OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE PENNSYLVANIA ASSOCIATION OF COMMUNITY BANKERS

Pub. 3 2021 Issue 4

hometown-champions

Hometown Champions – William Penn Bank

This story appears in the
Hometown Banker Pub. 3 2021 Issue 4

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Communities across Pennsylvania are growing and thriving because their community banks care. The service and commitment demonstrated by community bank employees keep customers faithful and their sincerity keeps others hopeful. Because of these employees, communities across the Commonwealth are thriving and becoming better places to live and work.


When it comes to community banking in Pennsylvania, the uniqueness, talents, and attributes of the 14,000 individual community bank employees combine to make the entire industry greater than the sum of its parts.


As we travel across Pennsylvania, we meet community bank employees from many different backgrounds. Some are new to the industry, while others have worked their entire careers in it. No matter how long these employees have been involved in banking, they all share a common thread — a love for their community. They truly are the ones responsible for bettering their hometowns.


As part of an ongoing series, each issue, we will be featuring interviews with these community bank employees, these “Hometown Champions.” Through these interviews, we hope to gain some insight into what makes the community banking industry great in Pennsylvania.


This month we chat with Hometown Champions from William Penn Bank, located in Bucks County. William Penn Bank has been serving the local needs of their communities and customers for 150 years. As they celebrate the deep roots of their past and plant new seeds for the future, they give their sincere thanks to their customers, and strive to continue providing the right banking solutions, delivered the right way – with heart. 

Ashley-Trick

Ashley Trick
Assistant Branch Manager
Richboro

PACB: How did you get into community banking?

ASHLEY: I believe I lucked into community banking. I was born and raised in Levittown, PA. However, I had actually just moved back to Pennsylvania in June 2019 from where I had lived in Georgia and was looking for a job. I had a job interview at a local business in Langhorne that I knew wasn’t going to be a good fit. On my way home, I was by the Woodbourne office of William Penn Bank and I thought to myself, “I have never seen jobs posted on their website.” Which I attributed to the fact that people were happy working here and stayed on. That day was no exception, but I was dressed, had my resume handy and decided to stop in. That day I met Kelly Vittore, who at the time was the branch manager at that office. I introduced myself, explained I was looking for a job, gave her my resume, and asked if anything opened to keep me in mind. Kelly was kind enough to introduce me to Michele Herzog in Human Resources. Michele told me about an opening at their Richboro office that was about to open to the public the very next day! About a week later, I met with Dawn Day, who was the Richboro branch manager and we just clicked! That was that. I couldn’t have landed at a better place, honestly. My previous manager, Dawn and my current manager Debby Obarowski have fostered my growth and encouraged me to push myself to go out and get what I wanted. They fostered whatever potential they saw in me and I am where I am today because of what they have taught me and helped me to be. One thing I have to say about William Penn Bank and the management staff here is that they recognize and reward hard, earnest work. That starts at the top with Ken Stephon and Chris Coslove and goes from there. That’s the environment here. Not a lot of organizations are like that anymore and operate more on a “What can you do for me?” rather than a “What can I do for you?” mindset. I’m proud to be a part of it.

PACB: What is the most rewarding aspect of working in community banking?

ASHLEY: I think the most rewarding aspect is the clients. Obviously, without them, I don’t have a job. My office has a mostly older clientele, and they are some of the greatest folks I’ve had the pleasure to get to know. They tell me about their kids and grandkids, their triumphs, their trials. They bring me pictures of their kids or grandkids. I get to not only be a part of their lives but celebrate them as well, like an extended family. They are kind and wonderful people who have welcomed me into their lives. I honestly just love my customers. I’m a people person by nature, but the folks I deal with on the day-to-day are just special. They just are. I am always happy to pitch in at another office and be of service in whatever shape that takes, but I’m always happy to come home and see my family.

PACB: People always want a definition of “community bank,” what’s yours?

ASHLEY: To me, a community bank is a bank that isn’t the typical “corporate-minded” place that treats its customers as little more than numbers to keep the lights on and employees paid. A community bank is interested in its customer’s lives and helps them when they need help. Whether that’s a lending decision specific to that client or returning an overdraft fee, a community bank treats their customers with the kindness and compassion people need in all aspects of their lives, especially when dealing with something as sensitive and important as their finances. I have worked for financial institutions that do not operate this way. It is my belief that William Penn Bank exemplifies these standards and genuinely has the customer’s best interests at heart. I believe my bank encourages and empowers its staff to do what is right by and for the customer at all times, of course, while still adhering to guidelines and government standards.

