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Formerly the Newton-Needham Chamber

End of the Century

We’ve all rolled our eyes (or worse) when a prime retail location in one of our communities is taken over by another bank branch.
Banks don’t bring a lot of foot traffic to our commercial districts. But that doesn’t mean they don’t add immense vitality and benefits to our communities.
Ask any local nonprofit leader, cultural organization, food pantry, institution of higher ed, hospital or social service agency: They’ll tell you it would be hard – if not impossible – for them to do their job serving our communities and our neighbors without financial support from our local community and regional banks.
Our best local banks provide more than essential funding. Their employees regularly volunteer their expertise and time to sit on nonprofits boards and fulfil other volunteer duties in our communities.
Today, our region is losing one of those partners that has meant so much to our economic and cultural well being.
Today Century Bank is scheduled to complete its merger with Eastern Bank.
Century was founded in a trailer in 1969 by the late Marshall Sloane who grew it into one the region’s largest banks. The bank Marshall built was renowned for its extraordinary philanthropy, customer service, civic leadership (I'll never forget Marshall’s controversial-at-the-time vote that ended the Boy Scouts' ban on gays), and a willingness day-in-and-day-out to give the little guy a chance.
That spirit and generosity continued after Marshall’s passing in 2019 under son Barry and daughter Linda.
In our case, Century has long been one of the chamber’s annual partners. Linda Sloane Kay has also been part of our board of directors for more than a decade and board chair for the past two years.
Linda’s commitment and passion have always been an asset to our organization.

But it became indispensable during the pandemic when her steady stewardship kept our board, me and my team focused and smart during COVID’s darkest days. Then she was there for us again, leading us through our recent expansion and rebranding.
The silver lining in this story – and this is not a coincidence -- is that Century is merging with Eastern Bank, another financial institution that, under Bob Rivers and Quincy Miller, is also acclaimed for its extraordinary philanthropy, advocacy and unwavering civic leadership. 
Century’s customers, assets and even their many employees who are moving as part of this transition, are in good hands.
But for today, on behalf or our chamber, our nonprofits, small businesses and so many others who’ve benefited from how the Sloanes and Century have made our communities stronger and better, we offer our deepest thanks. 
And that's what you need to know today.
Be back Tuesday.
Greg Reibman (he, him)
Charles River Regional Chamber
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