MutualOne Foundation provides $1,500 for headphones at Stapleton School

MF59581Chairman Robert P. Lamprey of the MutualOne Charitable Foundation announced today that a recent $1,500 Foundation donation will cover the purchase of five cases of brand name headphones for use by fifth grade students at the Mary E. Stapleton School in Framingham. The goal, Lamprey said, is to reduce noise distraction in classrooms where students are engaged in individual digital learning activities on devices such as Chromebooks and iPads.

According to special education teacher Debbie Price who sought the Foundation grant, there were more classroom electronic devices available to students than there were headphones, resulting in noise distractions that could compromise the learning experience.

 

MutualOne Bank tops Wicked Local list

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Thank you to our neighbors for selecting MutualOne Bank as one of their favorite businesses in WickedLocal’s annual reader poll. We are pleased to have been selected as the #1 Community Bank in Framingham, as well as to receive the Silver award for regional favorite, and honorable mention in Natick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brian Ledwith promoted to Executive Vice President at MutualOne Bank

Brian_Ledwith_EVPMark R. Haranas, president and CEO of MutualOne Bank, has announced the promotion of Brian E. Ledwith of Franklin to Executive Vice President and Senior Commercial Lender. In this position, he oversees the Bank’s commercial loan department.

Ledwith joined the Bank in 2007 as vice president and member of the commercial lending team. In 2013, he was promoted to senior vice president with responsibilities that included overseeing the commercial loan support staff.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston College and graduated with honors from the America’s Community Bankers’ National School of Banking.

Ledwith has been active in coaching local youth athletics, including soccer and hockey. He is a past board member of the Franklin Educational Foundation, and past chairman of program development for the Tri-County Chamber of Commerce.

2016 Scholarship Awards

Mark R. Haranas, president and CEO of MutualOne Bank and a trustee of the MutualOne Charitable Foundation, announced today that the Foundation has awarded scholarships in the amount of $5,000 each to four students. They are Ana Asmar, Framingham High School; Sarah Woodlard, Natick High School; Caitlyn Snider, Marian High School; and Erin Dowdy, Joseph P. Keefe Regional Technical School.

Each of the scholarships is named to honor a prominent past member of the MutualOne Bank family including Roland J. Bunnell II, a Foundation trustee and MutualOne Bank senior vice president and member of the board of directors; Joseph M. Vincent, senior vice president and controller; Richard H. Potter, former president, CEO and chairman of the board of directors; and Charles W. Hickson, former president, CEO and board chairman.

“Higher education is an important investment, and we strongly believe that giving these exceptional students the opportunity to learn and grow is one way we can encourage a brighter future.” said Haranas.

CaitlynSnider ErinDowdy AnaAsmar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$10,000 MutualOne Foundation grant to fund Musterfield summer camp

logoYoungsters living at the Framingham Housing Authority’s Musterfield Place family residences will have more to do this summer, thanks to a recent $10,000 grant from the MutualOne Charitable Foundation.

The Foundation award will help fund the salaries of a summer staff for the on-site recreation and outdoor play camp program that was started by the Housing Authority five years ago.

According to Stephen G. Keane, executive director of the Framingham Housing Authority, last year’s program for the Musterfield community was supported by a grant from the Attorney General’s office. There is no open grant opportunity from the state this year, he said.

“The program provides supervised outdoor recreation opportunity for youngsters who might otherwise be glued to a computer or television screen all day,” said Mark R. Haranas, president and CEO of MutualOne Bank and a MutualOne Charitable Foundation trustee. “The Musterfield recreation program is a viable and valuable alternative to screen time. We’re pleased to help guarantee that it will be available to the residents and their families again this year.”

Employees of the Month

Congratulations to Neveen Bakhet, personal banker II at our Natick office, and Luz Acevedo, operations specialist at our Main Office, on their selection as this month’s Employees of the Month.

Neveen was selected for her ability to work with customers to offer solutions for their financial needs. Luz was recognized for her willingness to learn new tasks and accept added responsibilities on short notice.

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Neveen Bakhet (left) and Luz Acevedo (right)

Mutual One Charitable Foundation awards $2,500 to Framingham Cultural Council

FraminghamCulturalThe MutualOne Charitable Foundation has awarded $2,500 to the Framingham Cultural Council (FCC), a nonprofit organization supporting local activities and programs in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences.

Partnering with the Massachusetts Cultural Council, FCC provides annual grants to individuals, schools, and cultural organizations with the goal of improving the quality of life for all residents and contributing to the economic vitality of the community. FCC supports a broad range of activities, including music, dance, theater, history, storytelling, visual arts, and school field trips.

