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By Tim Estiloz
Eastern Bank, America’s oldest and largest mutual banking institution now has an exciting new addition to its executive staff poised to help lead the company to even greater success serving the community and its customers.
Quincy Miller is Eastern Bank’s new vice chairman and chief banking officer.
Beginning in January, he will assume the prominent role as the president of Eastern Bank.
El Mundo Boston writer Tim Estiloz posed some questions to Miller about his career and goals as the executive leader at Eastern Bank.
How excited are you to take on this new role at Eastern Bank?
I am thrilled! Eastern is consistently a top performing community bank with a rich history that dates back almost 200 years. I am incredibly proud and honored to help lead the company as we begin our next 200 years in business.
What prompted you to take on this very prominent role in guiding the company?
Eastern is a very unique bank with a lot going for it right now. We’re the oldest and largest mutual bank in the United States – that’s important because we do not answer to any shareholders on Wall Street. Instead, we spend our time on Main Street doing what’s right for our customers and the community.
I was also blown away by Eastern’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Eastern’s continued commitment to representing the communities where we live and work is outstanding.
You’ll be succeeding Robert Rivers as president of Eastern Bank. How do you hope to build on the foundation / legacy he leaves behind for you?
Bob and I are excited about building upon the legacy that Stan Lukowski (former Eastern CEO) and Rich Holbrook (current CEO) established. We have big shoes to fill!
At the moment, one area I’m concentrating on is retail banking – the fastest evolving segment in banking today.
Our success will be driven by our ability to deliver high value advice to our clients coupled with improved technology that makes banking easier. In fact, sound advice and technology advancements in virtually all business lines will differentiate us from the competition.
How important is it for banks to reach out to help and encourage small businesses and their growth within their communities?
Small and medium-sized businesses are critical to our local economy and given my background it was important to me that Eastern was so committed to this community. The fact that Eastern has been ranked the No. 1 SBA (Small Business Administration) lender in New England for the past six years was a major proof point for me.
We cannot underestimate the importance of supporting small business, which employs half of the country’s private sector workforce. It’s our role and responsibility to continue to lend money to small businesses.
What approach do you plan for Eastern Bank’s outreach within the Latino community?
Engaging leaders in the Latino community is critical and we are very proud to have a number of those folks serving on our Board, including our four most recent additions: Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, Alberto Calvo, Magnolia Contreras and Luis Borgen.
In addition to our Board members, we also lean on “Latinos in Action,” a group of Eastern employees who are dedicated to participating in the community. That group is very active in financial education and partners with ACCION USA to hold small business seminars in both Spanish and English.
I want to leverage these two key resources – our Board members and Latinos in Action to help the Latino community thrive in New England.
What areas need improvement in meeting the needs of Boston’s Latino community?
Financial advice and education are key elements. We want to help people understand budgeting, financial and estate planning, loans and much more.
How does your personal background play a role in your career?
I grew up in a single parent household in a low income community. I know what it’s like to struggle to make ends meet and find the necessary support to succeed. That is why I have stayed involved with so many different types of community organizations. My goal is not to just provide support, but to be a role model for what’s possible. If I can achieve my dreams anyone can.
What is it about Boston that appeals to you the most?
My family and I love Boston, but we have really enjoyed all of the places we’ve lived. Boston felt like home to my family when we moved here seven years ago – it was the first time in my career that I felt like this is where I wanted to raise my kids. The schools are second to none and Boston is a big city with a small feel that we love.
What do you like to do to relax after a hard day at the office?
Play with my kids. I have two girls – ages 8 and 10 – and when I’m not at work I want to spend as much time as I can with them and my wife of 13 years. The kids keep us busy and they are involved with so many activities such as gymnastics, basketball, soccer and softball. If I’m tired and just want to relax, but if one of my kids wants Dad to come and play, I’m there no matter what.
What are your favorite hobbies or sports?
My favorite sport is definitely football, but since I’m way too old for that one, I love to play basketball. My favorite hobby is traveling with my family and experiencing and learning about different cultures.
What’s the primary goal for you once you take the reins as president?
To help Eastern flourish in the next 200 years like we have in the first 200 years. That means keeping our entire focus on our clients, colleagues and communities to ensure that we are doing good by all three of our constituents. It’s a huge opportunity and responsibility that I embrace and enjoy.
More About Quincy Miller:
Miller has a long and successful resume in the banking industry having served as the former president of Citizens Bank, Massachusetts and Presdent of Business Banking for Citizens Financial Group, Inc; a $136.5 billion dollar commercial bank holding company based in Providence, R.I.
He is the past board chair and current secretary for the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, and is a board member with Bottom Line and Zoo New England.
He is a past board chair of the Camp Curtain YMCA and board member of Central PA Big Brothers & Big Sisters and Cuyahoga County Community College. Miller is a graduate of Lafayette College, where he earned a B.A. in Economics and Business; and of the Consumer Bankers Association Graduate School of Retail Bank Management.
Quincy Miller on Bob Rivers:
I have known Bob for almost 20 years and he ultimately became my first mentor when I worked directly for him early in my management career. Since then, I have benefited from his advice and guidance throughout my career – he is a true friend who cares about the people he works with. When I was looking to move closer to Boston, Bob even recommended that I look at Milton where a number of our board members live – it turned out that Milton was the perfect town for my family.