BNB Branch ribbon cutting makes it official

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | At the July 5 ribbon cutting marking the official opening of the Shelter Island Bridgehampton National Bank branch are (from left) bank employees Cori Cass, Kevin Santacroce and James Manseau with Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Shelter Island Historical Society executive director Nanette Breiner Lawrenson, bank president and CEO Kevin O’Connor, manager Tara Fordham, assistant manager Brittany Genoino and bank employees Nancy Messer Patricia Horan and Ryan Carita.

Bridgehampton National Bank opened its Shelter Island branch on Route 114 July 4, bringing to 23 the number of branches throughout Long Island. The latest BNB branch is in Boltax building just south of the traffic circle in the Center.

Calling Shelter Island “an important market” for BNB, president and CEO Kevin O’Connor said it would bridge the gap between the banks’ branches on the North and South forks.

“We look forward to becoming an integral part of the community,” Mr. O’Connor said.

As part of its efforts to serve Shelter Island, BNB has committed to working with the Shelter Island Historical Society to restore 12 historic signs across the Island. The branch itself is located at the site of the first schoolhouse.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to creatively partner with the Historical Society, giving the community a way to look back at its history through its landmark signs,” Mr. O’Connor said. As a 100-year-old institution, BNB understands the importance of history and tradition, he said.

“The Society has been a customer of BNB for several years and the bank has been very generous to us in this new project to restore the historical marker signs on the island,” said organization executive director Nanette Breiner Lawrenson. “We are thrilled and delighted to be collaborating and partnering with the opening of the bank.”

Tara Fordham, who recently received the a service award marking 15 years with BNB, will be managing the branch. She previously was assistant manager at the BNB East Hampton branch and her appointment on Shelter Island recognizes her banking and customer service skills, Mr. O’Connor said. Vice president Nancy Messer will provide commercial lending expertise to the local team.

The Shelter Island Branch is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Fridays until 6 p.m. Saturday it will open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The ATM in the vestibule is available 24 hours a day.

It has been about a year since BNB began exploring sites on Shelter Island and it took time to get regulatory approval from the U.S. Controller of Currency as well as clearance from the town for the new branch. That took some adjustments involving parking and traffic to satisfy concerns some neighbors voiced and then there was work to be done on security necessary to operating a bank at the site, according to vice president and marketing director Claudia Pilato.

A soft opening occurred on May 25 with the ribbon cutting ceremony on July 5.