Karen Marryat, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Blue Hills Bank, said the path her career took was due, in part, to the advice of a professor in her undergraduate days at University of Rhode Island.
“He told the marketing graduates to consider going into banking, which at the time was being deregulated,” she said, admitting she had little interest in banking at the time. Upon graduating, she applied her marketing skills at an ad agency that had several bank clients. When an opportunity presented itself at a local bank, she took it, and hasn’t looked back since.
Now with over 25 years in the banking industry – the last five at Blue Hills Bank – Marryat is responsible for the marketing efforts of Blue Hills Bank and Nantucket Bank (a division of Blue Hills), the e-commerce department, the Nantucket-based contact center, and the bank’s charitable foundation. Her colleagues credit her as a leader during the bank’s successful transition in 2011 from the Hyde Park Savings Bank, a quiet community bank, to the current Blue Hills Bank, with assets of over $1.8 billion and 10 area branches in seven communities. Marryat oversaw the rebranding campaign accompanying the name change, which also ushered in many improvements including enhancements to the bank’s online banking platform, an expanded web presence, a new look and feel at the branches, and extensive public relations.
“A lot of (other) changes went along with the name change; it took a lot of effort on the part of everyone at the bank to bring our new brand to life,” said Marryat, quick to sing the praises of her teammates in getting it all done.
Recently, she launched the bank’s current campaign, “Where go-getters get things done,” and is playing a key role in opening a new branch in Westwood, on track for fall of 2015.
When asked for a piece of advice she’d share with young professionals, Marryat pointed to the importance of mentors.
“Whatever stage you are in your career, look around and see who is successful. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice,” she said, adding that the advice has been instrumental through her own career. Her lead-by-example work ethic and ready willingness to mentor are among the qualities her teammates admire in her.
Aside from banking, Marryat has volunteered for the better part of 20 years at Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth, the nation’s oldest continuously operating museum. She has served as a member of the board of trustees and the executive committee and chairs the development committee. She’s also active with the Thomas M. Menino YMCA in Hyde Park, an organization which she admires for its ability to provide assistance and resources to all ages, from children to seniors.
Marryat said she was humbled yet proud to receive the award, and credits many valuable colleagues and co-workers as integral players along her path to success.