MutualOne Foundation awards $5,000 to St. Bridget’s Food Pantry

The MutualOne Charitable Foundation has awarded $5,000 to St. Bridget’s Food Pantry in Framingham, according to Steven M. Sousa, executive vice president and chief operating officer of MutualOne Bank and a MutualOne Charitable Foundation trustee.

“We are grateful for the Foundation’s continued generosity in supporting the Pantry’s efforts to assist those in need in Framingham,” said Mary Kulas, executive director. “Thanks to such support, the Pantry is able to provide food to anyone with proof of Framingham residency who comes to our door.”

“Hopefully, the Foundation’s grant will help those who are struggling and making decisions between paying for fuel or putting food on the table,” said Sousa.

Volunteers (back row) joined in as MutualOne Charitable Foundation presented a $5,000 award to St. Bridget’s Food Pantry in Framingham. Front row includes (l to r) MutualOne Bank Framingham/Concord Street branch manager Yasmine Ouweijan; Framingham/Lincoln Street branch manager Donna Gogliomella; Food Pantry executive director Mary Kulas; MutualOne Charitable Foundation administrative director Rachel Stewart; and volunteer Alice Costa.

Volunteers (back row) joined in as MutualOne Charitable Foundation presented a $5,000 award to St. Bridget’s Food Pantry in Framingham. Front row includes (l to r) MutualOne Bank Framingham/Concord Street branch manager Yasmine Ouweijan; Framingham/Lincoln Street branch manager Donna Gogliomella; Food Pantry executive director Mary Kulas; MutualOne Charitable Foundation administrative director Rachel Stewart; and volunteer Alice Costa.

MutualOne Foundation grant to help provide summer farm work for teens

The Natick Community Organic Farm recently received a grant of $2,500 from the MutualOne Charitable Foundation in support of a summer work program for young adults.

The Foundation funds are directed to the Farm’s Teen Work Crew (TWC) program for youngsters aged 14 to 16. The program provides teens with the opportunity to gain a wide variety of skills including carpentry, mechanics, gardening, animal husbandry, and social skills. The paid positions require a commitment of 3 to 4 weeks of time during the summer months.

“The TWC program provides teens with job training and valuable life skills, as well as what may be their first paid workplace experience,’ said Robert P. Lamprey, chairman of the MutualOne Charitable Foundation. “For youngsters too young to be hired for most summer jobs, this is a unique opportunity to earn a wage while also gaining an education in agriculture and the environment.”

Natick Community Organic Farm Director Lynda Simkins (second from right), MutualOne Charitable Foundation administrative director Rachel Stewart (far right), MutualOne Bank Natick branch manager Marie Harrington, and Farm volunteer David Parnas pose with a check representing the Foundation’s recent $2,500 award to the Farm’s summer work program for teens.

Natick Community Organic Farm Director Lynda Simkins (second from right), MutualOne Charitable Foundation administrative director Rachel Stewart (far right), MutualOne Bank Natick branch manager Marie Harrington, and Farm volunteer David Parnas pose with a check representing the Foundation’s recent $2,500 award to the Farm’s summer work program for teens.

$2,500 from MutualOne Foundation to help prevent student bullying

AcceptThe MutualOne Charitable Foundation recently awarded $2,500 to ACCEPT Educational Collaborative to help support the organization’s Safe from Bullying program.

ACCEPT, a regional, non-profit educational organization, provides services including education programs and specialized transportation for students with moderate to severe special needs.

The organization will use its grant funding from the MutualOne Charitable Foundation to provide administrators, teachers and paraprofessionals quality professional development on strategies to prevent bullying. Drivers of ACCEPT vans and buses will also have sessions as part of the ongoing training they receive.

MutualOne Bank announces $20K Lamprey Community Grant

Robert LampreyMark R. Haranas, president and CEO of MutualOne Bank, announced today that the MutualOne Charitable Foundation will award an annual $20,000 Robert Lamprey Community Grant in honor of Robert “Bob” Lamprey, chairman of the board of MutualOne Bank and Foundation chair.

The grant, which will be awarded to a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization focused primarily on the towns of Framingham and/or Natick, must benefit a low-income or less-advantaged and/or under-served population.

“The grant in his name is a tribute to Bob for his longstanding commitment, concern and caring for those in need in our community,” said Haranas.

