The Citizenship Award is presented to a person or organization that may be of non-Irish descent, that has made substantial contributions to the Parade and/or this Association.
Douglas A. Bowen has served as President and CEO of PeoplesBank since 2007. During his tenure, the bank has become the largest community bank in its market and a leader in charitable giving, environmental sustainability, and employee engagement. His accomplishments and leadership were recognized by The Boston Globe in 2011 when he was named the Globe 100 top innovator in the banking, finance, and insurance category. The paper noted “In a conservative industry, Bowen has a reputation for bold moves; for example, the bank’s unusual commitment to green initiatives.”
In 2011, the bank set a record for charitable giving. For the first time in its history, PeoplesBank made more than $1 million in charitable contributions in one year. That milestone was driven, in part, by the devastation caused by a tornado that tore through several communities that the bank serves. Along with financial support to first responders like the Red Cross, PeoplesBank donated $80,000 to area communities to replace trees destroyed by the storm. The Boston Business Journal has recognized PeoplesBank as a Top Corporate Charitable Contributor for five years in a row. The bank also received the Champions of Hope award from the United Way of Pioneer Valley in 2012.
Environmental sustainability has always been important to Mr. Bowen. The bank has become well known for its green values, which include financing more than $60 million worth of wind, solar, and hydroelectric power generation, and building LEED® registered offices. The bank has achieved LEED Silver at its office in east Springfield and LEED Gold for its office in West Springfield. A third LEED registered office is currently under construction in Northampton.
Several years ago, Mr. Bowen and his leadership team set out to change the culture of the bank by establishing a new set of corporate values. Green thinking and community support were critical values already in place, to which PeoplesBank sought to add a new and higher level of employee engagement. Life-work balance became a new focus, a management development program was started, new employee-led think tanks were formed, employee recognition events became a regular part of the bank’s calendar, and incentive programs were put into place.
Today, the bank’s High-Performance Culture has led to impressive financial performance which translates into more than $1.7 billion in assets, enhanced employee retention, product innovations and the community service and environmental initiatives mentioned previously. The success of the bank’s High Performance Culture was validated recently when The Boston Globe named PeoplesBank a Top Place to Work and the Massachusetts Chamber recognized the bank as the 2012 Employer of Choice.
Mr. Bowen holds a bachelor degree in business administration from Salem State College and, a master in business administration, with honors, from Western New England University. He graduated with honors from the National School of Finance and Management and participated in postgraduate programs at Fairfield University and the Tuck Executive Program at Dartmouth College. Mr. Bowen lives in South Hadley with his wife, Anna, who is a writer and author of a recently published novel, Hattie. He has two children, Michael and Mary and a grandson, Sebastian.
PAST CITIZENSHIP AWARDEES:
Sheriff Michael Ashe
Sr. Joan Ryziewicz