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MONSON — Monson Savings Bank announced it will host a clothing drive during the month of June at all branch locations to collect professional work attire for Suit Up Springfield and Dress for Success of Western Massachusetts.

Suit Up Springfield accepts donations of suits, shirts, ties, shoes, and outer coats. Dress for Success of Western Massachusetts accepts donations of blazers and suits, dress pants, skirts, shoes, outerwear, and jewelry.

Donations of gently used and clean, professional business attire will be accepted at the following branch drop-off locations during normal business hours: 146 Main St., Monson; 15 Somers Road, Hampden; 100 Post Office Park, Wilbraham; 136 West St., Ware; and 61 North Main St., East Longmeadow.

Daily News

MONSON — Bank rating firm BauerFinancial Inc. announced that Monson Savings Bank has earned its highest, 5-Star Superior rating for financial strength and stability for the 57th consecutive quarter.

Having maintained its financial strength and stability for more than a decade, Monson Savings Bank has also earned another designation as an Exceptional Performance Bank. Only banks that have earned and maintained this highest 5-Star rating for 10 years (40 consecutive quarters) or longer may claim this distinction. This latest rating was assigned in March 2024 based on Dec. 31, 2023 financial data.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce that there are still banks, like Monson Savings Bank, that continue to provide a sense of security in this insecure world,” said Karen Dorway, president of BauerFinancial. “Friends and neighbors of Monson Savings Bank probably already know this. They have the privilege of having a true community bank that sticks to common-sense banking values, right in their community. It’s important to let those who might not be aware know that they have the strength of a 5-Star bank right in their midst.”

Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank, added that “our entire team at Monson Savings Bank works together to ensure our performance in financial strength and stability remain consistent year after year. As a local community bank serving the financial needs of our area for more than 152 years, we are incredibly proud of this 5-Star rating. It represents the hard work put forth to remain well-capitalized and financially sound so we can continue to provide our customers with the best support and services and contribute to the vibrancy of our local communities. We want our community members to know they can trust in Monson Savings Bank.”

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MONSON — Monson Savings Bank announced its second annual President’s Award recipients. This year’s award has been presented to Sara Rodrigues, assistant vice president and Commercial Loan Operations officer, Bridget Bunce, Bank Secrecy Act analyst.

The President’s Award is an opportunity to acknowledge those who consistently represent the bank’s mission and values through their commitment to customer service, the community, teamwork, and excellence. A candidate for the President’s Award displays a positive approach and willingness to help, shows respect for themselves and others, and demonstrates honesty and integrity, all while delivering service with warmth, friendliness, and individual pride to customers and colleagues.

Rodrigues joined the Monson Savings Bank family in February 2013. She consistently represents the bank at many local events and has volunteered for numerous organizations, such as Revitalize CDC, the United Way of Pioneer Valley, and I Found Light Against All Odds.

Bunce started with Monson Savings in October 2021 as a Deposit Operations administrator and was promoted to her current position in August 2023. She is always eager to lend a hand and has helped at several bank-sponsored events in 2022 and 2023.

“I am thrilled to announce that Sara and Bridget have been selected as recipients of the prestigious 2024 President’s Award. While it was difficult to choose just two recipients with a team full of all-stars, Sara and Bridget clearly demonstrate the qualities set forth as the President’s Award standards,” said Dan Moriarty, Monson Savings Bank president and CEO. “We all are incredibly proud of both of them and wish to congratulate them on their accomplishments as community leaders and role models.”

Michael Rouette, the bank’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, added that “the Monson Savings President’s Award is exciting because it recognizes the exceptional work of our team members, it displays the Monson Savings Bank team culture, and it showcases two prime examples of what our standards of excellence are amongst our team. I would like to extend a sincere congratulations to Sara and Bridget for being the second-ever Monson Savings President’s Award recipients. It is truly an honor that they should be extremely proud of.”

Daily News

Shannon Ortona

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank announced the recent promotion of Shannon Ortona to Ware branch manager. In addition to her new role, Ortona will continue to serve as the bank’s IRA administrator. She is now based out of the Ware branch, located at 136 West St.

“We are pleased to share the news of Shannon’s much-deserved promotion,” said Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank. “Her dedication and pursuit of excellence have earned her this new position as a branch manager. Watching her professional development over the past 11 years she’s been with our team has been a pleasure. I am certain she will continue to deliver value to Monson Savings Bank and aid our clients in reaching their goals.”

Prior to joining the Monson Savings Bank family 11 years ago, Ortona began her banking career with Chicopee Savings Bank. After five years there, where she held the positions of full-time teller, senior teller, and head teller, she accepted the position of customer service associate supervisor in Monson Savings Bank’s Ware branch.

During her tenure with the bank, Ortona has earned positions of increasing responsibility. She became the assistant branch manager of the Ware branch and became a certified IRA specialist through Ascensus. Prior to her most recent promotion, she worked as the Wilbraham assistant branch manager.

In her new role, she will draw on her extensive experience and knowledge of retail banking. She will be responsible for planning, organizing, and directing the Ware branch’s operations. She will also aim to foster an environment of teamwork within the branch and provide her team with a high level of leadership. She will work with customers to conduct various banking transactions and help them reach their financial goals.

“I am excited to be back at our Ware branch. It’s where I started with Monson Savings Bank, and it’s nice to be back home where I started my journey with such a great team,” Ortona said. “The Monson Savings Bank team has offered me so many opportunities to grow over the years. The people I work with want me to grow and push me to be the best version of myself, and in turn, I hope I strive to do the same for them. I am thrilled to be a part of our team’s growth.”

Ortona is a lifelong resident of Western Mass. and is enthusiastic about being part of the community. She is currently a board member with the Ware Business Civic Assoc.

“In my new role, I am most looking forward to helping our customers and getting to know the Ware community a little bit better,” she said. “One of my passions in life is helping others. This can mean simply holding a door for someone or opening a bank account for a small business just starting out.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank announced that Vicki Baldyga, former Ware branch manager, and Amber Messer, former assistant Ware branch manager, have transferred to the bank’s Wilbraham branch to take the helm as the new management team of the 100 Post Office Park location.

“At Monson Savings Bank, we strive to offer our team members new opportunities. Whether it be a transfer to a new location, a role in a different department, or something else that better suits their professional goals, we’re happy to support our team members throughout their journey with us,” said Dan Moriarty, Monson Savings Bank president and CEO. “I am confident in Vicki and Amber’s leadership based on the years of dedication and support they have provided our customers up to today. I know that they will help to make this a smooth transition and provide our customers with the same amazing service as the previous management of the Wilbraham branch.”

Baldyga has 25 years of experience in the banking industry, 17 of which have been in branch management. She has been employed with Monson Savings Bank for five years. Committed to expanding her knowledge and skill set, she is currently enrolled in the Massachusetts Bankers Assoc. New England School for Financial Studies and holds several diplomas and certificates from the Center for Financial Training.

In her role as Wilbraham branch manager, Baldyga will be responsible for planning, organizing, and directing branch operations. She aims to foster an environment of teamwork and provide a high level of leadership to her team, as well as provide a high level of customer service with a positive, respectful, and courteous attitude.

Baldyga is very involved in the local community, volunteering at Crossway Community Clothing Outreach, serving on the board of the Three Rivers Chamber of Commerce, and donating blood to the Red Cross.

“I have always strived to help others grow and achieve their goals, both personally and professionally. I have a servant’s heart and do my best to help others,” she said. “Whether it is a new couple looking for their first home, a small-business owner looking for the best products and services, a teen going off to college that needs financial literacy, or an elderly person that has just lost their spouse and needs help navigating their bank accounts, I truly love to help others and see them smile as they achieve their goals. I am so grateful for this opportunity to help people in the Wilbraham community reach their banking goals.”

Messer began her banking career as a customer service representative and teller at Monson Savings Bank six and a half years ago. Throughout her career, she has proven to be an asset to the bank and has achieved several promotions, ultimately attaining the position of assistant branch manager.

