Employees of the month

Congratulations to Senior Personal Banker Julia Arroyo at our Lincoln Street, Framingham office and Operations Specialist Astrid Bachman on their selection as this month’s Employees of the Month.

Julia was recognized for her leadership and ability to work as a team player. Astrid was selected for her smooth transition from personal banker, enabling her to take on additional projects.

Julia Arroyo (left) and Astrid Bachman

MutualOne Charitable Foundation helps Police buy back guns

The Town of Framingham’s first-ever Gun Buy Back program on October 29 went much better than expected. In just five hours, 174 firearms were turned in. The department quickly exhausted the $8,000 in gift cards it had on hand to exchange for the weapons, resulting in a gift card IOU balance of $12,050 before the day was over.

According to Mark R. Haranas, president and CEO of MutualOne Bank and a MutualOne Charitable Foundation trustee, the MutualOne Charitable Foundation has awarded $5,000 to help police cover the cost of the Gun Buy Back IOUs.

“The Gun Buy Back event was a positive step in the right direction, and may have prevented any number of future risks to those in our community,” said Haranas. “We are grateful to those who came forward to remove unwanted firearms from their homes, and we’re happy to help police cover the cost of the success of the program.”

Celebrating the MutualOne Charitable Foundations donation to the Framingham Police Department’s Gun Buy Back Program are: (l-r) MutualOne Bank President and CEO Mark Haranas; Acting Police Chief Steven Trask; and Yves Munyankindi, retail support administrator at MutualOne Bank.

MutualOne Foundation awards $10K to Natick Service Council’s adolescent health program

The MutualOne Charitable Foundation has awarded $10,000 to the Natick Service Council. Announcement of the grant was made today by Mark R. Haranas, president and CEO of MutualOne Bank and a Foundation trustee.

The Foundation grant will support the Council’s Smart Nutrition and Exercise for Kids (SNEK) program, an initiative designed to improve adolescent health through proper nutrition, exercise, and nutritional education/intervention.

“The MutualOne Foundation is pleased to support a program that provides youth with hands-on learning about food, nutrition, and health,” said Haranas. “It is the foundation for a healthier, happier future.”

Celebrating the MutualOne Charitable Foundation’s $10,000 grant to the Natick Service Council are: (l-r) Mobolaji Omisore, manager of MutualOne Bank’s Natick office; Greg Tutuny, Natick Service Council executive director; and Yves Munyankindi of MutualOne Bank

Patriots jerseys never looked so good

Our employees put on their best Patriots spirit wear to support our favorite football team, the New England Patriots. What do you know? They won the Super Bowl! Two games in a row, our office puts on a spirit day and the Patriots win. Coincidence? We think not.

$10K awarded to Resiliency for Life by MutualOne Charitable Foundation

Resiliency for LifeMark R. Haranas, president and CEO of MutualOne Bank and a MutualOne Charitable Foundation trustee, has announced a Foundation grant of $10,000 awarded recently to Resiliency for Life (RFL), a highly successful drop-out prevention program for under-achieving and at-risk students at Framingham High School.

According to Jug Chokshi, Executive Director, RFL strategies include intense academic monitoring, advocacy with teachers and administrators, strict program rules and clear expectations, development of personal responsibility/accountability, and reconnecting RFL parents/guardians with their children’s educational experience through full participation in bi-weekly meetings and workshops. Since its founding at Framingham High School in 1999, RFL has established “a near-perfect record of remediating students’ academic deficits, reversing their declines, and guiding them toward remarkable academic achievement,” Chokshi stated.

The RFL program was expanded last year to include students at Framingham’s Cameron, Walsh and Fuller middle schools, and the high school program has been replicated at Mansfield High School in Mansfield and at Durfee High School in Fall River.

“Resiliency for Life is a tremendously valuable asset with an admirable track record of success,” said Haranas. “The MutualOne Charitable Foundation is proud to support and foster the goals of the program.”

Cybersecurity Tips for International Travelers

M1B_PhoneSecurityReprinted from the Federal Communications Commission Website

When traveling internationally, in addition to taking your passport, take responsibility for your cybersecurity.

Your information and communications – and the devices that contain and transmit them – are as much a part of you as the valuables in your suitcase. The more you do to protect yourself, the more secure your information and devices likely will be.

While in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws. Laws and policies regarding online security and privacy may be different in other countries than in the United States. If you would like to become familiar with other laws, the State Department website contains safety information for every country in the world.

Protect yourself by leaving at home any electronic equipment you don’t need during your travel.

Before you go

If you take it, protect it:

  • Back up your electronic files
  • Remove sensitive data
  • Install strong passwords
  • Ensure antivirus software is up-to-date

While traveling

Be vigilant about possession and use of your equipment and information. Don’t assume it’s safe. Culprits are visible and invisible.

  • Keep your eyes on your electronics. Keep your devices with you in airports, hotels, and restaurants, etc.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Other eyes can take information from you by looking at your devices.
  • Consider using a privacy screen on your laptop.

Your mobile phone and other electronic devices may be vulnerable to malware because they will connect with local networks abroad. They also may identify your personal location information to others.

