Tag Archives: Dime Bank

Community Banks More Valuable Than Ever, Say Local Presidents

Thomas A. Borner, President and CEO, Putnam Bank, insisted that “You’re not looking at the people who caused the problems in 2008—that’s not what we did, that’s not what we do.”

Thomas A. Borner, President and CEO, Putnam Bank, insisted that “You’re not looking at the people who caused the problems in 2008—that’s not what we did, that’s not what we do.”

by John Stratton

Community banks, the locally owned and operated banks here in eastern Connecticut, are valuable for many reasons: They are the institutions that last year contributed 27,750 hours of volunteer time, originated $928 million in loans, and directly contributed $1.488 million to our local communities. And they may have made your mortgage, or placed their faith in your business plans and helped you grow

Seven presidents of regional small banks gathered to discuss mutual goals and concerns at the first Community Bank President’s Round Table held at Dime Bank in Norwich February 5.  Most of the banks are many years old and derive their investment incomes from home-town mortgage and business loans, not from the exotic financial investments and funds that characterize “mega-banks.”

“It’s a tribute to community banking to see us all in this room together,” said Kevin C. Merchant of Jewett City Savings Bank. “We are theoretically in competition, but the bottom line is community service.”

The presidents also pointed out that all their employees—1000 between them—live locally, and are involved in their towns and in their economic strength as homeowners and purchasers of goods and services.

“Forty-five percent of loans are made by community banks,” said Rheo A. Brouillard of Savings Institute Bank and Trust. “We are the ones lending to the local body shop down the street.”

Nicholas Caplanson, President and CEO, Dime Bank, said,“We are very willing to work with borrowers who see themselves slipping behind.”

Nicholas Caplanson, President and CEO, Dime Bank, said,“We are very willing to work with borrowers who see themselves slipping behind.”

Yet the complex regulations aimed at suppressing excesses on the part of “mega-banks” that helped cause the financial crisis apply equally to small banks. Compliance is expensive, even though small banks typically have none of the risk-intensive investments that entangle large banks.

Dime Bank’s Nicholas Caplanson noted that he seeks realistic goals for his borrowers. “We don’t get into subprime mortgages, or with people who should not be borrowing.”

B. Michael Rauh, President and CEO, Chelsea Groton Bank, claims “Initially, regulations were to control unregulated activity, but now they are a burden.”

B. Michael Rauh, President and CEO, Chelsea Groton Bank, claims “Initially, regulations were to control unregulated activity, but now they are a burden.”

Early is important, the presidents agree; none of their banks likes to foreclose. Gregory R. Shook of Essex Savings Bank, critiquing the inappropriate and complex small-bank regulations, said that regulators “have made this giant fog—that’s the kind of dynamic that they have created.”

Concurring, Gerald D. Coia of Eastern Savings Bank called out for Washington to “stop the chaos. People have to feel good about their future; if you feel good about your future then you will borrow. You’ll put that addition on the house, or buy that machine for your business.”

The presidents agreed that small banks will adapt. “We can help your cash flow, your business,” said Shook.

New Dime Bank ATM Dedicated

(l-r) Richard Virgin, General Manager of Fiddleheads; Nicholas Caplanson, President of Dime Bank; and Tony Sheridan of the Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, look on as Susan Zimmerman, President of Fiddleheads cuts the ribbon to dedicate a new ATM at the New London organic, fair trade grocery store.

(l-r) Richard Virgin, General Manager of Fiddleheads; Nicholas Caplanson, President of Dime Bank; and Tony Sheridan of the Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, look on as Susan Zimmerman, President of Fiddleheads cuts the ribbon to dedicate a new ATM at the New London organic, fair trade grocery store.

story & photo
by Jon Persson

Organic groceries now have a new friend at Fiddleheads in New London.  On December 1, Dime Bank officers dedicated a new ATM inside the organic, fair-trade grocery cooperative which for five years has anchored a movement to bring green economics to New London.

The new ATM merges two elements of society and economics; the traditional bank and the New Age, “locavore” grocery store.

Richard Virgin, General Manager at Fiddleheads, explains that this is an important measure of progress in the long-term mission of bringing healthy diets to an urban setting. It’s especially true when the store hosts such events as farmers’ markets, says Richard, where vendors might not be able to accept credit or debit cards.

Making healthy food choices available in urban centers, which some refer to as “food deserts,” is a vital part of improving the health of Americans in our cities. It is also still not a part of mainstream American life, says Richard. He cites a recent report by the Connecticut government identifying ten places to buy food in downtown New London—all were convenience stores, while Fiddleheads, the purveyor of local, organic, fresh, and fair trade foodstuffs, did not garner a mention.

But, Richard recounts, the new ATM is one more step in a process which brings Fiddleheads into the fast-moving present day. While the uniqueness of the store is a throwback to earlier, simpler, more “localized” times, Dime Bank’s ATM brings an element of mainstream technology to the evolving cooperative.

From the Publisher: Looking Forward to a Fine 2013!

Delaney Gagnon, left, of Ledyard is The Resident contest winner for the sold-out One Direction concert at Mohegan Sun on December 1. “The whole stadium roared with cheers!” she reports on page 8. Here, Delaney is greeted by Alexis Ann and “Santa” Tom Cantone, Vice-President for Sports and Entertainment at Mohegan Sun.

Delaney Gagnon, left, of Ledyard is The Resident contest winner for the sold-out One Direction concert at Mohegan Sun on December 1. “The whole stadium roared with cheers!” she reports on page 8. Here, Delaney is greeted by Alexis Ann and “Santa” Tom Cantone, Vice-President for Sports and Entertainment at Mohegan Sun.

