By: Yadira Betances
One profession Rosalin Acosta always said she would never go into was banking, but as she found out, life takes many turns and opportunities can be found where you least expect it. She has now been in banking for over 30 years.
She began her career in 1986 at The First National Bank of Boston where she worked with retail customers of a certain wealth to help navigate them through the many solutions the bank had to offer.
Acosta has been involved in sales most of her banking career utilizing some of the experience she gained in college selling china and cookware door to door.
“You learn a lot about perseverance and what you are really made of when you keeping hearing ‘no’ but continue searching for the ‘yes’, said Rosalin.
Acosta is now managing director of Enterprise Investment Advisors, a division of Enterprise Bank with headquarters in Lowell.
“I never envisioned staying in banking this long, but I have found it to be a very rewarding career and it has allowed me to get involved in the community and have a positive influence on others,” Acosta said.
Enterprise Bank was founded in 1989 by George Duncan as a way to boost businesses after a recession caused by the end of the tech boom.
The bank employs 450 people in 22 branches in Lowell, Dracut, Chelmsford and Tyngsboro as well as in the New Hampshire towns of Hudson, Nashua, Pelham, Derry and Salem.
“This is a wonderful place to work. It’s a bank with a heart and deep values that is dedicated to its employees and its communities. There is a great sense of loyalty and a spirit of teamwork,” Acosta said.
She said Enterprise Bank also supports local artists by displaying their artwork at local branches and corporate offices. Acosta noted that every 18 months, Enterprise Bank hosts its signature “Celebration of Excellence” whereby the bank honors leaders in nonprofit organizations, education and other fields.
“This is a night for the bank to give back to the community. We open our doors to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of so many community organizations and leaders,” she said.
In her more than three decades working in banking, Acosta has built a successful career in wealth services, overseeing sales of all business lines including private banking, investment, personal trusts and financial planning.
“I love it,” Acosta said of her job. “I’m helping people realize their dreams, aspirations, goals and plan for their future.”
Banking has also opened doors for Acosta to serve on community boards and mentor youngsters. She speaks about the importance of education and maintaining their traditional Hispanic roots.
She is co-founder of the Latino Executive Council at Boston Children’s Hospital called, Milagros para Niños (Miracles for Children) and Chair of the Boston Corporate Advisory Board of the Association of Latino Professionals (ALPFA).
Also, she is among the original members of the Latino Legacy Fund through the Boston Foundation and is a member of the Business Advisory Council for the Business School at Bentley University. In addition to the above, Acosta also serves on the Planning Committee for the Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board appointed by Mayor Dan Rivera.
Born in Cuba, Acosta came with her family to the United States at age 4. They settled in Union City, N.J., which other than Miami has the largest percentage of Cubans in the U.S.
The daughter of two educators, she graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., with a degree in Latin American Studies.
While at Wesleyan, she traveled across Latin America for nearly eight months. She began in Bogota, Colombia and traveled on a riverboat on the Amazon River, flew to Brazil and rode trains to Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Peru.
“It was a survival trip, but I felt very much at home. I met wonderful people and gained a greater understanding of the culture,” she said. Acosta said the trip to Latin America was important for her since she left Cuba as a toddler.
“I love my heritage and I carry it with me every day. I’ve grown up in the shadows of that little island and having been estranged from it for so many years feels a bit like a relative that has died. There’s a lot of loss and so much grieving for an island I will never know as my parents knew it,” Acosta said.
She keeps her Cuban customs alive by making her favorite dishes ropa vieja and arroz con frijoles, dancing salsa and maintaining traditions on New Year’s Eve such as eating 12 grapes for good luck during the upcoming new year.
“I’m deathly afraid of my children losing that. I grew up with such rich traditions and I look back at them so fondly and I can’t replicate that with my children.”Acosta lives in Amesbury. She has five children, twins Sonia and Jackson, 16; Gabriel, 20; William, 24 and Alejandro, 27.
With the new relationship between the United States and Cuba, Acosta said she will go back one day.She said her parents left their families, their careers and their home in Cuba so their two children could have a better life.
“That’s so courageous of them. I can’t thank them enough. I have been given so much. That’s why it is extremely important for me to give back,” she said.
Her accomplishments have not gone unnoticed. Acosta has received many awards and accolades including being named one of the Top 100 Business Leaders of the North Shore by the North Shore Chamber of Commerce; the Woman of Courage Award by La Alianza Hispana; the Abigail Adams Award by the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus; the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association for Latino Professionals; one of Boston’s most influential female leaders award by the Women of Harvard Club; the Community Hero Awards by the American Red Cross and the Academy of Women Achievers by YWCA of Boston.