Home Posts tagged Monson Savings Bank
Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank’s East Longmeadow Branch will host a Community Shred Day from 9 a.m. to noon on June 4. 

Monson Savings is partnering with PROSHRED of Wilbraham for this event. The goal of this event is to educate the public on the importance of protecting personal information in order to aid the safety of the community. 

People are welcome to safely and securely dispose of their private documents such as tax returns, bank or credit card statements, bills, medical records, and more. This event is free and open to the public. Pre-packaged refreshments will be available at the event, while supplies last, as well as giveaways for guests. 

For more information, visit Monson Savings Bank’s Safety and Security blog on their website, www.monsonsavings.bank. 

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank announce the election of five new corporators. At the Bank’s recent annual meeting, it was announced that Nikki Burnett, Cesar Ruiz, John Zienowicz, Ciara Speller, and Christian D’Amour had been elected by existing Corporators.  


“We are pleased to welcome our new Corporators to the Monson Savings Bank family. These successful and well-regarded professionals will certainly lend their experience and expertise to add value to the Bank,” said Dan Moriarty, Monson Savings Bank president and CEO. “Our corporators’ values align with ours. They are invested in the wellbeing of our local communities because, like Monson Savings, they are a part of these communities. We are confident in the guidance that they will offer us as Corporators. They will undoubtedly support the bank in better serving our communities.” 


Burnett is the executive director of Educare Springfield. She also sits on national committees for the Educare Learning Network, such as the Educare Policy Work Group, the Collaborative Fundraising Advisory Board, and the Red Nose Day Advisory Board. Additionally, she is a trustee for the Community Foundation of Western Mass., and serves on the Distribution Committee as co‐chair; the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion subcommittee; and the Executive Committee. She is also a member of the Baystate Community Benefits Advisory Council. 


Ruiz is the founder, president and CEO of Golden Years Home Services.He was the first Hispanic popularly elected official in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, serving on the Springfield School Committee from 1980-1986. Prior to founding Golden Years, he worked in banking at Region’s Bank. He was recently recognized as one of business’s most influential Latinos by Hispanic Executive magazine. 


Zienowicz is the executive director of the Ware Council on Aging. Furthermore, he sits on the board of directors for the Quaboag Hills Community Coalition, the Ware Cable Access Television, and the Advisory Board for BHN Carson Center. He is a member of the Bay State Eastern Region Community Benefits Advisory Board, the Quaboag Region Coordinating Council, and the Quaboag Hills Substance Use Alliance. 


Speller is a well-known weeknight news anchor for Channel 22 WWLP. She serves as a board member for local nonprofit I Found Light Against All Odds, is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, volunteers for the Miss Western Massachusetts Scholarship Assoc., and is a panelist for Girls Inc. of the Valley. Additionally, she was the recipient of the “Leadership in Broadcasting Award” from Bay Path University in 2019 and a 2021 Boston/New England Regional Emmy Winner. 


D’Amouris thedirector of E-Commerce at Big Y World Class Market and a third-generation member of Big Y Foods’ founding D’Amour family. Prior to working at Big Y, he worked at Delta Dental of Rhode Island as a sales and marketing representative. Additionally, he holds a B.A. from Saint Michael College. 

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank’s Monson branch will host a free Community Shred Day on Saturday, April 16 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 safely and securely dispose of their private documents on site.

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

“Our Community Shred Days are always a very popular event,” said Wil Morales, Monson branch manager and Retail Banking and Security officer. “These events … bring the community together while also promoting safety and security. We look forward to hosting this event.”

The bank’s Monson branch is located at 146 Main St. Prepackaged refreshments and giveaways will be available at the event, while supplies last.

Daily News

MONSON — As it gets ready to celebrate its 150th anniversary, Monson Savings Bank (MSB) announced ways it is sharing the celebration with customers, employees, residents, local businesses, nonprofits, and the entire community.

Monson Savings Bank’s anniversary pmarks 150 years of helping consumers and businesses reach their financial goals, supporting local nonprofits, and contributing to the overall progress of the local area. Additionally, the anniversary commemorates 150 years of MSB being a true mutual, independent bank — one of few left in Massachusetts to not merge and remain mutually independent over the past century and a half.

“All of us at Monson Savings Bank are incredibly proud of achieving 150 years of being a trusted, local, community bank,” said Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of the institution. “We have worked hard to remain mutually independent, free of mergers, and it is elating to reach this milestone and celebrate our 150th anniversary with everyone.

“Without our dedicated team members and the support of our customers and communities over the years, this would not be possible. We are eternally grateful,” he added. “Now we are ready to celebrate, and then serve the local area for another 150 years.”

To officially kick off the 150th anniversary plans, Monson Savings Bank team members will join together at a “Cheers to 150 Years” event on Saturday, March 19. Then, March 28 through April 2, the bank will celebrate with its customers, local businesses, and communities during its 150th Anniversary Week celebrations. All those who visit a branch, whether through the front door or through drive-up, will be welcomed with a planned schedule of excitement throughout the week.

As a throwback to the Monson Savings Bank grand reopening event in 1966, the bank will also have ‘then and now’ grand-prize drawings, with winners being announced at the culmination of Anniversary Week.

To extend the festivities, each month from March through December, MSB customers will be automatically entered for a chance to win a monthly $150 cash prize. At the end of the month, a winner will be drawn and announced.

To further commemorate the anniversary and accomplishments of the bank, MSB will unveil a historical plaque at both the original bank building at Main and State streets and at the current Monson branch. At the unveiling ceremony, team members will fill a time capsule with mementos, artifacts, and reminders of the year 2022. The capsule will be buried at the Monson branch during the ceremony and will be excavated at the bank’s 175th anniversary in 2047.

To learn more about the anniversary, the bank’s historical timeline, and a full schedule of events, visit www.monsonsavings.bank/anniversary.

To further honor the 150th anniversary, the bank is pledging to show extra support to nonprofits and have an extra level of community participation throughout the year. This will be in addition to the typical nonprofit support and community participation MSB offers each year.

For example, Monson Savings Bank will launch a Build a Bike Campaign, purchasing more than $15,000 worth of children’s bicycles and helmets from the Family Bicycle Shop in East Longmeadow. Bank team members will then partner with five local nonprofits — YMCA of Greater Springfield, YWCA of Western Massachusetts, I Found Light Against All Odds, Educare Springfield, and the South End Community Center — to assemble the bikes for local children.

