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Manasquan Bank’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Cathy Franzoni was responsible for maintaining the bank’s financial stability as the former CFO, but her role has evolved into a position that is much more than that.
When she accepted her self-described “dream job” in 2004, Franzoni was excited about being able to touch each and every department in the bank. “My job is to keep the bank safe, financially sound and viable moving forward,” she says. “In order to do that, I need to have involvement in every department.”
Her strategy is apparently working. The bank’s financial benchmarks are stellar. “We are among the top 10% of banks in the country in terms of asset size and the FDIC would categorize us as well capitalized,” she reports.
Franzoni also serves on the board of the newly formed Manasquan Bank Charitable Foundation. The Foundation has awarded upwards of $600,000 in grants. “The donations represent a true cross-section of our community,” she says, noting that contributions have been given to senior and youth organizations, sports leagues, history preservation societies, the arts, and health services. “We’re especially proud of being able to do this with our own assets. It is truly giving back to our communities.”
Franzoni likes to call Manasquan Bank’s community commitment “The 6 Degrees of Manasquan Bank”. “We are part of our communities, whether participating at an event, hosting an event or making a donation,” she says. “We strive to be connected everywhere, at some level or another.”
Franzoni points to a different area of community support the bank is involved in. They are directly soliciting the municipalities in and around their branches. “Every town has significant banking requirements. The amount of cash collected and dispersed is mind-boggling. Large banks can handle the high level of transactions, but they are not equipped to provide the level of service and personal touch that is sometimes required,” she notes.
Bay Head and Neptune City are just two of several municipalities to switch their banking to Manasquan Bank. “There are quite a few others preparing to move their accounts to us as well,” notes Franzoni.
The bank is also expanding its footprint based on an aggressive three year strategic plan. “We identified a series of promising opportunities in our markets and we are acting upon them.” During 2019, we completed our merger with Metuchen Savings Bank, which provided us a presence in Middlesex County, as well as the opening of three new branches with yet another to open in 2020.
The new Shrewsbury branch on Sycamore Avenue will address the lack of truly local lending source in the area. “We have identified a void and we are going to fill it,” she explains, noting that the branch will have a resident commercial lending officer. “We have clearly made a name for ourselves in the small to medium business lending market,” says Franzoni. “No other bank can touch our personal service, experienced lenders and commitment to timely decisions. We expect to make an immediate impact in Shrewsbury over the next few years.”
“We’re opening our fifteenth branch in Colts Neck, right near Delicious Orchards . We’ve done exceptionally well in western Monmouth, so we’re going to increase our involvement there,” she says, noting that the new branch will debut a new look as well as some important technological advances that will make banking more convenient.
Franzoni has always had “sand between her toes”. While she grew up in Bloomfield, her childhood summers were spent in Normandy Beach. Twenty five years ago she moved to Point Pleasant and loves being out on the family boat. An accountant by trade, she began her banking career at Pulse Bank in South River and later at First Savings Bank, Woodbridge as Vice President and Treasurer. But she always looked southward.
Manasquan Bank has turned out to be a great fit for Cathy and, as importantly, the Bank has prospered tremendously under her expertise and leadership. One of her most proud moments at the Bank has been the recognition from the American Banker magazine, ranking Manasquan Bank as the #43rd “Best Bank to Work For” in the nation, as she says, “Our secret is out!”
Franzoni also serves on the Board of Directors and as Treasurer for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Coastal and Northern New Jersey. In addition, Franzoni volunteers at various events for local charities including the Coastal Habitat for Humanity builds and Fulfill of Ocean and Monmouth Counties.