It’s been six months since the Cape Ann Savings Bank announced that Robert “Bob” J. Gillis, Jr. would retire as bank president after 40 years and it would make history by naming Marianne Schlichte Smith as president of the bank. That move became official on August 1.
But in many ways, Smith’s promotion to president was decades in the making.
She rejoined Cape Ann Savings Bank as vice president and treasurer in August, 2013 after having been a teller for the Bank in the late 1980’s. She was promoted to senior vice president and elected as a Corporator of the Bank in 2014. In 2018, Smith was elected to the Board of Trustees and promoted to the position of executive vice president and Chief Financial Officer earlier this year, when it was announced she would replace Gillis upon his retirement.
Ms. Smith commented that “it is an honor to be named the 15th President and the first female President of the Cape Ann Savings Bank. To join the ranks of such illustrious individuals as Robert J. Gillis, Jr, and his predecessor Harold J. ‘Bucky’ Rogers is very meaningful to me”. Cape Ann Savings Bank is a true local bank, founded 175 years ago in 1846 and it has remained a mutual savings bank, owned by depositors and not stockholders.
Smith has over 30 years of banking and regulatory experience. She began her career as a bank examiner with the Massachusetts Commissioner of Banks and has held accounting and finance positions at multiple local institutions. Marianne received her bachelor’s degree in Business Management at Westfield State University and her MBA in Finance from Salem State University.
The change in leadership was recommended and approved by a unanimous vote of the Bank’s Board of Trustees. Gillis will remain a Trustee of the bank.
A lifelong resident of Gloucester, Smith is active in the community, serving as board President of the Cape Ann YMCA. She is also an Advisory Board member of the Massachusetts Bankers Association Women in Banking, a board member of the DDS North Shore Citizen’s Advisory Board, as well as an avid supporter of the organization, Autism Speaks.
Gillis, who will remain a bank Trustee, offered the following sentiments for Marianne.
“Marianne and I worked closely together through my time as president of the bank. We always tried to do what was in the best interest of the organization—its employees, customers, and communities,” he said. “This approach has resulted in the bank’s continued strong financial position. We have prioritized charitable giving to benefit the wonderful organizations in our communities that make life better for us all every day. I am confident and excited for the future of the bank under Marianne’s leadership and wish her and the staff nothing but the best”.