PACB: Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.

ASHLEY: Oh goodness! This is a great question! I tend to be an open book with a lot of who I am. I guess the one thing I don’t talk about a lot is that I advocate for mental health awareness. My close family knows and a few very close friends, but generally speaking, it’s not the first thing I offer up about myself. I have volunteered with organizations, as well as donated to them. People tend to address their physical health. When you break a bone, you go to the doctor. Why not do the same thing for your mental health? I highly recommend and support NAMI – National Alliance of Mental Illness and The Trevor Project. It is something very near and dear to my heart, especially as the world has changed since the pandemic. So many people have given up their hope or lost their will to survive another day. We’ve all read or seen the news stories. There is such a stigma around mental health, and it truly breaks my heart. I think that makes people afraid to ask for help, which can be isolating and lonely. I believe no one is truly alone. If someone reading this is struggling, please ask for help or call the suicide prevention hotline at 800-273-8255. Nothing bad can ever last. There is always hope.

PACB: What is the 5th picture in your camera roll on your phone, and can you please share the story behind it?

ASHLEY: The fifth photo on my camera roll is from Nov. 24, 2018 and it is of my now almost three-year-old dog, Jake, who was a puppy at the time, sleeping on my dog Bosco’s bed. It was about three weeks after I got Jake when he was about 12 weeks old. Jake was found on the side of a rural highway in Walker County, Georgia, where I lived, and he was roughly eight weeks old. A good samaritan took him to a shelter. My dog, Bosco, had passed very suddenly Oct. 16 that same year. He was four years old. I wasn’t sure I would get another dog, but I had a dream about Bosco, and we were playing in the yard. I woke up and knew I had to go to the shelter. That shelter was built to house 40 dogs or so, and they had over 100! Jake was in a large cage tucked behind an even larger door. I don’t think anyone would’ve known he was there. I moved the door, thinking there was no way a dog would be in that cage, but there he was. I took him out and we played for a few minutes. I just knew he was my buddy. He hadn’t had his shots, been fixed, anything that is usually done before a dog is adopted out. The shelter didn’t have the resources and he had only been there nine days. I took him to my vet and got him all squared away. Unfortunately, he did have heartworms, but we got through the treatment just fine and he’s as lovely and cuddly as ever! He’s always happy to see me and his best friend is my cat, Bodhi. Bodhi has let me know that Jake is his dog, not mine. It is so precious and makes my heart so happy. I included a photo of them sleeping together from just a few weeks ago. For reference – even as a pup, he was about 23 lbs. at 12 weeks – he is a whopping 95 lbs. now!

Mike-Giampetro

Michael Giampetro
AVP
Marketing

PACB: How did you get into Community banking?

MIKE: I started out as an intern at 20 years old with Audubon Savings Bank during my junior year of college. The internship became a part-time job in the summer. After graduating from Rutgers, they offered me a full-time position. Eight years later and a merger with William Penn Bank, and here I am! It’s been a fun ride thus far.

PACB: What is the most rewarding aspect of working in a community bank?

MIKE: For me, it’s making a little go a long way. A big focus for us this year has been what we call Business and Employee Spotlights on social media. On Wednesdays, we highlight a local business customer in our community. On Fridays, we put the spotlight on a new hire or recently promoted employee. Seeing a post get a lot of attention gives me personal satisfaction because I know that I’m shining a light on people and businesses that deserve recognition, especially in 2021.

PACB: People always want a definition of “community bank,” what is yours?

MIKE: I would define community banking simply as a friendly neighbor who has your financial back. Community banks like ours set themselves apart by offering the things that “big banks” do while lending a helping hand when you need it most. As we continue to grow as a bank, we have never lost that local, personal connection with our customers and staff. That’s community banking to me.

PACB: Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.

MIKE: I love to play guitar! I occasionally share my musical ideas online, but not as much as I would like. It’s a personal goal for me this year and one that I hope better identifies me as a person.

PACB: What is the 5th picture in your camera roll on your phone, and can you please share the story behind it?

