ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 33


But then she noticed that Cape Cod Five had a remarkable
record in terms of loan performance, with very few
delinquencies and almost no foreclosures. "It made me
reconsider my opinions and look a little bit more closely," she
explains. "Although it was no longer employed, that woodpile
theory paid off for them at the time, so who was I to question
it? Cape Cod Five, like so many community banks across the
country, had a unique genius and passion for understanding
their customers and their local economy."
That early episode in Savarese's community banking career
might be one small moment, but it's a clue to the kind of
banker-and leader-she is today. She combines a relentless
focus on getting the small stuff right with a deep, big-picture
understanding of the people and places her bank serves and
a humble, inclusive style. And as Savarese-who has been
chairman, CEO and president of Cape Cod Five since 2005-
prepares for her year as ABA's chairman, she is bringing that
detail-oriented, forward-thinking and collaborative style to the
challenges facing the entire industry.

'Scary smart'
Savarese isn't a Cape Cod native, but it's always been a
place close to her heart. "My family came up to Cape Cod
throughout my childhood and it's a place of great sentimental
attachment for all of us," she says. "Every year we come back
for a family reunion."
Although Savarese grew up in a large Irish- and ItalianAmerican family in northern New Jersey, she moved far from
the ocean as a young adult when-a year before her high
school graduation-her parents moved the family to a small
town in northern Kentucky. After graduating from nearby
Thomas More College, she got a job in municipal politics
in Covington, Ky., just south of Cincinnati, then worked for
several years in economic development in Cincinnati and
other cities in the Midwest.
Her work as an economic development consultant took her
across the country, where she began developing a banker's
sense for good-and bad-economic projects. (One of the
funnier bad examples she spotted was an investor group that
had bought a former bank branch with a plan to set up a
funeral home inside and use the drive-through for visitations.)
Savarese then parlayed her work in economic development
into a job with Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank.
By the early 1990s, an opportunity took her family-which
then included her infant son, John-to Cape Cod. After a year
at home with John, she decided to get back into banking.
Cape Cod Five-a mutual savings bank dating to 1855-hired
her in 1993 as a part-time commercial lender; she picked the
Five because of the flexible schedule and because of what she
would later articulate as its "five pillars" of commitment to the

community: local banking, responsible business, corporate
leadership, financial education and philanthropy.
Savarese gets choked up when she speaks about her mentor
at Cape Cod Five, Bruce Hammatt, "who was so good about
confronting me in a candid way and drawing the best out of
me and challenging me to be a better person all the time."
With his advice, her career shot forward. She picked up an
MBA from Suffolk University while working full-time; became
head of product planning, where she spearheaded the bank's
move into wealth management, a strategically important area
as affluent retirees continued flocking to the Cape; and was
named chief operating officer in 2004.
She was also making a strong impression on other leaders.
Tom Evans was then the head of school at a local private
academy, and he got to know her in 1994 when the school
needed a commercial loan. A decade later, he was part of the
search committee to replace Cape Cod Five's longtime CEO.
The search committee brought Savarese in for an interview.
Initially, she didn't even realize she was a candidate; she
simply thought she was offering her feedback on the process
and the bank's needs. "She was the internal candidate," Evans
says-and even though she was up against two men who had
already been bank CEOs, "Dorothy knocked our socks off. She
was a visionary. She was scary smart. She did her homework."
As CEO, she has sought to keep the bank's five pillars and
ethical commitment front-and-center. "We make decisions
based on looking through the lens of our values," she says.
"We walk away from revenue when it doesn't comport with
our values, and we emphasize that in training to all of our
people." And since becoming CEO, Savarese has nearly
doubled the bank's assets to over $3 billion and grown the
number of employees from 300 to 475. "Dorothy has taken
Cape Cod Five to being one of the best community banks in
the country," says Bill Zammer, a Cape restaurateur who has
served on several boards with Savarese. "I'm frankly surprised
she's still running Cape Cod Five and not running Bank of
America or one of the larger banks."

Sweating the small stuff
If you spend just a few moments with Savarese, you'll see
clearly that she sweats the small stuff-emphasis on sweating.
Her days start around 5:00 a.m. with running on her elliptical
and reading seven daily papers on her tablet. "It's not at all
unusual for us to receive a 5:30 a.m. email from Dorothy
when we know she's on her elliptical," says Evans.
If she's not on the road to one of Cape Cod Five's 21
branches and offices, which span from Wareham, Mass., to
Provincetown at the tip of the Cape, plus Martha's Vineyard
and Nantucket, Savarese works out of one of her two
aba.com/BankingJournal | ABA BANKING JOURNAL

33


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016

Chairman’s View
Upfront
Picture This
Banking’s ‘Amazon Moment’
Special Report on Innovation and Technology
Building an ‘Internet of Value’
Do You Do What the Data Tell You?
Innovation in the Bank
Core Exercises
Cover Story Pillar of Her Community
Maintaining a Commitment to Ag Customers
Who You Gonna Call?
Anti-Money Laundering
Power Up Profile
Compliance ‘When Can I Call My Customer?’
Risk Management
ABA Compliance Center Inbox
From the States
Corporate Social Responsibility
Index of Advertisers
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - bellyband1
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - bellyband2
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - cover1
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - cover2
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 3
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 4
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 5
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 6
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 7
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Chairman’s View
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 9
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 10
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Upfront
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 12
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 13
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 14
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 15
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Picture This
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 17
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 18
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 19
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Special Report on Innovation and Technology
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 21
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 22
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Building an ‘Internet of Value’
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 24
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 25
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Do You Do What the Data Tell You?
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 27
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - insert1
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - insert2
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Innovation in the Bank
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 29
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 30
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Core Exercises
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Cover Story Pillar of Her Community
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 33
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 34
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 35
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 36
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 37
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Maintaining a Commitment to Ag Customers
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 39
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 40
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Who You Gonna Call?
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 42
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 43
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Anti-Money Laundering
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 45
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 46
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Power Up Profile
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 48
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Compliance ‘When Can I Call My Customer?’
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 50
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Risk Management
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - ABA Compliance Center Inbox
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 53
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 54
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - From the States
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 56
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Corporate Social Responsibility
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - Index of Advertisers
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - cover3
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - cover4
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