St. Mary's Credit Union News & Information
The place to find information regarding current news, donations, and more at St. Mary's Credit Union!
Larissa C. Thurston begins serving as President and Chief Executive Officer at St. Mary’s Credit Union
October 1, 2021 - Larissa C. Thurston, who was appointed to President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Mary’s Credit Union in April, will begin her new position leading the credit union. She succeeds James C. Garvey who retired following eight years of service to the credit union.
Award of Excellence for more than half century of service to St. Mary’s Credit Union
Prestigious Hall of Fame award recognizes Toohey’s devotion to the
philosophy and success of the credit union movement
October 28, 2021 - St. Mary’s Credit Union announced longtime board member, James F. Toohey, has been recognized by the Cooperative Credit Union Association (CCUA) with its prestigious Award of Excellence in the Hall of Fame category for his devotion to the philosophy and success of the credit union movement.
“For more than 50 years, Jim has dedicated his service toward the success of St. Mary’s Credit Union, and we congratulate him on this very well-deserved recognition by the CCUA,” said Larissa Thurston, President and CEO, St. Mary’s Credit Union. “He sets an example for all credit unions to follow, and we are grateful for Jim’s commitment to leadership and dedication to our success and growth over the years.”
Toohey’s exposure to St. Mary’s Credit Union began at a young age when he rolled coins at the bank after school working alongside his mother, one of the first female employees at the credit union. He began serving as a director in 1970, formalizing his engagement with the credit union to provide the community with a safe and secure place to keep and invest their assets. This experience set in motion his years of service on the Board of Directors where he served as Clerk and Membership Clerk, and as a member of the Credit Committee, Nominating Committee and Community Service Committee.
Toohey’s dedication toward the success of the credit union became evident in the early 1970s when he, along with the other board members, each provided $1,500 of their own money to self-insure the credit union’s assets until formal insurance could be obtained. This generosity 50 years ago enabled the credit union’s assets to grow from $113,000 in 1970 to nearly $1 billion in assets, with approximately 60,000 members and seven branches today. Toohey also played an integral role when St. Mary’s Credit Union first expanded beyond its Main Office and opened its branch on South Bolton Street in Marlborough in 1985.
“This award honors the best of the best in the industry and the people who make a personal difference by their embrace of the credit union system and its values and principles,” said Ron McLean, President/CEO, CCUA. “Jim has made significant, positive impacts on credit unions at the local, state and national level over the past six decades and continues to set an example for all credit unions to follow.”
“Serving St. Mary’s Credit Union over the years has been a true pleasure because we have always had a team who works every day to ensure our members receive the value, integrity and respect they deserve,” said Jim Toohey. “I am humbled and honored with this recognition from the CCUA for my years of service to St. Mary’s Credit Union and the communities we serve. I especially want to thank the many people who I have worked with over the years who have made the credit union the wonderful place it is today.”
- September 3, 2021 - On Friday, some of our St. Mary’s employees volunteered on behalf of the Corridor 9/495 for the Community Harvest Project (CHP). The Community Harvest Project (CHP) is a non-profit farm that engages and educates volunteers to grow fresh fruits and vegetables for hunger relief. Thanks to Larissa, Christine, Amber, Sandra & Trevine—even if it looks like they had a lot of fun out there picking and hauling the apples!
- September 18, 2021 - Another successful Shred Day…today at our Hudson location! People from the community shredded decades of documents and enjoyed the St Mary’s cookies, hand sanitizer, bags, and notepads as our staff made sure the event went smooth. Thanks to all who stopped by!
- August 6, 2021 -Thank you to everyone who donated school supplies this year during our Back to School Supply Drive!
Thanks to your donations, we were able to provide dozens of backpacks with pens, pencils, notebooks, folders, crayons, and other school supplies for local students in need. In addition to these thoughtful donations, St. Mary’s also donated over 35 Frozen and Paw Patrol backpacks and 700 #2 pencils as a special extra donation to the United Way. We are incredibly thankful to all of our members and for being part of a charitable community!
- August 16, 2021 - Frank Borawski, Jr, CFA joins St. Mary’s Credit Union as CFO and Senior Vice President
- July 12, 2021 - Our annual Back to School Supply Drive begins today Monday, July 12th, and will run through Friday, July 31st!
If you would like to donate any of the below-listed items, please stop by one of our branches. We appreciate all the support to help provide supplies to needy children in our areas!
