Every year, Banker & Tradesman sets out to recognize community bankers who stand out from their peers. These individuals not only excel in their careers, they also devote professional and personal time to making the communities they serve better places for all.
Community Bank Heroes
Tensions between southeast Asian and Latino youths in Lowell spilled over into gun violence in the mid-1990s, prompting local minority leaders to search for solutions.
Rachel Chisholm describes herself as a “people person,” and it is apparent that she thrives on her community involvement, dedication to advancing her employees and assisting her customers. “I love mentoring, developing, coaching people. Between that and the customers, I think that’s my favorite – really interacting. I’m a people person, so having that interaction with people is really the highlight.”
Annette Hunt entered the banking world as a teller when she was 17 years old. Decades later, she was a senior vice president at the recently acquired Medford Cooperative Bank, wondering if it was time to leave the industry behind and try something different.
Resilience and passion are what set Luba Levin apart and made her one of this year’s Community Bank Heroes. Levin learned resilience at an early age; her family emigrated from Russia to the U.S. in 1989 when Luba was just 12. Adjusting to a new language and culture was not easy, she said, but “it made me stronger and the person I am today.”
Tony Liberopoulos embodies United’s key employee cultural attributes: “he’s friendly, caring and respectful to co-workers and in our communities.” And that’s not effusive nomination praise; it’s how Liberopoulos lives his life.
When the Andover branch of Reading Cooperative Bank wanted to expand into the nearby Lawrence market, branch manager Gladys Martinez, one of this year’s Community Bank Heroes, knew just what to do.
With a four-decade track record in banking, Bruce Marzotto has gotten to the point where he’s now helping finance businesses in the third generation of the same family.
As a lifelong resident of Newton and volunteer in the community, Susan Paley was a natural choice for the position of vice president of community relations at The Village Bank. Her work in that position over the last decade also made her a natural selection as one of this year’s Community Bank Heroes.
There’s the right way, the wrong way, and the Woburn way – or so says Donald Queenin, executive vice president at Woburn-based Northern Bank & Trust Co. The line is one of Queenin’s many favorite (and oft-repeated) expressions, which his staff has come to affectionately refer to as “DQ-isms.”
It’s no surprise that Michael Roy became a CRA officer, as the position brings together two of his greatest passions – community banking and community service. Volunteering is “my obligation as a community member,” he said. “The ability to help out others is an important part of being in a community. It helps us all be stronger when everyone has opportunities.”
Thomas Sharkey wanted to be a banker his whole life, ever since accompanying his father to the local bank in Lowell as a young boy. Sharkey has realized his dream, spending more than 40 years in banking, including two stints as interim president and CEO of Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank.
If you’re looking for advice on how to be involved in your community, there’s no better mentor than Bert Talerman, first executive vice president and executive lending officer at Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank. “Bert has spent decades being a role model of how to become engaged in the community,” said Dorothy Savarese, president and CEO of Cape Cod Five Cents.
Brian W. Thompson joined Commerce Bank in 2004 as president and CEO after serving as president of various banking institutions in New England. Under Thompson’s leadership, Commerce Bank has been recognized as one of the top performing banks in New England.
Len Anctil had recently left law school and was without a job when he got the letter from Middlesex Bank: it was time to start paying back his student loans.
Not all heroes wear capes, but some of them do don costumes and put on live musical performances to teach school children about saving and spending money. At least, Blue Hills Bank’s Julie Beckham does.
Bill Burgess and his wife of 24 years, Kelley, live in Waltham, close to where he grew up, where he works, and where he volunteers a lot of his time. He got into banking almost accidentally and has been with the same community bank for his entire 23-year career.
Overseeing Dean Bank’s charitable efforts is part of the job description for Michael Carroll, but supporting the nonprofit community is a priority that transcends Carroll’s workplace assignments.
A little over a decade ago, the staff at Mansfield Bank brought in Richard Hamilton to bolster their burgeoning commercial lending department. They knew they had gotten someone with credentials. They knew they had gotten someone who could navigate the business landscape. They likely didn’t know that they had gotten some who would dress up as Santa Claus each holiday season and lead a team of elves around the bank, spreading Christmas cheer.