OLD LYME/ESSEX — Gregory R. Shook, President and CEO of Essex Savings Bank, will retire after 22 years at the helm and a career spanning 47 years in banking. He is the longest serving president and CEO in Connecticut and will retire on July 31.
A Westport, Conn., native and Madison resident, Shook began his career as a management trainee in 1974 in a subsidiary of Philadelphia National Corporation, Signal Finance and Mortgage, Fairfax, Va. He managed their Cleveland office and then became a Vice President at State Home Savings in Bowling Green, Ohio.
In December 1984, he joined First Federal Savings of Madison, Conn. In 1987, he joined Branford Savings Bank where he rose to Senior Vice President and Corporate Secretary and was named Interim President and CEO where he found a right’s offering used for manufacturing companies to successfully raise capital to support the bank’s continued existence via a 1991 stock offering.
Highlights of his career include being elected by his peers and serving five years as a Director of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, a $62 billion bank, from 2015 – 2019. He was also appointed to serve on the first two years of the Federal Reserve of Boston Community Depository Institution Advisory Committee (CDIAC) mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act to provide input from Banks under $10 billion to the Federal Reserve system.
Professional associations have included the Connecticut Bankers Association, legislative committee, executive committee and the American Bankers Association Mutual Institutions Advisory Committee. He serves on the Board of Essex Savings Bank and Essex Financial Services. Following his retirement, he will continue to serve on the Essex Savings Bank Board of Directors.
He is a corporator of the Middlesex Health Care System (parent of Middlesex Hospital). He is also on the advisory committees of the Community Music School and the leadership counsel of the Middlesex Coalition on Housing and Homelessness.
In 2011 Shook received the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Citizen Award and was elected Chairman in 2016 and continues to serve on its Executive Committee and its Board of Directors.
He has been recognized by numerous organizations for his dedication to community service and has served on non-profit boards and advisory committees. He was a finalist in the New England Division of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program in 2009. He has been a featured speaker for a variety of seminars and radio shows.
During his tenure, Essex Savings Bank grew its assets from $110 million to over $525 million, expanded its physical footprint from four to six branches, participated in the growth of assets under management or administration of Essex Financial Services from $700 million to $3.2 billion and Essex Trust from a de novo to $871 million and has rolled out new technology and capabilities leading the Bank through the pandemic.
He is the 17th President since 1851. The Bank is currently celebrating 170 years of service and trust to the community.
Shook commented, “The best part of Banking is building long term relationships and I am so appreciative of everyone’s support and trust over the years. I am extremely proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish together for both our customers and the communities in which we serve. It has been both my great privilege and honor to work with so many dedicated and talented people – the absolute best.”
Looking to the future, Shook said, “I am confident that Essex Savings Bank will continue to garner new relationships and remain an outstanding business serving the personal and business banking, trust and investment needs of the community. On Aug. 1, I am pleased to turn the business over to Diane Arnold, formerly our Senior Vice President and Chief Lending Officer as she will be our 18th President and CEO, who is poised to lead this business to new heights.”
During the month of July, Shook will be looking forward to wishing many of his customers, friends and colleagues a fond farewell as he embarks on his next voyage.
Editor’s Notes: i) This article was prepared from a press release issued by Essex Savings Bank.
ii) Essex Savings Bank is a FDIC insured, state chartered, mutual savings bank established in 1851. The Bank serves the Connecticut River Valley and shoreline with six offices in Essex (2), Chester, Madison, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook providing a full complement of personal and business banking. Financial, estate, insurance and retirement planning are offered throughout the state by the Bank’s Trust Division, Essex Trust and wholly-owned subsidiary, Essex Financial Services, Inc.