Published: April 30, 2019
In 2018, Fidelity Bank saw a year of steady financial growth while fulfilling its LifeDesign promise of being a team of caring people, who take a caring approach, to provide caring solutions for its clients, colleagues and community. The community bank with headquarters in Leominster and 12 full service offices grew by 14.2 percent reaching total assets of $935 million, which is up $116 million from 2017
“We grew in each area of our business this year,” said Ed Manzi, Jr., Fidelity Bank Chairman and CEO. “From investing in more local businesses to providing our clients with mortgages for homeownership to having staff supporting local nonprofits, I could not be happier with the work we have accomplished.”
Fidelity Bank shared its 2018 financial data and community growth at its annual meeting on April 4.
Highlights of Fidelity Bank’s Community Growth include:
- More than $250 million in new loan production including $129 million in commercial loans, $96 million in mortgages and $36 million in equity loans/lines.
- According to FDIC Fidelity Bank was in the top ten percent of its peer group in the country for two categories – assets and loan growth.
- Fidelity Bank’s LifeDesign promise was introduced to 1,684 new client households in 2018.
- Provided over $132 million in mortgages and home equity loans to help clients realize their dream of homeownership, up size or downsize to the perfect home, or make improvements on a home they already own.
In September of 2018, the bank opened a second Fidelity Bank full service office in Worcester on Front Street. The new Worcester Front Street LifeDesign Center saw $40 million in new deposits in just four months.
Bank officials also announced the election of two new corporators of Fidelity Mutual Holding Company. They are Charisse Murphy, the Director of Development at YOU (Youth Opportunities Upheld) Inc., in Worcester and Cynthia Ring, Chief People Officer at Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare where she serves to champion a People and Business Strategy. Both will serve a ten-year term. Brian Cirelli, Scott Howard, Ronald Marchetti and Maureen Marshall were re-elected to serve a three-year term as directors of the Fidelity Mutual Holding Company. Alvin Collins was elected Clerk of Fidelity Mutual Holding Company and Judy Khallady was elected as Assistant Clerk of Fidelity Mutual Holding Company. Both will serve a one year term.
In 2018, Fidelity Bank continued to expand its footprint in Central Massachusetts with the April 1, 2018 finalization of its merger with Colonial Co-Operative Bank of Gardner. The merger is expected to generate an additional $70 million in assets.
The bank celebrated the grand re-openings of its Gardner and Paxton LifeDesign Banking Centers. Both locations were completely modernized to provide a client experience one would expect from the bank that truly cares. The Gardner renovations were completed at the former Colonial Co-Operative branch, meaning the bank could officially close the existing Fidelity Bank Gardner branch, and be up and running in one LifeDesign banking center to best serve its Gardner clients.
Fidelity Bank paid out more than $400,000 to support more than 300 causes through its LifeDesign Community Dividend. The biggest recipient was to the SHINE Initiative, the Worcester based nonprofit started by Fidelity Bank in 2004 to engage the community in conversation about mental illness and diffuse the stigma that has overshadowed mental illness for generations. In 2018, SHINE welcomed a new executive director Fred Kaelin and added Student Wellness Advisory Teams (SWAT) to ten more schools bringing the total above the 40 school mark.
Throughout the year, Fidelity Bank held Jeans Days to raise money for various causes. Fidelity Bank staff in bright blue shirts hit the streets with Random Acts of Caring, treating residents to free coffee, movie tickets, haircuts and other fun perks. Other giving highlights include the Fidelity Bank and Colonial Co-Operative Bank merger transition team coming together for a day of service with Habitat for Humanity, Fidelity Bank awarding a $10,000 gift to the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster Gardner Clubhouse to support science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) education, and Fidelity Bank hosting a FUNdRAZOR in November, benefiting the 15-40 Connection, raising funds for cancer research and screenings. More than 13,000 free ice creams were given out at more than 70 events featuring the Fidelity Bank Frosty Flyer, which translates to more than two million calories.
Fidelity Bank’s minimum wage for employees went up to $14.25 per hour with plans to increase it to $15 per hour in 2020. Fidelity Bank also expanded its commitment to employees through the LifeDesign University LAUNCH Program, an 18-month leadership development program, which celebrated its first group of graduates this year.
Fidelity Bank also received recognition for its work in 2018. Fidelity Bank was voted Best Bank and Best Financial Service for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette Best of Central Massachusetts Awards, Best Bank of 2018 by Baystate Parent Magazine, and Reader’s Choice by the Leominster Champion.