Fair Haven is a Diverse Community with a Rich History and a Beautiful Waterfront
As many of you know, I will be retiring effective October 31 and moving back to the Boston area. The past three and a half years have been challenging, frustrating, rewarding, wonderful, heartbreaking, amazing -- you name it! From the daunting task of building a community bank from the ground up, to the agonizing wait to be chartered, to finally opening the doors and feeling the welcome from the community -- it's the hardest work I have ever done, and the most rewarding. I often say my work here will be the first line in my obituary - not because it will kill me, but because I am so darn proud of it. Some people might have an Oscar, or a Tony, but I have my Start Community Bank employee nametag.
Without having the awesome experience of living in Fair Haven, I would not have had the same depth of understanding to inform my work. When I moved to New Haven, I could have chosen anyplace to live, and I looked at every single neighborhood. Each of them offered enticing benefits.
But there was something intriguing about Fair Haven. Maybe it reminded me of my life back in Naples, Italy when I was a teenager. The sense of rhythm, but always tinged with a little of the chaotic. The sense of family, of caring, of hard scrabble work and a get it done philosophy. Life on the banks of the river, watching the boats go off to work every morning, and come home every night, right on schedule. The swans. The kayaks. The oyster shells, a reminder of times gone by.
But most of all, the people, and especially the people of CSNA. That first monthly meeting at the Mary Wade Home when I claimed my seat. Then came the art festivals, carriage rides, Halloween parades, time at Q Terrace, the Easter Egg Hunt. Community at its best.
When I was young, I thought I could change the world. Now I know that the greater good is to connect and cherish a neighborhood - one street at a time, one block at a time. That's the challenge.
Maya Angelou says 'people will not remember what you said, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel'.
CSNA - you made me feel welcomed and loved, and I will ALWAYS remember how that feels.
Thank you from the bottom of my soul and heart. I will miss you all.