Essex, CT — July 9, 2012 – The Commercial Record has named Gregory R. Shook a “Community Bank Hero,” an award recognizing local bankers who go above and beyond to better their bank and community.
The Community Bank Heroes award celebrates bankers who have made outstanding contributions to the industry and the community, giving freely of their time, energy and resources for volunteerism, community service and charity.
“In these challenging and difficult financial times, it’s admirable to see how community bankers have managed to persevere in their professional and philanthropic lives,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group, publisher of The Commercial Record. “All of these ‘heroes’ demonstrate remarkable compassion and dedication to the communities in which they serve.”
As President and CEO of Essex Savings Bank, Greg advocates relationship-building, coupled with a strong measure of honesty and integrity—two qualities that the business community cannot take lightly these days. 2011 was the Bank’s 160th anniversary, and with Greg at the helm, it was one of the best and most profitable years with earnings reaching $2 million. He has lead the Bank for more than a decade with consistent increases in earnings, assets and capital, far exceeding regulatory requirements throughout an unprecedented economic cycle. Over this time, the Bank’s five branches have continued to attract new relationships and are operating ahead of projections. The Bank’s Trust Department has brought assets under management from inception to over $220 million while Essex Financial Services, a subsidiary of Essex Savings Bank is now operating as one of the top 25 independent Registered Investment Advisors in the country with managed assets having increased from $700 million to over $3.7 billion.
Greg has been the number one proponent in the continuance of the Bank’s Community Investment Program, which began in 1996. Since that time, the Bank has donated 10% of its net profits to non-profit groups in the Bank’s market area of Chester, Deep River, Essex, Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook. The Bank will be distributing over a quarter of a million dollars to non-profits in 2012 representing 10% of after-tax net income. By year-end, the amount contributed back to the community will be in excess of $3.4 million over the past 16 years.
It takes a leader like Greg Shook to continue to share the importance of this community commitment with the Bank’s 60+ employees so that they also understand the value of giving back, particularly given the current economic conditions. Greg is not only unselfish with his own time, but has encouraged Bank employees to become involved in civic and community organizations that are meaningful to them. It is apparent from Greg’s wide array of community involvement that he cares deeply about all facets of the community. He balances all and is blessed with a wonderful wife and four children.
“This is a special moment in my 38 year career as a fiduciary community banker. The nomination was initiated from my staff for whom I have tremendous respect. Further, it brings positive exposure for Essex Savings Bank and underlines how we conduct our business.”
Mr. Shook will be honored at the 2012 Community Bank Heroes Awards dinner on Wednesday, July 18 at the Hartford Farmington Marriott. Erika Arias, anchor of the FOXCT Morning News, will give the keynote speech.Presented by The Commercial Record, the Community Bank Hero honorees were chosen by an independent panel. To be eligible, an individual must work in a Connecticut community bank, be a respected industry professional who makes a significant impact on those around them, make outstanding contributions to their institution, have major positive influence on peers, subordinates, and the industry as a whole and gives back to the industry and the community, giving freely of their time, energy and resources for volunteerism, community service and charity.
About The Warren Group: The Warren Group collects and compiles data on real estate sales and ownership throughout New England and offers a range of real estate products, information services and printed and online publications, including the weekly newspaper Banker & Tradesman and monthly magazine The Commercial Record. The company also produces and organizes trade shows and events for a variety of industries, including bankers, mortgage brokers, credit unions and lawyers. Based in Boston, the company was established in 1872 and is now in its fourth generation of family ownership and management.
Essex Savings Bank is a FDIC insured, state chartered, mutual savings bank established in 1851. The Bank serves the Connecticut River Valley and shoreline with five offices in Essex (2), Madison, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook. Financial, estate, insurance and retirement planning are offered throughout the state by the Bank’s Trust Department and subsidiary, Essex Financial Services, Inc, Member FINRA, SIPC. Investments in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and annuities are not FDIC insured, may lose value and are not a deposit, have no Bank guarantee and are not insured by any Federal Government Agency.