In 2023, Messer was a nominee for Monson Savings Bank’s President’s Award. She was recognized by a peer for her commitment to customer and community service, teamwork, and excellence. She has also received several customer-service excellence awards during her time with the bank for going above and beyond.

As the assistant Wilbraham branch manager, Messer will support Baldyga to manage the branch. She will also assist customers with their banking transactions, drawing on her extensive knowledge of bank products and services, while promoting an atmosphere of positive staff morale by inspiring trust and respect.

“As I continue my career journey with Monson Savings Bank, I am looking forward to becoming an active member of the Wilbraham community and forming deeper relationships with our Wilbraham customers,” she said. “I have enjoyed advancing my leadership skills and contributing to our overall team efforts. Through my patient and empathic personality, I can provide the highest level of customer service to help individuals achieve their financial goals. I like looking for opportunities to provide our customers with products and services that will make their banking easier. I am excited to expand on my skill set and continue to do my part to lead the bank to success.”

Daily News

MONSON — The people have voted, and the results are in. In late 2023, Monson Savings Bank asked community members to cast their votes for their favorite local nonprofits. The bank is now announcing the Monson Savings Bank Community Giving Initiative recipients for 2024.

This was the 14th year Monson Savings Bank has run its Community Giving Initiative poll. The public’s excitement to cast their vote has grown throughout the years. This year, nearly 7,000 votes were received.

“Everyone’s passion for our annual Community Giving Initiative is always so exciting,” said Michael Rouette, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Monson Savings Bank. “As a locally operated bank, Monson Savings has a great desire to support the residents, businesses, and nonprofits of the communities that we work in and live in. Our Community Giving Initiative offers an opportunity for our community members to have their voice heard and decide the nonprofits they would like to us support. Because our neighbors voted for these charities, we know that these charities can make a difference for our neighbors.”

Now that the votes have been calculated, Monson Savings Bank is preparing to donate a total of $15,000 among the top 10 recipients, which include I Found Light Against All Odds (Springfield), Shriners Children’s New England (Springfield), Friends of Hampden Seniors (Hampden), Women’s Empowerment Scholarship (Greater Springfield), Whip City Animal Sanctuary (Westfield), Monson Free Library (Monson), Miracle League of Western Massachusetts (Springfield), Halfway Home Cat Rescue (Chicopee), Scantic Valley YMCA (Wilbraham), and ClubOh! (Springfield).

“These organizations are worthy nonprofits that supply important resources to our communities. It is clear why they were chosen by our community members to receive support from Monson Savings,” said Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank. “On behalf of Monson Savings Bank, I congratulate the top 10 recipients of the 2024 Community Giving Initiative, and I thank you for making Western Mass. a better place to live.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank recently announced the hire of Michelle Beaudette as assistant vice president, Residential Operations officer.

“Michelle’s background in banking and residential lending makes her an asset to not only our team, but also our customers and the surrounding communities as she helps to make home ownership possible for our neighbors,” said Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank. “Her positive attitude makes her an excellent fit for the Monson Savings Bank culture, and we are very fortunate to have her here.”

In her role as assistant vice president, Residential Operations officer, Beaudette will be responsible for planning, organizing, and directing the residential and consumer lending processing, closing, and operations. Additionally, she will help to foster an environment of teamwork and perform various loan-maintenance functions to ensure the accuracy and completeness of all records and documentation.

Beaudette comes to Monson Savings Bank with 18 years of experience in banking and finance. She is a graduate of the New Seminary and holds a financial management certification from the U.S. Army Reserve Command. Prior to joining Monson Savings Bank, she worked at Millbury National Bank.

“I have been in the banking industry for many years; it is my passion. I am excited to have the opportunity to continue to pursue my passion with the Monson Savings Bank team,” Beaudette said. “Monson Savings Bank’s focus and involvement with its surrounding communities, personable approach with customers, and emphasis on providing a great employee and customer experience are all things that attracted me to this team. I am looking forward to building lasting relationships with fellow employees and having a positive impact on the community through the work I do. It is so fulfilling to be in a role where I help members of our community achieve the goal of home ownership.”

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MONSON — Monson Savings Bank was a silver sponsor of this year’s Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts Stock Market Competition, the largest single-day student stock-market competition in North America. In this high-tech stock-market simulation, student teams are ‘given’ $1 million to invest in more than 50 fictitious stocks. The goal is to build the highest portfolio net worth in 60 ‘days,’ with trading days lasting just 60 seconds.

Monson Savings Bank donated $1,500 in support of this annual event. This donation supported five teams of five students in the competition, as well as the overall event.

“We are so grateful to have a partner like Monson Savings Bank, who has offered us their loyal support year after year,” said Jennifer Connolly, president of Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts. “Without partners like this, events like the Stock Market Competition would not be possible. The Stock Market Competition offers students a valuable, hands-on learning experience. Thank you to Monson Savings for helping us to make this experience possible for them.”

Lena Buteau, Monson Savings Bank’s vice president, Retail Branch Administration, and Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts board member, shared her excitement about the partnership.

“Monson Savings Bank’s mission truly aligns with the mission of Junior Achievement. We, too, are dedicated to supporting financial literacy and education for everyone, and especially for young people,” she said. “Every year, we look forward to the Stock Market Competition and watching the students’ participation. It is an exciting morning filled with lots of action and learning.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank (MSB) is inviting the public to submit their votes for the bank’s 2024 Community Giving Initiative.

For more than a decade, MSB has sought the help of community members to plan the bank’s community giving activities. Each year, the bank encourages the public to vote for the nonprofit charitable organizations they would like the bank to support during the coming year. Everyone is welcome to cast their vote online at www.monsonsavings.bank/cgi.

Voters may provide the names of up to three organizations they would like MSB to donate to in 2024. The only requirements are that a nominee is designated a nonprofit and provides services within the bank’s geography. Monson Savings allows each person one vote for three organizations. Voting ends on Sunday, Dec. 31 at 3 p.m.

Monson Savings Bank pledges to support the 10 organizations that receive the highest number of votes. The top 10 vote recipients will be announced by mid-January.

Visitors to the voting page can also view a compiled list of organizations that the bank has supported in years past, as well as previously nominated organizations.

“The Monson Savings Bank team supports thousands of community members each year. By holding the Community Giving Initiative and gathering input from locals, we ensure that the voice of the community is heard and their chosen charitable organizations will be supported,” said Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank. “This tradition is one we look forward to each year. We are incredibly grateful for the public’s feedback and support.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank recently donated $1,750 to Friends of Wilbraham Recreation as part of the bank’s annual Community Giving Initiative. The community organization received this donation by obtaining enough votes by community members to place in the top 10 vote recipients of the Community Giving Initiative.

Dan Moriarty, Monson Savings Bank President and CEO, presented the donation to Wilbraham Parks and Recreation Director Bryan Litz and Friends of Wilbraham Recreation President Mark Manolakis.

“We are proud to support the Friends of Wilbraham Recreation,” Moriarty said. “Monson Savings Bank has been part of the Wilbraham community for over 20 years, and we have seen firsthand the great work that the Friends of Wilbraham Recreation has done for the town of Wilbraham. We are happy to offer support.”

Litz thanked the bank for its donation, adding that “Monson Savings Bank is a great community partner. They are always ready to lend a helping hand to local organizations.”

Mark Manolakis also expressed his gratitude to the community bank, adding that “this donation will support our work to improve and maintain the Spec Pond recreational area and our town’s sports programs.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank’s Wilbraham Branch will be hosting a free community shred day on Saturday, Oct. 14 from 9 a.m. to noon. As in past years, the bank is partnering with PROSHRED of Wilbraham for this event. The bank welcomes the public to dispose of their private documents at the branch, located at 100 Post Office Park.

Storing documents that contain personal information in one’s home can pose a major security risk. Monson Savings Bank is encouraging residents to shred any documents they no longer need, especially those that contain private information. This shred day is an ideal opportunity to properly discard unwanted documents, such as tax returns, bank or credit-card statements, bills, medical records, and more.

