Richard J. Gavegnano, President, CEO and Chairman of Meridian Bancorp, Inc. and East Boston Savings Bank (EBSB) announces the elections of Carl LaGreca to Lead Director and Peter Scolaro to the Board of Directors for both Meridian Bancorp, Inc. and East Boston Savings Bank.
Mr. LaGreca’s succeeds Richard F. Fernandez, who served as Lead Director since 2015 and as a member of the Board since 2007. Mr. LaGreca will continue to serve as a member of Meridian Bancorp’s Audit Committee, a position he has held since 2009. The Lynnfield resident is a Certified Public Accountant at DiCicco, Gulman & Company, LLP of Woburn. A graduate of Merrimack College, he also received a Master’s Degree in Taxation from Bentley College where he was awarded the Samuel Wolpe Memorial Award given to the outstanding student in the graduate tax program.
“We are excited to benefit from Peter’s thirty-four year affiliation with EBSB and his experience with ABCD preparing budgets and overseeing property and construction management and his many years of service to the East Boston community. His understanding of budgeting, finance and corporate strategy will enhance the board and we greatly look forward to his contributions” said Gavegnano.
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. And customers can rest easy knowing that their deposits are fully insured by both the FDIC and Depositors Insurance Fund (DIF). East Boston Savings Bank currently operates 35 full-service branches 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.
Meridian Bancorp, Inc. (the “Company” or “Meridian”) (NASDAQ: EBSB), the holding company for East Boston Savings Bank (the “Bank”), following the new tax law being passed by Congress and signed by the President on December 22, 2017, announced the following enhanced commitments to the Bank’s employees, infrastructure investment and charitable giving which will benefit its customers and the communities it serves:
- The minimum wage for all employees will increase to $15 per hour
- An additional 20% will be added to the 2017 bonus as part of the Bank’s Incentive Compensation Plan that will be paid to the Bank’s 500+ employees in January 2018
- An increase to the Capital Spending Budget as a result of plans to build six new branch locations in 2018
- An increase in charitable giving by targeting $1 million in donations to community and non-profit organizations in 2018
Richard J. Gavegnano, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “While our wage policy has consistently been higher than the state mandate of $11.00, the passing of the new tax law has provided the Bank the opportunity to boost its planned minimum wage hike and share those benefits with many of the employees our customers see every day. As a result, our Board of Directors voted to increase the Bank’s minimum wage to $15 per hour as well as increase the 2017 bonus that all employees are eligible to receive by 20%. It is our hope that this hourly wage increase and additional bonus commitment will attract and maintain employees and demonstrate the Bank’s commitment to invest in our workforce.”
According to Gavegnano, while the Bank continues to study the provisions of the new tax law, the Bank believes it is clear that this law supports the Bank’s long-term growth prospects and goals. “Our plan is to continue to branch out to areas in our marketplace that are not being serviced by a community bank. East Boston Savings Bank added two branch offices from our acquisition of Meetinghouse Bank in Dorchester and Roslindale, and in 2018 we will be adding branch locations in the Boston neighborhoods of Cleveland Circle and Brigham Circle as well as locations in West Peabody and Lynnfield. We will continue to research new branch opportunities and stimulate economic growth by providing local jobs and loans to help businesses and individuals thrive.”
Beyond banking, East Boston Savings Bank is committed to being a good neighbor by giving back to the communities we serve. “Each year the Bank makes contributions and/or donates a variety of items supporting community and local civic groups. Our employees volunteer their time for many meaningful causes. In 2018, the Bank and the East Boston Savings Bank Charitable Foundation are committing to make contributions of at least $1 million to well-deserving not-for-profit organizations.”
It is due to East Boston Savings Bank’s commitment to its employees and communities that the Bank was recognized by The Boston Globe as one of Massachusetts’ “Top Places to Work” in 2017. “In my experience, top workplaces are where people work well together while understanding that what they do is worthwhile. There is no substitute for the hard work and great customer service that our employees consistently provide. Our employees understand what it means to go the extra mile for their customers. I’m proud of our employees and what we accomplish together,” said Gavegnano.