The bank will be a major sponsor of Spirit of Springfield’s World’s Largest Pancake Breakfast taking place on Saturday, May 14, as well as hosting its annual Shred Days and supporting various other large-scale community events throughout the year.

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank provides $28,000 in scholarships to local graduating high-school seniors annually. The bank’s 2022 scholarships are now available to graduating seniors in the Monson, Ware, Hampden-Wilbraham, and East Longmeadow school districts. The purpose of the Monson Savings Bank scholarship is to promote the attainment of higher education for graduating seniors who reside within the communities the bank serves.

“Monson Savings Bank is always proud to be an integral part of its greater community,” said Dan Moriarty, Monson Savings Bank president and CEO. “Providing local high-school graduates with scholarships to help them with the cost of continuing their education is just one of the ways we demonstrate this. We are happy to help these hard-working young people continue their education and find success in this next chapter of their lives.”

To qualify, graduating seniors must be planning to attend an accredited college, technical school, or certification program.

Scholarship awards will be based on the applicant’s financial need, academic performance, and extracurricular activities. A candidate for this scholarship should have also demonstrated a commitment to their community. In addition to an application, applicants should include an essay outlining the service that they have generously given to their community and the impact achieved through this contribution.

If students are interested in applying for the Monson Savings Bank scholarship, they should contact their high-school guidance department for an application. The deadline for application acceptance is April 5.

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank’s team members donated $8,880 to various local nonprofits in 2021 through the bank’s Team Giving Initiative Friday (TGIF) program.

“One of our most prominent principles here at Monson Savings Bank is supporting the communities that the bank serves,” said Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank. “Western Massachusetts is not only the bank’s home, but home for many of our team members. We work here, live here, and raise our families here. We are invested in the well-being of the local landscape and ensuring that our neighbors’ needs are met.”

The $8,880 donated throughout the year was comprised of individual contributions to the TGIF program, through which employees elect to donate $5 out of each of their paychecks. The money raised is donated to employee-selected 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that support local communities.

“The TGIF program is just one example of our employees holding up the bank’s value of helping our neighbors in need,” Moriarty said. “I often refer to us as a team here at Monson Savings. The TGIF program is a true team effort. Participants of this program donate just $5 out of their pay, and each donation comes together to create a large impact.”

The TGIF program was launched in January 2015. Since its inception, Monson Savings Bank employees have donated a total of $45,170 to various charitable organizations.

Daily News

MONSON — The people have voted, and the results are in for the Monson Savings Bank (MSB) 2022 Community Giving Initiative. After MSB asked its community members to cast their vote for their favorite nonprofit, they did just that with great enthusiasm, submitting over 3,500 votes.

In total, 373 organizations were nominated. Now that the votes have been tallied, Monson Savings Bank is donating a total of $15,000 to the top 10 vote recipients to stay true to their longstanding mission of supporting of local communities.

“Each and every origination is a well-deserving nonprofit, and it is clear why they were chosen by our community members,” said Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank. “Each nonprofit provides tremendously valuable resources to our communities and their residents.”

The 2022 Monson Savings Bank Community Giving Initiative recipients include Academy Hill School Scholarship, Behavioral Health Network, I Found Light Against All Odds, Miracle League of Western Massachusetts, Shriner’s Hospitals for Children, and Women’s Empowerment Scholarship, all based in Springfield; Rick’s Place and Wilbraham United Players, both based in Wilbraham; Link to Libraries Inc. of Hampden; and Monson Free Library in Monson.

This was the 12th year of the Monson Savings Bank Community Giving Initiative, and public participation has grown throughout the years.

“All of us at Monson Savings Bank are so happy to have such a passionate involvement from the public year after year through our Community Giving Initiative. We love working directly with the community and giving members a voice to ensure that the nonprofits that make a positive impact in our communities are recognized and supported,” said Michael Rouette, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “As a local, community bank, we are committed to doing whatever it takes to support our customers, businesses, and communities. We understand that these charitable organizations have the power to truly make a difference for our neighbors. Thank you for casting your votes.”

Daily News

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

“We are very fortunate to have Catherine on our team here at Monson Savings Bank,” said Dan Moriarty, the bank’s president and CEO. “During her time here, Catherine has demonstrated true commitment, helping our customers and her fellow employees achieve success. Additionally, she has assisted many business owners with achieving their financial goals. We are all very excited to see what the future has in store for Catherine in her new role.”

Rioux is very involved in the local communities. She is a member of the Ludlow Rotary Club and the Monson High School scholarship committee, and volunteers with local organizations, including St. Patrick’s Church and I Found Light Against All Odds.

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

Rioux has had the unique opportunity of working in many departments of the bank, gaining vast knowledge of the industry. In 2006, she started her career with Monson Savings Bank as a high-school intern in the Human Resources department. When her internship ended, she accepted a position as a receptionist, shortly after moving to the Retail department. 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. Prior to this most recent promotion, she served as commercial portfolio manager.

With more than 15 years of banking experience, Rioux has the knowledge to serve Monson Savings Bank’s commercial borrowers. As commercial portfolio officer, she will work directly with the bank’s commercial loan officers to help borrowers secure financing for their business. She will assist throughout the entire lending process, from origination to closing and beyond.

“I am grateful for the opportunities that I have been provided with throughout my career at Monson Savings Bank,” said 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.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank recently announced the hiring of William Toth as branch manager of the East Longmeadow location at 61 North Main St.

“Bill is a welcomed and valuable addition to the Monson Savings Bank team,” said Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank. “Bill has extensive experience in retail banking, and I am confident that his experience and knowledge will contribute to satisfaction of our customers and the overall success of the bank.”

Toth will be assisting customers with all of their banking needs, including loan applications and closing needs of borrowers. Additionally, he will be responsible for planning, organizing, and directing branch operations, as well as fostering an environment of teamwork.

Toth has been in the banking industry for 26 years, with his experience in retail banking spanning 19 of those years. He most recently served as branch manager of Arrha Credit Union’s West Springfield location. There, his responsibilities were to oversee the day-to-day operations of the branch, while assisting new and current members with their financial and banking needs. He assisted members with consumer-loan applications, credit-card requests, and home-equity line of credit questions and document closing. He served as the primary resource to employees and oversaw the training of new and current branch staff.

Toth has strong roots in the local communities, and is involved with the West of the River Chamber of Commerce, East of the River Five Town Chamber of Commerce, and the Security & Loss Prevention Assoc. He is a graduate of Springfield Technical Community College with an associate degree in business administration.