“One of our top priorities is protecting the personal information of our customers and community members,” said Carolyn Balicki, Wilbraham branch manager. “Our team is very diligent; we work hard every day to keep personal information from falling into the wrong hands. Our community shred day gives us the opportunity to help everyone dispose of their sensitive documents in a secure way, while also gathering together safely as a community for a fun event.”

Prepackaged refreshments and giveaways will be available, while supplies last.

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank announced it will be a $2,000 sponsor for the 2023 Monson Food Truck & Music Festival.

The Monson Food Truck & Music Festival, slated for Saturday, Sept. 16, has become an annual tradition in town. Attractions include food trucks, vendor tents, music, face painting, and more. Live musical acts will include Cooper Jones, Savage Brothers, and Trailer Trash. Proceeds from the event will benefit Dana-Farber Cancer Institute research, the Jimmy Fund, and three local charities. The festival will be held from noon to 10 p.m. at Veteran’s Field in Monson. To learn more, visit www.facebook.com/monsonfoodtruckfestival.

“As a community-focused bank, we are proud to support the festivities happening the town of Monson,” said Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank. “The Monson Food Truck & Music Festival is always a fun time, and it supports a great cause. We are excited to be a part of the festival again this year.”

Jean Bailey, one of the event’s founders, expressed her gratitude for the community bank’s support. “Monson Savings Bank’s donation has once again touched our hearts. Year after year the bank has stepped up to sponsor the Food Truck & Music Fest. They are a wonderful community partner. We look forward to seeing everyone at the festival.”

Ken Bailey, another founder of the festival, shared his excitement as well. “We are so thankful for the continued support we receive from Monson Savings Bank. I am looking forward to the festival this year; it is always a great time for a great cause. Fighting cancer is a cause near and dear to my family’s heart.”

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MONSON — Dan Moriarty, Monson Savings Bank president and CEO, recently met with Samantha Savoie, Marketing & Creative Services project manager at the Springfield Business Improvement District (SBID), and Michelle Grout, SBID executive director, to present them with a $4,000 contribution in support of SBID’s mission.

“Monson Savings is grateful to be a part of the Springfield community,” Moriarty said. “We are so filled with gratitude to be a part of this amazing community. Likewise, we are grateful for this opportunity to support the community through the Springfield BID.”

Since 1998, the Springfield Business Improvement District has aimed to be a driving force of economic, cultural, and social development in downtown Springfield. Its mission is to facilitate growth within the downtown community and utilize resources efficiently. SBID aims to achieve city revitalization through increased marketing and visibility, partnerships with cultural organizations, keeping the streets safe and clean, improving and renewing infrastructure, and focusing on developing local business. Through these outlets, it aims to assist in building a city that attracts a wide audience to live, work, and play.

“We are excited about our new relationship with Monson Savings Bank,” Grout said. “Their contribution supports Springfield’s annual Restaurant Week in June. This event encourages people to gather and enjoy the diversity of cuisines the city offers and supports our local economy. We are grateful to Monson Savings Bank for supporting our community programming.”

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MONSON — Monson Savings Bank recently made a $1,000 donation to Springfield’s Hispanic-American Library in support of its newly established event, the New England Latino Festival.

The festival will take place at Riverfront Park in Springfield on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 25-26. The first-time festival will celebrate New England’s vibrant Latino community through food, music, and more. The event will bring together individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds and age groups, with an expected attendance of 12,000 visitors.

“On behalf of the Hispanic-American Library, I would like to extend a warm thank you to Monson Savings Bank for their generous donation,” said Juan Falcon, executive director of the Hispanic-American Library. “This donation will help to ensure the festival is an unforgettable experience. The festival will showcase Latino culture, and all proceeds will be used to help secure a larger space for the library so that we can better serve the community. We are grateful for our friends at Monson Savings.”

Dan Moriarty, Monson Savings Bank President and CEO, shared his excitement for the New England Latino Festival being in Springfield and how the event is a great opportunity to bring communities together.

“We are incredibly grateful for our relationships with organizations like the Hispanic-American Library that are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion among our communities,” Moriarty said. “The New England Latino Festival happening in Springfield is exciting and provides a chance for people to come together and celebrate the vibrant culture that makes this area great. We are thrilled to sponsor this event and are looking forward to the festival.”

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MONSON — Monson Savings Bank (MSB) recently announced the promotion of Dorian Guidi to portfolio manager. He will continue to be based out of the Monson Savings Bank Loan & Operations Center, located at 75 Post Office Park in Wilbraham.

“We are happy to announce Dorian’s well-deserved promotion,” said Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank. “His hard work, dedication, and commitment to excellence has earned him this new position. It has been great to watch his career growth over the past five years he has been a part of our team. I’m confident that he will continue to make valuable contributions to Monson Savings Bank and continue to help our customers achieve success.”

Guidi is a graduate of Western New England University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting. Additionally, he completed the School of Commercial Lending facilitated by the Massachusetts Bankers Assoc. in October 2020, and the Leadership Institute facilitated by the Springfield Regional Chamber in June 2022. He is currently attending the New England School for Financial Studies and is on track to graduate in 2024.

With more than eight years of banking experience, five of which have been at Monson Savings, Guidi has the background and banking knowledge to serve the bank’s commercial borrowers. Prior to working with MSB, Guidi spent 3 years at TD Bank as a teller and customer service representative.

Guidi was first introduced to Monson Savings Bank when his college advisor informed him of an internship opportunity in the community bank’s commercial loan department. Monson Savings Bank has a long history of hosting high-school and college interns, giving them the opportunity to experience hands-on knowledge of the banking industry. After completing his summer internship, he was impressed by the positive culture and teamwork at the bank, saying, “I knew MSB is where I was meant to be.”

In his new role as portfolio manager, Guidi will be responsible for assisting the bank’s commercial-loan officers with managing established commercial banking relationships and facilitating the underwriting, closing, and booking of new commercial-loan requests. Additionally, he will work to support the commercial loan department with audits and regulatory exams.

“I am excited to continue to be a part of the growth happening at Monson Savings Bank. I look forward to further developing relationships with my colleagues, our customers, and the communities we serve,” Guidi said. “I feel blessed to work for a community financial institution that prioritizes employee development and leads by example as a true partner in the communities where we not only work in, but also live in.”

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MONSON — Monson Savings Bank President and CEO Dan Moriarty was named Board Member of the Year at the East of the River Chamber of Commerce (ERC5) 2023 annual breakfast.

“We are grateful for Dan’s strategic vision, leadership, and exceptional service and commitment to the communities we serve, and the board,” said Grace Barone, executive director of the ERC5. “We are thrilled to honor him for his exceptional service and contributions to the chamber and our community.”

Moriarty, who has been a member of the ERC5 board of directors for more than four years, said he was surprised to receive the award.

“I’m incredibly honored to have received this award and grateful to be a part of the ERC5. I am proud to be a member of the board of directors for an organization that strives to bring members and businesses of our community together the way the ERC5 does. I look forward to what the future has in store.”

In addition to the work he does with the ERC5, Moriarty is involved with several other community organizations. He is a strategic council member of Springfield nonprofit I Found Light Against All Odds- Lighthouse Home for Homeless Teen Girls, a board member of the Monson Home for the Aged, and a member of the Links to Libraries board of directors. He also is on the Baystate Health community benefits advisory council, a member of the Monson Free Library finance committee, and co-chair of the Monson Savings Pro-Am. He co-chairs the diversity, equity, and inclusion council of the Massachusetts Bankers Assoc. and he serves on the finance committee and as a confirmation teacher at St. Patrick’s Church in Monson. Additionally, he is a former volunteer grant scholarship reviewer for the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts and a past co-chair of the Brightside’s Golf Classic.

