- Michael T. Keegan, Senior Vice President, and President – Hudson Valley North and Albany Divisions of M&T Bank, decided to try something different.
Keegan, along with Newburgh Branch Manager Lisette Ortiz and Banking Officer Gisela Colon, organized the bank’s first gathering in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month last Wednesday.
“We’re having a coming out party for our Branch Manager, Lisette Ortiz,” Keegan said with a smile to the crowd gathered at the bank’s 17K location.
Following the round of applause for Ortiz, who has been the branch manager for four months, Keegan reminded everyone that the true purpose of the gathering was to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
“What we’ve tried to do over the last six years is to better understand the communities we work in, live in, that we interact in,” Keegan said. He pointed out that Banking Officer Gisela Colon has led an effort for the bank to better understand the communities it serves. “That’s why we are here tonight. We’re here to celebrate family, friendships, working together and hopefully doing more together,” Keegan said.
Ortiz, who has been [in] banking for 20 years, said, “Never have I seen a financial institution do anything like this for the community.” She proclaimed that this was “the first of many to come.”
City of Newburgh Mayor Judy Kennedy stated that whoever thought of the idea, whoever decided it was a good idea, and the bank that sponsored the idea, were right.
“This is the kind of event that starts real community involvement. This brings people together,” Kennedy said. “In this city, in this town, in this state, in this country, we have so much separation going on. So when we do these kinds of things, this is where real community is built.”
Those building blocks the mayor spoke of continued to grow as more and more people joined in the celebration. Los Caribenos provided the musical entertainment for the evening and La Mesera provided an array of delicious traditional Latin food for the occasion.
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