MIKE: This is a stand that I ordered and built for my new TV. I recently moved into a townhome in April, and after weeks of painting, putting down a new floor, and remodeling bathrooms, this was the final piece to the puzzle before I moved all of my furniture in. I’m really happy with how it turned out!

Mike-Giampetro-5TH-PIC
Reginald-Carney

Reginald Carney
Assistant Branch Manager
Port Richmond

PACB: How did you get into community banking?

REGINALD: In 2007, I started my banking career with a large institution. After so many years of working with the company, I was unhappy, I felt like I didn’t exist in the company, and I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere. In 2015 I received an opportunity to work for a smaller community bank. I was nervous like anybody would be switching jobs after being with a company for such a long period of time, but it was the best decision I made for my career.

PACB: What is the most rewarding aspect of working in community banking?

REGINALD: The most rewarding aspect of working in community banking is the relationship you build with the customers. Over time you get to know your customers, not just on a banking level but also on a personal level. The loyalty and trust you earn from the customers are the most rewarding to me.

PACB: People always want a definition of “community bank,” what is yours?

REGINALD: My definition of a community bank is a bank that’s embraced by the community, a bank that’s active in the community, and a bank that cares for the people and the small businesses in the community.

PACB: Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.

REGINALD: Most people wouldn’t know that I became a builder over the past year. I didn’t even know I had it in me; I didn’t even own tools. One of the positive things about being shut down due to COVID-19 was how creative I’ve become. Thanks to DIY videos on YouTube, I have been able to save money and build stuff in my backyard that I and everyone can enjoy. The reactions I get when I tell people that “I made that” are priceless, but I just really enjoy it.

PACB: What is the 5th picture in your camera roll on your phone, and can you please share the story behind it?

REGINALD:

This picture is of my wife and me on Graffiti Pier – it’s a hidden attraction near Fishtown that is a chill spot with a nice view and unique artwork. For a while, we have been wanting to check out this place but could never figure out how to get on the pier. On this day, we finally figured it out, took a few pictures and enjoyed the scenery. If you haven’t been there, I suggest you check it out.

Reginald--5TH-PIC
Dawn-Day

Dawn Day
AVP and Branch Manager
Yardley

PACB: How did you get into community banking?

DAWN: I began my career in community banking back in 1987, right out of High School. Back then, benefits were only covered until you were 18 years of age, and I needed to find a job that supported me in order to have decent benefit coverage. My neighbor was working for a bank called Broad Street Bank in NJ and recruited me to come on board with them. Right then and there began my long 34-year career in banking.

PACB: What is the most rewarding aspect of working in community banking?

DAWN: I believe the most rewarding aspect of my job is having the opportunity to help the clients meet their goals and guide them in the right direction for their financial needs. I always strive to have close relationships with my clients and understand what their needs are. People do not like to be just a number when they walk into see you. It’s important for all areas of the institution to build strong, solid relationships with their clients. I also love that with the smaller community bank, I am able to build solid relationships with my co-workers in all aspects of the bank.

PACB: People always want a definition of “community bank,” what’s yours?

DAWN: A community bank is defined as an institution in which you can walk-in and everyone there knows your name. Kind of like the TV show Cheers when they all yell, “Hey Norm!” We all want to feel welcomed and appreciated when we walk into an institution and NOT be treated like a nuisance or just another client. They want their transaction personalized: we use their name and ask about their children. We make sure the client understands that we care about their personal needs.

PACB: Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.

DAWN: Work: I successfully completed four phases of a CPP (Career Progression Program). This is a development program that the bank has in place to help employees advance. Home: I love to work outside in the yard, gardening, etc. I also love to decorate for all the special holidays.

PACB: What is the 5th picture in your camera roll on your phone, and can you please share the story behind it?

DAWN: This picture was taken April 2 2021,. My nephew got married and they had a photo booth there. My children and nieces and nephews (the cousins) are rarely all together as they live in different states. So, this picture was taken, and they were still missing one cousin who lives in Wisconsin who was unable to fly out because she just had a baby. My daughter posted the picture this week of all of them, and the funny part is that Sarah, the one missing, photoshopped herself into the picture and said, “Now it is complete!” I just loved the fact that she did that. It was great!

dawn-day-5th-pic
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