Honoring 200 Years of Service within the Community

By Kisha Tapangan,

By Michael Givens| June 25, 2018 | 3 Minute Read

On Tuesday, June 12th, more than 1,600 people gathered for Eastern Bank’s 200th anniversary at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) to celebrate and commemorate their ground-breaking work supporting and empowering local communities.

“I think we’re going to continue to grow and expand and further deliver on our community mission,” said Eastern Bank CEO Bob Rivers of the organization’s legacy and his hopes for the future. “It’s manifested by our commitment to 10 percent of our net income every year to charity. The Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation has over $100 million today…It’s really just delivering more of that impact to more and more people over time, here in New England and beyond.”

Rivers was joined by the Eastern Bank Partners For Good, award-winning former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie, and three-time World Series champion and former designated hitter David “Big Papi” Ortiz. The celebration, however, didn’t end with commemorating Eastern Bank’s 200th anniversary. The bank also welcomed a new Partner For Good—two-time gymnastic Olympian and Needham, Massachusetts, native Aly Raisman.

Eastern Bank 200th Anniversary Event in Boston on Tuesday June 12, 2018. (Photo By: Greg M. Cooper / Eastern Bank)

“I’ve always been a fan of Eastern Bank just because of how passionate they are about doing good and I think with the way that the world is today, we need a lot more brands like Eastern Bank. I’m very, very proud to be working with them,” said Raisman. “They are incredibly supportive of what I’m doing right now with Darkness to Light, which is trying to end child sexual abuse. I’m very grateful for their help and I’m very excited to work together.”

Flutie, who founded The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, echoed Raisman’s sentiments about Eastern Bank.

“It’s been a great partnership for 14 years,” he said. “Eastern Bank is involved in the community and it’s great to be affiliated with someone who is giving back…it’s just a matter of doing something nice for somebody and putting them in the best position to prosper. That’s what Eastern Bank is all about.”

“Partners For Good is something totally different—this thing is unbelievable,” Ortiz exclaimed to the crowd at one point during the festivities at the jam-packed venue. Ortiz is the founder of the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, which seeks to provide vital pediatric care to children across New England and his home country of the Dominican Republic.

The evening was filled with a well-earned sense of accomplishment as attendees reflected on the impact of Eastern Bank and its consistent service to New England’s communities.

Having just celebrated his 23rd anniversary with the bank, David Guilmette, a retail administration specialist, summed up his thoughts on the institution’s legacy with the word “inclusiveness” and discussed a particularly good act that Eastern Bank performed that really resonated with him.

“Standing up for the LGBTQ community and the transgender community—it’s amazing what they’ve done,” he said. “Our executive vice president of human resources has gone to the State House in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire to speak on transgender rights.”

Guilmette said the philosophy of acceptance isn’t just a community practice, it extends to the staff as well. “They make everybody feel welcome. Everybody is included in Eastern Bank.”

When asked what separates Eastern Bank’s 200-year legacy from other well-known banks in New England, Guilmette didn’t hesitate with his response. “At Eastern Bank, the employees know who you are when you come in. We know our customers. They call us, they come into the branch, we know who they are and it’s just a homey feeling when you come in.”

While Guilmette has been on a near-quarter of a century journey with Eastern Bank, Deborah Williams has just started hers. A vendor loan compliance specialist with the bank for just three months, Williams couldn’t contain how excited she is to be working with the institution.

“I really am amazed at all they do for the community and all they do for the employees,” she said.

Noting that she’s worked with other large banks, she contended that those other banks, “don’t do half of what Eastern Bank does for its employees.” When she started working at the bank, she was impressed with how devoted the bank is to service and says she’s committed to the institution and its mission.

Learn more about Eastern Bank’s mission to Join Us For Good.

Eastern Bank Celebrates 200 Years of Service in New England

By Kisha Tapangan,

By Nicholas Conley | June 12, 2018 | 2 Minute Read

A bank that donates 10 percent of its profits to charity, volunteers over 50,000 hours, and actively fights for women, gateway cities, immigrants, and the LGBTQ community? While Eastern’s Join Us For Good initiative has only recently drawn headlines from the Boston Globe, the company’s mission is nothing new. This year marks Eastern Bank’s 200th anniversary along with a heritage of inclusiveness, community, and standing up for good causes.

This philosophy is so embedded into the fabric of Eastern Bank that on every employee’s first day, they are given a card that lists Eastern’s core values: “Integrity, Innovation, Diversity and Inclusion, Commitment, and Teamwork.” The other side describes Eastern’s vision: “We embrace our mutuality, culture and creative spirit to build lasting relationships with our customers, colleagues, and communities in pursuit of a better, fairer, more sustainable world.”

Even though Eastern Bank is the oldest mutual bank in the country, its history of serving underrepresented communities goes back to the very beginning. Back in 1818, the bank’s first customer was a woman named Rebecca Sutton, which at the time was so unheard-of that a male attorney had to make the deposit on her behalf. Looking back on Eastern Bank’s 200th anniversary, many such milestones can be found. Though the company hasn’t always been called “Eastern Bank”—that consolidated name arose from the 1981 merger of Salem Savings Bank and First East Bank—the company has never abandoned its local roots.

The 1980s marked a key time in Eastern Bank’s growth, and the bank continued its expansion efforts in 2002 when it merged with the Allied Insurance Agency, now Eastern Insurance Group. Today, Eastern Insurance has become one of the top 35 P&C insurance agencies in the country. And of those 35, it’s the only one led by a woman—Hope Aldrich, whom Eastern Bank CMO Paul Alexander credits for Eastern Insurance’s current success. “They’ve done a phenomenal job, and hopefully, we’ve given them a grand platform that gives them a little extra topspin.”

Looking back, it might have been the 2010 merger with Wainwright Bank where Eastern cemented its reputation as a social justice champion. At the time, Wainwright was known for its strong foothold in Boston’s LGBTQ community. When Eastern purchased the company, it didn’t run away from those associations.

“Eastern embraced it,” says Alexander. “What Wainwright brought was an increased focus on the LGBTQ community, and that’s become a very important pillar in terms of a community whose business is important to us, and [that has] also influenced an area of human justice that we totally support.”

Another significant chapter in Eastern Bank’s growth was the 2014 merger with Centrix Bank. “What Centrix brought was a strength in commercial lending in Southern New Hampshire,” says Alexander. “That’s why Eastern went after that merger—because Centrix had that strength, and they had a similar value system to Eastern in terms of giving back to the community.”

The running theme throughout all of these mergers has always been a focus on growth, while not sacrificing the values that make Eastern stand out. “The more we grow, the more we’re able to give back to the community,” says Alexander.

Every year, Eastern Bank focuses 20 percent of its charitable donations on a specific cause. In 2017, it was immigration. In 2018, that cause is advancing women. As this 200-year-old mutual bank continues into the future, it aims to continue supporting the causes that their customers value. “Our focus [is] on social responsibility and doing the right thing, that’s our point of differentiation,” says Alexander. “You can choose a bank for a lot of reasons. We hope people will choose us not just because we serve our customers in a terrific way, but also because we’re devoted to causes—to communities—that other banks aren’t.”

Learn more about Eastern Bank’s Join Us For Good initiative and their work in supporting community members.