UNION, NJ – ConnectOne Bank considers itself a part of the local community. In fact, said bank Chairman and CEO Frank Sorrentino, “supporting the community is our core function and we make sure to connect in ways that we hope make a difference.”
The Union branches of ConnectOne Bank have sponsored numerous events throughout town including Union Little League, the Winter Festival, Mayor’s Weekend, Union’s Got Talent, the Fall Festival, the Beautiful Bench Project, and the All-Star Basketball game. ConnectOne Bank continues to offer scholarships to graduating Union High School seniors and has supported the Financial Scholars program at the High School.
A key element in supporting the community, said Sorrentino, is the Banks’s ability to offer products and services to area businesses to help them meet their financial needs, so they can conduct a profitable and consistently purposeful business.
“ConnectOne has always been about relationship banking and offering guidance and support to our customers that will help them make the best decisions for their business. It’s important for those thinking about where to bank, to know that we take personal interest in each and every business and we know that communities thrive when they have strong local businesses supporting it,” said Sorrentino. “At ConnectOne we immerse ourselves in the community-we know our customers by name, we recognize them on the street, and we understand their needs.”
“Our involvement and connection to our community is built into the fabric of ConnectOne Bank,” said Union Branch Manager Antonio Dei Medici. Dei Medici, who grew up in and still lives in Union, said its second nature for the bank to be involved in community events and initiatives. “To help a community grow while working for a company is just tremendous.”
The newly renovated ConnectOne branch at 2455 Morris Avenue was designed around what the future of banking will look like, said Sorrentino.
This location is a prototype branch that represents a new way of doing business. “The entire office was built with the client experience in mind. We want to change the way people feel about banking.” The new location, with a sleek modern look, offers clients a tech bar with multiple devices, wifi, a coffee bar and ‘connecting rooms’ that clients can rent for business meetings. Unlike a traditional bank which splits duties between tellers and customer service reps, the staff at the Morris Avenue location is trained to deliver a personalized, one-on-one client experience. “Technology has permitted that to happen. Today, everyone you see here can handle any request you have.” said Sorrentino.
The 2455 Morris Avenue branch has become Operations Headquarters for the bank. All operations that occur at ConnectOne Bank is housed at this location.
“I’m very proud of the commitment and impact we’ve had in Union. That includes jobs coming from the thriving businesses we support that also funnels into the local economy. The local business growth in this market has been phenomenal and it’s been a terrific place for us to do business.” continued Sorrentino.
True to its name, ConnectOne offers the latest in banking technology, allowing clients to choose how they’d like to connect with the bank. Online banking and mobile banking are offered to both business and consumer clients with advanced features like mobile check deposit and online transfers. Most recently, the bank partnered with Zelle to be one of the first 30+ banks in the country – and the only community bank in New Jersey – to bring this new person-to-person payments product to market. Zelle promises a faster form of digital payments. Instead of transfers taking place overnight or after a couple of days, Zelle users can move funds in a matter of minutes, with the security only a bank can offer.
The unique model was just a natural evolution for the bank that has built its culture on client experience and technology. “Our culture at ConnectOne Bank is very important to us. In fact, we created the role of Chief Culture & Experience Manager and added it to our senior management team. The sole purpose of this position is to put the community, as well as opportunities for our employees first. We have an internship program, tuition reimbursement, career planning and guidance, and a mentorship program. It’s really important to us.” said Sorrentino.
ConnectOne Bank has three locations in Union: 2455 Morris Avenue, Union Center at 2003 Morris Avenue, and at Five Points at 356 Chestnut Street. Visit ConnectOne Bank at https://www.ConnectOneBank.com to see a full listing of locations.
ConnectOne Bank, formerly known as North Jersey Community Bank, changed its name to ConnectOne Bank in February 2013. The company was founded in 2005 and is based in Englewood Cliffs, with branches in Englewood, Hackensack, Ridgewood, Newark, Union, Millburn, Summit, Madison, Berkeley Heights, Cresskill, Fort Lee/Cliffside Park, West New York, Holmdel, Springfield, Saddle River, Boonton, Morristown, and Princeton.
“I started out my career in the building industry,” said Sorrentino. “I’m still a builder today. I’d like to think I’m helping to build our communities.”