40 Under 40 The Class of 2013

Erin Couture

Vice President and Commercial Loan Officer, Florence Savings Bank, age 34

Couture-ErinErin Couture has many accomplishments and examples of civic leadership on her résumé — everything from her large and diverse commercial-loan portfolio at Florence Savings Bank to the $10,000 she raised in 2012 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through the Team in Training program.
The contribution you don’t see on her résumé, though, was by far the most significant.
Indeed, in early 2012, she became a bone-marrow donor for her sister, who was diagnosed with leukemia that is still in remission one year later. Erin is one of six siblings, but the one deemed to be a perfect match. And today, her efforts to get more people in the registry for bone-marrow donations is just one of the many things vying for — and winning — some of her time.
First and foremost is her family, including her husband, Darren, and sons Brandon and Gabriel. Then, there’s that commercial-lending portfolio and all that goes into maintaining and growing it. And as she described that work, she said it doesn’t come down to crunching numbers — although that’s certainly part of it — but understanding people and working with and for them.
“Every loan, every business owner is different — they have specific needs, goals, and challenges,” said Couture, adding that she manages loans ranging from $10,000 to $7 million, in sectors from manufacturing to retail. “And this work is about much more than just giving someone a loan; it’s about helping them succeed in business, and that’s the part I find most rewarding.”
Then there’s her work within the community, which ranges from involvement with the Northampton Chamber of Commerce, which she serves on its finance committee, to the Big Brothers Big Sisters advisory board, for which she is vice president; from membership in the area young-professional societies to teaching financial literacy to high-school students, to running half-marathons to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (she ran her first not long ago, and is now gearing up for her fourth).
She’s also involved in the Daffodil Fun Run, a fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society that in three short years has grown to more than 700 runners, just another example of how helping others is a priority for Couture — right down to the bone.

— George O’Brien