Meridian Bancorp, Inc. is the holding company for East Boston Savings Bank. East Boston Savings Bank, a Massachusetts- chartered stock savings bank founded in 1848, operates 33 full-service locations and one mobile location in the greater Boston metropolitan area. We offer a variety of deposit and loan products to individuals and businesses located in our primary market, which consists of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk and Suffolk Counties, Massachusetts. For additional information, visit www.ebsb.com.
Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements herein constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements may be identified by words such as “believes,” “will,” “expects,” “project,” “may,” “could,” “developments,” “strategic,” “launching,” “opportunities,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “intends,” “plans,” “targets” and similar expressions. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Meridian Bancorp, Inc.’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements as a result of numerous factors. Factors that could cause such differences to exist include, but are not limited to, general economic conditions, changes in interest rates, regulatory considerations, and competition and the risk factors described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks materialize or should underlying beliefs or assumptions prove incorrect, Meridian Bancorp, Inc.’s actual results could differ materially from those discussed. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release.
Aura Garcia with her daughter,
Nancy, some years back.
East Boston residents are
raising money to help support
Garcia’s two children.
East Boston residents are rallying around the woman killed New Year’s Eve day during a tragic accident on the Meridian Street Bridge.
Aura Garcia was crushed to death when she tried to make her way across the bridge on foot from Eastie to Chelsea. The bridge operator, Louis Alfieri Jr., was in the process of opening the drawbridge to allow a boat to go by along the Chelsea Creek. Alfieri lowered the bridge after hearing Garcia’s screams for help. Authorities investigating the incident believe she was in a blind spot and Alfieri could not see her location.
Eastie residents have set up an online fundraising campaign assist Garcia’s 16-year-old daughter, Nancy, and 4-year-old son, Daniel with food, clothing and other basic essentials. Eagle Hill resident and Eagle Hill Civic Association member Blythe Berents started the campaign.
So far residents have raised over $3,000 for Garcia’s family.
The Ruggiero Family Memorial Home offered its services to the Garcia family for the wake and funeral that will be held Thursday with a funeral Friday morning. The city offered a grave at the city-run Fairview Cemetery.
“We worked with the city to provide the family with a full funeral service in accordance with the family’s wishes,” said Joseph Ruggiero.
Representative Carlo Basile said he plans to hold some type of fundraiser for the family and called the accident a ‘terrible tragedy”.
“My heart breaks for Nancy and Daniel,” said Basile. “This is a terrible tragedy that makes it all the more heartbreaking given its timing after the Holiday Season. I’m looking at ways we can further help the Garcia family in this time of grief. When we have further details of how we plan to raise funds for the family I will let the community know.”
City Councilor Sal LaMattina also called the accident terrible and while he did not know Alfieri or Garcia his thoughts and prayers are with both families.
“By all accounts she was a hardworking and loving mother,” said LaMattina. “Mr. Alfieri has had a 34-year stellar career with the city and I understand he is devastated by the accident.”
Senator Anthony Petruccelli has also offered to help the family in any way he can.
“I will work with my colleagues to ensure the Garcia family gets the help they need,” said Petruccelli. “Residents all over East Boston have stepped up and have come together and it’s a very touching thing to see a community rally around the Garcia family.”
The city’s Public Works Department runs the daily operation of the Meridian Street Bridge and hires bridge operators. Alfieri had been an operator at the Meridian Street Bridge since 1999.
According to BPW Commissioner Joanne Massaro, Alfieri had an unblemished record as a bridge operator and always followed the standard safety protocol when raising the bridge that includes a 20-step procedure of signaling a warning horn and traffic lights and conducting visual checks for vehicles and pedestrians.
Investigators are still determining what exactly went wrong on the frigid New Year’s night and have collected and viewed the bridge’s video surveillance cameras for clues.
Witnesses said the bridges safety equipment had been activated, alerting motorists and pedestrians that the bridge was about to be lifted. Once the bridge started to rise witnesses said they heard Garcia’s screams for help before the bridge was lowered.
Bridge operators are required to use the bridge’s safety cameras and zoom in on traffic and foot traffic at the bridges two gates on the Eastie and Chelsea side. If vehicles or pedestrians do not move after the alarm is sounded the operator is required to call the police.