Board of Directors

Reese S. Howell, Jr.

Mr. Howell is the founder, CEO and Chairman of Celtic Bank. He is also the President and Director of Celtic Bank’s parent company, Celtic Investment Inc. Prior to his involvement with Celtic, he served as the President of Salt Lake Mortgage Corp until 2001 when its operations were consolidated with Celtic Bank. Mr. Howell has been involved as a principal, as well as an advisor, in numerous investment banking, merger, acquisition, and joint venture transactions. Mr. Howell obtained his BS in Business Administration from the University of Utah in 1991 with a major in finance, and his MBA from the University of Utah in 1996. Mr. Howell currently serves as a member of the National Advisory Board, and Chairman of the Finance Advisory Board for the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah.

Wade Newman

Mr. Newman joined Celtic Bank in February 2005 after 20 years of experience providing financial leadership to businesses in the public and private sector. From 1999 to 2005, he served as Chief Financial Officer for Mining Services International, Inc., a multi-national manufacturer and distributor of commercial explosives, and formerly a NASDAQ-reporting company. Mr. Newman also served as Chief Financial Officer for Recovery Corporation, a commercial recycling and specialty waste processing company, from 1990 to 1999. From 1985 to 1990, Mr. Newman worked for the multi-national public accounting firm of Ernst & Young. Mr. Newman received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Brigham Young University in 1985.

Reese S. Howell, Sr.

Mr. Howell is a highly regarded business leader in the state of Utah. He attended the University of Utah and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting in 1963, and a J.D. from the University of Utah School of Law in 1966. He began his career as in-house counsel for a large local real estate development company, specializing in the preparation of contracts of purchase and sale. In 1970 he acquired partial ownership in Title Insurance Agency of Utah, Inc., which is now Security Title Insurance Agency of Utah, Inc. Mr. Howell oversees all operations, title examinations and escrow matters. Mr. Howell has guest lectured on real property law in Utah and abroad. He was also on the staff at Westminster College, teaching Business Law.

Nathan A. Brockbank

Mr. Brockbank is a respected local developer who possesses an in depth understanding and working knowledge of the Utah market and business community. He is the Founder and Manager of Titan Development, a successful land development company. Mr. Brockbank has acquired and successfully developed numerous real estate projects in the state of Utah, including commercial buildings, residential subdivisions and manufactured home parks. Mr. Brockbank has gained a high level of proficiency in the land acquisition and development industry, and has successfully managed the application and approval process with local political agencies. In 1996, Mr. Brockbank received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management at the University of Utah, and has built a reputation as a highly ethical and trustworthy local business leader.

Robert J. Gregory

Mr. Gregory has been the founder and President of a number of financial companies. Most recently, his involvement has been with Northbrook Investment Management LLC, Westpointe Capital Management Corp, and Vista Income Partners. Specializing in domestic and international equity and fixed income securities, Mr. Gregory has been responsible for strategic planning, investment strategy, and portfolio management. Mr. Gregory has extensive experience in the valuation and analysis of small and medium sized businesses, and has been integrally involved in the underwriting and analysis of commercial real estate projects. Mr. Gregory received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University in 1980, where he majored in Economics; a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin in 1984, where he majored in accounting, and earned his Master of Business Administration from Michigan State University in 1989, where he majored in finance. His analytical expertise and ethical standards have earned him a high degree of respect within the national business community.

Fred L. Murphy

Mr. Murphy retired as Vice-President, Commercial Lending Department for First Security Bank. During his thirty-year lending career he worked with many industries and experienced the practical application of credit principles, securing collateral, processing, closing, servicing and liquidating commercial loans.  He served as a member of the Board of Directors for First Security State Bank. Mr. Murphy is a multi-engine, instrument rated pilot, has served in the U.S. Air Force for four years, and has extensive experience in general aviation related financing. He attended the University of New Mexico and the University of Utah. He holds certificates from the American Bank Association’s National Commercial Credit, National Installment Credit Schools, and has other extensive banking education. Mr. Murphy has built a highly respected reputation in Utah’s lending industry.

Richard T. Pratt

Mr. Pratt brings the benefits of three decades of public and private transactions and policy making to help the board fully explore the implications of strategic corporate decisions. He is a successful local businessman, who has vast experience with corporations, financial institutions, government agencies and foreign governments. After 12 years as a Professor of Finance at the David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah, Mr. Pratt served as Chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board in Washington D.C. from 1981-1983. Mr. Pratt was the Chairman of Merrill Lynch Mortgage Capital, Inc., organizing the company's effort to become a major originator and trader of mortgage-backed securities. In this position he also served as the Senior Relationship Manager to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. From 1991-1994 Mr. Pratt was a Managing Director, Financial Institutions Group, for Merrill Lynch & Co., founding the financial institutions restructuring group. Mr. Pratt attended the University of Utah, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Management in 1961, and a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance in 1962. He received a Doctorate of Business Administration degree in Finance from Indiana University in 1966.

Robert J. Ward

Mr. Ward has over 34 years of commercial banking experience, including direct experience in all areas of banking including operations, all forms of lending, credit analysis, audit, accounting, branch management, marketing, and executive management. Now retired, Mr. Ward began his banking career at Walker Bank & Trust who was acquired in 1957 by Western Bancorporation. In 1983, Walker Bank began operating under the name of First Interstate Bank, and was subsequently acquired by Wells Fargo Bank in 1995. As Executive Vice President, Mr. Ward supervised all lending activities, including commercial, real estate, and installment, in addition to directing the legal and compliance departments. Mr. Ward received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Banking and Finance at the University of Utah in 1957. He is a Stonier Graduate, School of Banking at Rutgers University, and has completed bank marketing and management courses at Northwestern University and Stanford. Since his retirement, Mr. Ward has conducted banking and credit seminars in Kuwait and Hong Kong, and continued a long history of civic and community service.

Eric Petersen

Mr. Petersen joined Celtic Bank in 2006 and serves as Executive Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategy. He is a member of the Board of Directors, Loan Committee and ALCO (Asset/Liability) committee. Eric develops and implements strategic initiatives for Celtic including joint venture, credit sponsorship and other strategic partnerships. Eric previously led Celtic’s initiative to acquire assets from the FDIC and failed institutions. Eric is a co-founder of and oversees Celtic’s ABL (asset based lending) program. Eric is an experienced investment banker, investor and commercial lender and has strong expertise in deal structuring and origination. Prior to joining Celtic, Eric was an active principal or advisor in completed transactions valued at over $600 million. Eric’s career includes tenures with private investment firm Ridgeview Capital, investment bank D.A. Davidson & Co., American Skiing Company, Sundance Group, and the staff of a U.S. Congressman. He holds an MBA with an emphasis in entrepreneurial finance from Babson College Graduate School of Business (Wellesley, MA), and bachelor degrees in both Economics and Political Science from the University of Utah.