Robert Kunisch is Promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer of Howard Bancorp and Howard Bank
BALTIMORE, MD, April 23, 2020 – Howard Bank, a community-focused commercial bank serving businesses, professionals and individuals in the Greater Baltimore area, announced today that Rob Kunisch has been promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Howard Bancorp and Howard Bank effective immediately.
Kunisch, who is President of the bank, adds the COO title in recognition of his “outstanding leadership” since Howard Bank and First Mariner Bank completed their merger in March 2018.
“Rob’s promotion recognizes all that he has accomplished in ensuring alignment of all of our customer-facing staff in the branches, business banking and commercial banking as well as their support partners in credit, deposit and loan operations, information technology and marketing,” said Mary Ann Scully, Chairman and CEO of Howard. “Rob’s contributions in all of these areas have better positioned us for long-term growth and expanded long-term profitability. His inherent ability to lead through and design systems that allow us to navigate through challenges such as COVID-19 is only the most recent demonstration of his abilities. Breadth and depth of leadership is one of the distinguishing hallmarks of Howard Bank’s unique long-term commitment to our local marketplace. Together, we are focused on building legacies in our communities that fortify our own legacy. ”
Kunisch said he was humbled by the promotion and credited it to the talent of his Howard Bank colleagues.
“Howard Bank is making a difference in the lives of hundreds of people who operate businesses in Greater Baltimore because we have a staff that is talented, dedicated and cares,” Kunisch said. “We see it now more than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic as we worked around the clock helping customers navigate perhaps the greatest business challenge they will face in a lifetime.”
Since the federal government launched the Paycheck Protection Program on March 27 as part of an effort to help small businesses survive the pandemic, Howard employees processed more than 700 loans totaling $180 million in a little over two weeks.
“The work of Howard Bank employees was nothing short of amazing,” Kunisch said. “They refused to take a break because they wanted to make sure their customers were getting the loan money they needed under the law.”
Kunisch spent his entire banking career in Maryland, beginning in 1990 at Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust Company and, later, its acquirer, PNC Bank. In 2008, he joined Wilmington Trust FSB as the Director of Commercial Banking. He later was promoted to President of Wilmington Trust, FSB — Maryland and ran wealth management in Maryland, until it was acquired by M&T Bancorp in 2011. Kunisch served as a consultant to the 1st Mariner Bancorp board in 2012. In 2014, he put together a team of investors to raise $110 million that was used to take control of 1st Mariner Bank where he later became CEO. Four years later, he negotiated a deal to merge with Howard Bank in March 2018 which would position him as President and now Chief Operation Officer of the largest independently owned bank in Baltimore.
Kunisch has served in the past as Chairman of Saint Ignatius Loyola Academy and his past community involvement includes the Independent College Fund. He is currently a trustee at Stevenson University and Director of the Maryland Bankers Association. Kunisch was named one of the Maryland Daily Record’s 2020 Influential Marylanders.