Join World of Wellesley on Thursday, April 6, 7pm – 9pm at the Wellesley Community Center, 219 Washington St., for a community discussion about the book, Born on Third Base, led by author Chuck Collins.
As the great-grandson of Oscar Meyer, Collins grew up in a wealthy and advantaged family. He considers himself part of the privileged 1 percent, “born on third base,” with only a short hop to make it to home plate. But Collins believes it’s time for our society to come to a different home, one where inequality is addressed in a new way, where the economy can be made more inclusive, and where the 1 percent can engage with the other 99 to become partners in transforming the future. Written in a well-crafted, conversational style, Collins’ latest is a gentle yet clear reminder to readers that real change starts by looking outside ourselves and making even the smallest connection with others.
I recently sat down with Wellesley resident and Needham Bank president Joe Campanelli, who’s been on the job for all of two weeks. He arrived at Needham Bank via New England Community Financial, and has also worked as the Chief Executive at Flag Star Corporation and, a bit further back, as President of Sovereign Bank Corp.
We bonded over our shared Connecticut roots, but the similarities ended fast. I graduated from a public high school in the New Haven area with a student body of almost 2,000, while he and around 400 others attended the prestigious boarding school, Suffield Academy. There was that time his youth hockey team came down to play our Hamden boys. Some burly local checked him right the heck into the boards, and Campanelli’s face came away with a chain-link imprint. Back then, chain-link fencing was the kind of barrier Hamden supplied to separate the players from the spectators, instead of today’s ubiquitous (and mandatory) Plexiglass. Maybe the (probably rusty) fence was there because that’s what finances permitted, or maybe it was a sort of Hamden tough-guy mentality — if you know you’re going to get slammed into chain-link fencing, chances are you’ll skate faster and not get checked in the first place, right? Sort of a training philosophy.
At any rate, before long we were chatting about the Wellesley resident’s new job as CEO of Needham Bank, which is a mutual bank (as opposed to one that is publicly traded). Here’s some insight on what it takes to run in the world of community banking:
The Swellesley Report: Do you know The Swellesley Report?
Campanelli: I’m getting to understand it. My wife always reads it.
How long have you lived in town?
Campanelli: 20-something years. My wife Carolyn and I have three children. We moved to Wellesley for the public schools, and then one morning I woke up and my daughter was over at Dana Hall, and one son was at Fessenden, and the other was at St. Sebastian’s. It’s interesting because they all self-selected their school, and they all chose single-sex education. My oldest is allegedly moving off the payroll, which is a good thing. She’s working for a Biotech firm and lives in Boston. My other two kids are 21 and 17.
Do you have time for any involvement in the town of Wellesley?
Campanelli: In the greater Boston community I have involvement. I chair the Tufts Medical Center, which is very interesting when you look at the whole medical/health care arena. Obviously Tufts has got activities throughout Metrowest…it really is a regionally based enterprise. I’m on the board of the Carroll School. I try to look at areas where I can have an impact and provide time and effort. My wife does the Wellesley Service League. She’s loving it. Every day she has a new activity.
The Swellesley Report: Service League? Whoa, that’s big league. It’s a real working club.
Campanelli: Right. She’s at a time when all of a sudden she does actually have the time to get involved in Service League. It fits into her schedule now. She’s probably doing things with them two or three times per week.
The Swellesley Report: Every time a bank opens in town, people roll their eyes. What direction do you see branches going in over the next ten years?
Campanelli: I think there’s a misconception that if you build it they will come. I believe you can put a branch in a community, fill the branch with people who are deeply committed and involved in the [Read more…]
Lulu Chow Wang, Wellesley College alumna, Wall Street pioneer, and big-time donor to her alma mater, stopped by the school’s campus center, affectionately known as “the Lulu” to meet and greet students and pose for some selfies. I stopped by the campus center, designed and constructed with Wang and her husband’s 2002 record-breaking $25 million gift to Wellesley, to bask in the glow of the rock-star herself.
There was lots of laughter as the seniors lined up, red flowers in hand to represent their class color, for their chance to stand next to their campus center’s namesake. Ms. Wang mentioned that purple was her class color and told students that “Your color stays with you for life. I always wear purple when I come to campus.” As the students smiled for the camera they were relaxed and happy, as students tend to be when they have finished their final exams and graduation draws near.
Wang has a full schedule while she’s here in town. The founder and CEO of Tupelo Capital Management (the company’s name is a nod to Tupelo Point, a favorite spot on campus and the setting for the College’s Hoop rolling tradition) will address the members of the Wellesley College Class of 2016 at Wellesley’s upcoming 138th Commencement Exercises. Then she will cut loose with the class of 1966 as those wild women celebrate their 50th reunion. Wearing purple, of course.
Also of interest…
Moody’s Investors Service has assigned a Aaa rating to the Town of Wellesley, MA’s $5.6 million General Obligation Municipal Purpose Loan of 2016 Bonds. Moody’s maintains the Aaa rating on $152 million of outstanding general obligation bonds. The outlook is stable. The stable outlook reflects the town’s conservative budgeting approach supported by formalized financial policies that are expected to support balanced operations over the near term. The outlook also incorporates the additional financial flexibility provided by the strong tax base with voter approved debt exclusions and general overrides to Proposition 2 1/2.
The Aaa rating reflects the town’s sizeable and wealthy suburban tax base, well-managed financial position with stable reserve levels, and history of voter approved overrides to the tax levy limitations of Proposition 2 1/2. The rating also incorporates an above-average but manageable debt burden and prudent funding of long-term liabilities.
The majority of the bonds ($5 million), which will finance school, town, and Department of Public Works projects, are secured by the town’s general obligation unlimited tax pledge as debt service has been excluded from the levy limits of Proposition 2 1/2. The remaining $575,000 is secured by a general obligation limited tax pledge as debt service has not been excluded from Proposition 2 1/2.
Factors that Could Lead to a Downgrade:
Trend of operating deficits resulting in a material decline in available reserves
Trend of increasing financial pressure due to unsuccessful votes for tax levy overrides or debt exclusions
Material increase in the debt burden or pension liability
Report card for others in town:
Wellesley College (Aa1 stable)
Babson College (A2 stable).
Also of interest…