Recent Press Releases

The New Jersey Bankers Association recognizes Lakeland Bank’s Chief Diversity Officer, Alethea M. Batts, with their inaugural Excellence in Diversity Award  

CRANFORD, NJ – The New Jersey Bankers Association (NJBankers) has recognized Lakeland Bank’s Chief Diversity Officer, Alethea M. Batts, with their inaugural Excellence in Diversity Award. 

Alethea was nominated by her peers for her leadership qualities, ability to impact the culture of her bank and community, and influence others to be more diversity conscious. Nominations were received from numerous member banks, and Alethea was chosen by an independent panel of NJBankers Management.

Alethea is the Senior Vice President of Learning and Development and Chief Diversity Officer at Lakeland Bank. In this role, she manages learning strategy and organizational development, including Talent Management, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy and initiatives, Leadership Development, Succession Planning and Mentorship programs.

“Alethea’s commitment to diversity and inclusion goes beyond her work at Lakeland Bank.”, said John E. McWeeney, Jr., President and CEO of NJBankers. “As one of the founding members of NJBankers DEI Council, Alethea has become an asset to the New Jersey banking industry’s DEI initiatives.”

I am both humbled and honored to accept the inaugural NJBankers Excellence in Diversity Award. Thank you NJBankers, Lakeland Bank, our Executive Team and Board of Directors for believing in me and supporting my vision to drive the success of our organization and the communities we serve. It is my life mission to make a positive difference every single day, and I am immensely proud to share this important platform with the NJBankers DEI Council.

Alethea will be recognized, and receive her award, during NJBankers virtual Economic Leadership Forum on February 10, 2022.

To learn more about NJBankers DEI initiatives and programs contact Jessica Jakobson,

Founded over 118 years ago, the New Jersey Bankers Association (NJBankers) is a trade association representing 70 banks and 176 service providers. NJBankers provides a variety of services to members including government relations at both the state and national levels, education and professional development, and employee health and welfare insurance programs through its licensed insurance brokerage facility, Bankers Cooperative Group.

New Jersey Bankers Association names Michael P. Affuso, Esq., as its new President and CEO

CRANFORD, NJ – The New Jersey Bankers Association is pleased to announce it has named Michael P. Affuso, Esq., to replace the retiring John E. McWeeney, Jr., as President and CEO. Mr. McWeeney will continue to serve as President and CEO until his retirement on June 30, 2022. Mr. Affuso will officially assume the role on July 1, 2022.

Mr. Affuso joined the Association in 2008 as the VP/Director of Government Relations. Since then, he’s been promoted to SVP/Director of Government Relations and eventually to his current role of EVP/Director of Government Relations. Prior to his career at the Association, Affuso served first as Campaign Manager and then Deputy District Director and General Counsel for Congressman Albio Sires. Prior to his work with Congressman Sires, Affuso served as associate General Counsel for the New Jersey General Assembly Majority Office in Trenton NJ where he provided legal counsel to the Assembly Speaker and Majority Members.

Affuso holds a J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law. He is admitted to practice in New Jersey/Federal District Court and New York/Federal District Court. Affuso is a graduate of American University with a B.A. in political science and a minor in history.

NJBankers engaged NJ Bankers Associate Member firm Kaplan Partners of Wynnewood, PA. to assist the Succession Committee in navigating the leadership transition. After an extensive multifaceted search process involving both external and internal candidates, Affuso was the unanimous choice of both the Succession Committee and Board’s Executive Committee.

“Mike was the natural choice for my successor”, said John E. McWeeney, Jr., President & CEO of NJBankers Association. “His knowledge of the banking industry and legislative process combined with leadership skills will allow him to continue to move the Association and banking industry forward”.

“The Board and I are confident Mike has the knowledge and skills to build on the momentum John McWeeney has made during his successful tenure at NJBankers”, stated John Fitzgerald, President and CEO of Magyar Bank and Chairman of NJBankers. “He is a seasoned leader with significant experience in creating and providing value to the New Jersey Banking industry”.

For more information on NJBankers Association please contact John Mangini,