Fakhory featured in The Boston Globe Top Places to Work

Mina Fakhory

Employer: The Village Bank, Newton
Job: Staff Accountant

I arrived here from Egypt with the hopes of being an accountant. It was difficult to find a position, but I connected with Village Bank and was hired as a teller. Later, I started the training program for management trainees, then COVID hit and I had to go back to my original job. Soon after, a staff accountant position opened up and I was fortunate to get the job. This company seeks to push you forward and make you a better person. All my hopes have been fulfilled, and I’m grateful.


The Village Bank will award seventeen college scholarships to Class of 2022

Joseph A. De Vito, president & CEO of The Village Bank announced today that the Auburndale Community Charitable Foundation is now accepting college scholarship applications from local high school seniors.

The seventeen scholarships totaling $50,000 will be awarded to college-bound students of the Class of 2022. The recipients can apply the scholarship funds toward tuition, room and board, or supplies at an accredited college or university. The application deadline is April 15, 2022.

The Foundation will award two $10,000 scholarships and fifteen $2,000 scholarships. The $10,000 scholarship recipients are required to have demonstrated active involvement in community and/or charitable causes, in a leadership capacity, in addition to academic achievement. Eligible Newton or Wayland residents will be considered for both award categories. Applicants who do not reside in Newton or Wayland will be considered for the $2,000 awards.

“The Village Bank has a strong commitment to supporting the community we live in and initiatives that impact our friends and neighbors,” said De Vito. “We are excited to support and recognize students in the community as they work towards their goals.”

Complete rules, requirements, and application forms are available online here.

The Auburndale Community Charitable Foundation’s investment in education since the program began in 1998 will total more than $950,000 with this year’s awards, according to De Vito. The scholarships are funded in part by the Annual Golf Classic held by The Village Bank each fall.


The Village Bank promotes Spalding to Waban branch manager

Joseph De Vito, president and CEO of The Village Bank, has announced the promotion of Michael Spalding to manager of the Waban branch.

Spalding joined The Village Bank’s retail team in June 2016 and quickly became a valuable asset. He was promoted to senior teller and teller supervisor in 2018-19, and in 2020, he was named assistant branch manager at the Newton Centre location, where he worked until his most recent promotion.

Spalding will oversee the daily operation in Waban. He completed the bank’s Supervisor Training Program in October 2019. In July 2021, he completed the Manager Training Program.


Charity and online shopping scams threaten holiday season

Charity donations and online shopping scams are prevalent throughout the year, but never more than during the winter holidays. Many have no idea about the trouble they may encounter during this festive season.


With many widespread publicized fundraising drives, charities often count on holiday season boosts to help support their causes. However, not everyone asking for help is genuine. Representatives from any organization should be able to talk about their cause — and are often excited to share more information about their mission.

To ensure that donations are going to the right place, ask the following:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you do?
  • How will you use my donation?
  • Is my donation tax deductible?
  • Are you registered with the appropriate agencies?

Research any organization or cause you wish to donate to on your own. These organizations show how a charity spends donations and conducts business:

Be aware of red flags that include:

  • Time constraints. High-pressure or rushed donations should be avoided.
  • Names. Fraudsters may use names that sound similar to real charities and look-alike logos.
  • Vagueness. Make sure you know how your donation will be used to further the cause.
  • Payment requirements. Requesting donations in gift cards or through wire transfers should be regarded as suspicious.


Fraudsters rely on the volume of transactions to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers during the holiday season. The FTC has stated, “Overall, reports of losses to online shopping fraud by older adults more than doubled in 2020, and the numbers continued to be far higher than pre-pandemic levels in the first half of 2021.” There is no indication of this increase of fraud stopping any time soon.

Remember these online shopping tips:

  • Research. Look up any suspicious company names with the keywords “scam,” “complaint” or “review.”
  • Look for a physical address and phone number. If you have questions or problems, you’ll have a way to directly contact the company.
  • Familiarize yourself with shipping and return policies. Who pays for return shipping? How many days do you have to return an item? Is there a restocking fee? Can sale items be returned?
  • Pay with credit card. Paying by credit card offers recourse for overbilling, merchandise not received or returned items. You can file a dispute with the card issuer if there are problems. Also, do not purchase anything from online sellers that only accept payment by gift cards, money transfers or cryptocurrency. These types of payments are nearly impossible to trace and reverse.
  • Read the site’s privacy policy. You should be able to find the personal information the site is collecting, why and how it will be used. If a privacy policy is unavailable, hard to understand or disagreeable, consider using a different site.

You may recognize red flags of fraud while shopping online, but your family and friends may not. Reminders to not respond to viral posts that innocuously ask about things like birthdays, addresses, pets and children — go a long way in keeping loved ones aware and safe. Sharing basic anti-fraud tips may save them time, money and heartache.

