Richard J. Gavegnano is not your typical Chairman, CEO and President of a $3.3 billion financial institution. Looking back he has come a long way from his early years of growing up in East Boston with a single mother and Italian immigrant grandparents.
As a kid, growing up in a triple decker on Neptune Road, as elders sat on stoops discussing current events in Italian, Dick would spend all day playing stickball and causing mischief with the other kids on the street, many of whom parents were World War II veterans. “Everyone knew everyone in the neighborhood so you really couldn’t get away with anything” recalls Gavegnano “but we tried.” His mother’s and grandparents’ diligent work ethic were a big influence in his life, “your reputation is everything” his grandfather would tell him. To this day, these values are still deeply imbedded in his character.
To make some money, he and his friends would do odd jobs for his neighbors including washing cars, picking up groceries and delivering newspapers. After graduating high school, Dick got a job in the mail room of a brokerage firm where he quickly moved up the ranks to become a successful stockbroker. He finished his career as a stockbroker with AG Edwards when he took over the reigns as Chairman and CEO of East Boston Savings Bank in 2007.
Fast forward to 2015. In the past 8 years as Chairman and CEO he has used his past experiences to grow East Boston Savings Bank from a $1 billion asset-size bank to a $3.3 billion bank, acquired and rebranded a $516 million local South Boston bank (Mt Washington Bank) and added 16 full service branch offices with three more scheduled to open by year end making it 30 branches throughout the Boston area.
Under his guidance, Dick positioned the bank to be recognized in 2014 by Forbes as one of America’s 50 Most Trustworthy Financial Institutions and earlier this year he was appointed to serve on the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council.
Dick accomplished all of this while keeping to his East Boston roots. His involvement and contributions are felt throughout his hometown community. He has been recognized for his undying commitment and contributions to the East Boston community. In 2014 he was a recipient of East Boston Chamber’s Prosperity Award and this past spring he received the 2015 Don Bosco Award presented by the Salesian Boys & Girls Club. Whenever and wherever there is a need Dick is not one to hesitate in lending a hand.
He attributes all his successes to his childhood experiences growing up on Neptune Road.
On September 24th Dick will be the featured speaker at East Boston’s Chamber of Commerce “Life on Neptune Road” discussion taking place at the new East Boston Hilton Garden Inn. He will be discussing what it was like growing up in East Boston in the 50’s in a predominantly Italian immigrant neighborhood with families of WWII veterans and the struggles and successes that came from these experiences.
“Dick is a true visionary whose contributions to the cultural and economic prosperity of East Boston are remarkable and innumerable. He is a legendary dealmaker and his brand of confident straightforwardness has propelled him to the highest perch in his industry. We’re fortunate to have him,” says Chamber President Scott Heigelmann.
“He’s magnetic,” Heigelmann says. “We weren’t even 5 minutes into the photo shoot and two separate passersby rushed over to get their picture taken with Dick and his pristine 1955 Oldsmobile 88. His charisma, chutzpah, and business acumen have served our City, our community and our skyline extremely well.”
“Life on Neptune Road is a true American success story that begins right here in East Boston,” says Heigelmann.
LIFE ON NEPTUNE ROAD
Featuring Dick Gavegnano
Presented by East Boston Chamber of Commerce
Thursday September 24, 2015 at 6:00pm
Hilton Garden Inn
100 Boardman Street, East Boston
For Tickets/RSVP: call 617-658-4035
or email [email protected]