“I am completely humbled and honored to be the newest addition to the Monson Savings Bank team, and I am greatly appreciative that I have been given the opportunity to show my skills, knowledge, and expertise for this great financial institution,” Toth said. “I am extremely excited to be part of the East Longmeadow branch and its surrounding communities. I will make every effort to oversee its success in growth and prosperity.”

Daily News

MONSON — With the season of giving right around the corner, Monson Savings Bank (MSB) is reaching out to the public and requesting they submit their votes for the bank’s 2022 Community Giving Initiative.

For more than a decade, MSB has been seeking the help of the community to plan the bank’s community-giving activities by inviting members of the community to vote for the organizations they would like the bank to support during the upcoming year. Everyone is welcome to participate and can cast their vote online by clicking here.

Voters may provide the names of up to three organizations they would like the bank to donate to in 2022. The only requirements are that the organizations be designated a nonprofit and that the organizations provide services within the bank’s geography. To be fair, the bank is requesting that each person vote only one time for their three organizations. Voting ends on Friday, Dec. 31 at 3 p.m.

Monson Savings Bank pledges to support the top 10 organizations that receive the most votes. The 10 organizations will be announced by mid-January, and donations will then be distributed.

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

“We are excited to open up voting for our 2022 Community Giving Initiative. Every year, we get such an overwhelmingly positive response from the local community members,” said Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank. “Monson Savings Bank donates thousands of dollars to support the members of our communities. By holding a vote and gathering input from locals, we can ensure that the communities’ most beloved charitable organizations will be supported. It is a fantastic tradition that we are proud to continue year after year.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank recently donated $1,000 to the town of Monson’s Christmas lights display to honor the hard work and long careers of John Malo and John Morrell.

Malo recently was recognized by the town of Monson for his 50 years of service to the town’s post office, and he has no plans to retire. On July 23, family members, friends, and town residents gathered together at the Post Office to celebrate his long and successful career.

In November 2020, Morrell celebrated 53 years of service to the Monson Highway Department as the Monson highway surveyor. He started his career with the town in 1968 as a truck driver and spent many years working hard to keep the townspeople safe.

“I’m homegrown in Monson, so I have grown up around these two and have been a witness to their hard work. Both men have demonstrated superior service and dedication to our town,” said Dan Moriarty, Monson Savings Bank president and CEO. “The bank is very thrilled to be able to present this donation to the town in their honor. When this year’s Christmas lights go up around town, we will all be reminded of them and their longtime devotion to the town of Monson.”

Both Malo and Morrell said they are grateful to the bank for making this donation to the town they have enjoyed serving for so many years.

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank announced it will donate $100,000 to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts to support people who struggle with food insecurity.

Monson Savings Bank President and CEO Dan Moriarty recently attended the Food Bank’s capital-campaign kickoff at the Chicopee Moose Lodge, where he joined Andrew Morehouse, executive director of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, and Erica Flores, president of the Food Bank’s board of directors, to present the donation.

Monson Savings Bank was a major charitable donor to the Food Bank’s capital campaign, which is focused on gathering funding for the new Chicopee facility that will serve as its future headquarters. The Food Bank is aiming to raise $22 million to help fund the new headquarters, set to open in 2023. It has surpassed the halfway mark, raising $12 million so far. Monson Savings Bank’s $100,000 contribution to the project helps the Food Bank reach its goal of providing essential services in an area that is most accessible to those facing food insecurity.

“Monson Savings Bank is a proud supporter of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. It is with great pride and happiness that we make this donation to help fund their new facility,” Moriarty said. “The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts is a pillar in our communities. They help so many of our neighbors, giving them access to a basic need by providing them with meals. The new facility will help them to expand their reach and better serve those who rely upon them for survival.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank announced the election of five new corporators. At the bank’s 2021 annual meeting last month, it was announced that Stefan Davis, Brendan Greeley, Erica Nunley, Rebecca Smith, and James White had been elected by existing corporators.

“We are very happy to welcome our new corporators to our team. They are successful and well-regarded professionals in the local communities we serve. Their experience and expertise will certainly add value to the bank,” said Dan Moriarty, Monson Savings Bank president and CEO. “Our corporators value the local communities because they are a part of them, just like Monson Savings Bank is. Our values align. We are confident in the guidance and insight that they will offer us. They will undoubtedly help Monson Savings Bank to better serve our communities.”

Davis is president and CEO of I Found a Light Against All Odds, a Springfield-based nonprofit that works with at-risk youth to address social, emotional, and economic issues they may be facing. He is also an educator in the Springfield public school system.

Greeley is president of R.J. Greeley Co. Inc., a real-estate firm located in Springfield that specializes in commercial and industrial real estate. He is also the vice president of the board of directors for the East Longmeadow Educational Endowment Fund.

Nunley is a Realtor leading the Nunley Group at Keller Williams Realty. She is also a member of the Greater Hartford Board of Realtors, the National Assoc. of Realtors, the Massachusetts Assoc. of Realtors, and the Massachusetts Landlord Assoc.

Smith is a Realtor on the Neilsen Team at Keller Williams Realty. In 2012, she was named a KW Cultural Icon for her dedication to giving, knowledge, kindness, and service to others. She is a member of the Board of Realtors, co-founder of Massachusetts Ride for the Ribbon, and a licensed horseback-riding instructor.

White is the President of Go Graphix, an East Longmeadow business that specializes in architectural graphics, signs and films, vehicle wraps, and more. He sits on various committees and boards, contributing to the East of the River Five Town Chamber of Commerce, East Longmeadow Bike Path, Springfield Performing Arts Development Corp., and LPVEC CareerTech & Putnam Vocational School advisory committees.

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank recently announced it awarded $28,000 in scholarships to 14 graduating seniors of local high schools.

On June 23, the bank held a scholarship ceremony at its corporate office in Monson. This event provided refreshments, opportunities for bank staff to meet the students and their parents, presentation of the scholarship checks, and a gift for each scholarship recipient to take with them on their educational journey.

Monson Savings Bank awarded $2,000 scholarships to the following recipients:

Joseph Angelica, Cameron Boucher, Abigale Bridges, Camille Lobik, and Zackery Wysk (Monson High School); Shaun Buteau, Carlie Simpkiss, and Peter Wurszt (Minnechaug Regional High School); Lillie Hellyer, Ariana Nevins, and Olivia Watson (East Longmeadow High School); and Myles Francis McGrail, Lexie Orszulak, and Olivia Vadnais (Ware High School).

