PowerPlayer: Bay State Savings Bank CEO Peter Alden
Monday, July 16, 2012
1. You just completed your first year as president of the Bank. What are three things you learned about doing business in Central Mass that most people don't know?
Doing business in Central Massachusetts is very similar to doing business in other parts of New England. New Englanders in general keep things very close to the vest. They need to get to know you and trust you as a person before they will open up. They need to understand your philosophy and know that you can be trusted with their personal and business financial information. Once that is understood, you can assist in many ways.
The second area that I have learned is the volume of commerce in Central Massachusetts. While I knew from past experience that there is a large number of businesses in a widely varied amount of business types, I very much underestimated the level of commerce. As such I have found that there is a tremendous amount of opportunity to find new opportunities for Bay State Savings Bank.
The third area that I did not truly understand before coming to this area is the impact of the colleges on the Central Massachusetts economy. The colleges add a truly unique dynamic and provide a strong employment base and economic impact. While I have not stopped to try to estimate the impact, think what this area/economy would be without the colleges.
2. How has the economy changed over the last year? What factors have played into the state of the economy?
The economy continues to evolve in a variety of ways. Last year there was talk about the economy double dipping in the short term. While that did not happen that fear has now risen again to the forefront.
There continues to be concern over employment, new job creation and the impact if the economy does slow in the near term. This has the consumer concerned which can impact spending which impacts how successful businesses are locally.
The final factor is the impact of the European economy on our national economy. This global impact is being felt at the local level as we read daily about what can happened going forward in Europe.
3. Take us through a day in your life.
Typically a business day in my life is spent with our customers and employees. My day includes meetings both at the bank and out at the customers place of business. I truly enjoy seeing a customer at their business location telling me about what they do. My day does usually include many telephone calls and e-mails to respond to from customers and other Bay State employees. I do try to squeeze in time during my day either before or after work to run.
4. How is the City Square project affecting the bank's business plans?
The City Square project and the efforts by the Worcester Business Development Corp. in the downtown have confirmed for me that the downtown of Worcester will continue to improve and revitalize. Bay State has been at this location since the 1950’s and has seen many changes. The recent progress tells me that by remaining at our downtown location we have a tremendous opportunity going forward.
5. Tell us something nobody knows about you.
My family came to this country originally on the Mayflower so we have a pretty lengthy history in New England.
Role Model: My parents Brad and Sylvia Alden
Favorite Restaurant: Too many to choose
Best Beach: Rye Beach, Rye, NH
Best Book You've Read in the Last Year: Steve Jobs Biography
Advice for the Next Peter Alden: Live each day as if it were your last and don’t take life too seriously.
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