As you take a look through this Year in Review, you’ll see many folks being honored and many businesses that are celebrating milestones and expansions. You’ll also take note of people and institutions that have “given back” to our communities: they enjoy serving us, and we’re proud of their accomplishments. They extend themselves well beyond the products or services they offer.

The Resident itself entered its 23rd year of publication this past October.  We enjoy sharing your good news! We especially take special pride in saluting the achievements of our military!

Certainly the majesty and drama of OpSail and the celebratory glamor of the centennial of Lawrence+Memorial Hospital touched many of us; and our two grand casinos, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino, remain generous in their gracious hosting for a myriad of community gatherings, from the fun and fanciful to the august and commemorative. The two Tribes, around since the beginning—indeed, before the beginning–are welcome parts of our lives and our economy. Likewise, other major hospitality centers like the Mystic Marriott, Stonington Meadows, the Norwich Inn, Groton Inn and Suites, Norwich Holiday Inn, and Lake of Isles offer venues for events of regional significance and, yes, a chance to dress your best, flash a bit of your sweetest bling, and step out with others who care about you and our region.

Our regional financial institutions provide foundations for our homes and employment, so it’s a continuing pleasure to see them—and their people—prosper. The outreach of these companies—among them Dime Bank, Charter Oak, CorePlus, Putnam Bank, Citizens Bank, Liberty, Eastern Federal, Chelsea Groton, Scient, People’s, Wells Fargo—keep us on a solid footing even as they express faith in our future. Our service Clubs—Lions, Rotary, and the Chambers of Commerce—link civic pride to business throughout the year.

Cheers and Happy New Year!

Alexis Anneditor & publisher

Alexis Ann
editor & publisher

Outstanding Leadership Award Honors Ulysses Hammond and CorePlus Federal Credit Union

story & photos
by Alexis Ann

Inside the Gathering Space at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center on an unusually hot June 12th, a couple of hundred business leaders and family members joined together to honor Ulysses Hammond, Vice President for Administration, Conn College, as the Outstanding Leadership Award recipient and Core Plus Federal Credit Union as the Community Service Awardee presented by the CT Rivers Council, Boy Scouts of America. The evening’s celebration began with a tour of the Museum followed by cocktails, dinner and ceremony.

Keith Fontaine, Eagle Scout (1976), VP for Corporate Communications, Backus Hospital, Norwich, served as Master of Ceremonies. Kenneth Capano, Sr., owner of ShopRite and former Community Service Award recipient co-chaired the gala with Jeffrey Godley, Eagle Scout, member of Brown Jacobson, P.C..

The Outstanding Leadership Award is presented annually by the Boy Scouts to publicly acknowledge the accomplishments of an outstanding community leader; a person who lives by the Scout Oath and Law in his or her daily life. “Certainly, Ulysses Hammond is a person who exemplifies these characteristics,” said Bill Stanley, L&M Hospital, as he introduced the honoree. Bill served side-by-side with Ulysses on the Boards of Directors for the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT and the United Way of Southeastern CT, described Ulysses as, “A true leader, a true community champion, a true gentleman and as good a friend as anyone could have in the world.”

“While he was not a Boy Scout himself, Ulysses did experience vicarious Boy Scout life through his son, Damon, who did, fortunately have access to a Scout troop while he was growing up,” Bill said. “Ulysses Hammond also lives each day as a Boy Scout would, demonstrating that he is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.”

At Conn College, Ulysses serves as the chief administrative and business operations officer and is coordinator of the college’s legal and community affairs. Currently, Ulysses is leading the college’s $53M, 10-year campus renewal effort.

A leader on campus and in the community, Ulysses holds numerous honors and awards, including OIC of New London’s 2008 Community Champion Award, Dominion Nuclear’s “Strong Men & Women: Excellence in Leadership” Award, the 2006 Connecticut Man of the Year Award, and the “Measure of a Man” Award from the Washington Inter-Alumni Council of the College Fund/United Negro College Fund and he is co-founder of the Tutoring for Success/Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders Today program in the New London Public Schools.

Of all the organizations for which Ulysses serves, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Trust Fund is “near and dear to his heart.” He is also vice chair on the board of directors at L&M Hospital, and is past board chair of both the United Way of SECT and Chamber of Commerce of ECT. As experienced and knowledgeable as Ulysses Hammond is, his favorite service to the community involves rolling up his sleeves to wash dishers at the New London Meal Center, where he volunteers as a member of the Rotary Club of NL.

In acceptance of the award, Ulysses Hammond stressed the importance of character development in our youth and thanked the Boy Scouts of America for its vital role in this mission. Ulysses thanked the attendees, his dear wife and his close friend, Reverend Watts for being there in his time of need. It was a tear-breaking moment, as he relayed his fight to beat prostate cancer.

The Community Service Award is presented annually too to organizations and individuals who play a vital role in the development and growth of a community. The spirit of Eastern CT is greatly enriched by the continual support of our business community and CT Rivers Council, BSA, is pleased to recognize those organizations that make a significant contribution to the quality of life in the communities it serves. On behalf of Core Plus Federal Credit Union, Warren P. Scholl, President & CEO, accepted the Community Service Award.

“In 1936, Core Plus started with 27 members and $15.00. Today, we are proud to provide sound financial health to over 20,000 members and over $180M in assets,” said Warren. “Core Plus is extremely honored to receive this award and we are especially privileged to share the evening with Ulysses Hammond.”

“Scouting touches lives! In more ways than we realize the fundamental lessons learned in scouting carry over as preeminent indicators of good character and right thinking in our society.”

“Whether an individual’s encounter with scouting was brief or whether they, as individuals, rose through the ranks to soar with eagles, scouting touches lives.”

“Do our best to do our duty” because scouting touches lives!