Almost nine years ago, Diane LeBlanc’s professional world came to sudden and stunning halt. But it didn’t stop her from doing her job.
In July 2003, Hudson-based Community National Bank was bought by Citizens Bank. The impact on employees was immediate.
From tellers to vice presidents, people were upset, worried, angry and afraid. The retail team would remain with Citizens Bank, but another 55 employees were out of a job.
LeBlanc, then vice president of human resources at Community National Bank, never lost the positive attitude she’s known for. She kept smiling, and kept motivating the employees to the best job possible until the end – even knowing she would soon be out of a job as well.
With her connections in human resources, she began contacting other community banks and companies on behalf of her co-workers to find them new positions. At exit interviews, she offered distraught employees something wonderful: Hope.
“It was heartbreaking to go through,” said Amy Traywick, now human resources coordinator at The Village Bank, and a colleague of LeBlanc’s from Community National Bank. “But she left people with such hope. At the end, you felt bad for the people who were staying and losing all their friends. She was amazing.”
LeBlanc found jobs for a number of people who might not have been able on their own, Traywick said, but never once sought credit.
LeBlanc herself was unemployed for almost a year before joining The Village Bank as vice president of human resources. She has been there for eight years, and is “an inspiration and a role model,” said Traywick.
“It’s not uncommon to find a line outside of Diane’s office for various employees to meet with her to discuss various issues,” Traywick continued. “From giving assistance on how to get along with a supervisor, to assisting someone finish their bachelor’s degree, Diane is willing to take on any challenge, even those beyond her scope of the job.”
LeBlanc began her career as a teller, but soon moved into the HR department. The combination of human resources and community banking is one she said she finds compelling, and rewarding.
“I like community banking – I like that we have a greater impact, as a small bank, on our community, and that you can really see the impact of those contributions,” she said.
Part of what drew her to The Village Bank – and has kept her there, despite a long commute from her home in Hudson to the bank’s headquarters in Auburndale – is the bank’s Community Commitment Initiative.
It’s “the core of The Village Bank,” she said. “The bank is so socially conscious about the community it serves. The amount of volunteering is phenomenal, and it’s at every level.”
Beyond her commitments with The Village Bank, LeBlanc has previously served on the board of United Way. She has been involved with the Metrowest Human Resource Management Association for more than 15 years, serving on the executive board as vice president of membership.
“She is someone who thinks of others more than herself,” Traywick said. “She’s a nurturer, a coach, a mentor. You can always depend on her for anything and everything.”