At the end of his brief, impromptu acceptance speech, Moriarty shared some inspiring words. “Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and always try to do your job with love and kindness; that is what truly matters in this world. Every day, I strive to do these things, and I truly believe it helps me be a better person than I was yesterday.”

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MONSON — Monson Savings Bank President and CEO Dan Moriarty recently presented a $2,250 donation to Stacey Perlmutter, director of Development for Shriners Children’s New England.

The donation was made as a part of the 2023 Monson Savings Bank Community Giving Initiative, in which the public was given the opportunity to cast their votes to support their favorite local charitable organizations.

“Monson Savings Bank is proud to make this contribution to the Shriners Children’s New England. Our donation will support the patient care, medical research, and education that directly benefits children living in our local communities,” Moriarty said. “It is remarkable that we have this amazing clinic that parents and guardians can turn to when their child needs specialty care right in our community.”

Shriners Children’s New England is a local clinic providing specialty orthopedic, neuromuscular, cleft lip and palate, and urologic care exclusively to children.

“We are thankful to Monson Savings for their continued support of the Shriners Children’s New England,” Perlmutter said. “Monson Savings Bank’s loyalty over the years has contributed to our patients having the best quality care, which improves their quality of life. The Springfield community is so fortunate to have a local bank like Monson Savings.”

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MONSON — Monson Savings Bank (MSB) announced the recent promotion of Catherine Rioux to commercial loan officer. She will continue to be based out of the Monson Savings Bank Loan & Operations Center, located at 75 Post Office Park in Wilbraham.

“We are all very grateful to have Catherine on our team here at Monson Savings Bank,” said Dan Moriarty, Monson Savings Bank president and CEO. “During her time at the bank, Catherine has demonstrated a true commitment in every role she has held. She has helped our customers and fellow employees achieve success. She has assisted many business owners with achieving their financial goals, and I know she will continue to do this in her new position. We are all looking forward to seeing Catherine’s future successes.”

Rioux enjoys being involved in the local communities. She is a member of the Monson High School scholarship committee and supports local organizations, serving as a board member for I Found Light Against All Odds and volunteering for St. Patrick’s Church.

She is a graduate of Western New England University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Additionally, she is a graduate of the New England School of Financial Studies and the Springfield Regional Chamber Leadership Institute.

Rioux has worked in many departments of the bank. In 2006, she started her career in banking as a high-school intern in MSB’s Human Resources department. She later accepted a position as a receptionist, then moved to the Retail Banking department shortly after. In 2013, she joined the Residential Lending department as a residential loan servicer. In early 2015, she accepted a position in the Commercial department as a commercial loan servicer. She thrived in this department and would go on to become a junior credit analyst before being promoted to credit analyst and then commercial portfolio manager. Prior to her most recent promotion, she served as commercial portfolio officer.

As a Commercial Loan Officer with more than 16 years of banking experience, Rioux will be working to help borrowers secure financing for their business. She will be assisting throughout the entire lending process, from origination to closing and beyond.

“I am thankful for all the career opportunities that I have had throughout my time with Monson Savings Bank,” Rioux said. “In my new position, I am very much looking forward to developing and enhancing relationships with individuals and businesses in the local communities that we serve. I am excited to continue to grow with Monson Savings.”

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MONSON — Monson Savings Bank recently made a $4,000 donation to the Monson Arts Council in support of the local arts.

David Dupuis of the Monson Arts Council expressed his gratitude to the community Bank. “Monson Savings Bank is very generous in their support of the Monson Arts Council and the local arts,” he noted. “We are very grateful for their longtime support. This donation in particular will be essential to our Spring Art Exhibition and Sale.”

Susan James of the Monson Arts Council was also thankful for the donation. “The Monson Arts Council is so fortunate to have a community partner like Monson Savings,” she said. “The bank has been a longtime supporter of the Monson Arts Council. It is because of loyal supporters like them that we can continue our mission.”

Dan Moriarty, Monson Savings Bank president and CEO, added that “Monson Savings is always happy to lend our support to community organizations in any way that we can. The Monson Arts Council does so much to bring the town of Monson and the surrounding communities together through the arts. As a lifelong resident of Monson, I am always so impressed by the events and workshops the council puts together.”

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MONSON — Monson Savings Bank announced it will once again host free community shred days in 2023. All are welcome to attend the events.

As in previous years, Monson Savings Bank is partnering up with PROSHRED of Wilbraham for this series of events welcoming the public to discard their documents in a safe and secure manner. This is an ideal opportunity to dispose of unwanted documents such as tax returns, bank or credit-card statements, bills, and medical records. Pre-packaged refreshments and giveaways will be available while supplies last.

Shred days are scheduled for Saturday, June 10 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Hampden branch, 15 Somers Road; Saturday, Sept. 23 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Ware branch, 136 West St.; and Saturday, Oct. 14 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Wilbraham branch, 100 Post Office Park.

“We take the protection of information and data very seriously,” said Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank. “By partnering with PROSHRED, we are further able to protect our community members by giving everyone a free opportunity to dispose of sensitive documents securely. We welcome everyone to join Monson Savings Bank and the on-site PROSHRED trucks during our community shred days.”

Monson Savings Bank also helps customers learn the importance of protecting their personal information and their identity through the bank’s frequently updated Safety and Security blog section. These learning opportunities and reminders help consumers to be more vigilant when it comes to protecting their private and personal details and making sure their information does not fall into the wrong hands.

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MONSON — BauerFinancial Inc., a leading, national bank-rating firm, announced that Monson Savings Bank has once again earned its top (5-Star) rating for financial strength and stability. Having earned Bauer’s 5-Star rating for 40 or more consecutive quarters, Monson Savings Bank has earned an even higher designation as an Exceptional Performance Bank. This marks the bank’s 53rd consecutive 5-Star rating.

Bauer rates every federally insured U.S. chartered bank with the same strict standards, and reported that Monson Savings Bank continues to outperform its peers.

“What does it mean when we say, ‘like having a friend in the banking business?’” said Karen Dorway, president of BauerFinancial. “It means loyalty and dedication. It’s a connection, one that you can rarely find in a big bank. But at Monson Savings Bank, it comes naturally. Not to mention, a local bank means local decisions, made by people just like you.”

Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank, added that, “as a local community bank serving the financial needs of our area for over 150 years, all of us at Monson Savings Bank are incredibly proud of this 5-Star rating that recognizes our consistent performance in financial strength and stability. We work hard to remain well-capitalized and financially sound to ensure we are providing our customers and communities with the support that only a community bank can provide.”

Daily News

MONSON — The people have voted, and the results are in for the Monson Savings Bank (MSB) 2023 Community Giving Initiative. In late 2022, MSB asked its community members to cast a vote for their nonprofit organizations of choice, and nearly 6,000 votes were submitted.

This was the 13th year of the Monson Savings Bank Community Giving Initiative, and the public’s excitement to cast their vote has grown throughout the years.

“We are always so excited to see everyone’s enthusiasm for our annual Community Giving Initiative,” said Michael Rouette, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Monson Savings Bank. As a local community bank, we have a passion for supporting the local residents, businesses, nonprofits, and the overall communities we serve. Our Community Giving Initiative gives our community members the opportunity to have their voice heard and decide the nonprofits they would like to see us support. We know that the charitable organizations that have been voted on have the ability to make a difference for our neighbors.”

In total, 400 organizations were nominated to receive a donation. Monson Savings Bank is donating a total of $15,000 among the top 10 vote recipients. Monetary donations are one of the many ways the local bank stays true to its longstanding mission of supporting local communities.

The 2023 Monson Savings Bank Community Giving Initiative recipients are I Found Light Against All Odds, Shriner’s Hospital for Children, Alex Cotton Memorial Fund, and Women’s Empowerment Scholarship, Springfield; Wilbraham United Players, Wilbraham Friends of Recreation, Rick’s Place, and Scantic Valley YMCA, Wilbraham; Link to Libraries Inc., Hampden; and Monson Free Library, Monson.

