Board of Directors

Paul D. Tobias

Chairman & CEO, Mackinac Financial Corporation
Chairman, mBank

Mr. Tobias has nearly 42 years of experience in the financial services and banking industries. He was appointed as Chairman of mBank and Chairman & CEO of Mackinac Financial Corporation in December, 2004 after structuring and leading the successful $30 million recapitalization of the company when it was known as North Country Bank and Trust. He also served as CEO of mBank from July 2005 until November 2006. Previously, he was a co-founding partner of Mackinac Partners, LLC, an unrelated financial and operational advisory company. He also served as CEO of Munder Capital Management, Executive Vice President of Comerica Incorporated where he was the head of Mergers and Acquisitions and Corporate Strategy and as an Investment Banker at McDonald & Company. He is a cum laude graduate of Albion College and earned an MBA with distinction from the University of Michigan. Mr. Tobias is also Chairman of the Elcot Fund based in London, England.

Walter J. Aspatore

Lead Director, Mackinac Financial Corporation
Chairman Emeritus, Amherst Partners

Mr. Aspatore has served as a Director since 2004. He is Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus at Amherst Partners, a firm specializing in advising companies on mergers & acquisitions, debt financing, business valuations and turnarounds. He has also served as President of Cross & Trecker Corporation, President and CEO of The Warner & Swasey Company and Vice President, Group Executive and CFO of Bendix Corporation Industrial Tools Group. Prior to these roles, Aspatore was Vice President/Finance at TRW Corporation (Industrial Energy Sector) and Vice Chair and President of Onset BIDCO. Aspartore sits on several Boards of Directors. He is a graduate of University of Wisconsin at Whitewater.

Dennis B. Bittner

Owner & President, Bittner Engineering, Inc.

Mr. Bittner has served as a Director since 2004. He has been President and CEO of Bittner Engineering for 25 years, a professional services company providing planning, development and consultation related services on civil, environmental and architectural engineering projects. Previously Bittner served as an engineer with the State of Michigan and Federal Agencies. He has a BS and MS from Michigan State University and completed graduate studies in forest hydrology.

Joseph D. Garea

Managing Partner, Hancock Securities

Mr. Garea has served as a Director since 2007. Prior to co-founding Manchester Partners (a predecessor firm to Hancock Securities) in 1997, he served as President of Enterprise Capital Management, a venture capital firm, and was Chief Financial Officer of Enterbank Holdings, the holding company for Enterprise Bank. From 1987 to 1994, Garea served as Senior Vice President and Chief Lending Officer of United Postal Savings. He began his career with KPMG in 1977. His experience includes equity formation and investment, management of mergers and acquisitions & investment portfolios, sales and marketing activities, retail and commercial lending, management of troubled assets, asset recovery and finance activities for public and commercial companies. He has a degree in Business Administration from Saint Louis University and is a Certified Public Accountant. He holds Series 7, 24, 63, and 65 licenses from FINRA.

Kelly W. George

President, Mackinac Financial Corporation
President & Chief Executive Officer, mBank

Mr. George has over 25 years of experience in the banking industry. He joined mBank in 2003 as the Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer in charge of the regulatory and lending administration turnaround of the previously known North Country Bank and Trust. After the successful rehabilitation of the bank and $30 million recapitalization, he was promoted to President & CEO of mBank and President of Mackinac Financial Corporation in 2006. Mr. George has served as a Director since 2006 as well. Prior to mBank, he was the Senior Vice President and Chief Lending Officer of a $350 million community bank in North Central Ohio, also in charge of the credit administration and risk management turnaround of a regulatory challenged bank from 2000 to 2003. He spent several years prior as a Safety and Soundness Examiner-in-Charge at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland responsible for the oversight of FRB regulated community banking institutions, along with assisting with examinations of larger complex bank holding companies in the District and shared national credit reviews. He began his career in various retail banking, credit, and commercial lending roles at the former Bank One and National City Bank in Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. George is a 1990 graduate of The Ohio State University with a BS in Economics and Minor in Finance.

Robert Edward Mahaney II

Founder, Veridea Group, LLC

Mr. Mahaney has served as a Director since 2008. He is the founder and President of The Veridea Group, LLC, a commercial real estate development, consulting and management company. He also has interests in the hospitality industry. Prior to Veridea, Mahaney was a partner in several financial services and real estate ventures, and his career has included corporate banking, M&A funding, and public accounting experience. He has a BA from Albion College and a Master’s degree in International Finance from Thunderbird School of Global Management. His professional credentials include CPA and CFP licenses.

Robert H. Orley

Principal, Real Estate Investment Group, Inc.

Mr. Orley has been a Director of the company since 2004. He is a private equity investor with more than 30 years of experience financing businesses across a variety of industries including manufacturing, distribution, financial services, consumer goods and real estate. He co-founded REI Investment Group and O2 Investment Partners. He has served as Chairman and CEO of both RheTech and New Horizons Northeast and sits on several Boards of Directors. Orley received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, his Juris Doctor from Michigan State College of Law and a LLM in Taxation from Boston University School of Law.

Randolph C. Paschke

Consultant and Former Executive-in-Residence, Mike Ilitch School of Business Wayne State University

Mr. Paschke has served as a Director since 2004. He is the former Director of External Relations and Community Engagement in the School of Business Administration at Wayne State University. During his tenure at Wayne State University, he served as Chair of the Accounting Department in the Business School for ten years. Prior to joining Wayne State, Paschke spent 32 years at the public accounting firm Arthur Andersen LLP (20 as a partner). While at Arthur Andersen he was in charge of the firm’s Michigan tax practice, Great Lakes region international tax practice and U.S. International tax and trade practice groups. He has lectured, researched, written and been published on many areas of taxation. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and a CPA.

David R. Steinhardt

Manager, Steinhardt Capital Investors

Mr. Steinhardt has served as a Director since 2012. He is a 20 year veteran of the investment management industry. He is Co-Founder and Board Member of KCPS & Company and Managing Partner and Portfolio Manager of Wooster Capital Management. Steinhardt has served as Managing Director and Head of Research at Centurion Investment Group and as an analyst and assistant portfolio manager at Spears, Benzak, Salomon and Farrell. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania.

Martin A. Thomson

Mr. Thomson has served as a Director since 2018, following the merger transaction of First Federal of Northern Michigan Bancorp, Inc. (FFNM). Prior to, he served as Chairman of the Board for FFNM, where he also served as Chief Executive Officer until his retirement in 2008 and as President from 2001 to 2006. Mr. Thomson previously held the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of Presque Isle Electric and Gas Cooperative, Inc., Onaway, Michigan. He has a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University.

Note: The membership composition of the Mackinac Financial Corporation and mBank Boards of Directors are the same but they operate under separate Charters.