High School, 19” heavy-duty
K-2, characters such as frozen, princess, star wars, etc.
12 ct. colored pencils
8 ct. paint set
12 ct. #2 pencils
- June 1, 2021 - Bring your old bills, pre-approved credit applications, voided checks, statements, and other personal paperwork, and watch as they are securely and professionally shredded at our 96 Turnpike Rd, Westborough branch on Saturday, June 19th from 9 am to 12 pm.
How will it work? Members will walk up to the shred truck with items to have shredded, as done prior to the pandemic.
- June 10, 2021 - St. Mary’s Credit Union is pleased to announce the promotion of James F. Petkewich to Executive Vice President.
James F. Petkewich of Leominster, MA has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Retail Services. He previously served as Senior Vice President, Retail Services. Petkewich oversees the Credit Union’s Retail Branches, Member Solutions Center, and Facilities Department. He will chair the newly formed Member Experience Committee and is St. Mary’s BSA Officer and Security Officer. Jim is a long term member of the Senior Management Team and also serves on the Credit Union’s Asset and Liability, Marketing, Compliance, and Real Estate & Facilities committees.
Jim’s focus on teamwork and member satisfaction has never been more rewarding than during the recent pandemic when St. Mary’s Retail staff led the organization to record setting member satisfaction ratings during a very unusual and trying year. He was instrumental in building three new branches for St. Mary’s in the past several years. He was also responsible for negotiating long term leases with multiple tenants, including a new partnership with a national brand at the rebuilt South Bolton Street branch location in Marlborough which opened earlier this year.
Jim has had an illustrious 38-year career in banking and financial services management—previously working at BayBank Middlesex, MetroWest Bank, and Kaeding, Ernst & Company, LPL, prior to joining St. Mary’s Credit Union in 2006.
Petkewich graduated from Providence College with a degree in Business Administration. Jim is an alumnus of the MetroWest Leadership Academy and the Marlborough Shamrocks Football Team where he is a member of the Century Club (for participation in over 100 games). He is also a past Board Member of the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of MetroWest, and he has served on the Economic Development Committee of the Corridor Nine Chamber of Commerce. He has been a coach for the Special Olympics Massachusetts Nashoba Shooting Stars Ski Team since 2014 and is a former Board Member and President of both Leominster Pop Warner and The Leominster Blue Devils Football Club.
- June 18, 2021 - St. Mary’s Credit Union is pleased to announce the recent promotion of Eileen Potter to Vice President, Controller.
Eileen Potter of Princeton, MA, has been promoted to Vice President, Controller. Eileen joined SMCU in 2012 as Assistant Vice President, Accounting and was promoted to Vice President, Accounting in 2020. Her current responsibilities include maintaining and controlling the credit union’s accounting system, serving as the accounting representative for credit union projects, acting as a liaison for internal auditors, preparing various internal and regulatory reports, and overseeing the day-to-day operations of the accounting department. Eileen’s new responsibilities include preparing monthly Audit Committee and Board financial reporting packages, working with the Senior Management Team to coordinate and prepare an annual budget, and managing the facilities vendor relationship.
Potter has spent over thirty years employed at various New England financial institutions within their accounting and finance departments while honing her skills and increasing her responsibilities as her career flourished. Eileen also participates in the Read to a Child Program at the Richer Elementary School in Marlborough.
- June 19, 2021 -This past weekend's free shred day at our Westborough branch was a success! Thank you to everyone who stopped by. Our next Shred Day is September 18th at our South Bolton branch in Marlborough. We hope to see you there!
- May 13, 2021 - Do you have old bills, mail, or statements you want to have safely shredded and you missed our last shred day? Stop by the 1 Northboro Rd, Marlborough Branch on Saturday, May 29th, and have them shredded for free!
How will it work? We ask that you remain in your vehicle and have all paper materials to be shredded ready in paper bags or boxes in the trunk of your vehicle. The St. Mary's representative will take materials from the trunk of your vehicle and place them into 64-gallon containers. All boxes will be returned to the trunk once finished. The St. Mary's representative will wear a face mask and the containers will be sanitized.
- May 19, 2021 - St. Mary's Credit Union is pleased to announce the recent promotions of (left to right) Will Yager to Vice President, Indirect Lending; Beth Bertonassi to Assistant Vice President, Learning and Development; Amy Mallette to Assistant Vice President, Real Estate Lending Officer.