“All of us at Monson Savings Bank are incredibly proud of these students for the fortitude they have shown over these unique past years,” said Dan Moriarty, the bank’s president and CEO. “We are thrilled to be able to offer these brilliant students with financial support so they can pursue their education. This is the beginning of an amazing ride for these graduates, and we hope they will stay in touch, sharing updates on their educational journey. We know they will accomplish remarkable things.”

Daily News

EAST LONGMEADOW — Monson Savings Bank’s East Longmeadow Branch announced it will host a free Community Shred Day on Saturday, June 26 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 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 Community Shred Day is an ideal chance to properly discard unwanted documents, such as tax returns, bank or credit-card statements, bills, medical records, and more.

“The East Longmeadow branch has been open for almost a year now; we have really enjoyed being a part of the town’s community,” said Aimee Kohn, branch manager. “We are very excited to host our branch’s first Community Shred Day. We prioritize protecting the personal information of our customers and community members. Every day, our employees, in every department of the bank, do everything they can to keep the information of our customers and noncustomers safe. Our Shred Day gives the community the opportunity to safely gather together at a fun event, while providing them with a convenient and secure way to destroy their documents.”

Pre-packaged refreshments and giveaways will be available at the event, while supplies last.

Daily News

MONSON — As part of its efforts to support the health, happiness, and overall well-being of local children, Monson Savings Bank has embraced Shriners Hospitals for Children – Springfield as a continued community partner, with MSB making its second donation to the children’s hospital this year.

Monson Savings Bank President and CEO Dan Moriarty met with Stacey Perlmutter, director of Development for the hospital, and special guest Fezzy Bear, the Springfield Shriners’ adored ambassador, to present the bank’s $1,500 donation to the Shriners’ Putting for a Purpose Mini Golf Tournament.

While visiting MSB’s East Longmeadow branch, Fezzy Bear did what he does best, spreading joy and cheerfulness to those around him. He made his introductions and took photos with staff and customers visiting the location. He even happily waved to passing traffic in front of the branch on North Main Street.

“To say that Monson Savings Bank is proud to support Springfield Shriners Hospital would be an understatement,” Moriarty said. “Shriners provides sick and suffering children the medical attention they need and parents and guardians a nearby hospital to trust in. We are honored to support Springfield Shriners Hospital; the work they do is incredible.”

Shriners Hospitals for Children – Springfield is a pediatric hospital that specializes in treating orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal-cord injuries, urology, cleft lip, and cleft palate. The children’s hospital offers both inpatient and outpatient levels of care, with services including rehabilitation, fracture care, and sports health and medicine.

Shriners provides treatment to children regardless of families’ financial capabilities and relies on donations from events, like its fund-raising Putting for a Purpose Mini Golf Tournament, to provide expert care to children. This year’s event is set to take place Sept. 9-11 at Stony Falls Miniature Golf at McCray’s Farm in South Hadley. More information about the fundraiser and an opportunity to contribute to the hospital can be found by clicking here.

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank announced the recent hire of Jason Berry as vice president and commercial loan officer.

“We are very happy to welcome Jay to the Monson Savings Bank team,” said Dan Moriarty, the bank’s president and CEO. “Jay has extensive banking experience and has been a commercial lender within our local market. He is extremely knowledgeable in his field and has a strong customer-service background. I am confident he will be a major asset to the bank and our business customers searching for commercial-lending solutions.”

In his new role, Berry will focus on providing customized, sensible lending and deposit solutions to businesses. He will assist in the maximization of cash flow and bringing the full scope of the bank’s products and high-tech services to the businesses he serves. He will also introduce business partners, who are experts in their field, to support businesses.

Berry graduated from Westfield State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science after earning his associate degree in liberal arts at Holyoke Community College. He brings more than 15 years of banking and financial experience to Monson Savings Bank. He most recently held the role of vice president, Business Banking relationship manager at People’s United Bank.

Berry is active in the community, offering support to various local charitable organizations and engaging with local chambers to support the local business community. He enjoys volunteering and has given his time to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, Susan G. Komen, United Way, and Junior Achievement. Additionally, he is a member of the East of the River Five Town Chamber of Commerce and West of the River Chamber of Commerce.

“To say that I am thrilled to be part of Monson Savings Bank is an understatement,” Berry said. “My entire career has been focused on doing the right thing for my customers and being responsive to any and all questions and inquiries. I’m passionate about advocating for businesses and helping them evolve by providing candid, strategic, and sensible solutions. I look forward to being a dependable ambassador for Monson Savings and an extension of support for our business customers.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank announced it will host five of its popular, free Community Shred Days in 2021, and all are welcome. The events, one Shred Day taking place at each branch location, have been scheduled to begin on March 27, with the last on Aug. 7.

As in past years, Monson Savings Bank is partnering with PROSHRED of Wilbraham for this series of events welcoming the public to discard their documents in a safe and secure manner. This is a perfect opportunity to dispose of unwanted documents such as tax returns, bank or credit-card statements, bills, or medical records. Pre-packaged refreshments and giveaways will be available while supplies last. Health and safety protocols will be carefully followed. All visitors are asked to practice social distancing and will be required to wear a mask.

Monson Savings Bank’s free Community Shred Days will take place on the following dates and locations, all from 9 a.m. to noon:

• March 27, 15 Somers Road, Hampden;

• May 22, 136 West St., Ware;

• June 5, 100 Post Office Park, Wilbraham;

• June 26, 61 North Main St., East Longmeadow; and

• Aug. 7, 146 Main St., Monson.

“The protection of personal information and data is extremely important to us here at Monson Savings Bank, and we are happy to have partnered with PROSHRED to provide this complimentary opportunity to not only our customers, but to all community members,” said Dan Moriarty, president and CEO. “All are welcome to visit Monson Savings Bank and the PROSHRED trucks during the scheduled events, to bring their materials they would like to discard of securely.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank announced the promotion of Paul Shepardson to digital systems officer.

“We are very happy to have Paul lead our digital banking team and for his continued growth with the bank. He has been instrumental in ensuring our customers receive the service and support needed in order to bank digitally,” said Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank. “Digital banking services have become increasingly valuable and popular, especially in the last year. With Paul at the helm, we know that our customers will be well taken care of and that we will continue to be at the forefront of adoption when it comes to the latest and greatest digital services for our customers.”

In his role as digital systems officer, Shepardson is responsible for overseeing Monson Savings Bank’s electronic banking services and support. Additionally, he is responsible for staying up to date on cutting-edge and convenient digital banking options that could be offered to the bank’s customers.