“It is our hope that each future Robert Lamprey Community Grant recipient will be a catalyst for positive change, as Bob has been throughout his career.”

The deadline for submitting a Robert Lamprey Community Grant request will be on October 31 of each calendar year. The grant, which is not a part of the standard Foundation award request process, requires a separate application that is available online here or by contacting Rachel Stewart, administrative director of the MutualOne Charitable Foundation, at rstewart@mutualone.com.

Applicants who request but do not receive a Robert Lamprey Community Grant may still apply for an award through the standard MutualOne Charitable Foundation grant process.

About Robert Lamprey
Bob Lamprey began his career in community banking more than 50 years ago.

Much of his early time was spent at Everett Co-operative Bank, where he developed core beliefs on how local banks could, and should, support the families and small businesses within their market. Certainly sound business practices and efficient internal procedures were critical to a bank’s long-term success. But, just as important was being a caring and pro-active partner with the residents in the towns served by the institution.

Bob knew that the health and vibrancy of his bank were directly related to the health and well-being of the people in the community.

In 1977, he joined Framingham Co-operative Bank (now MutualOne Bank) as executive vice president, and was promoted to president in 1988. He brought with him the same business expertise — and the same community commitment and caring — that had defined his career from the start.

During Bob’s tenure, the local economy has been rocked by two serious recessions. But even through troubling times, the Bank continued to grow while expanding services to enhance the local banking experience for its customers.

With the appointment of a new Bank president in 2008, Bob continues in his role as chairman of the board and chief financial officer.

The MutualOne Charitable Foundation, which he was instrumental in establishing in 1998, remains his pride and joy. It has become the centerpiece of his efforts to provide support for the work being performed by many worthy MetroWest non-profit organizations. His determination and dedication complement his activity in a variety of volunteer positions within the United Way of Tri-County over the years.

Bob has spearheaded initiatives to help the most vulnerable members of our community. His focus has been on their most critical needs, including food, medical and legal assistance, child welfare programs in partnership with our schools and faith-based organizations; and public safety measures through local police and fire departments.

Primarily through his efforts, the MutualOne Charitable Foundation has surpassed $2.7 million in total grants awarded to these worthwhile endeavors.

While his success as a community banker is well documented, Bob has said that “being able to support the neediest among us has given me the greatest personal satisfaction.”

Foundation grant sponsors seniors, students at Heritage Chorale pops concert

Heritage ChoraleThe MutualOne Charitable Foundation’s recent $2,500 gift to the Heritage Chorale senior and student outreach program allowed 79 local senior citizens and a number of students to attend this year’s Pops Concert at Nevins Hall in Framingham.

Now celebrating its 77th season, the Heritage Chorale is a mixed chorus of more than 100 singers from the MetroWest region.

“We value our partnership in this effort to make it possible for area senior adults and students who would not otherwise be able to attend our concerts to enjoy a special event such as our Pops Concert,” said Heritage Chorale’s Robert H. Diefenbacher, vice president, development.

“Your continued support for this important effort has been truly valuable,” Diefenbacher said in a letter to Robert P. Lamprey, chairman of the MutualOne Charitable Foundation.

Telephone Phishing Scam Alert

There is a telephone phishing scam underway in our area that we want our customers to be aware of. The victims of this scam receive a bogus text or telephone message that is supposedly from their bank, which is mentioned by name. The message claims that the customer’s debit card has been deactivated, and tells them to call a phone number provided in the message. When the customer calls that number, they are told to enter their debit card information and a replacement card will be issued.

Under no circumstances would MutualOne Bank contact you in this manner. If you receive such a message or experience any other suspicious or questionable activity regarding your account, please notify us immediately by calling us directly at (508) 820-4000.

MutualOne Charitable Foundation will sponsor 2014 Walkaway Homelessness Walkathon

With its recent grant of $5,000 to Family Promise Metrowest, the MutualOne Charitable Foundation will be the primary sponsor of that organization’s 5th Annual Walkaway Homelessness Walkathon in Natick on April 12.

According to Carole Brodrick, Family Promise Metrowest community development coordinator, previous Walkathons were held in February at the Natick Mall. This year’s event will be moved to the Natick Common, in order to bring more visibility to the issue of family homelessness in the Natick community.

