Tom Michelena serves as President and CFO at Fortress Trust. Fortress Trust provides tech-driven financial infrastructure to FinTech innovators by being the rails for FinTech companies.
Tom has over 20 years of experience in bank operations and finance. Prior to joining Fortress Trust, Tom served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Lexicon Bank, the first de novo bank in the State of Nevada in the past 12 years. Tom was instrumental in developing Lexicon Bank’s financial, operational, and information technology infrastructure. He led the implementation of the bank’s core banking processor, hired key staff, developed the PPP/PPPLF program during the COVID-19 pandemic, established relationships with the United States Federal Reserve Bank and facilitated growing the bank from $50 million to $300 million in total assets during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tom reported to the Board of Directors and Committees on financial soundness, conditions, asset liability management, information technology and audit.
Prior to joining Lexicon Bank, Tom served in numerous roles at Western States Bank (formerly Wyoming State Bank) where he most recently served as Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. While at Wyoming State Bank, Tom was instrumental in achieving all aspects of success from the initial $6 million capital raise to the $170 million in assets pre-merger, facilitating the acquisition and merger of a peer bank with five times its assets in 2007, leading systems, corporate cultures and processes following the merger and acquisition, and solely responsible for top level ratings on many CAMELS components. In 2016, Tom led the merger of core and financial systems for the newly created $500MM Western States Bank – a merger between Wyoming State Bank and Valley Bank and Trust.
Tom holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Montana State University and an MBA from the University of Wyoming.