East Boston Savings Bank’s President and CEO, Richard Gavegnano invited seventh grader, Ashley Reardon to the bank’s Peabody Headquarters where he presented her with a community scholarship of $1,000 for retrieving an American flag she found entangled high in a tree. Reardon, a Saugus resident and 7th grader at St. Mary’s School in Melrose, noticed the American flag in a tree while riding in the car with her mother after a snowstorm. She knew that it was wrong for the flag to be tangled in the tree instead of on the flag pole showing the highest honor of respect.
When asked, “What does the flag symbolize to you”? Ashley responded, “There are people out there in the army and in the navy risking their lives every single day for us, our country, so we can sleep safely at night knowing that we are safe and sound. We take it so much for granted; I feel like we need to show how thankful we are and it really shows respect for our country and flag and for those who have fought and died; and put their lives on the line everyday”.
“I am always impressed to see the younger generation support the troops and show their patriotism. After seeing Ashley on the news for climbing a tree to retrieve the American flag made me want to meet her and present her with a special scholarship”, said Gavegnano.
To watch Ashley’s full interview with Fox News, click here: https://youtu.be/vvqBgC2VVx4
Founded in 1848, EBSB is a proven community bank that offers products and services that meet the deposit and financing needs of both consumers and businesses. East Boston Savings Bank currently operates 35 full-service branches and operates a Mobile Banking Unit in the greater Boston metropolitan area and offers a variety of deposit and loan products to individuals and businesses located in its primary market, which consists of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk and Suffolk counties.
East Boston Savings Bank’s 32nd Annual Holiday Auction raised over $75,000 for local charities. EBSB employees, family, friends and vendors gathered at the Danversport Yacht Club where items donated by Bank employees, family members, local businesses and vendors were auctioned off to the highest bidder. Other items others were offered through various raffles that took place during the evening.
EBSB’s President, CEO and Chairman Richard J. Gavegnano and Executive Vice President John Migliozzi served as auctioneers for the event. “The auction is a wonderful event and one our employees look forward each year as it brings them all together for the fun and enjoyment of giving to a good cause. We are proud of the role we play as a good neighbor in the communities we serve, and our employees continue to be supportive of those efforts” said Gavegnano. “It’s hard to believe that the Bank has been doing this for thirty-two years. Each year the event gets bigger and the donated items are more extravagant”.
The five charities benefitting from the event are Bread of Life in Malden, Crossroads Family Shelter in East Boston, East Boston Social Centers, Greater Medford Visiting Nurse & Community Health and Citizens Inn in Peabody. Each of these organizations received a check for $15,000.
About East Boston Savings Bank
Founded in 1848, EBSB is a proven community bank that offers products and services that meet the deposit and financing needs of both consumers and businesses. East Boston Savings Bank currently operates 32 full-service branches and operates a Mobile Banking Unit in the greater Boston metropolitan area and offers a variety of deposit and loan products to individuals and businesses located in its primary market, which consists of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, and Suffolk counties.
About one year ago, when Chelsea Bank President Joe Vinard was at a banking conference in Florida, he bumped into East Cambridge Savings Bank (ECSB) President and CEO Gilda Nogueira, and that chance meeting 12 months later would turn into what is believed to be an exciting merger of the two local banks.
Prior to its official merging last week, Chelsea Bank was one of the oldest institutions in the state, having been operating for 129 years. However, it was also one of the smallest banks in the state with assets of $55 million. Vinard said during that chance meeting last year, this reality was on his mind.
As they parted that day to head off to separate meetings, Vinard suggested to Nogueira that maybe they should talk about a merger.
“A month later, the call came,” said Vinard during an interview recently in Cambridge at the ECSB headquarters. “They were 129 great years, but the industry has changed rapidly in the last few years. The last five to seven years have been very difficult for smaller banks to find their way. Regulations make it very expensive to keep the doors open. We wanted to find someone who had our same values and dedication to the customers and we have found that with this merger. When you…look at what we did and they do, we really have more similarities than differences…It’s really been no change and the customers seem very, very happy.”
On Monday, March 2, the merger officially went through.
Chelsea Bank is now a division of ECSB, and Vinard remains the president of that division. Chelsea Bank directors have joined the Board of Corporators of 1854 Bancorp, parent company of ECSB. The past chairman of Chelsea Bank has joined the Board of Directors of ECSB. The Chelsea Bank branch will remain open and all Chelsea Bank employees were offered positions, with 18 out of 20 employees choosing to stay. Customers will now have access to 10 full-service banking centers, 16 bank-owned ATMs and enhanced online banking services.
Together, the will boast total assets of $940 million.
One interesting fact that many might not realize is that ECSB – which is 160 years old in its own right – didn’t buy out Chelsea Bank. In fact, no money was exchanged. It was a mutual to mutual transaction.
“Putting the customer first is what it came down to,” said Nogueira. “We are a bank, but we don’t have shareholders. We are always looking to please our customers.”
Added Vinard, “A lot of times when this happens, people ask ‘Who got rich?’ Nobody made money here. It was about the customer. The depositors own the bank.”
Nogueira affirmed the same.
“It was mutual to mutual,” she said. “There is no money that changed hands. It’s merging. We have found a good partner. As a combined organization, we’re able to do more…We consider ourselves partners. That’s what we said when we began things with Chelsea and I believe customers will find that with East Cambridge…It’s been much more of a partnership than a merger.”
Both also affirmed that this wasn’t a situation where the larger institution, ECSB, absorbed the smaller, weaker Chelsea Bank.
“When we put the balance sheets together…the reality is even though we’re much larger in customer size, we are so similar even on the balance sheet. When we brought them together, the shift on the balance sheet was minimal.”
Already, Vinard said he has reaped some of the fruits of the combination – being able to call on a technology department when his computers were not completely in sync, or being able to phone over to the maintenance department to come and shove the sidewalks. With the merger, both said, Vinard and his staff have tapped into an entire network to help them.
“Before, that was all on me or my staff,” he said. “The message is if anything, this should be better. The customer service should be enhanced and improved and the customer experience made better. We should be able to do more for the community and for the customers and the commercial borrower…By just teaming up with East Cambridge we have opened the whole world of banking in Chelsea to all those small businesses up and down Broadway.”