Shepardson began his career in the banking industry with Monson Savings Bank 10 years ago. He initially worked as a customer service associate before being promoted to customer service representative. He later became the bank’s first business banking administrator and e-banking specialist. Since then, he has excelled in the electronic-banking department. He is a graduate of the New England School of Financial Studies.

“I am excited for what the future holds in regard to online banking technology and the many conveniences it will provide to our customers,” Shepardson said. “I am proud to be a member of the Monson Savings Bank team, for it is comprised of passionate, hardworking individuals who stop at nothing to ensure that the customer is nothing less than completely satisfied.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank announced the hire of Caitlin O’Connor as vice president and marketing officer in the bank’s Marketing department.

“Caitlin’s extensive background in community-bank marketing is incredibly valuable to our customers and our entire team at Monson Savings Bank. She is invested in our customer- and community-focused approach as a local bank working to serve the financial needs of our area,” said Dan Moriarty, president of Monson Savings Bank. “I know she will be effective in communicating our high-quality customer service, our many product and services, and our convenient technology and tools. She is a great fit for the Monson Savings Bank culture, and we are happy to have her here.”

In her new role, O’Connor will oversee all aspects of the bank’s brand and business-line marketing, advertising, public relations, and communications efforts. She will also be responsible for establishing and implementing an effective, innovative, and comprehensive marketing plan that aligns with the bank’s vision, mission, values, and strategic goals.

O’Connor has been in the banking industry for 13 years and has 17 years of experience in the marketing and design industry. She is a graduate of Mount Ida College in Newton, now a campus of UMass Amherst. Prior to joining Monson Savings Bank, she held the role of vice president and marketing manager of North Brookfield Savings Bank.

“I am incredibly happy and proud to join Monson Savings Bank and continue my career with such a great community bank,” O’Connor said. “They have such a positive and elevating employee culture here that really is very special. They genuinely care about the well-being of their customers and the communities they serve and continually prove this through the attention, service, and support provided every day. I look forward to continuing to get to know the Monson Savings Bank team and exploring new ways we can help our customers throughout every life stage of their financial journey.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank President and future CEO Dan Moriarty recently met with Hope Bodwell, library director of the Monson Free Library, to present a $1,000 donation of behalf of the bank. The donation was made following the public voting results of the 2021 Monson Savings Bank Community Giving Initiative.

“I am so happy to visit the Monson Free Library to deliver this donation. This organization makes a large-scale difference for all members in the Monson community by giving access to not only reading materials but many other valuable resources residents depend on,” Moriarty said.

The Monson Free Library is dedicated to serving the residents of Monson as a continually evolving and vital community resource center for all ages, focusing on community priorities, culture, and education through diverse collections, services, technology, and programming. The library, like many others, has made many adjustments during the pandemic. Those wishing to utilize the library’s resources should first visit monsonlibrary.com.

“This donation is extra special to us because the community voted and showed us how important the library is to them,” Bodwell said. “We are very grateful for the continued support that Monson Savings gives to the towns that it serves and for the votes submitted through the bank’s Community Giving Initiative.”

The donation will greatly benefit the Monson Free Library, she added, giving the public access to important and valuable library programs.

“The community voted, and the money will go back into the community in the form of library programs. Whenever we receive a donation like this one, it goes directly into developing programs for all ages, since programming is not in our budget and is funded through the generosity of our Friends of the Library, other partner organizations, and grants. Since it was so well-received in the past, it is our hope that we will be able to host another Patio Party later in the year.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank (MSB) recently announced the promotion of Heather Arbour to the role of BSA officer and compliance manager.

“Heather is an amazing employee who has time and time again proven her commitment to the bank and ensuring we always remain in compliance with regulations,” Monson Savings Bank President Dan Moriarty said. “She is an asset to our team, and we can’t wait to see her growth continue with Monson Savings Bank.”

In her new role, Arbour is responsible for overseeing MSB’s Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money-laundering programs and ensuring compliance with banking regulations. Additionally, she manages the Retail Operations department.

Arbour has been with Monson Savings Bank for 13 years, previously serving in the role of compliance and BSA manager. She is currently enrolled in the New England School of Financial Studies and will be graduating in the spring from Springfield Technical Community College with a business administration degree.

A volunteer and co-treasurer for the Monson and Palmer Salvation Army and a dedicated parent volunteer for the Monson Parent Teacher Student Assoc., Arbour also serves on the Monson Savings Bank pandemic reopening preparedness committee.

“As I began my journey with Monson Saving Bank, I found that the bank had such a warm and inviting culture, not only within the community but with its employees as well,” she said. “I am so happy to continue to grow with Monson Savings Bank and work with the entire team here.”

Daily News

MONSON — After Monson Savings Bank asked community members to cast their votes for their favorite charitable organizations as a part of the Monson Savings Bank 2021 Community Giving Initiative, more than 3,400 votes were received.

Now that the votes have been tallied, Monson Savings Bank is donating a total of $15,000 among the top 10 vote recipients. In total, 200 organizations received votes.

“We express our heartfelt congratulations to the top 10 recipients of votes received through the Monson Savings Bank 2021 Community Giving Initiative,” said Dan Moriarty, president of Monson Savings Bank. “They are all well-deserved nonprofit organizations, and we can see why they were chosen by community members.”

The recipients include Women’s Empowerment Scholarship (Greater Springfield), Wilbraham United Players, Shriners Hospitals for Children – Springfield, Rick’s Place (Wilbraham), I Found Light Against All Odds (Greater Springfield), Academy Hill Private School Scholarship (Springfield), Scantic Valley YMCA (Wilbraham), Monson Free Library, St. Michael’s Players (East Longmeadow), and Link to Libraries Inc. (Hampden). This was the 11th year of the Monson Savings Bank Initiative.

“All of us at Monson Savings Bank are so happy to continue to receive such enthusiastic involvement through the Community Giving Initiative. We love working together with the public to ensure that the nonprofits that make a positive impact in our communities are recognized and supported,” Moriarty said. “As a local community bank committed to doing whatever it takes to support our customers, businesses, and communities, we understand how much of a difference these organizations can truly make for our neighbors.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank announced the hire of Sabina Vegiard as vice president of Monson Savings Bank and financial advisor with Infinex Investments Inc.

