Gilda Nogueira has fond memories of receiving lollipops at East Cambridge Savings Bank when she was 9 years old. Now she is the bank’s CEO.

Nogueira, now a trustee, a full-time board member, CEO and president of the bank. graduated from Lesley University, where she studied management, and has been employed at East Cambridge Savings Bank for the past 36 years. Starting as a part-time teller in high school, she came onboard full time in 1978. Nogueira worked her way up to become executive vice president and chief operating officer before achieving her current title as president.

“I enjoy working in banking and being in East Cambridge,” she said. “I am part of a bank that is part of a community.”

Indeed, ECSB is more familial than most: several of Nogueira’s immediate family members and friends have worked at the bank, and it holds a special place in her heart beyond that of employment.

“Gilda is a very down-to-earth person,” said Ashley Costa, marketing coordinator at East Cambridge Savings Bank, who nominated Nogueira for this year’s Banker & Tradesman Women of FIRE awards. “If you ever had a question, Gilda would be willing to answer it. We’re like a family here.”

Nogueira faces the same challenges that most bankers experience.

“The real challenge for many banks is today’s economy,” she said. “It is improving, but it is still a challenge to operate in such a low interest rate environment.”

Much of Nogueira’s challenge is dealing with the risk/reward aspect of being a banker.

“With today’s economy, she said, “one has to carefully consider and manage risk, “How much is acceptable, and will the results be evident?”

Established in 1854, East Cambridge Savings Bank has been around for nearly 160 years. That kind of history carries a lot of weight, but Nogueira balances it with a vision for the bank’s future.

“We are constantly evaluating new opportunities that benefit both the customer and the bank,” she said.

A lot of Nogueira’s time is devoted to working with younger colleagues. She believes in giving opportunities to current employees, paying forward the support she was given as she came up in the bank.

“People had more confidence in me than I had in myself,” she said. “If it were not for people pushing me and providing me with opportunities, I would not be where I am today. It is important to be given the opportunity.”

Nogueira is involved in charities and other organizations. She is trustee and treasurer of the Cambridge YMCA, as well as a member of the Somerville Chamber of Commerce. She is also heavily involved in industry, and was elected to the board of the Massachusetts Bankers Association. Nogueira serves as president of the bank’s charitable foundation and is also a board member and past president of the Rotary Club of Somerville.

Gilda Nogueira

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 2 min