OCTOBER 2018 • LONGISLANDPRESS.COM 27
JOHN R. BURAN:
NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE
As president and CEO of Flushing Bank since July 2005, John R. Buran
has played a key role in the company’s continued success, as well
as its ability to overcome challenges facing Long Island, the banking
industry, and the country.
Before taking over, he served as the bank’s executive vice president
and COO beginning in January 2001. Prior to joining Flushing Bank, he
held senior positions at both Fleet Bank and Citibank.
We recently spoke with Buran to discuss his company, its
mission, and the importance of giving back to the communities
Flushing Bank serves.
Do you have any sayings? As a matter of fact, I
have one hanging in my office: “It can be done.”
It inspires a positive attitude and means that
nothing is impossible. If you put the right
resources, thought, and effort into any
challenging situation, a solution can be
What is your company’s mission?
Quite simply, our mission is to build
profitable customer relationships
to enhance shareholder value.
We are committed to being the
preeminent community financial
services company in our multicultural
market area by exceeding customer
How significant is the Long Island market for
your company? We have three branch locations
on the Island currently. A few years ago, we relocated
our corporate headquarters to Uniondale.
We serve many customer segments including
the personal, business, and commercial
segments. Our Government Banking team
serves many public entities on Long Island,
along with towns and villages, water, fire
and school districts. We will continue to
expand prudently as opportunities present
What specific challenges are present
in the Long Island market? Long Island
is a large and diverse market with many
segments that require a targeted
approach to ensure that we meet the
needs of the market. Our goal in any
new market is to develop a presence
and provide something above and
beyond what a big bank provides.
Our community-based approach
is about building sustainable relationships
with our customers.
I grew up in New York City but
spent most of my adult life on Long
Island and raised my family here,
so I consider it my home.
Why are charitable initiatives
important to your company? As a
community bank, Flushing Bank is committed to giving
back to the communities we serve. Over the years, we have
contributed millions of dollars to charitable organizations
that make a difference in our community. We are proud
to sponsor cultural and charitable events throughout our
markets. Our work within the community does not end when
the workday ends. Many of our employees participate as
board members or volunteers of local community
organizations. Their participation helps keep
us connected with the community and
supports the economic and social vitality
of the communities we serve.
Why did Flushing Bank decide to
partner with Island Harvest? Island
Harvest has become Long Island’s largest
hunger relief organization. It provides
hunger awareness and education and is
a key ally for our community. Flushing
Bank has three branch locations on Long
Island and serves many customers who
live and/or work on Long Island, as do
many of our employees.
What philanthropic effort or efforts have
you been most proud of? It is difficult to select
just one. One that I am particularly proud of is
our affiliation with the United Way of Long Island.
We have sponsored several initiatives that help
students, veterans, and families. A particular program
of theirs that stands out in my mind is Project
Warmth. Project Warmth’s Emergency Fuel Fund
can make a significant difference for families in
our region. As Long Island’s only non-government
islandwide emergency fuel fund, Project Warmth
is a safety net for individuals and families who
are unable to pay their heating bill. Supporting
organizations such as United Way of Long Island
and Island Harvest ensures that the basic necessities
of life are addressed for those most in need.
What do you like most about your job
and what would you say has been your top
accomplishment to date as CEO? The best part
of being the CEO of Flushing Bank is leading
an organization of extremely talented and
dedicated people to deliver outstanding service
to our customers throughout Long Island, Queens,
Brooklyn, and Manhattan each and every day.
I think the top accomplishment of my tenure as CEO was
ensuring that we not only remained stable, but we grew
profitably throughout the recent economic downturn
(a.k.a. The Great Recession). We consistently delivered a
dividend each quarter and were laser focused on providing
value to our shareholders.
John Buran, CEO of Flushing Bank. The
Bank serves a large customer base on
By JEFF BERMAN