Meet our new President and CEO, John Thomasian

Updated May 7, 2024  |   Published May 6, 2024

On May 1, 2024, former Vice President of Risk Management, John Thomasian, stepped into the position of Chief Executive Officer of Webster First. Former President/CEO Michael N. Lussier passed the baton to someone who knew the ins and outs of the credit union, having worked under his guidance since 2010. Some of Thomasian’s qualifications and achievements include:

  • Graduate of Nichols College with a degree in Finance & Accounting
  • Chairman of Webster First Federal Credit Union’s Asset and Liability Management Committee
  • Graduate of Eascorp’s Advanced Asset Liability Management (ALM) & Investment Academy
  • Graduate of the National Association of Federal Credit Union’s (NAFCU) Management Development Institute
  • Member of the NAFCU Political Action Committee
  • Chairman of the Town of New Braintree Finance Committee
  • Recipient of BusinessWest’s 40 Under Forty 2021 award

We sat down for a Q&A with Thomasian to learn more about his career and where he hopes to take the credit union under his leadership.


On his career

Q: When did you get your start in finance and why did you choose this industry?

A: My start in the industry was 2007 as a Financial Analyst for Sovereign Bank in the Franchise Lending Division. They lent to franchisee owners for big chain franchises. That division held the Dunkin Donuts portfolio across the country, which gave me some hands-on experience with high level lending.

My father is a civil engineer, and from a young age always instilled a sense of math in me. It grew to be one of my strengths – which is why I focused my college education on finance and accounting. When looking at the career opportunities I had within that education, banking had always appealed to me. Being able to help people achieve their financial goals and give them guidance on how to do so is something I found to be very fulfilling.

Q: What has your career journey been like since joining Webster First?

A: I started as a Financial Analyst when the credit union was under $500 million in assets. Within my first two years, I worked alongside the senior management team while executing four mergers. I was then promoted to AVP of Finance and later to VP of Revenue & Risk Management. I’ve seen the credit union increase its asset size by a billion dollars from when I started. Along the way, I’ve been involved with the transformation and business ventures that have led the credit union to where it is today.

Q: Why did you apply for the position of CEO?

A: Managing a financial institution requires a strong understanding of finance, asset liability management, industry regulations, risk management, and most importantly what consumers are looking for when choosing a financial institution to do their business with. I have an extensive background in these subjects and have spent my career mastering them. The banking industry is continuing to evolve, and has become more complex over time. We continue to see both banks and credit unions fail each year, and the industry continues to consolidate. When you look at the reasons those failures occurred, it primarily leads back to those institutions mismanaging their balance sheets and business channels.

Our board wanted Mike’s successor to have a strong understanding of these aspects so the credit union can thrive into the future and maintain the integrity it was built upon. They also knew what got us here today won’t get us to tomorrow, and a strong leader that can execute the credit union’s future vision with insights into the evolving industry is crucial. Anyone that’s worked closely with me knows the passion I have for the credit union and the work ethic I bring to the table. I’ve gained respect from my fellow colleagues by letting my work speak for itself. I am extremely proactive when it comes to our business plan and ensure thorough due diligence is conducted when formulating that plan, so we can carry that success into the future.

Q: Has there been a favorite project you’ve worked on?

A: Financial analytics, such as return on investment or cost analysis, has always been appealing to me. Being able to analyze data that leads to the way we conduct business and seeing those modeled results become a reality is fascinating – well, to me anyway!

Q: What is the best advice that someone has ever given you?

A: Treat others the way you want to be treated. I have always held that as one of my core principles in life and find that mutual respect, no matter what walk of life you come from, is a trait that speaks volumes to your character.


On Webster First

Q: What strengths do you think separate Webster First from its competitors?

A: Webster First has been successful with the key principles of maintaining a strong balance sheet and superior member service. As I mentioned earlier, having a balance sheet that mitigates potential risks, has a positive return, and a strong net worth ratio has allowed us to continue to expand and invest in our member service channels and infrastructures. This in hand allows our employees to focus on providing exceptional service to our members.

I continually receive feedback from our members on how great of an experience it is has been working with our staff, no matter what they are handling on behalf of that member. I’ve always been a strong believer that word of mouth referrals is one of the leading marketing resources available. When our members enjoy using our products and working with our employees, they tell their friends and family, “you need to talk to Webster First, they can help you.” Expanding on these core principals will continue to make Webster First a place where people want to do business.

Q: What qualities do you think make a great team?

A: A unified, hardworking, and reliable team is essential to be successful. Being able to execute projects or tasks while overcoming the hurdles they might entail creates a successful outcome that we can all take pride in.


On his personal life

Q: What’s your favorite hobby or pastime when you’re not at the office?

A: My favorite thing to do outside of the office is spend time with my wife and kids. Both of my daughters are avid sports players, so I end up spending most of my weekends watching them from the sidelines. I also try to sneak in golf when I can.

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?

A: I am an all-around New England nation sports fan, but if I had to pick my favorite team it would be the Boston Celtics! Hoping to see them reclaim the title this year!