The Walkathon will support the goal of moving homeless families from the Family Promise Metrowest shelter program into transitional housing. The program’s first graduate family moved into transitional housing last fall, and the organization hopes to move more families out of shelter and into their own apartments over the next year, said Brodrick.

“Many people are unaware of the plight of so many families who are homeless, right here in our own community,” said Robert P. Lamprey, chairman of the MutualOne Charitable Foundation. “We are pleased to do what we can to help Family Promise Metrowest provide support and hope for these families.”

Family Promise MetroWest Network Coordinator Judy Mongiardo (far left) and Community Development Coordinator Carole Brodrick (far right) visited MutualOne Bank in Natick to accept the recent $5,000 donation from the MutualOne Charitable Foundation, presented by Administrative Director Rachel Stewart (center, left) and Natick Branch Manager Donna Gogliomella.

Family Promise MetroWest Network Coordinator Judy Mongiardo (far left) and Community Development Coordinator Carole Brodrick (far right) visited MutualOne Bank in Natick to accept the recent $5,000 donation from the MutualOne Charitable Foundation, presented by Administrative Director Rachel Stewart (center, left) and Natick Branch Manager Donna Gogliomella.

Checking for Charity at MutualOne Bank supports senior centers in Framingham and Natick

CheckingCharityNewSteven M. Sousa, executive vice president and chief operating officer of MutualOne Bank, announced today that the Bank’s Checking for Charity initiative will benefit both the Callahan Senior Center in Framingham and the Natick Community-Senior Center.

For every new personal or business checking account opened in 2014, the Bank will donate $10 to be shared equally by the two Centers, said Sousa.

The Checking for Charity campaign gained national attention as an “Impact” category winner in the American Bankers Association’s financial marketing awards competition when it was established in 2008.

Previous Checking for Charity beneficiaries include Framingham High School, Natick High School, the American Cancer Society, Ovations for a Cure, Buddy Dog Humane Society, and the Natick Veterans Relief Fund.

MutualOne Bank awarded SBA Preferred Lender status

Mark R. Haranas, president and CEO of MutualOne Bank, announced today that the Bank has been granted Preferred Lender status by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

To achieve this standing under the SBA’s Preferred Lender Program, lenders must have a successful, high-volume SBA performance history, including proficiency in processing and servicing SBA-guaranteed loans, which can range in size up to $5 million. SBA loans can be used to establish a new business or to assist in the acquisition, operation, or expansion of an existing business.

Local advantage
According to Michael Semizoglou, vice president, commercial lending, MutualOne Bank’s experience with SBA loan programs provides a number of distinct advantages for local start-ups and small businesses.

“We are well versed in SBA loan programs, policies and procedures, and being a Preferred Lender allows us to provide expedited loan decisions through immediate consideration and quick responses from the SBA,” he explained.

MutualOne Bank’s SBA loan portfolio includes businesses of all sizes and description, from a variety of industries, says Semizoglou.

“SBA loans are particularly advantageous for businesses that may not qualify under the Bank’s normal lending criteria,” added Semizoglou.

“In many instances, an SBA loan is the perfect answer for the small business community,” he said.

MutualOne Bank Executive Vice President and Senior Lender Larry Erickson (far right) and Vice President/Commercial Lending Michael Semizoglou (second from right) accept a plaque from Robert H. Nelson, Massachusetts District Director, and Anne Rice Hunt, Deputy District Director, of the Small Business Administration (SBA) signifying the Bank’s status as an SBA Preferred Lender.

MutualOne Bank Executive Vice President and Senior Lender Larry Erickson (far right) and Vice President/Commercial Lending Michael Semizoglou (second from right) accept a plaque from Robert H. Nelson, Massachusetts District Director, and Anne Rice Hunt, Deputy District Director, of the Small Business Administration (SBA) signifying the Bank’s status as an SBA Preferred Lender.

MutualOne Charitable Foundation is Natick ‘Heart of the Community’ sponsor

NatickCenterAssociatesRobert P. Lamprey, chairman of the MutualOne Charitable Foundation, announced today that the Foundation has awarded $1,000 to Natick Center Associates to help sponsor that group’s annual “Heart of the Community” fundraising dinner.

This year’s dinner will be held on March 30 at the Dolphin Seafood Restaurant and will honor two local nonprofits, the Natick Service Council and A Place To Turn, for their contributions to the betterment of Natick Center.