Electronic communications, equipment and services (e.g., phones, computers and fax machines) in public places such as Internet cafes, coffee shops, book stores, travel agencies, clinics, libraries, airports, and hotels may be vulnerable. You may choose not to use these services at all, or avoid using them for sensitive communications.

Don’t use the same passwords or PIN numbers abroad that you use in the United States. For example, if the hotel safety deposit box requires a PIN number, use a unique one.

Upon return home

Electronics and devices used or obtained abroad can be compromised. Consider safety measures such as changing passwords for your laptop or smartphone.

To learn more about how to fortify your cybersecurity when traveling abroad, visit fcc.gov.

MutualOne Foundation grants $5K to St. Bridget’s Food Pantry for holiday, everyday food items

The MutualOne Charitable Foundation has awarded $5,000 to support St. Bridget’s Food Pantry, an all-volunteer effort that provides food assistance to an average of 150 Framingham households each week, and up to 250 households at holiday time.

“The volunteers at St. Bridget’s Food Pantry have been providing for those in need of assistance in our community for more than 25 years,” said Robert P. Lamprey, chairman of MutualOne Bank and the MutualOne Charitable Foundation. “We are pleased to help them continue to meet the needs of the many families and individuals who rely on them.”

Celebrating the MutualOne Charitable Foundation’s recent grant to St. Bridget’s Food Pantry are (l-r) Jean Hoskins, manager of MutualOne Bank’s Lincoln Street, Framingham office; Mary Kulas, director of St. Bridget’s Food Pantry; Rev. Msgr. Francis Strahan, pastor of St. Bridget Parish; and Yves Munyankindi, retail support administrator at MutualOne Bank.

Employees of the month

Congratulations to Gilana Telles, Senior Account Representative in Client Services, and Michelle Rivers, Payroll & Benefits Coordinator, on their selection as this month’s Employees of the Month.

Gilana was selected for her dedication to her position, and enthusiastic interest in refining her skills and developing as a professional. Michelle was recognized for acclimating quickly to her role and willingness to take on additional responsibilities.

Gilana Telles (left) and Michelle Rivers

 

MutualOne awards $20K Lamprey Grant to Boys & Girls Clubs of MetroWest for new Violence Prevention program

Mark R. Haranas, president and CEO of MutualOne Bank and a MutualOne Charitable Foundation trustee, announced today that the Boys & Girls Clubs of MetroWest has been awarded the Foundation’s annual $20,000 Robert Lamprey Community Grant.

The Foundation’s gift will support a new program at the recently relocated Framingham Clubhouse on Clinton Street: Violence Prevention Through Positive Youth Development. The project will address youth violence and provide programs that improve community safety by reducing youth violence, juvenile delinquency, and related negative behavior. The initiative, which includes collaboration with the Framingham Police Department, will include education, prevention, and enforcement programs, according to Francis X. Hurley, Boys & Girls Clubs of MetroWest president.

The program is designed to target youth ages 10-17 and will focus on academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles.

The annual Robert Lamprey Community Grant was established in 2014 to honor Robert “Bob” Lamprey, the present chairman of the board of MutualOne Bank and chairman of the MutualOne Charitable Foundation, for his longstanding commitment, concern, and caring for those in need in our community, said Haranas.

“The presence of an active Boys & Girls Club in the heart of Framingham is a stepping stone to a positive future for many of our young people,” Haranas added. “MutualOne was pleased to award the annual Lamprey Grant to support an innovative new program designed to help make that possible, and as an additional tribute to Bob Lamprey for his time-honored devotion to helping today’s youth realize and achieve their potential.”

The annual Lamprey Grant is restricted to a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization focused primarily on the towns of Framingham and/or Natick, and must benefit a low-income or less-advantaged and/or under-served population.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of MetroWest’s Framingham Clubhouse was the scene for a celebration of the MutualOne Charitable Foundation’s $20,000 Lamprey Community Grant. Pictured with Clubhouse members Derrick, Skylar, James, Jennifer, and Meadow are (l-r) Francis X. Hurley, president & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of MetroWest; Robert Lamprey, Foundation chairman and MutualOne Bank chairman and treasurer; and Mark R. Haranas, Foundation trustee and MutualOne Bank president and chief executive officer.

$5K grant from MutualOne Foundation will help bring families out of poverty

Family Promise MetrowestSteven M. Sousa, executive vice president and chief operating officer of MutualOne Bank and a MutualOne Charitable Foundation trustee, announced today that the Foundation has awarded $5,000 to support Family Promise Metrowest’s Steps to Success Program.

Based in Natick, Family Promise Metrowest is a cooperative, interfaith partnership offering hope to homeless families with children through safe transitional shelter, meals, and supportive case management as they seek permanent housing. Local congregations and a network of over 2,500 trained volunteers furnish safe, temporary shelter and meals on a rotating basis while professional staff assist families in reaching goals that end the cycle of homelessness.

According to Sue Crossley, executive director of Family Promise Metrowest, the Steps to Success program offers a comprehensive approach to employment, education, and skills development that assists families in reaching their highest earning potential and accomplishing long-term sustainability.

“MutualOne is proud to be part of the community approach to helping homeless families with children achieve and sustain their independence and ensure their future success,” said Sousa.