Meet Our Team

Gold Coast Bank boasts an extremely dynamic Board of Directors made up of prestigious local business owners. With over 100 years of banking experience between them, they understand the financial needs of their customers, prospects and the ever-changing business community. Gold Coast Bank Directors are also major stockholders, ensuring their vested interest in the Bank’s success.

Board of Directors  Executive Management


Board of Directors

Executive Management

John TsunisJohn C. Tsunis Chairman/CEO

Mr. Tsunis, a founder of Gold Coast Bank, received his law degree from Syracuse University College of Law in 1975 and graduated from New York University with honors in Banking and Finance. He has been an attorney since 1977, specializing in banking law, real estate, land use and commercial transactions. Mr. Tsunis was formerly Vice Chairman and General Counsel to Long Island Commercial Bank and a member of its Board of Directors and Executive and Loan Committees. Mr. Tsunis founded the law firm of Tsunis Gasparis, LLP, served as Managing Partner through October of 2014 and remains Special Counsel. Additionally, he is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Charleson Hotels, LLC and Long Island Hotels LLC. Among many philanthropic endeavors, Mr. Tsunis is a Member of the Board of Governors of Touro Law School; President of the Tsunis Foundation, Inc.; Member of the Board of Directors of Gallery North, promoters of regional contemporary art and craft; President of the Long Island Greek-American Chamber of Commerce; Member of the Board of Directors of the Hellenic American Bankers Association; Member of the Board of Directors of Long Island Charities; Member of the Board of Directors of Stony Brook University’s Seawolves United, an athletic fundraising initiative; Advisory Board Member of Neomatrix Therapeutics, Inc. ; former Chairman of the Board of Directors of New York State Hospitality and Tourism Association; and former Chairman of the Stony Brook Long Island Children’s Hospital Task Force. Mr. Tsunis has also served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook and as past President of the Three Village Chamber of Commerce. His accolades include, the Village Times Herald “Man of the Year” in 2011; 2016 honoree at the Long Island Business News’ “Business and Finance Awards”; named a Long Island Business News “Business ICON” in September 2017; honored in December 2016 by Ronald McDonald House Greek Division of New York for his charitable work and contribution; honored by the Hellenic Lawyers Association in November 2017; and most notably, honored on Sunday, October 22, 2017 at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York City where he was elevated by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the high office of Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the oldest and highest honor in Christendom bestowed on laymen. Mr. Tsunis was chosen due to his outstanding service to the Church and as a well-known and well-respected leader of the Orthodox Christian community.

Mr. Tsunis resides on Long Island, in the Village of Poquott, with his wife and son.

James JohnisJames P. Johnis President/COO

Mr. Johnis is a 38 year veteran banking executive with a wealth of expertise and knowledge in commercial banking and credit management. He has had in-depth leadership experience across multiple facets of the banking business, including lending, credit risk management, relationship management, special assets and operations. Mr. Johnis was most recently Senior Vice President / Senior Commercial Banking Officer at The First National Bank of Long Island in Glen Head, NY, where he was responsible for managing the Commercial Banking Division. While at First National Mr. Johnis served on the Bank’s Executive Committee and various loan committees. Additionally, he was Chairperson of the Product and Pricing Committee, as well as a mentor in the Professional Development Program. Prior to First National Mr. Johnis directed the Suffolk County Lending Division for Marine Midland / HSBC. Mr. Johnis started his career at Long Island Trust Company where he was formally credit trained. Mr. Johnis has served as Co-Chairperson of the Smithtown High School Industry Advisory Board and is a member of Risk Management Associates, the Hauppauge Industrial Association, the Long Island Association, and the Advancement for Commerce, Industry and Technology. Mr. Johnis has also been a featured panelist for the New York State Society of CPAs regarding “What Bankers Look for When Considering a Loan Request.” Mr. Johnis received his BS in Accounting from Dowling College and is a graduate of the American Bankers Association (ABA) Stonier School of Banking. He resides in Smithtown with his wife Diana and has two adult sons.


Catherine CalifanoCatherine Califano Executive Vice President/CFO

Catherine Califano has been Chief Financial Officer of Gold Coast Bank since September 2011. She has over 20 years of banking experience in the Long Island market serving as CFO for both publicly held and privately held financial institutions, including The Home Savings Bank, Haven Bancorp/CFS Bank, Northeastern Engineers Federal Credit Union and most recently First Central Savings Bank. She also served as Chairperson of the Audit Committee of CheckSpring Bank, a community development bank in Bronx, NY. She began her career in public accounting with KPMG, rising to the position of audit manager. She is a certified public accountant in New York State and received her BS in accounting and MBA in Finance from St. John’s University. She is a member of the Banking Committee of the New York State Society of CPAs and is the chairperson of the CFO Peer Group Council of the Independent Bankers Association of New York State, Inc. She serves on the Molloy College – Business Division Advisory Council. She also serves on the Business Advisory Council of the North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center in Roslyn, NY, where she resides.





Thomas Ryan large photoThomas P. Ryan Senior Vice President, CLO/CCO

Mr. Ryan has worked in the banking industry on Long Island for over three decades, holding various senior level positions with extensive experience in servicing the financial needs of large corporations and high net-worth individuals. Before joining Gold Coast Bank in November, 2014, he was Vice President Senior Relationship Manager at Wells Fargo Bank NA in Melville N.Y., where he cultivated new credit and cash management relationships, developed strategic financial plans, and negotiated loan structures and credit solutions. Prior to Wells Fargo NA, Mr. Ryan was Senior Vice President, Head of Private Banking for the Long Island region, at U.S. Trust Company of New York and Group Head / Vice President at Bank of New York where he managed corporate lending groups. He began his career at European American Bank, where he was an Assistant Secretary and Lending Officer, followed by an Assistant Vice President / Corporate Lending position at National Westminster Bank USA. Mr. Ryan earned a Master of Business Arts (Finance) Summa Cum Laude from Hofstra University and a Bachelor of Arts in American History from Iona College. He also holds a Graduate Banking Certificate from Adelphi University. Mr. Ryan is a dedicated member of the Board of Directors of the Boy Scouts of Nassau County, a member of the Three Village Historical Society and former Treasurer of the Nature Conservancy of Long Island. He resides in Stony Brook, with his wife Eileen, and has three grown children, Elizabeth, Daniel and Caitlin.


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