Mark FarisMark E. Faris

Mr. Mark E. Faris has a career focus on strategic and executive leadership. As a senior officer with the largest bank owned mortgage lender in the country, he was responsible for capital markets, credit, wholesale production, warehouse lending, communications, agency relationships and post closing operations. These units comprised a total staff of 1200 individuals. During this time he was instrumental in setting the strategic direction for the organization, establishing the initiatives necessary to realize the strategic objectives, communicating these initiatives to the entire company and monitoring the results.

Mark was a member of the senior management team of a NYSE listed company focusing on banking in smaller communities. While there he played a crucial role in a complete business process, cost and revenue improvement program. His area of responsibility, the banking segment, generated $35+ million in revenue enhancements and cost savings.

He has extensive experience in M&A activity having led several acquisition teams as an acquirer. While working as an independent consultant he led a team of other consultants from a national consulting firm in a transition team for a lender acquisition. Other engagements included enterprise risk evaluation and capital market reviews in the banking and insurance industries.

Currently, he is a partner with Apollo Strategies, LLC which supports community banks in the areas of Strategic Planning and Financial Performance Improvement.


  • M.B.A., Indiana University
  • B.S. Economics, Manchester College

Richard SmithRichard W. Smith

Mr. Richard Smith’s professional career has been built on developing organizations, people and leaders. Rich is a retired active duty army officer whose career spanned over 26 years. During his military career, he held various positions of increasing scope, complexity and responsibility. He had extensive experience in developing teams and leading people in achieving goals, direction setting, planning and organizational effectiveness.

Rich brought his military training and planning acumen to the banking industry over 14 years ago. He has held positions with a major regional bank as Training Manager, Director of Strategic Planning and as Director of Planning and High Performance. He has developed programs and delivered training in sales/service, financial planning, professional development and leadership. In addition, he has led numerous, diverse groups in formulating organization visions, identifying core business competencies and establishing growth strategies/goals.

Rich has had engagements as an independent consultant with Questa Corporation, a leading bank training and consulting firm. He has been an Associate Professor and Adjunct Faculty Member at The Ohio State University and the University of Southern Indiana. Currently he is a partner with Apollo Strategies, LLC and volunteers his time with SCORE (Counselors to America’s Small Business).


• M.B.A., Ohio State University
• B.S., Accounting, Cum Laude, Indiana University
• National Security and Policy Diploma, 10 Month Graduate Study, National Defense University, Washington, D.C.