EASTHAMPTON – Matthew Sosik knows banking, and he knows how to build trust. That’s why the former president of Hometown Bank in Webster was chosen from a slate of roughly 100 candidates to take the helm of Easthampton Savings Bank (ESB), longtime President and CEO William Hogan Jr. said recently.
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“Matt came from an institution where he oversaw unprecedented growth over his 16-year tenure and demonstrated his leadership,” Hogan said, who has worked for 43 years at ESB, 21 of them as its president. “Matt knows what it takes to build relationships with board members, customers and the community at large. We take those character traits seriously at the Bank.”
Sosik came on board as the incoming president on June 17, but Hogan will continue as CEO until his last day at the office on Sept. 30, and he will continue to serve as chairman of the Board.
Sosik, 43, was a bank examiner for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. until December 1996, when he took on the role of chief operating officer at Webster Cooperative Bank at 26-years-old. He rose to the rank of CEO only five months later, and, in his tenure, shepherded the bank through the acquisition of Athol-Clinton Cooperative Bank and a name change to Hometown Bank.
He also oversaw unprecedented asset growth of roughly 800 percent, increasing Hometown’s total assets from $33 million to $340 million upon his departure.
During his years at Hometown, Sosik said he never once felt the tug to leave his bank behind for another – until he learned that Hogan was retiring.
“I knew Bill through the regional banking industry, and I had a lot of respect for him. I knew what kind of bank he was running and what type of staff culture he had developed and maintained,” Sosik said. “The staff is totally dedicated. They care about what they’re doing. Bill laid that foundation, and I knew he had laid that foundation. That’s the most important aspect of this business – the people.”
Hogan said the search process for a new president was handled by Smith and Wilkinson of Maine and that applicants were from as far south as Maryland and as far west as Ohio.
Smith and Wilkinson narrowed the list of candidates to 16, and then a five-member search committee from the bank conducted a series of interviews over a period of several months, continually narrowing the field.
“Our goal was to get the very best of the best for the leadership of Easthampton Savings Bank,” Hogan said. “I’m convinced we did that. The process was a solid one.”
Sosik holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from Bentley College in Waltham.
He lives in Sturbridge with his wife, Janice, and their three daughters, who are 14, 12 and 9. He is making the 45-minute commute to ESB presently as he and his wife are caring for his 100-year-old grandmother, whose home is on the same piece of property as theirs. His future plans are to relocate to the Pioneer Valley.
Like Hogan, Sosik is committed to his staff, having created what he calls a “professional banking family” at Hometown; he is a believer in philanthropy, and said Hometown donated several hundred thousand dollars a year to the community; and he has a record of community service. Sosik is a past overseer of Old Sturbridge Village, a member of the board of the Webster-Dudley United Way and a former board member of Hubbard Hospital in Webster.
“Bill and I both care about people,” Sosik said. “We know that people are the priority. ESB has that culture. My job is to fine tune it and to perpetuate what Bill has already created.”
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