Jeffery Cascione, Navigant Credit Union senior vice president and director of commercial banking

SUNNY SIDE UP: Jeffrey Cascione opened his own restaurant in Miami before returning home to Rhode Island to enter the financial services realm. 
PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY
SUNNY SIDE UP: Jeffrey Cascione opened his own restaurant in Miami before returning home to Rhode Island to enter the financial services realm. 
PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY

PBN Leaders & Achievers 2023
Jeffrey Cascione
Navigant Credit Union

Senior vice president and director of commercial banking


Jeffrey Cascione graduated with his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Rhode Island in 1982.

After working a year each as a Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co. staff auditor and Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. salesman, Cascione was Miami-bound.

He had caught the entrepreneurial fever and planned to bring Rhode Island-style lemonade to Florida. That venture quickly segued into Jeffrey’s Restaurant, serving breakfast and lunch, in Tequesta, Fla.

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Cascione cooked as many as 300 breakfasts a day during snowbird season. But restaurant ownership wasn’t for him. After seven years of making it work, he returned to Rhode Island in 1991.

Today, he serves loans and life lessons to Navigant Credit Union’s community as the Smithfield-based credit union’s senior vice president and director of commercial banking.

“It’s listening to people to hear what they’re trying to do and what their vision is and becoming an adviser,” he said. “Small-business owners – borrowers – appreciate that, knowing that someone is there helping, overseeing what they’d like to do.”

Shortly after Cascione returned from Florida, he took a job at the R.I. Department of Business Regulation as a senior bank examiner, a role that had special significance because the state was just emerging from a severe banking crisis.

In 1997, Cascione jumped to the private sector when Centreville Bank hired him to ensure Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. compliance. While at Centre­ville, he earned his master’s in business administration from URI in 2001 – the same year he was licensed as a certified public accountant. Ever the entrepreneur, in 2003 Cascione launched an income-tax-preparation business he maintains for about 50 clients. He also became Rhode Island Banking Association’s legislative committee chairman.

After ascending the ranks to be Centreville’s vice president overseeing commercial lending, Cascione seized the opportunity to join Navigant’s senior leadership team in 2006.

Since then, he’s helped Navigant win the U.S. Small Business Administration’s designation as an express lender in 2008, a rare distinction among credit unions, and was named Rhode Island’s Lender of the Year in 2019.

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