PORTLAND — Norway Savings Bank has named Patricia Weigel the bank’s new president, marking the first time in the company’s history that a female staffer has held the post.

Weigel, who is currently executive vice president, will assume the spot July 1. She will succeed 10-year President and CEO Robert Harmon, who will remain on staff as CEO and chairman of the board until he retires in two-and-a-half years.

At that time, Weigel will become president and CEO.

Weigel and Harmon have worked together for many years, having met in the 1990s when both worked at Maine Bank & Trust.

“For a long time I have been supporting Pat and I watched her grow and develop her knowledge base and competencies,” said Harmon. “The board felt we had a person who could fulfill the role.”

Weigel, who lives in Falmouth, said her banking career started at Maine Savings Bank, where she took a teller job in 1987.

“I needed a job and thought it would be temporary, and discovered that I really enjoyed it,” she said. “When I first got into banking, being president of a bank someday never entered my mind.”

In 1992, Weigel became a branch manager at Maine Bank and Trust in Falmouth, where she met Harmon.

Both of them then joined Norway Savings Bank.

Weigel said she slowly came to the conclusion that the bank’s top post was within reach.

“I had some mentors who made me realize my potential,” she said. “I realized (the presidency) was something that’s obtainable with hard work and guidance.”

Weigel said that as president she will focus on stable growth and maintaining the company’s “great financial standing.”

She will also push for technological improvements to the bank’s website and mobile applications.

Harmon said one of Weigel’s greatest skills is her leadership ability.

“She is able to rally employees into one common theme. She has great interpersonal skills. She’s a people person, and is competent on the banking side,” he said.

But he said the job won’t be easy.

“The toughest part is starting something new and (taking) new responsibilities and spending the time to learn all aspects of the financial system so that when the buck stops on her desk, she is prepared,” he said.

Harmon said Norway Savings’ growth has remained flat in the last two years. He said the economy, despite some positive signs, remains slow.

“As much as we hope for a shining light at the end of the tunnel, I think it evades all of us at this time,” he said.

Norway Savings, which has assets of roughly $950 million, is one of the largest banks in the state. The company was incorporated in 1866 and has 21 branches in southern and western Maine.

Weigel, the bank’s 16th president, grew up in the western New York town of Dunkirk and graduated from Denison University in Ohio with a degree in psychology.

After school she moved to Boston, then relocated to Maine.

Weigel is married and has two children.

Staff Writer Jonathan Hemmerdinger can be reached at 791-6316 or: [email protected]