TD Bank Last Night

Dear LSNY Alliance Circle,

As far as I can remember, it was the first time I went to a teller’s desk and got a glass of “Brunello” – 2010 vintage, rather than a deposit slip. I even took a picture of the bottle, and it’s in my smart phone red wine folder.

Last evening, The Healing Center in Brooklyn held a cocktail hour, hosted by TD Bank on 4th Avenue in the Fort Hamilton section of the borough. It was a wonderful event and reminded me of the importance of “social capital” in profit and non-profit businesses and organizations. By “social capital,” I am referring to the positive results people can experience as a result of their time in the workplace or place of service and how lives are impacted in a positive way. Last night’s event demonstrated both in beautifully.

One example stands out in my mind. There I was, drinking wine and talking with a TD Bank worker about our grandchildren. Well, how could I go wrong talking about grandchildren, but it wasn’t just grandchildren that we had in common. This person cared deeply about her community and delighted in being part of a business that cared for the community. When another person, the bank manager spoke, oh…I wanted to go up to her and thank her profusely. Here I was with a glass of Brunello in my hand, standing in a bank and hearing a bank manager talk about the affirmation that listening brings to relationships. At first I had to wonder if it was the Brunello talking—but no, it was the manager. This woman’s heart was in what she was saying and it made a difference—a perfect example of “social capital” at work. Workplaces that foster a sense that their workers are making a difference for the common good serve the human story, as well as the business or organization’s specific goals.

The other example is seen in the passion of non-profit and, in this case, faith-based leaders accomplishing a particular mission. I wish you could have heard Antonia, the Executive Director of The Healing Center, an LSNY Alliance member, speak. Her words were filled with specific information regarding domestic violence, a passion to make a difference, and a witness to the way of the cross-that when you are working with human frailty, there is always sacrifice for the leader and those following. Pastor Paul’s welcome and prayer set the whole ambiance for the evening. At first I thought it was the “Brunello” (again) but then realized it was the genuineness of his presence. Joined by others from the Alliance and meeting a member of the NYU Lutheran Board just added to the evening.

Here you have it, my thought for the month. How can my local bank become involved in the wider community? Maybe they are already, and I just don’t know it. What role might a local bank play in the work of our LSNY Alliance agencies? I have to give that some thought. The evening widened my horizons and made me very thankful for having the opportunity to continue to meet some of the most incredibly wonderful people in the world, who care about making a difference, present company reading this included.


John Havrilla, ED, LSNY Alliance