“Sabina is a welcomed addition to the Monson Savings Bank team,” said bank President Dan Moriarty. “The guidance and support she provides to our customers to help them plan for their financial future is invaluable. I know she will help many customers moving forward to understand their financial situation and reach their goals.”

In her new role, Vegiard is responsible for helping customers to plan for their short- and long-term financial goals, including buying a home, paying for their children’s education, retirement, and life-insurance needs. She brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding to help her customers achieve their financial goals through strategic planning and tailored investment solutions.

Vegiard has been in the finance industry for 15 years, with her experience as a financial advisor spanning 10 of those years. She most recently served as vice president and branch manager at Key Bank, where her responsibilities were to manage the day-to-day operations of the branch and staff as well as act as financial advisor for six branch locations. She is a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. with a bachelor’s degree in economics.

“My career has always been in the financial-services industry, and I look forward to continuing on that path as I provide financial guidance to both current and future customers,” Vegiard said. “I am thrilled to be with Monson Savings Bank, a bank that really focuses on building relationships by learning about their customers and tending to their needs.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank announced the hire of Anita Richard as vice president and residential operations officer of the bank’s Residential and Consumer Lending department.

“We are incredibly happy to welcome Anita Richard to our team here,” said Dan Moriarty, president of Monson Savings Bank. “Anita’s experience in residential lending, compliance, and customer service have already proven to be a great asset to our customers and to our entire team. We look forward to her continued contributions, which will surely benefit us all.”

In her new role, Richard is responsible for planning and organizing the residential and consumer lending operations, including streamlining loan processing, closing, and servicing. She also manages the staff in the Residential and Consumer Lending departments.

Richard has more than 31 years of experience in the banking industry, with 27 years focused in the mortgage-lending area. She most recently served as Home Lending Compliance manager at Berkshire Bank and Savings Institute Bank and Trust, where she was responsible for all residential-lending regulatory compliance. Previously, she was director of Mortgage Operations at Alden Credit Union, managing the daily operations of the residential-lending area as well as compliance and loan servicing.

“I am very excited to join Monson Savings Bank and work alongside their amazing residential-lending team,” Richard said. “After 27 years in the mortgage business, I still really love what I do. I look forward to bringing that enthusiasm to work every day in order to help continue the service excellence that Monson Savings Bank is known for.”

Daily News

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

“Sara has always been a positive contributor to our team at Monson Savings Bank, and that is no different when it comes to her work with the commercial-lending team and customers,” President Dan Moriarty said. “She has continually displayed her dedication to making sure our customers have a smooth lending experience. We are grateful to have her as a part of the team and look forward to her continued growth.”

In her new role, she is responsible for managing the commercial-loan administrative team and servicing team at Monson Savings Bank, as well as planning, organizing, and directing all commercial-lending operations.

Rodrigues has been with Monson Savings for eight years, previously serving in the role of Commercial Loan Operations manager. She has more than 20 years of experience in the banking industry, with 19 of those years within the commercial-lending sector. Prior to working with Monson Savings Bank, she worked with TD Bank, N.A. as a commercial-loan document supervisor.

A believer in giving back to the communities she works and resides in, Rodrigues is a volunteer with Link to Libraries and the Monson Schools Read a Loud program. She reads to schoolchildren and helps the organization with its mission to distribute new books to the school and home libraries of children in need. She also serves on the Monson Savings Bank community reinvestment committee.

“Since I started my career with Monson Savings Bank, it has been clear to me that this bank has a strong commitment to serving their customers with the best service possible and giving back to the local communities,” Rodrigues said. “Likewise, they take care of their employees and encourage growth. I am so happy to continue to develop my skills with Monson Savings Bank and help our commercial-loan customers along their financing journey.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank announced the recent promotion of Rob Chateauneuf to senior vice president and senior commercial loan officer.

“Rob has more than proven his value over the years through his hard work and dedication to Monson Savings Bank’s customers and his team members. We are so pleased to recognize his commitment with this well-deserved promotion,” Monson Savings Bank President Dan Moriarty said. “Rob puts his heart into his work. His in-depth understanding of commercial lending, his welcoming disposition, and his enthusiasm to help commercial borrowers make him an asset to our team and our customers.”

In his new role, Chateauneuf will be responsible for leading the bank’s Commercial Lending team as they continue to serve local businesses of all sizes. He is skilled in commercial real-estate lending, C&I lending, construction lending, and SBA lending.

At Monson Savings Bank, he most recently served as first vice president of Commercial Lending and has been the bank since 2012. With more than 20 years of banking experience, including commercial lending, residential lending, and retail branch management, he has a comprehensive understanding of the needs and challenges of commercial businesses.

Chateauneuf earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. Additionally, he is a graduate of the Springfield Regional Chamber’s Leadership Institute at Western New England University and the American Bankers Assoc. Stonier Graduate School of Banking – Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2014, he was recognized as one of BusinessWest’s 40 Under Forty.

He served on the board of directors at Hawthorn Services from 2006 to 2010, serving as president and chair from 2008 to 2010. When Hawthorn Services merged with the Center for Human Development (CHD), he was asked to join the CHD board, which he served as chair of the program committee and a member the board of directors from 2010 to 2020. He also served on the board of directors of the South Hadley Chamber of Commerce from 2004 to 2013. He has also been involved in myriad other charitable organizations and volunteer events throughout the years, including those benefiting Habitat for Humanity, the Westfield Boys & Girls Club, the United Way, and the towns of Agawam and South Hadley.

“I am excited to be a part of Monson Savings Bank, a community bank that focuses on the true needs of our local businesses,” Chateauneuf said. “Monson Savings Bank supports the local economy by providing businesses with capital to grow, resulting in more local jobs and vibrant communities.”

Daily News

EAST LONGMEADOW — In June, Monson Savings Bank announced its plan to open a full‐service branch located at 61 North Main St. in East Longmeadow. While opening a new location during the height of the COVID‐19 pandemic may seem like an uncommon move, the bank’s leaders felt it was important to serve the East Longmeadow community.

“Where we are seeing other banks pulling back and closing locations, like in East Longmeadow, we see it as an opportunity to expand, to fill a need for personal and business banking in a community,” said Steve Lowell, CEO of Monson Savings Bank, which recently opened the East Longmeadow location. “As a mutually chartered bank, we were incorporated to serve the community. So, when new opportunities become available that allow us to serve our customers even better, no matter what the challenges, we always make them a priority.”