“All of the organizations are well-deserving nonprofits that provide extremely important resources to our communities and their residents,” said Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank. “It is evident why they were chosen by our community members to receive support from Monson Savings.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank (MSB) has long held that one of its main responsibilities as a community bank is to be a virtuous corporate citizen by giving back to the communities where it conducts business. One of the many ways MSB gives back is with its annual efforts to support the United Way of the Pioneer Valley.

Every year, the bank’s Human Resources department organizes a donation and pledge drive to benefit the United Way of Pioneer Valley. The annual campaign and online pledge drive runs for two weeks. During this time, employees are invited to donate to the United Way via a one-time donation or pledge a reoccurring deduction from their payroll for the upcoming year. During the recent campaign, Monson Savings’ employees donated and pledged a total of $5,242.

Beyond the annual pledge drive, this year, Monson Savings Bank employees raised an additional $1,175 through a fun, but competitive, internal bingo game and $700 through the Bank’s TGIF Dress Down Program. The community bank also provided United Way’s Chicopee Food Cupboard with a $1,000 sponsorship, non-perishable food donations made by employees, and volunteers for its Thanksgiving meal distribution. In total, Monson Savings has helped to donate more than $8,000 to United Way this year.

“The challenges of the past several years have been enormous for many of our neighbors,” said Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank. “We have an amazingly generous team of employees at Monson Savings Bank who are committed to supporting our communities. I am proud of their contributions to United Way, and it is our heartfelt honor to help.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank recently donated $1,000 to Girls Inc. of the Valley in support of its event, Speaking Out: Sparking Change.

“We are extremely grateful for the donation made to Girls Inc. of the Valley by Monson Savings,” said Suzanne Parker, executive director of Girls Inc. of the Valley. “This donation aided us in organizing and executing our Speaking Out event this past fall. This event invited members of the community to network and listen to a panel of inspiring local leaders.”

Dan Moriarty, Monson Savings Bank president and CEO, presented the donation to members of the Girls Inc. team at the bank’s Loan and Operations Center in Wilbraham.

“Girls Inc. of the Valley provides youth in our communities very valuable services and resources,” Moriarty said. “We are proud to donate to Girls Inc. and support their mission to inspire girls to live up to their full potential. On a personal note, as a dad of two young women, this nonprofit and the work that they do to support girls holds a special place in my heart.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank President and CEO Dan Moriarty, recently met with Mechilia Salazar, president and CEO of the Ludlow Community Center/Randall Boys & Girls Club, to present a $1,000 donation to purchase jerseys for three of the Club’s youth basketball teams.

“Monson Savings Bank is proud to support the Ludlow Boys and Girls Club’s basketball teams,” Moriarty said. “On a personal note, sports were an integral part of my childhood and young adulthood. So I understand how important sports are to these young athletes and the positive impact it will have on their development.”

Salazar noted that “we are grateful for Monson Savings Bank’s generosity. We are so appreciative to our local sponsors, like Monson Savings. They help make it possible for us to host our sports teams and so much more.”

The mission of the Ludlow Boys and Girls Club is “to inspire and enable youth and adults to build better communities by providing life-enhancing experiences and programs through which they will realize their full potential as responsible and caring citizens.” The club has stayed true to its mission since 1950, hosting a preschool, a safe afterschool space for elementary- and middle-school students, and much more.

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank has an established history of supporting the people and nonprofit organizations in the communities it serves in Western Mass. Recently, the bank made a $10,000 donation to the Hispanic-American Institute, headquartered in Springfield.

“Monson Savings Bank supports the Hispanic-American Institute and the important work that they are doing for our communities,” said Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank. “We applaud them for all of the amazing work that they do to make the world a better place and, more specifically, the amazing work that they are doing to make the local communities that we live in a better place. The Springfield community is truly fortunate to now have a branch in our area. We are looking forward to the bright future that the Springfield branch will have, and to our continued partnership.”

The Hispanic-American Institute is an IRS Section 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that is committed to encouraging social, educational, and economic development in Hispanic communities in the continental U.S., Puerto Rico, and Latin America. In addition to the Springfield branch, the institute has offices and staff in Boston; Albuquerque, N.M.; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“On behalf of the Hispanic-American Institute, I am extending a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to Monson Savings Bank for their generous donation,” said John Perez, project office manager at the Hispanic-American Institute. “This donation will help us in our mission to fulfill our various initiatives, including the Healthy Food and Wellness, Small Business, and Puerto Rico initiatives. We are grateful to have a like-minded partner in our friends here at Monson Savings.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank recently announced the promotion of Jamie Blaxland to Accounting manager.

“Jamie has proven herself to be a very valuable resource to our team during her career here,” Monson Savings Bank President and CEO Dan Moriarty said. “We are extremely grateful for her loyalty, diligence, and hard work contributing to the overall success of our organization.”

In her role as Accounting manager, Blaxland is primarily responsible for managing the Accounting department, which oversees the bank’s accounts payable, automated clearing house (ACH), investment bookkeeping, wires, general-ledger reconciliations, and more.

Blaxland has been with Monson Savings Bank for 20 years. Prior to this recent promotion, she served as Accounting supervisor. She has worked in the bank’s Accounting department for more than 18 years and has 25 years of experience working in the banking industry. She holds several ACH certifications and is an accredited ACH professional.

“When I first started working at Monson Savings Bank as a teller in the Monson Branch 20 years ago, I knew I had joined a special team of like-minded individuals,” Blaxland said. “I am so thankful to still be a part of that team today. As I look to the future, I am looking forward to continuing to develop in my own professional life and helping my colleagues develop in theirs.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank recently made a $1,450 donation to the Hampden Senior Center in support of the facility’s many fun events it hosts throughout the year.

Wendy Cowles, outreach coordinator of Hampden Senior Center, expressed her gratitude to the community bank.

“Every year, Monson Savings Bank is very generous in their support of the Hampden Senior Center, and on behalf of our organization, I would like to thank the bank,” she said. “This donation will be put to good use and will help us host events that bring the town of Hampden together and raise the spirits of our senior residents.”

The $1,450 donation will help offset the cost of the center’s Alzheimer’s Association Dinner, Grandparents Day, Halloween Luncheon, Thanksgiving Grab and Go Lunch, and Holiday Luncheon.

“Monson Savings is always happy to help our community organizations in any way that we can,” said Adriano dos Santos, Hampden branch manager. “Whether we are making a monetary donation or volunteering, we are proud to be active members of our local communities.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank recently announced the promotion of Heather Arbour to the role of assistant vice president, BSA/Fraud officer, and Compliance manager.

“Heather is a diligent member of our team who demonstrates her commitment to the bank by ensuring our compliance with regulations,” said Dan Moriarty, Monson Savings Bank president and CEO. “She is a valuable asset to our team, and we are very fortunate to have her on board.”

Arbour has been with Monson Savings Bank for 15 years, previously serving in the role of BSA officer and Compliance manager. In her new role, she is responsible for overseeing the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money-laundering programs for the bank and ensuring compliance with banking regulations. Additionally, she manages the Retail Operations department and serves on the bank’s compliance, CRA & fair lending, and IT steering committees.

Arbour is a graduate of Springfield Technical Community College, where she earned highest honors, was a dean’s list recipient, and received an associate degree in business administration. She is currently enrolled in the American Women’s College at Bay Path University, where she is an honors student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration and minoring in criminal justice, while serving as a peer mentor. In 2021, she graduated from the New England School for Financial Studies with honors.

As a volunteer and co-treasurer for the Monson and Palmer Salvation Army and a dedicated parent volunteer for the Monson Parent Teacher Student Assoc., she is committed to contributing to local communities.

“I am excited to continue my career in banking with Monson Savings. I am committed the organization’s growth and success, and I am proud to be a part of it,” Arbour said. “I look forward to continued working relationships with my staff and growing relationships with my colleagues.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank’s Ware branch at 136 West St. will host a free Community Shred Day on Saturday, Oct. 8 from 9 a.m. to noon. As in past years, Monson Savings Bank is partnering with PROSHRED of Wilbraham for this event. The bank welcomes the public to dispose of their private documents safely and securely.