“Our donation to the Framingham Cultural Council will help augment the funds it receives from the state and the support from others in our community who realize the value of the program,” said Steven M. Sousa, executive vice president and chief operating officer of MutualOne Bank and a MutualOne Charitable Foundation trustee. “The more we all invest in our community, the greater the return will be.”

$2,500 Read to a Child award from MutualOne Foundation

Read_to_a_childChairman Robert P. Lamprey of the MutualOne Charitable Foundation has announced a $2,500 grant to Read to a Child in support of a lunchtime reading program for students in grades 1 through 4 at the Woodrow Wilson and Brophy elementary schools in Framingham.

The program currently provides one-on-one weekly reading time for 104 high-risk children who are paired with volunteer mentors from community corporate partners. Read to a Child’s mission is to increase literacy skills and improve social, emotional, and academic outcomes.

“The Foundation award to Read to a Child will help ensure the sustainability of this valuable literacy program,” said Lamprey. “We are convinced that the children it serves will have a better chance of success in life, starting at a very early age.”

MutualOne Foundation supports Girl Scouts summer camping

Girl Scouts Eastern MAMark R. Haranas, president and CEO of MutualOne Bank and a MutualOne Charitable Foundation trustee, has announced a $1,000 Foundation grant to Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts to support camperships providing financial assistance for Framingham and Natick families.

“Camp programs offer quality summer learning and enrichment opportunities for the young people in our community,” said Haranas. “These advantages should be available to all, regardless of their financial situation, and we’re happy to help make that possible.”

Cybersecurity for Small Businesses: Ways to Stay Protected

Reprinted from FDIC Consumer News – Winter 2016

In today’s world, it’s important for small business owners to be vigilant in protecting their computer systems and data. Among the reasons: Federal consumer protections generally do not cover businesses for losses they incur from unauthorized electronic fund transfers. That means, for example, your bank may not be responsible for reimbursing losses associated with an electronic theft from your bank account — for instance, if there was negligence on the part of your business, such as unsecured computers or falling for common scams. (To learn more about the rules pertaining to electronic theft, including losses involving a business debit card, see How Federal Laws and Industry Practices Limit Losses From Cyberattacks).

Here are tips to help small business owners and their employees protect themselves and their companies from losses and other harm. Several of these tips mirror basic precautions we have suggested elsewhere in this issue for consumers.

Protect computers and Wi-Fi networks. Equip your computers with up-to-date anti-virus software and firewalls to block unwanted access. Arrange for key security software to automatically update, if possible. And if you have a Wi-Fi network for your workplace, make sure it is secure, including having the router protected by a password that is set by you (not the default password). The user manual for your device can give you instructions, which are also generally available online.

Patch software in a timely manner. Software vendors regularly provide “patches” or updates to their products to correct security flaws and improve functionality. A good practice is to download and install these software updates as soon as they are available. It may be most efficient to configure software to install such updates automatically.

Set cybersecurity procedures and training for employees. Consider reducing risks through steps such as pre-employment background checks and clearly outlined policies for personal use of computers. Limit employee access to the data systems that they need for their jobs, and require permission to install any software.

And, train employees about cybersecurity issues, such as suspicious or unsolicited emails asking them to click on a link, open an attachment or provide account information. By complying with what appears to be a simple request, your employees may be installing malware on your network. You can use training resources such as a 30-minute online course from the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Require strong authentication. Ensure that employees and other users connecting to your network use strong user IDs and passwords for computers, mobile devices and online accounts by using combinations of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols that are hard to guess and changed regularly. Consider requiring more information beyond a password to gain access to your business’s network, and additional safety measures, such as requiring confirmation calls with your financial institution before certain electronic transfers are authorized.

Secure the business’s tablets and smartphones. Mobile devices can be a source of security challenges, especially if they hold confidential information or can access your company’s network. In the case of the latter, require employees to password-protect their devices, encrypt their data and install security apps to prevent criminals from accessing the device while it is connected to public networks. Also develop and enforce reporting procedures for lost or stolen equipment.

Back up important business systems and data. Do so at least once a week. For your backup data, remember to use the same security measures (such as encryption) that you would apply to the original data. In addition, in case your main computer becomes infected, regularly back up sensitive business data to additional, disconnected storage devices.

Use best practices for handling card payments online. Seek advice from your bank or a payment processor to select the most trusted and validated tools and anti-fraud services. This may include using just one computer or tablet for payment processing.

Be vigilant for early signs something is wrong. “Monitor bank account balances regularly to look for suspicious or unauthorized activity,” suggested Luke W. Reynolds, chief of the FDIC’s Outreach and Program Development Section.

Cybersecurity tips for small businesses also can be found in a new FDIC brochure. Also go to OnGuardOnline and the SBA website.