The newly renovated East Longmeadow branch features an open-concept lobby layout, a team of knowledgeable and friendly banking professionals, two drive‐up lanes, a 24‐hour drive‐up ATM, and a coin machine. It also has offices specifically for mortgage lending, investment, and business-banking specialists who will be available to customers on site or by appointment.

“While we love seeing our customers when they visit our branch lobbies, we also understand that some may not be comfortable in the current environment,” Lowell said. “We are also serving customers through drive-up, by appointment, and with cutting-edge digital banking options.”

Added Aimee Kohn, branch manager, “the team here at the East Longmeadow branch is very excited, and we look forward to providing residents and business owners with banking solutions to make their lives better. We have a lot of customers living in East Longmeadow already, and we are very eager to welcome them to the branch, as we know they are happy about our new office here.”

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank announced the recent hiring of Kandra Tranghese as vice president and chief financial officer.

“We are so pleased to welcome Kandy to the Monson Savings Bank team,” President Dan Moriarty said. “With Kandy’s education and comprehensive years of experience within the banking industry, including the auditing of financial institutions, we know that she will be integral in the continued success and growth of the bank.”

In her role as vice president and chief financial officer, Tranghese will be responsible for planning, directing, and controlling the bank’s financial plans, policies, and accounting practices.

Tranghese most recently served for 23 years as senior audit manager for Wolf & Co., P.C., a regional CPA firm providing financial accounting and audit services. In this role, she was responsible for managing a team of professionals and providing audit and other assurance services to financial institutions.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Fairfield University and is a licensed certified public accountant (CPA), as well as a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants.

An active participant in the community, Tranghese currently serves as treasurer for the Wilbraham Hampden Academic Trust and previously was president of the Children’s Study Home. She looks forward to participating with Monson Savings Bank on future community-outreach initiatives.

“I am very happy to join Monson Savings Bank,” she said. “As an auditor for over 20 years, observing financial institutions and how they work, it is exciting to be a part of the team involved in making the behind-the-scenes decisions — decisions that ensure Monson Savings Bank continues to be a staple in the local communities.”

Daily News

EAST LONGMEADOW — Monson Savings Bank announced the expansion of its branch network into East Longmeadow. This new office, located at 61 North Main St., is expected to open in late summer.

The full-service branch will offer an extensive array of consumer and commercial products, traditional banking products, wealth-management products, and several robust digital solutions that have grown more important in today’s environment.

It has been the bank’s goal to further expand the markets it serves. “We are thrilled to be expanding our footprint into the vibrant community of East Longmeadow,” said Steve Lowell, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank. “We look forward to helping and serving the people and businesses of East Longmeadow and neighboring towns.”

Daily News

MONSON — Because Monson Savings Bank continues to grow by adding new positions and new personnel, and has outgrown some of its spaces, some employees are moving this week into a new, 12,000-square-foot office space on the top floor at 75 Post Office Park in Wilbraham. This location will be the new Monson Savings Bank Loan & Operations Center.

The following departments will be moving: Commercial Lending, Residential Lending, Collections, Compliance, Retail Administration, Retail Operations, Business Development, Municipal Banking, and E-Banking. The main branch and corporate headquarters will still be located in Monson.

Daily News

MONSON — Although several governments are allowing some businesses to reopen, leaders at Monson Savings Bank feel it is important to keep their employees and customers safe, so, for the health and safety of everyone, the bank’s lobbies will remain closed.

Monson Savings Bank will continue to meet the needs of customers with drive-up locations, ATMs, online banking, mobile check deposit, and night drop. Curbside banking and safe deposit are available by appointment at (413) 267-4646.

“We will continue to watch as the situation changes and decide when we feel it is safe for us to open the doors to our branches again,” bank President and CEO Steve Lowell said. “We truly appreciate your patience and understanding in the face of these challenges and hope that you and your loved ones are in good spirits during these unprecedented times.”

COVID-19 Daily News

MONSON — Baystate Health has just completed construction of a rapid-response triage area outside of the Baystate Medical Center Emergency Department, allowing the hospital to better protect patients and medical staff from exposure to the virus as patients are being screened and tested.

This new triage area is just one of the many large, unplanned expenses this health emergency has created. Additionally, the exploding demand for personal protection equipment for staff and myriad other needs to fight this outbreak are stretching resources and finances to the limit.

Monson Savings Bank has donated $25,000 to Baystate’s Greatest Needs Fund. This gift will directly support resources needed at Baystate Health as it continues to address and prepare for the care the community needs during this worldwide pandemic.

“At a time like this, our hearts go out to the doctors, nurses, and other medical staff who are the front line in our fight against this terrible virus,” bank President Steve Lowell said. “We hope that this donation will help them and show that our community thanks them for their valiant efforts.”

Class of 2020

Giving Back Has Always Been a Big Part of His Life — and His Work

Photo by Leah Martin Photography

Steve Lowell vividly recalls the conversation he had with his wife, Anne, when he decided to apply for a position at a bank located on Cape Cod — roughly half the state away from their home in Upton.

“She said, ‘Steve, you can go ahead and take the job, but I’ll tell you right now that we are not moving Emily out of school to go to another place,’” he told BusinessWest, noting that his daughter was in the second grade at the time. “If I wanted the job, I was going to have to commute.”

Long story short, he took the job, and he did commute — 90 miles each way — for 16 years. And, as we’ll see, he didn’t just commute to the office. In fact, he was at so many community events, and became so involved with all that was happening in that area of the Cape, that people just assumed he lived there and were often shocked to find out he didn’t.

This ‘giving back’ has always been a big part of who Lowell is, as a person and as a financial-services professional. And he certainly brought this trait to another job he pursued and eventually won — president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank.

Pretty much since the day he took that job early in 2011, Lowell has been active not only in Monson and surrounding communities, but also across the region as a whole, through his work with agencies ranging from the United Way of Pioneer Valley to Link to Libraries.

And when we say ‘from the day he took the job,’ we mean it.

Indeed, just a matter of weeks after he arrived, a tornado ripped across the region — and downtown Monson. As the community began the arduous task of digging out, many looked to the bank, one of the pillars of the community, for guidance and support.

Lowell and the bank responded in all kinds of ways, from helping to clear debris — he remembers cutting up fallen trees himself — to providing some leniency on mortgage and loan payments for those who needed it to emergency loans to help businesses reopen their doors.

For Lowell, who recently announced that he’ll be retiring early next year, ‘giving back’ isn’t just something he does. It’s something he preaches, if that’s the right word. Over the course of his more than 40 years in banking, he told BusinessWest, he’s had mentors who taught him the importance of community banks — and the people who work for them — to be involved in the communities in which they do business. And for decades now, he’s been teaching others.