Storing documents that contain personal information in the home can pose a major security risk. Monson Savings Bank is encouraging residents to shred any documents they no longer need, especially those that contain private information. This free Community Shred Day is an ideal opportunity to properly discard unwanted documents, such as tax returns, bank or credit-card statements, bills, medical records, and more.

“We are really looking forward to hosting our branch’s annual Community Shred Day,” said Vicki Baldyga, Ware branch manager. “Monson Savings’ Shred Days gives the members of our community a convenient opportunity to safely and securely destroy their old documents. It is always such a fun event that allows us interact with community members and help keep their information safe.”

Prepackaged refreshments and giveaways will be available at the event, while supplies last.

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank recently announced the promotion of Sara Rodrigues to assistant vice president, Commercial Loan Operations officer.

“Sara is a strong member of the Monson Savings team. Her work with the Commercial Lending team and customers is stellar,” bank President and CEO Dan Moriarty said. “Time and time again, Sara displays her dedication to ensuring our customers have a smooth lending experience. We are grateful for her work and look forward to her continued career growth.”

In her new role, Rodrigues is responsible for managing the Commercial Loan administrative team and Commercial Loan Servicing team at Monson Savings Bank, as well as planning, organizing, and directing all Commercial Loan operations.

She has been with Monson Savings for 10 years, previously serving in the role of Commercial Loan Operations officer. She has 22 years of experience in the banking industry, 21 within the commercial-lending sector. Prior to working with Monson Savings, she worked with TD Bank, N.A. as a Commercial Loan document supervisor.

Rodrigues believes in giving back to the communities she works and resides in. Prior to the pandemic, she participated in Link to Libraries’ Monson Schools Read a Loud program. As a Link to Libraries volunteer, she read to students and helped the organization serve its mission to distribute new books to the school and home libraries of children in need. She is looking forward to the Read a Loud program starting back up again. In addition to her volunteer work, she serves on the Monson Savings Bank community reinvestment committee.

“I am proud to work for a bank that has a strong commitment to not only their customers, but also to the local communities that their customers live in,” Rodrigues said. “Monson Savings Bank also takes great care of their team members and encourages our growth. I look forward to continuing to develop my skills with Monson Savings Bank and help our commercial-loan customers along their financing journey.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank’s Wilbraham Branch will host a free Community Shred Day on Saturday, Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. to noon. All are welcome. As in past years, Monson Savings Bank is partnering with PROSHRED of Wilbraham for this event. The bank will welcome the public to dispose of their private documents safely and securely.

Storing documents that contain personal information in one’s home can pose a major security risk. Monson Savings Bank is encouraging residents to shred any documents they no longer need, especially those that contain private information. The Community Shred Day is an opportunity to properly discard unwanted documents, such as tax returns, bank or credit-card statements, bills, medical records, and more.

“At Monson Savings Bank, our number-one priority is safeguarding the personal information of our customers and community members,” said Carolyn Balicki, Wilbraham branch manager and AVP retail banking officer. “Our team is very diligent and works hard every day to keep the information of our customers and non-customers safe from falling into the wrong hands. Our Community Shred Day gives us the opportunity to help everyone dispose of their sensitive documents in a secure way, while also gathering together safely as a community for a fun event.”

The Wilbraham branch is located at 100 Post Office Park. Pre-packaged refreshments and giveaways will be available at the event while supplies last. Health and safety protocols will be carefully followed. All visitors are asked to practice social distancing.

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank’s Hampden Branch will host a free Community Shred Day on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 9 a.m. to noon. As in past years, Monson Savings Bank is partnering with PROSHRED of Wilbraham for this event. The bank will welcome the public to dispose of their private documents safely and securely.

Storing documents that contain personal information in the home can pose a major security risk. Monson Savings Bank is encouraging residents to shred any documents they no longer need, especially those that contain private information. This free Community Shred Day is the perfect chance to properly discard unwanted documents, such as tax returns, bank or credit-card statements, bills, medical records, and more.

“We are very happy to host our branch’s annual Community Shred Day,” said Adriano Dos Santos, Hampden branch manager. “Our Shred Day gives members of our community the opportunity to safely, conveniently, and securely destroy their old documents. It is always such a fun event, and I look forward to it every year.”

The Hampden branch is located at 15 Somers Road. Pre-packaged refreshments and giveaways will be available at the event while supplies last.

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank recently made a $5,000 donation to the Healing Racism Institute of Pioneer Valley, headquartered in Springfield, in support of its work in the region. The Healing Racism Institute aims to help create a better understanding of the root causes and effects of racism, while also explaining the institutional nature of racism. Its hallmark program is its two-day Healing Racism sessions, which provide a safe environment to learn about the impact of racism on our nation and community in an engaging and transformative process.

“Monson Savings Bank supports the Healing Racism Institute of Pioneer Valley and the important work that they are doing for our communities,” said Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank. “We commend them for all of the work that they do to make the world a better place, specifically working to make the communities we live in a better place. Monson Savings is a local bank, meaning everyone who works at the bank lives here. We are working, raising our families, and living in the communities that the Healing Racism Institute serves. The organization holds a special place in our hearts because they are making the places we live a better, more equitable place.”

A contribution from Monson Savings Bank will support Healing Racism Institute’s campaign to be self-sustaining within three years by building infrastructure and building capacity. Funds will be used to hire staff, create a training center, increase the number of trained facilitators, and provide scholarship support.

“On behalf of the Healing Racism Institute, I would like to extend a sincere thank you to Monson Savings Bank for their generous donation,” said Vanessa Otero, Healing Racism executive director. “This donation will help us in our mission to help build racism-free communities.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank recently presented a $5,000 donation to Leo Williams, president and CEO of Springfield Neighborhood Housing Services.

The mission of Springfield Neighborhood Housing Services is to help transform the lives of families living in Springfield and revitalize the city’s distressed neighborhoods through sustainable homeownership and resident empowerment. The organization’s vision is for homeownership to be an affordable choice, especially for people of color living in the Western Mass. region. Springfield Neighborhood Housing Services believes this will allow for the communities to grow in knowledge and wealth, empowering future residents, community leaders, and business owners.

Monson Savings Bank’s corporate donation to Springfield Neighborhood Housing Services is consistent with the bank’s track record of being a community advocate and financial resource to community members.

“On behalf of everyone at Monson Savings Bank, we are extremely pleased to make this donation to the Springfield Neighborhood Housing Services,” said Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank. “We are proud to be able to support this great organization that works so hard to help people in the communities we serve to obtain homeownership, in turn contributing to overall revitalization of local neighborhoods.”

The bank has remained focused on supporting efforts to revitalize distressed communities, and likewise recognizes the importance of homeownership and how it relates to the betterment of neighborhoods and residents living in those neighborhoods.

“Monson Savings’ mission, values, and vision align with those of the Springfield Neighborhood Housing Services,” said Dina Merwin, the bank’s senior vice president, chief risk and senior compliance officer. “We are dedicated to supporting our communities and the lives of residents in any way that we can. We know that homeownership has been shown to not only increase the quality of life for the homeowner and their family, but also for the neighborhood as a whole.”

Williams added that “Springfield Neighborhood Housing Services is thankful to Monson Savings Bank for their donation in support of our mission. This money will be put to good use as we continue to empower our neighbors through homeownership and transform our communities.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank has a long history of supporting literacy in its communities that continues as the bank celebrates its 150th Anniversary. Recently, Monson Savings Bank President and CEO Dan Moriarty met with Laurie Flynn, Link to Libraries president and CEO, to present her with a $1,500 donation. This donation was made as a part of the 2022 Monson Savings Bank Community Giving Initiative, where the public was given the opportunity to submit their votes asking the bank to support their favorite local charitable organizations.

