MIDDLETOWN – After an illustrious career spanning more than four decades, Maggie Smith, CEO of First Federal Savings of Middletown, has announced her retirement, marking the end of a remarkable era characterized by unwavering dedication to community and transformative leadership. Her retirement will take effect at the end of this year.
Taking over the helm from Smith is Peter K. Abt, who joined the bank in 2016 as Chief Loan Officer and was made President of the Bank in 2021. Abt, born and raised in Middletown, has over 20 years of community banking experience in the Hudson Valley, mainly in commercial lending and credit. A graduate of St. Lawrence University and an honors graduate from the National School of Banking at Fairfield University, Abt’s experience, knowledge and commitment to community make him the ideal successor.
Smith’s tenure with First Federal Savings of Middletown began in 1979 when she joined as an Assistant Vice President. The bank’s former president recalls her making an immediate positive impact.
“Being the first CPA on staff, Maggie brought a level of financial acumen and expertise that significantly elevated our operations,” said Ken Abt, Former President, First Federal Savings of Middletown. “Beyond her financial prowess, she consistently went above and beyond in fostering a culture of teamwork and empowering those around her to achieve their best.”
Over the years, Smith climbed the ranks with unmatched dedication and determination, becoming a trailblazing female leader in the banking industry at a time when such leadership was a rarity. In 2009, she was appointed President and CEO, a role she has held with distinction ever since.
“As I enter retirement after more than four decades of service, the pride I feel for this institution is immeasurable,” said Smith. “The heart of First Federal Savings of Middletown has always been the community—the individuals, families, and businesses that entrust us to be a part of their financial aspirations. I’m honored to have been a part of their journeys.”
“As a woman who had the privilege of leading during a time when women in leadership positions were fewer in number, I’m proud of the strides we made in fostering an environment that championed equality,” said Smith. “I have immense gratitude for the incredible camaraderie of our staff, a family that weathers challenges and celebrates triumphs together. The passion each team member brings to their role is a testament to our shared belief in our bank’s mission.”
Under Smith’s guidance, First Federal Savings of Middletown has solidified its commitment to community-centric banking. Her vision and leadership have consistently reinforced the bank’s role as a steadfast partner to the local community, ensuring that the financial needs and aspirations of individuals and businesses are met with understanding and compassion.
“It is with profound gratitude that we celebrate Maggie Smith’s remarkable career and her immeasurable contributions to First Federal Savings of Middletown,” said Peter Abt. “I am honored to follow in her footsteps and continue the journey of community-focused leadership that she has so brilliantly charted.”
As Smith transitions into retirement, she will retain her connection to First Federal Savings of Middletown by continuing in the role of Chair of the Board. In this capacity, her expertise and insights will continue to guide the bank’s strategic growth, maintaining the foundation of community values that have defined the institution for decades.
“I am confident that First Federal will be in excellent hands with Peter Abt at the helm and am honored to stay on as Board Chair to help guide the bank’s strategy,” added Smith. “This institution, built on trust and driven by purpose, will forever hold a special place in my heart.”
Smith will also continue her commitment to volunteer work, serving on the Boards of local nonprofits including the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan, Garnet Health Foundation and the People for People Fund.
About First Federal Savings of Middletown: First Federal Savings of Middletown was founded in 1888, making it one of the oldest “Hometown Banks” in Orange County. It proudly celebrated its 135th anniversary in 2023.