Steve Lowell, center, is among the many dignitaries cutting the ribbon at the YMCA of Greater Springfield’s new Learning Center in Tower Square, sponsored by Monson Savings Bank.

“I learned early on, if I was going to be successful in this work, that it was important to be involved and give back — not only your monetary contributions, but your time and talent,” he said. “I’ve tried to live by that, and it’s worked out well.”

Thus, he has been a very effective role model for countless young professionals, and also something else — a true Difference Maker in Western Mass.

Saving Grace

Lowell said he could hear the tornado roaring down Main Street in Monson that fateful afternoon, noting that it really did sound like a freight train — a phrase so many have used to describe it. And that sound told him he needed to move. Fast.

“I hid in that bathroom right over there,” he said, pointing to a door in his office within the 150-year-old Lyons House, a large, handsome former residence now home to a few businesses, including some of the bank’s offices. “I looked around at the glass chandelier and all these windows and decided this was not a good place to be. And when I came out…”

He started shaking his head for emphasis as be recalled what he saw as he ventured out of that bathroom and then onto the street.

“It was over quickly, and there was dead quiet; I went outside, and it looked like a war zone,” he recalled, noting that trees were down, roofs had been torn off buildings, and a peaceful, rural town had been turned on its side, figuratively, but almost literally.

Lowell, who, as noted, had only been on the job a few months, hadn’t had a chance to meet too many people or find out just what kind of community Monson was. Suffice to say, the tornado greatly accelerated that process, thus providing the only real bright spot he could see from that catastrophe.

Steve Lowell, seen here with Link to Libraries executive director Laurie Flynn and students at Elias Brookings School, has made Monson Savings one of the leading corporate supporters of LTL.

“As traumatic and as bad as that was for the community, it provided me with the opportunity to meet a lot of people right away,” he said. “People from the town were reaching out to us, saying, ‘how is the bank going to be able to help?’ I got to meet a lot of people that it would have taken me years to meet.”

Only a few months before the tornado, Lowell was taking Anne on a drive to see Monson. He was applying to be president of the community bank based there and admits now to not actually knowing where said community was.

A headhunter had alerted him to the opportunity, and he was eager to consider it because the president of that bank on the Cape was just a little older than him and not ready to retire any time soon.

The subject of community involvement came up repeatedly during the many interviews for the position, and Lowell recalls being eager to answer those questions.

“I told them what I did on the Cape — I had been chairman of the United Way, chairman of the local YMCA, involved with the EDC, and involved with a host of other things, even though I didn’t live on the Cape,” he recalled. “So it was easy for me to let the board know what kind of commitment I was willing to make.”

And, as noted, it didn’t take long for this commitment to manifest itself, in all kinds of ways.

Starting with the United Way of Pioneer Valley, a story that is also related to the tornado in some ways.

Active Interest

Indeed, Dora Robinson, then executive director of the United Way chapter, knowing of Lowell’s involvement with that organization earlier in his career, asked him about being on her board.

Before getting to that, he informed her that many people in the Monson area were critical of the United Way’s response — or a perceived lack of a response — after the tornado struck. Upon being informed the agency was highly involved in relief efforts, Lowell recalls telling Robinson, “no one knows that — and you have to tell them; you have to take credit.”

And so he became not only a board member, but a very active one, taking on a role as “advocate” (his word) for those living in the many smaller towns in the eastern part of Hampden County.

“I have a hard time saying ‘no’ when people ask me like that,” he told BusinessWest, adding that his stint with the board, including his recent work as president, has been one of extreme challenge as the United Way chapter has battled through fiscal woes (as many have) and leadership changes, eventually coming into a partnership agreement to essentially share an executive director with the United Way of MetroWest, a move that has brought about many economies of scale.

Like most others, Lowell found it impossible to say ‘no’ to Link to Libraries (LTL) founder Susan Jaye Kaplan when she came to talk with him about that still-fledgling nonprofit soon after he arrived in the area. The occasion was a check presentation; soon after Lowell arrived, the bank created a program whereby the public could help decide how the bank gave back to the community through cash donations by voting for nonprofits via Facebook. Link to Libraries was one of the highest vote gatherers.

But upon learning more about the agency, Lowell took the bank’s involvement to a much higher plane.

“I was fascinated by the mission,” he said, adding that, through introductions made by Kaplan, the bank soon sponsored two schools — one in Monson and the other in Hampden — as part of LTL’s Community Book Link program. Today, the bank sponsors five schools — Elias Brookings School in Springfield, Springfield Public Day Elementary School, Springfield Public Day Middle School, Quarry Hill Community School in Monson, and Stanley M. Koziol Elementary School in Ware — the most of any company in the region.

“Steve Lowell’s generosity and passion for this community, particularly with regard to children and education, has had an enormous impact on our work at Link to Libraries,” said Laurie Flynn, president and CEO of LTL. “Through their sponsorships, community-giving initiatives, and emphasis on volunteering, Steve has created a culture of giving at Monson Savings Bank. Through their sponsorship of five local elementary schools in need and the numerous Monson Savings Bank employees who volunteer to read in classrooms each month, Steve Lowell and the bank have impacted the lives of more than 1,000 underserved children.”

Lowell has also become involved with Baystate Health, serving as chairman of its Eastern Region, as well as with the Monson Free Library, the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts, and a number of other groups and institutions.

But what really makes him a Difference Maker is that culture of giving that he has helped create and the way he mentors others to give back.

“One of the things I really enjoy is helping my staff move up within the organization,” he said. “And I tell them all, ‘if you want to get ahead here, you’re going to have to be involved in the community.’ I tell them it’s not really important to me what they do, but I encourage them to find something they’re interested in and that they enjoy. I tell them they need to buy into that, and they need to be part of it.”

Common Cents

Returning to that commute from Upton to the Cape, Lowell said that, over the course of those 16 years, he became quite fond of books on tape — “I was very well read” — and adept at knowing when the traffic would be worst and how to avoid it.

“I made it work,” he said simply, adding that those years helped cement a legacy of giving back and getting involved.

But in Monson, he has taken that philosophy to an even higher level, putting the bank at the forefront of a number of efforts to improve quality of life and secure a strong future.

Today, he enjoys a much shorter commute, affording him time to be even more of a Difference Maker.

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

buy ivermectin for humans buy ivermectin online buy generic cialis buy cialis