Becoming a Leader During a Pandemic: Battaglia Takes Charge of TCB

TCB The Cooperative Bank’s CEO John Battaglia had to jump fast.

“It was baptism under fire,” says Battaglia as he became TCB’s CEO on April 6, right when everything was shutting down. Battaglia became CEO of The Cooperative Bank after a nationwide search for the position. He had been with the Bank since 2016, serving as the senior vice president of residential lending.

“I had to quickly figure out how to keep our employees safe, as well as safely service our customers at our branches as the Pandemic hit Boston and the nation. We had to quickly find masks for our employees and get them up to speed to work remotely. That entailed purchasing dozens of laptops and quickly smoothing out the technological challenges that go along with that,” continued Battaglia.

In addition, TCB had to figure out a way to service its many customers with many of the branches closed or operating with limited hours.

“On that front, we installed some ‘drive-ins’ at two of our branches and as well we installed some ‘mail-slots’ at other branches for our customers without ATM cards to do their banking.

“It was tough, but I realize other CEO’s and companies were in the same boat,” said Battaglia. During 14- hour work days I spoke with those CEO’s as well as the MA Banker’s Association and we all shared vital information and best practices.”

One of the things Battaglia has done to support the staff at various locations, including Charlestown, is to be present in person when possible.

“Most importantly I felt that I had to be visible to our employees, so that has meant going to our different branches each week, and being a sounding board as well in case anyone needs to talk. On the plus side, during this time we also decided to ‘update’ the interior of a couple of our branches which had mostly closed, (except for mail-slot banking) including Charlestown and Roslindale.”

TCB The Cooperative Bank has several branches in the Boston area including Charlestown, Roslindale, West Roxbury and soon to be completed Jamaica Plain.

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