For 36 years, Jack McGeorge has been synonymous with Needham Bank.
During that time, he has overseen the evolution of community banking, from passbook savings and NOW checking accounts, to commercial and residential construction loans, online banking and mobile banking.
McGeorge, 67, is easing into retirement over the next several years, part of a planned succession. Mark Whalen, the Bank’s chief operating officer, was named president in April. McGeorge remains CEO and chairman, positions he has held since 2005, but said he will gradually cut back before stepping down entirely.
“It’s called ‘retiring in place,’” he said. “We were mandated to have succession planning. You’ve got to live it yourself. I want to demonstrate that people do move up and out, and up and around.”
McGeorge said he is proud of the bank’s growth during his tenure, particularly in the past several years.
“We were able to take advantage of the jumbo residential [loan] market when a lot of lenders seemed to be shying away,” he said. “We took advantage of it and grew. We’re a billion-dollar bank and we’re well-capitalized. We have a great branch network. But what I’m most truly, truly proud of is the staff we’ve been able to accumulate here.”
And as the bank has grown, so have its charitable donations.
In 2011, five-branch Needham Bank donated almost $400,000 to more than 200 local sports teams, youth groups, nonprofit groups, schools, parks and libraries in Needham, Dedham, Wellesley, Westwood, Medfield and other nearby communities.
McGeorge said he is particularly proud of the Bank’s sponsorship of the recent renovation of James Hugh Powers Hall. The grand ballroom on Needham Town Hall’s second floor – divided 60 years ago into offices – reopened last fall as a 440-seat concert hall, with state-of-the-art sound, lighting and projection systems.
Needham Bank is underwrtting a concert series in the new hall, with show and dinner packages aimed at making downtown Needham a “destination,” according to McGeorge.
Of the Bank’s many community efforts McGeorge has overseen, restoring the concert hall “was a crown jewel,” he said.
Needham Board of Selectmen Chairman Moe Handel said the impact of McGeorge’s civic involvement is visible throughout Needham.
“Jack expanded Needham Bank’s leadership in making Needham the most successful community it can be,” he said.
McGeorge said that giving back to the community is simply part of Needham Bank’s mission.
“As a mutual/community bank, our dividends are our contributions to the community,” he explained.
McGeorge is a board member of the Cooperative Central Bank and Medfield Housing Authority, and is active in the Massachusetts Bankers Association, American Bankers Association, Independent Community Bankers Association and Builders Association of Greater Boston.
He began his banking career his hometown of Lubbock, Texas, at Lubbock National Bank, after graduating from Texas Tech University in 1972.
Although he still has a slight Texas twang, McGeorge and his wife, Kathy, have resided for many years in Medfield; they have two daughters and four grandchildren.
“This is my home,” he said.