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Mascoma Bank, a certified B-Corp, focuses on social responsibility

Mascoma Bank is different by Design. As a mutual bank, owned by its depositors, Mascoma Bank has the freedom to make the community, and not profits, a priority. Community service, donations and sponsorships replace the traditional quarterly dividend a stockholder bank would pay to its shareholders. Becoming a certified B-Corp almost seemed like the natural next step for the bank – after going through the 5-category assessment (which looks at customers, community, employees, governance and environment), Mascoma became a certified B-Corporation in 2017 and a “Best for the World” Honoree.

While the bank has been around since 1899, with 25 branches across Vermont and New Hampshire, Mascoma Bank recently opened their very first retail branch in Burlington on May 20th. The new location on 1185 Shelburne Road reflects Mascoma’s innovative and different approach to Banking– instead of having a teller line, the bank implemented a free-standing “pod” where universal bankers welcome customers. Traditional desks and offices have been replaced with a couch and high-tops, and instead of providing coffee, the branch has a “B Snack” area that provides customers with free snacks from other B-Corps, such as Ben & Jerry’s ice cream or Cabot cheese.

The retail branch is new, but Mascoma Bank is anything but new to the Burlington market. The bank has conducted commercial lending in the area for almost a decade with Pete Jones who joined the bank in 2014 to serve commercial clients with their lending needs. He is now taking on an expanded role as the Northern Vermont Market Leader. In this role, Pete will advise multiple lines of business, represent Mascoma Bank in the region, and identify new philanthropic opportunities where the Bank can give back to the community.

Throughout 2019, Mascoma Bank plans to open two additional retail branches in the Burlington area – one location in the Maltex Building on Pine Street that will provide free meeting and collaborative space to nonprofits and small businesses, and a location in the Old North End as part of Jake’s ONE market on North Winooski Ave. Old North End resident Ali Zipparo, who previously worked with the Vermont Farm-to-School Network, recently joined the Mascoma team to run the branch in her neighborhood.