After 30 years of business, the Ridgewood Savings Bank’s Glendale branch was ready for a facelift. In keeping with the bank’s mission, it included a community offering with the makeover.
The bank held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday to celebrate the re-opening of its renovated branch, drawing local civic organizations, first-responders and Congresswoman Grace Meng to join the bank staff in celebrating the branch’s new community meeting space.
“When I first started representing this area a few years ago, one thing that stood out to me about Ridgewood Savings Bank was how closely [it] worked with the community. From visiting schools, I would see materials from the bank teaching financial literacy to establishing this amazing room that you used to helping some of our communities most dedicated leaders,” said Meng.
The new meeting space was designed to support local civic organizations, nonprofits and community groups. During the event, it was packed with members of the 104th Precinct Community Council, the Edward R Miller VFW Post 7336, the FDNY foundation and the Glendale Volunteer Ambulance Corps–each of which received a $1,000 donation at the ceremony.
“These four groups are just the beginning. Over all the bank supports 300 major groups. Every year we donate over a million dollars and our employees donate over 3,000 hours of their time,” said Leonard Stekol, the bank’s chairman and CEO.
Stekol says the renovation will offer better amenities to customers and update the technology. In his address, he emphasized the investment that the bank has made in low-and-moderate income communities. He sees this as a consequence of the bank’s structure.
“The most important part that I would mention is that we’re a mutual community bank, which means we don’t have shareholders. So we’re here to give back to the community and customers because they are the real stakeholders of the bank,” Stekol said.
Though Stekol emphasized the bank’s community-first mentality, it has been building its profile recently, growing throughout Long Island and the greater New York City area, where it currently has 35 total branches. In 2018, its total assets grew to $5.5 billion, deposits to $4.25 billion and real estate loans reached $3.8 million.
“Ridgewood Savings Bank is once again showing itself to be a champion of the community and its veterans,” said Thomas Mazza, treasurer of VFW Post 7336.