Don’t leave anyone out in the cold this holiday season.


The Village Bank Helps Sponsor Annual Holiday Gift Drive in Newton

The Village Bank has partnered with the Newton Rotary and the City of Newton Department of Health and Human Services to sponsor the City’s annual Holiday Gift Drive. This year will mark the 14th consecutive year the Bank has sponsored the event created to help make the holidays brighter for local children.

For the drive, the Bank invites its customers, neighbors, and other members of the Newton community to drop off new and unwrapped gifts during November 15 – December 13 to any Newton branch of The Village Bank. Gifts should be for children ages newborn to 10 and may include age-appropriate toys, games, electronics, and sporting goods as well as gift cards from local merchants. Tax-deductible cash donations to the Newton Rotary are also welcome.

“As we continue to adjust to the new ‘normal’, we understand the impact the pandemic continues to have on many families. In collaboration with our incredible community providers, The Village Bank is proud to help deliver gifts and spread some holiday cheer to local families this holiday season,” said Joseph A. De Vito, president, and CEO.



The Village Bank sponsors annual “Warm Winter Wishes” drive to help homeless families and adults

The Village Bank has partnered with Middlesex Human Services Agency for the seventh annual Warm Winter Wishes drive to help local homeless families and individuals. During November 15 – December 20, The Village Bank will accept donations of new hats, scarves, gloves, mittens, socks, and other warm winter gear for adults and children who benefit from Middlesex Human Services Agency’s services. Donations may be dropped off at The Village Bank in Wayland located at 62 Boston Post Road.

Located in Waltham, Middlesex Human Services Agency provides community-based shelter, nutrition, and recovery programs throughout Greater Boston to individuals and families in need, along with life skills for self-sufficiency to end homelessness, hunger, and addiction. The agency operates Mary’s House and Bristol Lodge, both located in Waltham, as well as several other locations in the area.

“The winter season is a difficult time of year for those impacted by homelessness. We are proud to continue our tradition of sponsoring the Warm Winter Wishes drive and are delighted to support Middlesex Human Services Agency this year, “ said Joseph De Vito, president, and CEO of The Village Bank. “We extend an invitation to other organizations and members of the community to join us in providing donations.”



The Village Bank to support Newton businesses on Small Business Saturday

Joseph A. De Vito, president & CEO of The Village Bank, announced today an initiative to help support businesses in Newton during Small Business Saturday, which will be held November 27, 2021. As part of this support, the Bank will pay for parking on all meters in Newton to encourage patronage of Newton-based businesses.

Created in 2010 to support local businesses during the busiest shopping season of the year, Small Business Saturday is held every year on the Saturday following Thanksgiving.

“As a community bank, The Village Bank understands how important local businesses are to our communities,” De Vito said. “Our goal is to not only encourage members of the community to support businesses, but also to help businesses make the most of the selling season.”


The Village Bank promotes Tapponi to West Newton Branch Manager

Joseph De Vito, president and CEO of The Village Bank, has announced the promotion of Ghazwan Tapponi to manager of the West Newton branch.

Tapponi joined The Village Bank’s retail team in January 2018 and quickly made an impact. He was promoted several times in the next two years, and in August 2020, he transferred to assistant branch manager at the Newtonville location, where he worked until his most recent promotion.

Tapponi will oversee the daily operation in West Newton. He completed the bank’s Supervisor Training Program in October 2019. In December 2020, he completed the manager training program with the Massachusetts Bankers Association. Tapponi holds a degree in information technology from Al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, Iraq.


The Village Bank announces officer promotions

At The Village Bank’s annual meeting held in September, president and CEO Joseph De Vito announced the following officer promotions:

Gernette Wright was promoted to vice president. Wright joined The Village Bank in March 2020 as assistant vice president/information security officer. He previously was the information systems and technology manager for Dentsply Sirona in Waltham and the senior manager/IT infrastructure and security operations for CIRCOR International in Burlington. Gernette holds a degree in computer science and information systems from Stockton University in Galloway Township, N.J. He also holds a graduate certificate in cybersecurity from the Van Loan School-Endicott College, as well as an executive certificate in management and leadership from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Carlos Batista was promoted to assistant treasurer. He joined The Village Bank in April 2008 as a teller at the Waban branch. In July 2012, he was chosen to enter the Bank’s management training program. Upon completion, he was promoted to credit analyst. Batista was promoted to senior credit analyst and then to commercial loan portfolio manager in July 2018. He holds a degree in management from UMass-Boston as well as a certificate in commercial lending from the Center for Financial Training. He also is a graduate of the New England School of Financial Studies.

