It’s clear that Patrick Thorpe, president and CEO of BankGloucester, views himself not as an individual, but as an extension of the bank and a representation of the work it does for the community.
Though he is responsible for the day-to-day operations and strategic direction of the bank, the Banking for the Community program he implemented nine years ago is close to his heart. The annual program has given a total of $130,000 since its inception to local nonprofits chosen by the community, according to his nominator, Kathryn Wall, marketing specialist at BankGloucester.
“We have upwards of 10,000 people in the community voting for this,” Thorpe said. “It’s a way that we can reach out to the community and say, ‘Hey, what organizations are important to you?’ and provide them with some financial support.”
Thorpe also boosts the bank’s community support through Chamber of Commerce events, holiday high school basketball tournament, youth financial literacy programs and the YMCA, to name a few. The bank also sponsors an outdoor community concert during the summer, where Thorpe and other board members scoop free ice cream for attendees.
“We appreciate being a part of this great community and we like doing whatever we can to make it successful, and make a difference,” he said.
Thorpe began his career in the industry at a big Boston bank. After a couple of years, he decided he wanted to go a different route and become a bank examiner for the federal government, he said.
“After doing that for a number of years, I decided that I wanted to get back into the banking side of things. The small community bank is a different atmosphere; you can have more of an impact than at some larger banks. You can wear many more hats and get out and make much more of a difference,” Thorpe said.
He is also actively involved with Gloucester Revolving Loan, Gloucester Investment Corporation, Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, Gloucester Elks, Lahey Health Systems, Northeast Health Systems and the Massachusetts Bankers Association.
He “is not only responsible for the continued growth and overall health of the bank under his direction, but is also an exceptionally active and involved member of the community on both the professional and personal levels,” Wall wrote in her nomination.
“My favorite part is being able to interact with the customers on a day-to-day basis – when I get the chance to run into them in the lobby or down on the street and have a conversation with them,” Thorpe said. “Being a part of helping people in the community succeed, that’s the thing that I enjoy most. Just being a small part of that is very rewarding from my experience.”
“I don’t view this as a personal award. This is an award for the bank, because it’s not me – it’s the entire organization,” he said.