President’s Message 2017
To The Members of Winter Hill Bank, FSB:
A Historical Perspective
It was 1906 when a group of visionary businessmen answered the people’s call for a neighborhood bank in Somerville, Massachusetts. They were responding to a new but, clear need for a bank to locate right in the heart of the community that would serve the saving and borrowing requirements as defined by its neighbors. And in that way, the founders of Winter Hill Bank were somewhat ahead of their time.
The bank was started as a co-operative which was just about the only type of institution from which the average person could borrow money to buy a home. The American Dream of home ownership was awakening all over the area and Winter Hill Bank was leading the way. Today, a full 110 years later, we are still helping the bank’s neighbors take advantage of home ownership and to borrow wisely to meet lifestyle needs.
The community bank concept continues to be challenged by bank mergers in an attempt for banks to survive in a more intense regulatory environment and global economy. Some banks that prospered in our area no longer exist as the contraction of the banking industry continues. There simply are not many of us left but I am proud to say that Winter Hill Bank has not only survived, but is thriving. Simply put: “To remain competitive in this evolution of the banking industry, we must be doing something right.”
The bank has emerged as a community leader in ways that surely would bring smiles of great satisfaction to our founders. Winter Hill Bank Today serves people from virtually all walks of life. We have become the local bank of choice for entrepreneurs, real estate developers and investors. Our Small Business Banking Service Group continues to help local businesses strengthen their position in the local marketplace, which benefits everyone. Our Real Estate Investment Financing Group offers a personal, hands-on, collaborative approach to customer lending. And once again 2016 recorded substantial growth in both of the above departments and the prognosis for 2017 indicates more of the same.
On the consumer side of our banking services, 2016 was another banner year. Our home mortgages, equity loans and lines of credit gave attractive options to homeowners and buyers. Our Relationship Banking Initiative has grown into the most significant aspect of our CustomServe Banking approach. Personal needs like savings and checking accounts enjoyed increases in activity and our promotions for certificates of deposit were successful.
If, in the 21st Century, banking success is measured in terms of technology, Winter Hill Bank measures up to all challenges. Our IT department has escalated all efforts that make a difference for our customers and behind the scenes our Operations Center continued to research, enhance, develop and implement useful products. In 2016, we continued to offer state of the art technological services and products. Certainly, our founders would stand in amazement at how technology has transformed the world, not just the banking industry. Indeed it amazes all of us that we now make banking so easy and accessible through the bank’s website 24/7. It’s your choice to visit us personally at one of our branches or visit us from the convenience of your home at www.winterhillbank.com.
In an area where I believe our founders would be the most proud is how we continue to be active members of the communities we serve through charitable donations to local groups, organizations and schools. Monetary donations are only the beginning, and other contributions include countless hours of personal time and energy provided by our officers, directors, and staff.
The vision for the Bank and beyond is exceedingly bright. We will promote the Winter Hill Bank brand, highlighting the differences and advantages we offer in a changing competitive landscape. We will stay the course of our strategic plan that has proven to be on target with the goals and objectives of the bank and the needs of the community. Also, we will preserve the bank’s commitment to providing financial services of the highest quality and value to our depositors and borrowers as we maintain our role as the Community Bank of the areas that we serve.
In closing, I am proud to say as we embark on another year in business our record proves that when we look for innovation we still call on the business insight of our team of contemporary banking professionals. Of course, all of the above is only possible with a focused, motivated, and committed management and staff. I also want to take this opportunity to express my sincerest appreciation for the support of the Board of Directors and perhaps most importantly, when we look for direction, we still look to the folks who live and work in the neighborhoods we serve.
Sandra L. McGoldrick
Sandra L. McGoldrick , President/CEO