Will Yager of Charlton, MA, has been promoted to Vice President, Indirect Lending. Will is now responsible for credit decisioning, funding, compliance, portfolio management, and generating loan volume within the organization’s Indirect Consumer Lending department, which provides vital lending volume to the Credit Union. His leadership for St. Mary’s during unprecedented economic events allowed loan production to be maintained at projected levels during unpredictable times. Yager joined SMCU in 2011 and previously served as Assistant Vice President of Indirect Lending.
Beth Bertonassi of Marlborough, MA, formerly of Hudson, has been promoted to Assistant Vice President, Learning and Development. Beth joined St. Mary’s Credit Union in 2003 as a part-time Teller while still attending high school. Throughout Beth’s career at St. Mary’s she has worked in various roles within the Credit Union leading to her success as AVP, Learning and Development, where she fosters a learning organizational culture. Beth’s commitment to learning and community is evident in her passion for presenting Financial Literacy classes to local schools and participation in other community events. Bertonassi is also a member of the Association for Talent and Development (ATD).
Amy Mallette of West Warren, MA, has been promoted to Assistant Vice President, Real Estate Lending Officer. Mallette joined the Credit Union in 2000 after 26 years in banking. She was the Branch Manager at the South Bolton Street branch in Marlborough for five years until overseeing Home Equity Lending for the Credit Union for the past 16 years, where she maintains the pipeline, coaches the processors, supports Retail and is dedicated to servicing our members. Amy also assists within the Mortgage Department and in a variety of Credit Union projects.
St. Mary’s Credit Union announces retirement of James C. Garvey and names Larissa C. Thurston to President and Chief Executive Officer
Thurston is first woman to lead credit union in its more than 100 year history
April 26, 2021—The Board of Directors of St. Mary’s Credit Union, a $975 million credit union serving members from all walks of life, today announced the appointment of Larissa C. Thurston as its new President and Chief Executive Officer, effective October 1, 2021. She succeeds James C. Garvey, who announced his retirement following eight years serving as President and CEO of the credit union and 40 years in the financial services industry.
Thurston brings a wealth of experience to this role and is the first woman to lead St. Mary’s Credit Union as President and CEO since the organization’s founding in 1913.
Thurston joined St. Mary’s Credit Union as Chief Financial Officer in 2014 and has more than twenty years of progressive banking experience with a strong background in banking strategy, finance, and operations. Most recently, she served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer where she provided vision, leadership, planning and management for technology, marketing, human resources, deposit operations, compliance, and finance plans and programs. Before joining St. Mary’s Credit Union, Thurston served as Vice President and Controller for Bank of New England where she developed Contingency Funding Plans, implemented risk management programs and policies, managed an acquisition, and oversaw the development of five new branch locations.
“Larissa has demonstrated extraordinary leadership over the years and the Board is impressed with her dedication to our mission of being here for our members,” said Gerard P. Richer, Esq., Chair, Board of Directors. “Her years of experience in financial services and her commitment to make our communities a better place for all will serve St. Mary’s Credit Union well in the years ahead.”
As the credit union transitions to welcoming Thurston as its new President and CEO, Richer added, “We also express our deepest gratitude to Jim Garvey for his years of exemplary service and dedication to the credit union. Under his outstanding leadership, St. Mary’s Credit Union experienced extraordinary growth, achieved its highest member satisfaction survey results, reinvigorated our brand in the marketplace, and oversaw the development of several new branches in our service area. We wish Jim the best in his well-deserved retirement.”
“It is truly an honor to lead St. Mary’s Credit Union as we continue to grow our products and technology while maintaining the friendly, reliable service our members have come to know and trust for more than 100 years,” said Thurston. “I thank the board for the opportunity to lead St. Mary’s Credit Union and to Jim Garvey for his support and mentorship. I am looking forward to maintaining our strong commitment to our members and to our communities.”
A resident of Bolton, Mass., Thurston serves as Member-at-Large on the Board of Directors Executive Committee at the United Way of Tri-County and as Treasurer on the Board of Directors at the Boys & Girls Club of MetroWest. She also serves on the Member Advisory Panel of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston and is a Read to a Child student mentor at the Richer Elementary School in Marlborough.
Thurston graduated magna cum laude with a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Southern New Hampshire University. She is also a graduate of the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking and the Wharton Leadership Program.
