Paul F. Scully ran the Boston Marathon 11 times – always as part of a team.
And he views his job as president and CEO of Ware-based Country Bank the same way – as a team member.
Scully, 55, personally raised more than $100,000 while running as a Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member, and served as board chair of the organization from 2003 to 2009. He ran the course 11 times, then completed 26 miles in the gym for the remaining four years while a team member.
He no longer runs the marathon, but he is setting a brisk pace for his teammates at Country Bank.
Scully, named president and CEO in 2004, has overseen the bank’s growth to a $1.5 billion institution, serving 23 communities in Central Massachusetts.
“Our number one focus is our financial strength,” Scully said. “Then, we are able to use some of these profits to make a difference in the lives of as many as the people in the community as we can.”
Scully takes a hands-on approach to the bank’s community outreach efforts – from swinging a hammer at a recent Habitat for Humanity build-out, to donning the costume for the bank’s mascot “Buck the Dog” at public events.
He encourages all Country Bank officers to become involved in community service and set an example for junior employees.
On a recent weekend, bank employees were out en masse in local communities – running a 5k trail race in Brimfield, staffing refreshment tents at local Little League games and sponsoring a triathlon in Ludlow.
Under Scully’s leadership, Country Bank contributes to many local charitable organizations, including food pantries, senior centers, education foundations, tornado relief assistance groups and adult literacy programs.
“You try to look at it and say, ‘Let’s cover as many age groups, as many constituencies that are out there as we can,’” Scully said.
The bank recently pledged $15,000 to three of the area’s domestic violence task forces. It’s a cause that many might shy away from, but that makes it no less important.
Domestic violence, Scully said, “doesn’t have a nice ring to it, and people don’t like to talk about it, but it’s very real.”
For 2012, Scully has earmarked $1 million for community contributions, a $300,000 increase from last year. Financial literacy is one of the bank’s key outreach efforts.
Two employees work full time on the Bank’s “Savings Makes Sense” program, which serves 29 elementary and middle schools. Country Bank’s “Credit for Life” fairs help teach local high school students the impact of credit scores. And its bi-monthly, financial education magazine, “Our Community,” is mailed free to 65,000 area households.
To identify additional ways the bank can make a difference in the communities it serves, Scully recently established a Community Advisory Council, comprised of local business professionals, and created a new position of corporate outreach officer.
Scully serves as a corporator of The Greater Worcester Community Foundation, director of the UMass Wing Memorial Hospital and trustee for Old Sturbridge Village.
As pleased as he is to be named a Community Bank Hero, Scully said it is a team award.
“This is an organization that has a commitment to the community, and I happen to have the privilege to be the CEO,” he said. “It really is a reflection on the staff.”