Alyssa D’Amore was promoted to assistant treasurer. D’Amore joined The Village Bank in June 2011 as a teller. She was promoted to senior teller at the Newton Highlands branch in June 2013, and to teller supervisor in June 2014. In August 2017, she was promoted to assistant branch manager in Newton Highlands, and in May 2019, she transferred to the Newtonville branch in the same role. In August 2020, D’Amore returned to Newton Highlands and was promoted to branch manager. She received a branch manager certificate from the Massachusetts Bankers Association in June 2019.

Christina Hacsunda was promoted to assistant treasurer. Hacsunda joined The Village Bank in April 2012 as a floating teller/customer service representative. In July 2013, she was promoted to customer service representative at the Auburndale branch, and to assistant branch manager in February 2015. In May 2017, she transferred to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) department in the new role of BSA specialist, and in February 2019, she was promoted to BSA analyst. She then was promoted to senior risk analyst in June 2020. Hacsunda holds an associate’s degree in paralegal studies from MassBay Community College and received her CAMS (certified anti-money laundering specialist) certificate in February 2019.

Richard Halstead was promoted to assistant treasurer. Halstead joined The Village Bank in August 2008 as network administrator. He previously worked as a senior network administrator for Grafton Suburban Credit Union in North Grafton and as a senior server engineer for in Maynard. Richard holds a natural sciences degree from Harvard Extension School and is a Microsoft certified systems engineer.

Brian Harris was promoted to assistant treasurer. Harris joined The Village Bank in January 2016 as an information security administrator. In August 2020, he was promoted to Information Technology (IT) risk manager. He previously was an IT consultant for Fincorp Inc. in Northborough. He also held the positions of IT senior software analyst at Intel Massachusetts and information systems principal specialist and consultant for Digital Equipment Corp. in Hudson. Harris holds a degree in physics from Bates College in Lewiston Maine.

Noelle Wise was promoted to assistant treasurer. Wise joined The Village Bank in January 2017 as loan servicing manager. She previously worked as a senior loan servicing representative at Mutual One Bank and as a loan servicing supervisor at The Cooperative Bank. She has studied business and accounting at the University of Phoenix and completed The Village Bank’s manager training series in December 2019.


The Village Bank announces Lending Team promotions

At The Village Bank’s annual meeting held in September, president and CEO Joseph De Vito announced the following promotions within the Lending Team:

Andrew Franklin, who joined The Village Bank in 2003, will assume the new title of senior vice president/chief lending officer. As a member of the senior management team, Franklin will continue to manage the strategic direction of all commercial, residential and consumer lending activities of the Bank including origination, underwriting and servicing, as well as customer relations and portfolio management. Franklin previously held the position of senior vice president/lending.

David Pennybaker Jr. was promoted to senior vice president. He will oversee the strategic direction of all commercial lending operations. Pennybaker joined The Village Bank in November 2011 as a commercial lender. In July 2012 he was promoted to assistant vice president/commercial loan officer and in May 2014 to vice president/commercial loan officer. Before joining The Village Bank, he worked as a commercial relationship manager for Wainwright Bank and Trust in Boston, and as an assistant vice president/commercial relationship manager for Brookline Bank. He holds a degree in business management from Suffolk University.

Joe Barone was promoted to vice president. Barone joined The Village Bank in July 2013 as assistant vice president/commercial loan officer. Barone previously held the positions of vice president, commercial and industrial loan officer at Columbia Bank in Fairlawn, N.J.; and private business banker at First Republic Bank in Boston. Joe holds an MBA in finance from Rutgers Graduate School of Management in Newark, N.J.

Bob Dolan was promoted to vice president. Dolan joined The Village Bank in March 2020 as assistant vice president/commercial loan officer. He previously was vice president/commercial lending for TD BankNorth and for Lowell Five, as well as a client executive for Fred C. Church. He holds a degree in finance from Merrimack College in North Andover.

Katherine Herrick was promoted to vice president. Herrick joined The Village Bank in May 2005 as quality control coordinator in the lending department. She rejoined the Bank in June 2007 as commercial loan portfolio assistant. In August 2011, Herrick was promoted to credit analyst, and in February 2015 to assistant treasurer/commercial loan officer. In May 2018, she received a promotion to assistant vice president/commercial loan officer. She is a graduate of Providence College and in December 2019 completed the Bank’s Leadership Academy Program.

John Tarpinian was promoted to vice president. Tarpinian joined The Village Bank in February 2009 as senior credit analyst. In August 2011, he was promoted to business banking officer, and in January 2015 to assistant vice president/commercial loan officer. He previously worked as a commercial credit analyst for Stoneham Bank and as a business loan officer for Branch Banking and Trust in Washington. Tarpinian holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Salem State University and a master’s degree from Boston University.

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