In her more than 10 years as branch manager for Cambridge Savings Bank’s Newton Centre office, Ruth Barnett has held onto the staff that was in place when she presided over the branch’s opening. It’s easy to see why. During a short phone interview, she’s greeted by a child who has stopped by the branch, and takes the time to warmly acknowledge the visitor.
Early impressions stick. That child embodies the future of community banking, and in Barnett’s decades-long career in banking, she’s gone out of her way to nurture children in many civic activities. She is an active member of the JM Barry Newton Boys & Girls Club as a lead sponsor of its annual golf tournament. She is current president of Newton Community Pride, supporting a dozen of their annual events, which include road races, spelling bees and open houses sponsored by Newton Mayor Seti Warren. She is also an active member of the Newton Needham Chamber of Commerce, and has supported the endeavors of the Historic Newton organization by providing fundraising advice based on her past experiences as director of development at another nonprofit.
She is on the board of Newton Community Service Center, and in 2009, received the Mayor’s Medallion Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the city of Newton.
Barnett is skilled at finding areas of community need within the Newton and Needham communities, and being able to mobilize resources to address them at a community level, said Dan Mercurio, senior vice president and head of retail banking at Cambridge Savings Bank. He credits her with gathering more than $100 million in new deposits in a five-year timeframe.
Most recently, Mercurio said, Barnett has been tasked with supporting the bank’s launch of a new sales and service process called RISE, which accentuates relationship-building beyond simple transactions. The program will be implemented across the organization in 2014 and 2015.
“What’s really fascinating is that over 10 years later, Ruth’s staff has remained constant. Her ability to create loyalty also transcends to her relationship with her team,” Mercurio said.