Page 7 - BusinessWest May 13, 2024
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                                                                                                        co, and Westbank are just some of the names that have disappeared from the landscape.
All of this is reflected in the large collections of business cards amassed by some bankers in this area, sometimes without actually leaving their office — it was only the name and logo on the card that changed.
But consolidation of the industry (and we’ll get back to it later) is obviously just one of many changes in this sector since Ronald Reagan was running for a second term in the White House. There have been huge changes in technology and how people bank, in how many non- bank entities are now vying for market share in this industry, and also in how people work, where, and even what they wear to the office.
Indeed, Lauren Duffy, executive vice president and COO of UMass- Five College Federal Credit Union, is one of many officers at the institu- tion that do not have their own office anymore. She works remotely a few days a week, and for the days she’s in, she reserves a desk online.
“I try to make sure I get one with a good window,” she told Business- West, adding that she usually does. And this sea change is only one
of many in the world of credit unions, which four decades ago might have served the employees of one company or institution (like UMass Amherst or Mercy Hospital) and now have memberships that are much larger and more diverse.
There have been other changes as well, said Glenn Welch, president and CEO of Freedom Credit Union, who has almost exactly 40 years
of experience in the industry and is one of those who saw his business card change repeatedly, but not the location of his desk. He said the business is, well, less formal now, reflecting trends across business.
“When I started out back in the ’80s, you had to wear a suit and tie every day,” he recalled. “If you left the floor you were working on, you had to put your suit jacket back on; you couldn’t walk through the lobby without being very formal.”
Mary McGovern
Congratulations to Mary McGovern, Country Bank’s newly appointed President—and the first female president in the bank’s 174-year history. We’ve spent nearly two centuries learning, growing, and innovating, so that we can continue serving Western Massachusetts well. When we foster an environment that celebrates our differences and values our voices, we create a
legacy strong enough to last for generations.
Congratulations to our partners at Business West for making a difference for the last 40 years!
                                                                       LAUREN DUFFY
“When I started working in credit unions almost 20 years ago, our financial services were fairly sim- ple. It was a savings account, a checking account, and, most commonly, a car loan, a mort-
gage, or a personal loan. We’ve
   evolved with the economy and with the region, and it’s so complex now, the many
things that we can offer.”
Getting back to technology, it is a thread that runs through each and every story in our 40th-anniversary edition, and for good reason. In banking, the changes have been profound, with paper and old-fashioned bankbooks giving way to automated tellers and mobile banking, greatly reducing the need to visit the local branch and generating discussion and debate about whether banks will need such facilities moving for- ward — and, if so, how many.
Senecal said PeoplesBank plans to add three branches just this year as the institution plots an organic growth strategy while also looking hard at mergers and acquisitions. Meanwhile, Dave Glidden, president and CEO of Middletown, Conn.-based Liberty Bank, can see a day,
not far ahead, when the bank will make net reductions in the number of branches in its portfolio. And Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank, like others we spoke with, noted that, while the branch is visited less often today than before, and this trend will likely accelerate in the future, there will always be a need for face-to-face, in- person service.
“Over my career, people have always been talking about how branch- es were dying or how we wouldn’t need anymore,” Moriarty said. “But for small community banks or community banks in general, a physical presence will always be a necessity.”
By All Accounts
As he talked about the changes that have come to this sector since he entered the business more than 30 years ago, Senecal reflected on
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