ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2016 - 35
"WE CONSIDER OUR EXECUTIONAL EXCELLENCE TO BE ONE OF THE ATTRIBUTES OF OUR ORGANIZATION," SAYS SAVARESE, PICTURED HERE SPEAKING
TO A CUSTOMER AT THE OPENING OF CAPE COD FIVE'S NEWEST BRANCH ON MARTHA'S VINEYARD. "OUR CUSTOMERS ARE DEPENDING ON US."
edge of a bay just inland from the Atlantic Ocean in Harwich.
"Dorothy's always front and center."
In the late 2000s-in the midst of the financial crisis-
Savarese was key to Cape Cod Five's partnership with
Wequasset as the lead lender in a multimillion-dollar
expansion and renovation project. "They understood our
vision, they listened to us, they took risk with us," says
Novota. "And it's been rewarding because we feel like they're
true partners." Earlier this year, the newly expanded and
enhanced Wequasset became the first resort on Cape Cod to
receive a five-star rating.
Savarese's community vision extends beyond the bank's
balance sheet to encompass a wide range of organizations
serving Cape Codders, from women's empowerment
organizations to the community college, from the hospital to the
chamber of commerce to the local symphony orchestra. (The
conductor of the Cape Symphony notes that he and Savarese
are both huge Star Trek fans and that he was able to delight
her with a pops program featuring music from the series.)
But she's best known for tackling cross-cutting issues with
a banker's perspective, whether it's revamping the Cape's
wastewater strategic plan or tackling opioid abuse, which-as
in many other New England communities-has claimed far
too many lives on the Cape.
Ray Tamasi is president of Gosnold on Cape Cod, an
addiction treatment center. "I always knew about Dorothy, but
then she called me out of the blue one day and she said, 'I'd
like to talk to you about this,'" he recalls. "I don't remember
everything we said that day, but what I remember most is
that I spent an hour and a half with her and recognized that
this is a person of depth and interest. She was asking tough
questions that even people I work with don't ask about."
Her role today as a board member at Gosnold is more than
just giving a check from Cape Cod Five. (The bank and its
foundation has contributed more than $1 million to dozens
of community causes annually for the past two years.) "You
get the check, but there's something more that she wants to
know," says Tamasi. "'What are you doing? How can we help
you make it happen? Why do you think our help is actually
going to result in a positive outcome?' That has real significance
for a provider of services. It's a very different kind of a
connection to community here that comes out of this place."
"Dorothy doesn't shy away from the grit of life," adds Wendy
Northcross, president and CEO of the Cape Cod Chamber of
Commerce. "She's drawn to those more difficult, challenging,
The payoff of an inclusive style
Savarese is known for her humble, collaborative and
inclusive style. It starts with listening. "She's a great listener,"
says Massachusetts Bankers Association President and
CEO Daniel Forte, who worked with Savarese when she
chaired the MBA. "She works very deliberately for input
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