About St. Mary’s Credit Union
St. Mary's Credit Union was founded in 1913 to promote savings and provide a source of credit for the city's mostly blue-collar French Canadians employed in shoe factories. Today, St. Mary's Credit Union is a $975 million credit union serving members from all walks of life, including newly-arriving immigrants coming to the United States in search of their American dream. Until recently, St. Mary's Credit Union primarily served the residents of Marlborough and surrounding towns. Utilizing the benefits of technology and electronic delivery channels, St. Mary's now offers membership benefits to a much broader geographic region that includes all of Middlesex, Worcester, Norfolk, and Suffolk counties.
3/1/2021 - 133 South Bolton Street in Marlborough is NOW OPEN! The lobby, drive-up, and ATM are all available! As a note, St. Mary’s is under the canopy; the drive-up teller is on the left and the ATM is on the right. To exit, stay to the far right. Starbucks drive-up lane is closest to the building.As a reminder, there are limits to the number of members allowed in the lobby. We recommend making an appointment through the Member Solutions Center. We do accept walk-up traffic, simply ring the doorbell and a representative will meet you at the door.
- 3/23/2021 - St. Mary's Credit Union is pleased to announce the recent promotions of (left to right) Sarah A. Day to Senior Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer; Armand A. Fernandez to Senior Vice President, Small Business Lending; Christine G. Monteiro to Senior Vice President, Branch Administrator.
Sarah A. Day of Marlborough, MA has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer. Day previously served as Vice President. She joined the credit union in 2005 as a Marketing Manager and transitioned to the commercial lending team in 2013, where she specializes in commercial mortgages, vehicle and equipment lending, and commercial lines of credit. Sarah was instrumental in driving St. Mary’s PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) lending in 2020, and is part of the lending team that has made St. Mary’s the #1 Credit Union in Massachusetts for SBA Lending for the last six years. She is an advisory board member of the local non-profit Provision Ministry, Inc. based in Westborough, MA, and is part of the Young Professionals Advisory Board of the non-profit Yamba Malawi based in New York City.
Armand A. Fernandez of Franklin, MA has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Senior Small Business Lending Officer. He joined St. Mary’s Credit Union in 2013 as Vice President, Small Business Lending. Fernandez directs the credit union’s small business lending and is responsible for the credit union’s designation by the Small Business Administration as the Credit Union of the Year in Massachusetts for the past six years. Since joining St. Mary’s in 2013, Armand has led St. Mary’s small business efforts. Armand has been the driving force for St. Mary’s PPP lending in 2020 and 2021, and due to his efforts, St. Mary’s lending team has been the #1 Credit Union in Massachusetts for SBA Lending for the last six years. This includes a ranking of #4 for 2020, when including all banks and credit unions in Massachusetts.
Christine G. Monteiro of Hudson, MA has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Branch Administrator. Monteiro previously served as Vice President, Retail Services. Christine joined St. Mary’s Credit Union in 2004 as Branch Manager for the credit union’s Hudson branch. For the past two years, Christine has been a Regional Manager overseeing the Hudson, Northborough, and Westborough branches. In 2020, Christine led the business development effort and cash management services at a time when business members needed her most. In that area of responsibility, she worked closely with business lending and electronic services. In her new role, she will be responsible for the organizational management of the day to day operations of SMCU’s branch network and for expanding business services and the business development team.
- 03/26/2021 - This week we made our $35,000 donation to the Boys & Girls Club of MetroWest. Our donation helps with their after-school programs, summer camp, capital improvements and to support other annual events.
2/12/2021 -- 2020 was a challenging year for local food pantries, and St. Mary’s Credit Union made the decision to make three significant donations to three local food banks. Today we share the first of those three $10,000 donations, The Westborough Food Pantry, with the help of our employees. Our hope is that these donations will help make a difference for local families in need within the communities we serve.
- 2/19/2021 -- This week we share the second $10,000 donation to the Northborough Food Pantry, with the help of two of our employees holding the big check. The Northborough Food Pantry is run entirely by volunteers; we thank them for the amazing work they do. St. Mary’s is committed to giving back to the communities we serve.
2/25/2021 -- This week we share our third $10,000 donation, which is to the Hudson Community Food Pantry. The Hudson Community Food Pantry is a non-profit serving residents of Hudson, Berlin, and Bolton who struggle with food insecurity. We thank them for the fine work they do in their community, as St. Mary’s feels strongly about supporting our local communities.