By Rod Lee
It should come as no surprise that all officers of Millbury National Bank are required to “do a community activity during the course of the year” according to MNB President/CEO Kathleen C. Marcum.
Ms. Marcum, after all, is the daughter of the late Roger M. Corey (president of MNB from 1971 to 1995 and chairman of the board from 1983 to 2016) who was known within his family, which included six children, as a taskmaster. Mr. Corey has been described by daughter Sue Nydam as “a benevolent dictator” who instilled in the Corey kids the same ambition that personified his approach to work and play, whether it involved helping small-business start-ups get their ventures off the ground (a tremendously satisfying endeavor to him), building a 1953 Maxwell from scratch or skiing daily at Wachusett Mountain into his 80’s.
So when the outwardly affable and unassuming Ms. Marcum’s marching orders to her officers are to donate their time to a cause, she is simply mirroring her dad’s philosophy. The actual projects MNB’s officers participate in is largely left up to them depending on their personal preferences so that “jack of all trades” “Jax” Kelly might volunteer with Habitat for Humanity while Donna Gar would probably choose the Alzheimer’s Walk in Worcester (Ms. Gar has an autistic child).
“We don’t really have one cause, there are so many,” Ms. Marcum said in her office off the lobby of the bank (she remains there to be in close proximity to customers) which is located on Main St. in Millbury Center. “Last year we did a coat drive that brought in seventy-two coats. Coats are always popular.” Her own background prior to getting into banking was in social work which explains her current attachment to both Training Resources of America Inc. which provides assistance to educationally and economically disadvantaged children and adults and the Red Cross of Central Massachusetts—as a member of the chapter’s disaster team.
So MNB’s outreach spreads far and wide and includes non-officers as well as officers, from an employee serving as a judge for the DECCA competition involving high schoolers to an employee helping with the Millbury Chain of Lights event.
MNB’s charitable work may not be a best-kept secret “but I don’t think we’ve done a good job publicizing it,” Ms. Marcum, wearing a St. Patrick’s Day ribbon, said last Thursday morning.
This compassion for others comes naturally for the Harris and Corey families, who between them have been affiliated with Millbury National Bank for more than three quarters of a century going all the way back to Ms. Marcum’s grandfather on her mom’s side E. Paul Harris. Mr. Harris’ tenure at the bank spanned the years 1939 to 1971. Roger Corey replaced him as president when Mr. Harris retired. Ms. Marcum has in turn succeeded her dad as president and also as chairman of the board. She joined the bank in 1992 after stints with Guaranty Bank and Mechanics Bank and has been with Millbury National ever since.
“I graduated from the College of New Rochelle with a degree in Social Work and a minor in Spanish and Psychology,” she said. “I started as a teller at Guaranty Bank, got my MBA from Nichols (she also studied at the Stonier School of Business at Georgetown University) and came here in ’92 as an assistant vice president/senior lender.”
The family connection with the bank is a strong one. Ms. Marcum’s sister Sue Nydam was a controller at Wheelabrator “for thirty, thirty-one years and came to Millbury National in March of 2016 as CFO. “So Sue has transitioned from trash to cash, and she’s a great fit,” Ms. Marcum said.
Ms. Marcum’s daughter Ashley is also now working at Millbury National, as a community banker.
Of the example that her dad set for his six children, Ms. Marcum says “we all kind of landed on our feet. We had no choice!”
Of the continuing ties of the Harris’s and Corey’s to the bank, she says, “it’s been great. It’s a nice legacy.”
Contact Rod Lee at [email protected] or 774-232-2999.