“Monson Savings Bank is proud to show our support to the wonderful local organization Link to Libraries,” Moriarty said. “Unfortunately, not all children have access to age-appropriate reading materials. Link to Libraries fills this gap. This organization gives our local youth the valuable gift of reading, providing so many children in our communities with access to books. Because of Link to Libraries, children’s literacy and language skills are positively impacted, helping them to find success in their educational and life journeys.”

Flynn added that “we are very appreciative of Monson Savings Bank’s longtime support of Link to Libraries. Monson Savings is an incredible community partner, not only to our organization, but also to many others throughout our community. Thank you to everyone who voted for Link to Libraries in Monson Savings’ Community Giving Initiative. We are excited to put these funds to good use, purchasing books and distributing them to the children who need them most.”

Banking and Financial Services Special Coverage

Pedal to the Mettle

Monson Savings Bank’s birthday celebration

Monson Savings Bank’s birthday celebration

Monson Savings Bank has been commemorating its 150th birthday in many different ways, from a time capsule to assembling and donating $15,000 worth of bicycles to several area charities. Through all these efforts, the bank is celebrating its continuity and its commitment to a community that is now much larger then when it took its first deposit back in 1872.

Dan Moriarty called it a ‘trial run.’

That’s how he referred to his 60-mile bike ride, which he also called the ‘Tour de Branches,’ on July 17, during which he visited all seven Monson Savings Bank (MSB) locations — five branches, the headquarters, and a loan center — on a trek that took him from Monson to East Longmeadow, with stops along the way in Ware, Wilbraham, and Hampden.

Moriarty, the bank’s president and CEO, said this was a tuneup for a ride two and a half times that length, a number that is significant because 150 is also the number of years the bank is celebrating this year, and the ride, still very much in the planning stages, has now become a poignant part of the celebration.

Dan Moriarty’s ‘Tour de Branches’

Dan Moriarty’s ‘Tour de Branches’ helped him prep for a 150-mile ride as part of Monson Savings Bank’s birthday celebration

“My goal is to raise money to give to a local charity … I’m thinking I could ask for per-mile pledges from friends, family, customers, and businesses,” Moriarty told BusinessWest, adding that the charity is still to be determined. “I’m guessing no other bank president belonging to a bank older than 100 years has done this.”

He’s probably on very safe ground with that statement. Not many bank presidents pedal such distances, although he’s certainly comfortable doing so having competed in several Ironman triathlons, where participants cycle 120 miles while also swimming 2.4 miles and running a full 26.2-mile marathon. And, more to his point, there simply aren’t many banks that can boast about being around for 100 years, let alone 150.

And that, more than anything else, is what MSB is celebrating this year, said Mike Rouette, executive vice president and chief operating officer, noting that this longevity, this stability — not only the same bank, but the same name since Ulysses S. Grant was patrolling the White House — is rare in this era of ongoing mergers and acquisitions.

bank employees buried a time capsule

As part of the 150th birthday celebration, bank employees buried a time capsule filled with a number of items reflective of 2022.

It is reflected, he said, in a borrowed slogan that the bank has adopted: ‘Never forget who you are and where you came from; it’s an important part of you that you will find strength and peace from.’

“It’s short, and it’s sweet, and it says a lot about us,” Rouette noted, adding that, while the bank has grown and expanded its presence within the region, it remains loyal to the principles on which it was founded in 1872.

Moriarty agreed.

“I think it takes a strong sense of loyalty to the legacy of the organization to hang on for that long,” he said. “As we know, in this area, some long-lasting institutions decided to go a different route and either merge or combine. It starts with the organization and how it feels the future can be laid out for a bank that’s been around a long time; if they feel they’re not going to make it, they look to a different situation or combination. So far, we’re not committed to looking in a different direction.”

Moving forward, he said the bank “has a lot to talk about” at its upcoming annual meeting and strategic planning sessions in September, from where, when, and how to expand geographically to anticipating where technology is going and how to maximize it to better serve customers.

“We had very big ideas, and I’m happy to say that we made most of them happen — and very successfully.”

“It’s all about delivery systems, customer service, where we’re physically going next, which means market analysis and possible branch expansion,” he explained. “We’re going to do it in a controlled and managed method.”

 

To a Higher Gear

While Moriarty is, indeed, a veteran of Ironman triathlons, it had been a while, seven years by his estimation, since he had taken part in one of those competitions. Thus, he admits to being a little sore after that 60-mile trial run.

“It was a reality check when I came off the bike that day,” he explained. “I said, ‘whoa … that was 60 miles; I have to do that twice plus another 30 miles.’ This will be a good challenge for me; there was about 3,500 feet of climbing for one loop — that’s like going up half of Mount Washington.”

Monson Savings Ba

Monson Savings Bank has retained its original name and home city for 150 years, a rarity in the banking world.

He’s presently training with long-time friend and Ironman coach Kevin Moloney, who took the 60-mile ride with him. He’s also mapping out a course, one that will essentially take him on the 60-mile loop twice, with an additional loop, totaling 30 miles, tacked on.

As he said, it’s a work in progress when it comes to planning the ride, choosing a beneficiary, and filling in other details. And this ride will, as noted, will be a capstone — along with a formal gala in September to be attended by employees, board members, and plus-ones (total guest list of … you guessed it, 150) — to what has been a full year of activities marking the bank’s milestone.

Recapping them, Caitlin O’Connor, vice president and Marketing officer, said there has been a wide variety of events and programs, from the burying of a time capsule to the commissioning of a painting of the bank’s first president, Charles Merrick; from a traveling historical display featuring antique currency to monthly $150 cash prizes; from the placing of a marker where the original bank building stood at the corner of Main and State streets in Monson to several build-a-bike initiatives, whereby bank employees have assembled and donated $15,000 worth of bicycles to several nonprofits in the area, including I Found Light Against All Odds, Educare Springfield, and the South End Community Center.

“We had a ‘Cheers to 150 Years’ event starting on March 19 to really kick things off; that’s was an employee event and the starting point,” O’Connor told BusinessWest. “And from then on, it just grew and took on a life of its own. We had very big ideas, and I’m happy to say that we made most of them happen — and very successfully.”

Collectively, these events and programs have punctuated the bank’s place in the community — literally, as with the marker placed at the original bank location, but also figuratively, as a community bank that is very much involved in the cities and towns where it has locations, and the region as a whole, Rouette noted, adding that the 150th anniversary has been a great vehicle for making introductions, forging new relationships, and reinforcing existing ones.

“What a great way to walk into a nonprofit that you’re hoping to bring into the bank or a commercial or residential customer,” he said of the celebration and everything that it conveys about the bank, its history, its stability, and a future that will look very much like the present and the past.

“It’s an opportunity to give them your story — who you are, what you’re about, and your overall legacy,” he went on. “People want to do business with people that have been around, that are part of the community — not just here today and gone tomorrow, but institutions that are truly the cornerstone, the bedrock of the area.”

 

The Ride Stuff

That word ‘area’ has taken on new meaning for MSB since its last major anniversary — its 100th, in 1972 — and especially since 1998.

It was during that year that the bank opened its first location outside of Monson, a branch in Hampden. Five years later, a third branch was opened in Wilbraham, and new locations were added in Ware in 2103 and East Longmeadow in 2020. During that same memorable year, MSB’s Loan and Operations Center moved to a state-of-the-art facility in Wilbraham.

‘Build a Bike,’ where employees assemble bikes and donate them to area charities

The 150th celebration has featured a number of programs and events, including ‘Build a Bike,’ where employees assemble bikes and donate them to area charities, in this case, I Found Light Against All Odds.

With these moves, the bank is now serving a much broader area and becoming more involved in the region’s unofficial capital, Springfield, and serving a broader demographic mix of commercial and residential customers, said Dina Merwin, senior vice president and chief risk and senior compliance officer for the bank.

“We’ve well beyond the towns in which we have branches, and so we recognize that we want to reach all potential customers in our market,” she explained. “We recognize also our desire to include financial inclusion in reaching all potential customers in our market, whether that cuts across lines of income levels, race, ethnicity, and any other basis.

