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Cardinal's New Era

Washington DC

If you see longtime Cardinal Financial Corp. CEO Bernard Clineburg, you need to congratulate him. Not just on an incredible 15 years transforming Cardinal Bank into one of the DC region's great financial institutions, following 28 additional years in the industry where he started and ran other banks as well. No, you need to congratulate him on being about to take his first vacation in 14 years. Because Cardinal announced today that come January, he'll become Executive Chairman. That means freeing him from daily operations to strategize on acquisitions, product lines, and how to keep those earnings up; and to see more of his three kids and three grandkids. (Including in Vail, where his daughter's husband started Moe's Original BBQ, now a 31-store BBQ chain from California to Maine.) And introducing Chris Bergstrom, who'll be the new Acting President and CEO. He's been Bernard's number two (and longest of his direct reports) for 15 years, responsible for commercial lending, risk management, compliance, the mortgage company, and wealth management division. Born at G'Town hospital and having started in banking 33 years ago as a lender at Crestar, he also knows the region well—and stays in close touch with the area's rapidly changing demographics and financial needs via his three teenage daughters. As before, Kevin Reynolds, Alice Frazier, and Mark Wendel, among others, provide Cardinal with a deep bench of senior management. Only they won't be able to play as much golf.