Walden Savings Bank: Not Your Average Bank
By Lucia Civile
From Issue 34: Spring 2017
Walden Savings Bank opened it’s doors in 1872, and since then has established over ten branches that serve New York State. I was able to learn what makes this local bank tick from the Branch Manager, Debra Green, and Assistant Manager Raffaela Benson, and through close interactions with the owner and employees. The following is an inside look.
Think Walden Savings Bank is your average bank? Think again. Simply put, banking at Walden Savings Bank is an experience. Rafaella Benson, who previously worked with her family at Tantillo’s Farm for over 20 years, explained that relocating to Walden Savings Bank “felt like a lateral move.” In fact, colleagues and other branch employees seem to match that very sentiment. President and CEO Derrik Wynkoop explained, “We’re a family here, and we want our customers to experience that.” It’s certainly an attitude that seems to be in line with the company’s mission: to grow local businesses, support the community and enrich the lives of people who are a part of the community.
Located in the Gardiner Gables Plaza, the bank’s address and mission start in the heart of our small town. And as a company that prides itself on lending services to local events, charities and causes, the bank contributes time and funds to several functions throughout the year in support of the Gardiner community.
Just some of the events on their roster include: Gardiner Day, the Gardiner 5K, the Cupcake Festival, and the Sunflower Art Festival. In addition to their financial donations and pledged volunteers for local gatherings, the bank also offers a program for employees to give a small portion of their paycheck to raise funds for a charity each month; a number that the bank will match.
Customer and employee appreciation is a core value of Walden Savings Bank. Four times throughout the year, the bank’s Gardiner branch hosts a customer appreciation day, with a small potluck celebration.
The bank also makes customer safety and privacy a priority. In April, the bank hosted the first of a series of free ‘scam’ seminars at the Gardiner Library. The course was held in an effort to protect customers from sales scams and identity theft and fraud. In fact, the company continues to work on projects to better their customers’ experience with the bank. Raffaela further explains that working at the bank is “a challenge I enjoy rising to.” And if the smiling faces and friendly demeanor of the bank’s tellers, managers, CEO and customers are any indication, it seems that she’s not the only one.
To learn more about Walden Savings Bank, visit their office at 2356 US-44/55, Gardiner.