“Many of our recent events were focused in the Springfield area,” she went on, “while we continue to support and celebrate all the communities in which we are committed. We also recognize that there have been some demographic shifts in our market area in age and different types of population, so it’s important for us to recognize that and make sure we’re inclusive in all our efforts.”

While the area being served by the bank has changed, the name over the growing number of doors hasn’t, said Moriarty, noting that his institution, unlike many others, has chosen to keep the name of the community where it began as part of the brand, as well as that word ‘Savings.’

“I think the recession will be short and challenging, but I think Monson Savings and other banks are positioned well to weather, manage, and help customers through this period.”

“We’re going against the grain on that in some respects,” he noted. “Mike and I met with the board of directors during a strategic planning session, and we feel that the reputation that the bank has built the past 150 years does mean something, and we believe it’s recognizable in the community. We want to leverage that from a standpoint of legacy — Monson itself, where it all began — and then ‘Savings’ connoting security and trust, even though we feel we are a commercial player in the market.”

Indeed, while celebrating its 150th anniversary in all those ways mentioned above, MSB has also been carrying on with business, said Moriarty, noting that it has been a solid year in many respects, despite a sagging economy, with continued growth in commercial lending and, overall, a $30 million increase in total assets, bringing the bank near the $650 million mark.

“We’re working to strengthen existing relationships while also fostering new ones across the board, from individuals to businesses,” he said. “We’re trying to help them navigate where this challenging environment is going.”

On the commercial-lending side of the ledger, an already competitive landscape has become even more so as rates start to edge up, said Rouette, adding that many businesses are being more cautious amid general uncertainty about where the economy is headed and, overall, a decline in confidence.

“You’re seeing a bit of a slowdown, especially as people hear of the inflationary environment we’re in,” he went on. “People are pushing back potential projects that they have; maybe they were going to start in the third quarter or fourth quarter of this year, and now they’re saying, ‘let’s pump the brakes a little bit and possibly look at next year and see where we land from a rate standpoint and with the economic environment.’

“We had a great first and second quarter,” he went on. “But when you’re out talking to customers, you can hear the apprehension and cautious tone of voice that business owners are using right now.”

Moriarty concurred, and noted that a recession is now more likely than not, in his opinion, and this will add to the many challenges business owners and managers are currently facing.

“I think the recession will be short and challenging,” he said, “but I think Monson Savings and other banks are positioned well to weather, manage, and help customers through this period. And once the Fed gets control of inflation and the employment market evolves a little bit, we’ll see some improvement.”

Looking ahead, and toward creation of a new strategic three-year plan for the bank, Moriarty said a number of topics will be considered, including the need to be more “customer-centric versus product-centric,” as he put it.

“That means that we have to make sure we’re creating frictionless opportunities and delivery systems that make it easy for customers to manage their banking,” he explained. “That includes digital banking; we know we have cutting-edge products now, but we know things are going to change drastically in the next three to five years, so we have to make sure we’re positioned to give those offerings to our customers.

“Artificial intelligence will come more into play in the next three to five years,” he went on. “The usefulness or the quickness with which we can do data analysis of what our customers have and what they need will be important. Customers want to have things at their fingertips; they want to maximize and analyze their financial situation and be able to look forward and make good decisions.”

As for possible geographic expansion, Moriarty said there are many possibilities, and he’s not ready to talk about any of them.

He did say that the consensus among experts in the industry is that the recent pattern of consolidation within the sector will continue, leaving opportunities for smaller, community banks like Monson Savings.

“We feel that we benefit from other mergers and acquisitions because we’ve been around for so long, and we know that where there’s shakeup, there’s also opportunity,” he said. “We’re going to keep an open mind to that.”

 

Going the Last Mile

Returning to the subject of his planned bike ride, Moriarty joked that now that he’s started to talk about it, he’s pretty much committed to doing it.

He’s training two or three times a week with Moloney and looking at a number of options for which charity or charities (probably the latter) he will be fundraising for.

It’s been a while since he’s taken part in an Ironman competition or even a marathon — he’s run in several of those as well, including Boston a number of times. But he said it’s like … well, riding a bike. Not really, but close.

In any case, like the institution he now leads, he’s proven that he’s in it for the long haul — as in the very long haul: 150 miles for him, 150 years for the bank.

They’ve both put the pedal to the mettle.

 

George O’Brien can be reached at [email protected]

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank President and CEO Dan Moriarty recently presented a $2,250 donation to Stacey Perlmutter, director of Development for Shiners Hospitals for Children – Springfield, which provides specialty orthopedic, neuromuscular, cleft lip and palate, and urologic care exclusively to children.

The donation was made as a part of the 2022 Monson Savings Bank Community Giving Initiative, where the public was given the opportunity to cast their votes to support their favorite local charitable organizations.

“Monson Savings Bank is extremely proud to donate to the Springfield Shriners Hospital for Children. We know that our donation will support the patient care, medical research, and education that directly benefits children living in local communities,” Moriarty said. “It is essential to have a nearby hospital that parents and guardians can turn to when their child needs specialty care.

“Shriners helps to alleviate a great deal of stress that comes along with their child’s care by making treatment available in one location, and care provided to them regardless of their ability to pay,” Moriarty added. “We are blessed to have this hospital in our community, and Monson Savings Bank is very pleased to support the excellent care provided every day.”

Perlmutter added that “we are very grateful to Monson Savings for their continued support of the Springfield Shriners Hospital for Children. Monson Savings Bank’s loyal generosity over the years has contributed to our patients receiving the best quality care, which ultimately transforms their quality of life. The Springfield community is so fortunate to have a local bank committed to supporting our communities and our hospital.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank’s 150th anniversary celebrations began earlier this year and will continue throughout the year. Most recently, to carry on the commemoration of the bank’s sesquicentennial, employees joined together to bury a time capsule that will be excavated and opened in 25 years at the bank’s 175th anniversary in 2047.

It was a team effort to determine which items would be included in the time capsule. The 150th anniversary committee reached out to the all employees of the bank to get their feedback on which items should be added. Some of the items included were photos, business cards, brochures, a piggy bank, letters, deposit slips, 150th-anniversary articles, and, of course, Monson Savings branded masks and hand sanitizer.

Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank, led the crew to the time capsule burial location for a brief ceremony.

“We thought burying a time capsule would be a unique way for us to commemorate this momentous occasion of Monson Savings Bank turning 150 years old,” he said. “It gave us an opportunity to think about the future and those who may be opening this capsule in 25 years at our 175th anniversary. We all feel honored to be a part of the Monson Savings legacy. We carefully thought about the items and messages we would want to share with future generations of the bank.”

“There is so much history behind Monson Savings Bank — a 150-year history of making a difference for the residents, businesses, and communities we serve,” added Michael Rouette, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “It was exciting to be together adding items to the time capsule and discussing the bright future we all believe is ahead for Monson Savings Bank.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings recently marked its 150th anniversary by unveiling a historical marker at the original location of Monson Savings Bank in Monson. Massachusetts.

The event took place on June 1, a day chosen since it was the first day Monson Savings Bank accepted deposits in 1872. Guests gathered nearby the Monson Town Offices, where the original granite building stood that housed Monson Savings Bank at its incorporation in 1872.

A granite block from the original building reading “BANK” was expertly placed at the base of the historical bronze plaque marker located on a pole. Surrounding the display was a new landscaped area.

To begin, Dan Moriarty, President and CEO of Monson Savings Bank, addressed the guests, thanking them for joining. He read aloud the text on the plaque which remained concealed with a custom-made cover.

Moriarty read aloud, “In the mid 1800’s demand for banking service(s) became essential in Monson, Massachusetts due to the flourishing population, industries, and retail establishments. To afford working men and women an opportunity to save, Monson Savings Bank was incorporated on March 27, 1872, enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives. At this location stood a small, granite banking house on the corner of Main and State Streets that housed the home of the local community bank.”