With 2019 behind us, everyone at Sawyer Savings Bank is full of gratitude for the people throughout the Hudson Valley who helped make this past year another rewarding one for the bank.
It is humbling to look to the future as the bank moves toward a celebration of turning 150 years young in 2021. We have some exciting plans for 2020 and 2021 to help recognize such an amazing milestone. Sawyer Savings has proven that over time – our experience is worth banking on.
I would like to thank our customers who have trusted us to help them achieve their financial goals in 2019. Home ownership is the American dream and Sawyer Savings helps Hudson Valley residents achieve that dream every year through our First Time Homebuyer Program. We are also honored that many local businesspeople chose Sawyer Savings as their commercial bank.
Over the last year I worked closely with CEO Gabriel F. Sottile and the rest of our senior officers to ensure continuity across every aspect of the bank as we implement the transition to the new management team. Mr. Sottile stepped down as President in January 2019 and has maintained his CEO position within the organization. After his retirement this December, he will remain Chairman of the Board at Sawyer Savings Bank. In addition, Cynthia Saporito, our Sr. Vice President & COO, will be retiring after 34 years of dedicated service. After her retirement Mrs. Saporito will continue on as a Trustee of Sawyer Savings. I would also like to acknowledge the impressive 20-year tenure of the bank’s first female trustee, Marita Lopez-Mena, as she retired at the end of 2019 to enjoy spending time with her grandchildren.
Sawyer Savings welcomed Brian Fay to our organization in 2019 as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Brian brings 35 years of Accounting and Financial Management experience in the banking industry to the Sawyer Savings team. Brian has experience in Commercial Banking, Mortgage Banking, and IT business lines working for national, regional, and community financial institutions. We are confident in the direction of our senior management team and are prepared for another successful year in 2020.
Throughout the Hudson Valley, we invest in the community; not just as bankers, but as citizens and neighbors as well. This past year, Sawyer Savings employees volunteered at events from the Hudson Valley Ribfest and the Taste of New Paltz, to the Sawyer Motors Car Show and the Saugerties Garlic Festival. We proudly participated in the Backpack Programs at our local high schools, with Marlboro UNICO for their Tomato Festival & Clam Bake, and as a returning sponsor of the Community Day in Highland. Our annual “Stuff the Truck” event resulted in the donation of non-perishable food (and financial donation) to each of the outreach programs at the Saugerties Food Pantry, St. Augustine Food Pantry and the Roman Catholic Church of St. Mary’s and St. James.
I would personally like to thank our generous employees for contributing thousands of dollars to charities through our “Casual for a Cause” program! Casual for a Cause was established more than 25 years ago, as a simple way to make casual Fridays a little more meaningful for our neighbors. Every other Friday, bank employees wear jeans and donate $2 (or more) to benefit a local nonprofit organization. Since its inception, we’ve been able to help Ulster County Relay for Life, Christmas Wishes Ulster County, Sparrows Nest and so many more. Our staff is focused on not only helping customers but supporting the community as well.
Sawyer Savings has been committed to the community since 1871, a milestone in itself, and it has been our goal for almost 150 years to provide you with a long-lasting financial relationship. Sawyer Savings will continue to build that trust and be there to help achieve your financial goals. From all of us at Sawyer Savings Bank, thank you for your commitment to our bank.
Douglas P. Sturges