We don’t often cover awards bestowed by other trade publications here at Banker & Tradesman, but when I saw that American Banker had recently recognized HarborOne’s Maureen Wilkinson, I knew I wanted to write something about it.
Wilkinson recently received the annual Community Impact Award for her work as the bank’s CRA officer and overseeing HarborOne U. This came as part of the magazine’s Powerful Women in Banking program.
I first met Maureen (or “Mo”) early last year and profiled her for an In Person in the spring (which I recommend you read because her story is pretty interesting). When I saw the announcement, I couldn’t help but think, “Hey, I know her!” and “Awesome, she deserves it!”
When I connected with Wilkinson by phone early this week, she said she was flattered and surprised by the honor. (Community bankers usually are, in my experience.)
But she also added, “I certainly don’t want to get caught up in thinking that’s more important than the actual work I do.”
In case you’re not familiar with it, her work includes running HarborOne U’s “Success for Small Business” program, and she was also involved in the organization’s first pitch contest this spring. She told me they’re hoping to reboot the pitch contest next spring, which is also when HarborOne will celebrate its 100th anniversary.
Speaking of American Banker’s recent event honoring those women in banking, Wilkinson noted that she also had the opportunity to meet another powerful woman in banking who she personally admires: none other than Cape Cod Five President and CEO (and now chair of the American Bankers Association) Dorothy Savarese.
“She was so welcoming and so complimentary of HarborOne U and our programs and our work. I was taken aback,” she told me by phone this week. “From where I sit, I often study Cape Cod Five’s work to think about what we could do better, so to have her initiate a conversation about how impressed she was with what we do, it just inspires me to do more and to continue on with my work.”