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Cornerstones of the Community

Lisa Oliver, chair of the board, president and CEO of the Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod, embodies the deliberate placement of the word Cooperative at the beginning of the bank’s name they seem to lead with that commitment. Oliver, who has been at the head of the institution for just over three years, launched The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod Charitable Foundation Trust, which significantly expanded the bank’s philanthropic reach. A self-described “full time wash-a-shore,” Oliver says she was struck by the realization the Cape was a real place. “When you peel back the layers of the Cape you discover it is not a postcard, but rather, a real place, with many real life issues.”

Oliver cites the 100-year-old bank’s commitment in their mission statement to give back to the community when she talks about the creation of the new foundation,  “As a mutual bank, philanthropy is part of our obligation,” she explains. “We have always actively supported local charitable organizations, but now we have a corpus of funds, that are permanently assigned to the community and to philanthropy.” Only six months into the bank’s 2020 fiscal year, the Coop has supported over 100 organizations to date, an increase over the 90 that had been served in previous fiscal years, and Oliver says she expects the demands to continue but believes her team is equipped to meet the need.

James Anthony has been the president of the Martha’s Vineyard Bank, with offices on the Vineyard as well as in Falmouth, for just over three years. Growing up in Maryland, his family ventured to New England whenever vacations allowed, so an offer to re-locate didn’t take Anthony long to make his decision. He says the unique collaborative nature of the area was one of the first impressions that confirmed that he had landed in a special spot in the world. “This region is different in that the helpers are intricately connected to those who are in need,” Anthony reflects. “During such an unreal time like a pandemic, the same people who were feeding your family yesterday, might need your help in some way today. And vice versa.” The island community, simply due to its proximity, benefited, as well as fell vulnerable to, the myriad complexities associated with the coronavirus. In many ways the population was able to shelter in place, but with that came the absence of the vital activity brought by visitors. Looking forward, Anthony and his team are committed to supporting  the area’s businesses, and the community as a whole, as the future unfolds over the next several months.

Stacy Reinhart was a familiar face on the local banking scene for years before she established the new office for Boston Financial Management in Centerville. Reinhart says she loves managing her client’s portfolios in a region where she also has deep roots. “Many of our clients are new to the area as residents,” Reinhart explains. “They may have vacationed here, but being newly retired allows people to see their surroundings in a new way.” Reinhart says as she gets to know her clients, and begins to understand what they are passionate about, she is able to make referrals and that includes organizations who would benefit from monetary or time donations. Reinhart, who has supported the Barnstable Land Trust for many years, explains how a commitment to environmental and conservation groups ultimately contributes to maintaining the lifestyle we all enjoy.

Dorothy Savarese may be the head of the largest bank on the Cape and Islands, but perhaps more importantly she is a representation of the heart of the banking community. By extension she and these countless other generous, empathetic, and bright professionals that manage the valuable resources of our growing community, are all part of the lifeblood that is committed to the essential functions that make the region a vibrant and vital place to call home.

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