappan; (Sullivan) Liberty; and (Ulster) Kingston, and 14 Fairfield County CT branches in Greenwich, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport, Wilton, Ridgefield, and Fairfield. The region is also supported by First Niagara's insurance business, Pierson & Smith, a Division of First Niagara Risk Management, which has offices in Norwalk, CT.

About First Niagara

First Niagara, through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Niagara Bank, N.A., is a multi-state community-oriented bank with nearly 430 branches, approximately $38 billion in assets, $29 billion in deposits, and approximately 6,000 employees providing financial services to individuals, families and businesses across Upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. For more information, visit

The photo is also available at Newscom,, and via AP PhotoExpress.

CONTACT: Media Contact: Karen Crane Communications Manager (203) 789- 2752 Karen.Crane@fnfg.comSource:First Niagara Financial Group, Inc.