Kennebunk Savings Celebrates 150 Years in the Community
Kennebunk Savings is excited to ring in the new year with the start of a year-long celebration of its 150th anniversary. Founded in 1871 and continuously headquartered in Kennebunk, Maine, it has maintained its mutual form of organization with no shareholders or direct owners and a continued emphasis on customers, communities, and employees.
“From our founding as a small savings bank in a shared office in Kennebunk, we’ve grown into a local institution, employing 330 people across 17 branches in two states,” said Bradford C. Paige, the bank’s President and CEO. “But our philosophy remains the same – we are here to serve our customers and to help our communities thrive.”
The bank is kicking off its 150th celebration by funding its Community Promise program with a commitment for $1 million in donations to local nonprofits in 2021. Since its inception in 1994, the Bank’s Community Promise Program has donated over $14 million to nonprofits in the southern York County and seacoast New Hampshire area.
The Bank will be celebrating with a number of other initiatives and activities in 2021, including the unveiling of a new website, and a new look for their longtime mascot, Kenny Bear. “Kenny’s a little lighter on his feet now,” said Jenn Straetz, a spokesperson for the bank specializing in Mascot Relations. “He’s excited to celebrate this milestone anniversary!”
In its 150 years, Kennebunk Savings has experienced a number of firsts, including its first branch office, which was located in York Village and opened in 1969. North Berwick followed in 1971, the bank’s 100th year in operation. The first computers were introduced to its branches in 1987 and online banking, or “Kenn-e-banking” as it was known, was introduced in the year 2000. And in 2010, Milda Castner became the Bank’s first female Director, rising to become the first female Chair of the Board in 2018, a position she still holds today. “It’s difficult to put together a comprehensive list of all of our achievements over the past century and a half,” said Paige. “But we as current employees are incredibly proud of the Bank’s legacy of community impact.”
“Kennebunk Savings is committed to serving our communities,” said Dennis Byrd, Chief Operating Officer. “We like to say that it’s not what we give, but what we do. We donate money to food banks, but just as importantly our employees donate their personal time to volunteering at soup kitchens. And that’s what really makes me proud about coming to work every day.”
The theme for the year is “Celebrating our past, driving our future.” The bank has celebrations and activities planned which are connected to the bank’s rich history and deep community roots. “We’re pulling boxes of photos out of basements and reaching out to former employees for stories, but we’re also honestly thinking about what the next 150 years will look like – and how we’ll all move forward together,” said Paige.