It’s no surprise that Michael Roy became a CRA officer, as the position brings together two of his greatest passions – community banking and community service.
“His professional and personal passion is to truly make a difference in improving individuals’ lives in the community and the banking industry,” Bozena Dabek, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, bankESB, wrote in her nomination of Roy for a Community Bank Hero Award. “He takes great pride in capturing every opportunity possible to get the bank involved and does not miss a beat.”
Roy’s lifelong history of volunteerism – indeed, even his current projects – is a list too long to be contained in this space. From ski patrol volunteer to Rotary member to Massachusetts Mortgage Bankers Foundation board member, Roy’s commitment has had an impact far beyond his immediate environs.
Volunteering is “my obligation as a community member,” he said. “The ability to help out others is an important part of being in a community. It helps us all be stronger when everyone has opportunities.”
Those opportunities come from his personal efforts and his position at bankESB, where he is vice president and CRA officer charged with community development and community outreach. Roy’s clients are mostly low- and moderate-income individuals and families, and he does a lot of outreach to and work with first-time homebuyers and financial literacy programs.
His 30 years of experience in banking includes stints as a teller, branch manager, loan officer and compliance positions, giving him a broad perspective on how best to address the banking needs of Hampshire County.
Always looking for opportunities, he helped launch a loan program for a particular need in one of the area’s working cities, what he calls “fixer-upper loans” – low-interest loans for owner to improve their residences, including upgrading windows, fixing porches and repairing roofs. The program brought together a local CDC and additional grant sources, allowing the bank to address the specific needs of its customers.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunities banking in general has provided; I’ve met a lot of wonderful people,” Roy said. “And I’m very thankful that this particular bank not only allows me to volunteer, but to help others do the same.”
That’s the secret to Roy’s dedication to volunteering. “You feel good at the end of the day, you really see what you’ve accomplished and that you have made a difference being on this earth,” he said. But it’s more than that – “seeing people volunteer inspires them to do the same, in areas and ways they didn’t think they could. It’s a cycle – if you help out others, perhaps that’s an incentive for others to pay it forward.”
When Roy isn’t volunteering – and sometimes when he is – he and his wife are world travelers. The only continent they haven’t been to is Antarctica – but don’t lay odds he won’t end up there eventually, especially if there’s community service to be done.