Greenfield Savings Bank appoints new President and CEO after John Howland resigns

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GREENFIELD — Greenfield Savings Bank has announced the appointment of Thomas Meshako as its new president and chief executive after the board of directors accepted the resignation of John Howland.

“I have been here for seven and a half years. That’s longer than I’ve worked anywhere,” Howland said in a phone interview. “I accomplished what I wanted to do. My wife and I are ready for our next challenge.

Howland said he doesn’t have an announcement about his next attempt yet, but he hopes to announce something soon. Howland clarified that he has no plans to retire yet.

Meshako joined Greenfield Savings Bank in 2016 as treasurer and chief financial officer, and will also continue in those positions until his replacement is hired, according to the bank.

“I would like to thank John Howland for his more than seven years at the helm of the bank,” Meshako said in a statement. “John’s leadership and direction throughout the unprecedented time of the pandemic and his dedicated and genuine commitment to the communities we serve have solidified the bank’s reputation as a community leader. We are grateful for his contributions to the bank and wish him the best in his future endeavours.

Reflecting on his time at Greenfield Savings Bank, Howland said the mandate of smaller local banks is often to “clean and sell”, pointing out that mergers are common. Instead, Howland said he had strengthened the bank and was ready to hand over the reins to Meshako.

The community has been central to the bank’s mission, Howland said. He was able to triple the bank’s charitable contributions and pointed to Greenfield Savings Bank’s “outstanding” rating in his Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) score as evidence of this achievement. Banks receive one of four ARC ratings from federal agencies, with Greenfield Savings Banks receiving the highest rating.

Asked about a memory he will keep from his tenure as president and CEO, Howland said he worked for 40 straight days, including weekends, at the start of the pandemic. During this time, he tried to “get as much money in the Valley as possible with PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loans.”

“We forged a lot of good relationships during that time,” he said. “I will always come back to it.”

Howland joined the bank in 2015. The Greenfield resident sits on the board of GCET, a community-owned technology company. According to the GCET website, Howland was previously president of First Bank of Greenwich in Connecticut and president of Bank of Southern Connecticut in New Haven.

According to Greenfield Savings Bank, Meshako and his wife, Mary Ann, live in Greenfield and have three adult daughters. Meshako is said to have over 40 years of experience in the financial services industry in New England.

Founded in 1869, Greenfield Savings Bank has branches in Greenfield, Amherst, Conway, Hadley, Northampton, Shelburne Falls, South Deerfield and Turners Falls.

“To be in an organization like this is a great honor,” Howland said.

Contact Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262. Contact Bella Levavi at: blevavi@recorder.com or 413-930-4579.

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