Category Archives: News

Woodcome Appointed to Hometown Bank Board of Directors

OXFORD, MA – Edward L. Woodcome, President of Woodcome Insurance Agency, 166 Hamilton Street, Leominster, has been appointed a Director of Hometown Bank, according to Board Chair Jeanne L. Katrenak.

“We are delighted to welcome Ed to the Board as we prepare to open our Leominster branch office,” said Katrenak. “Ed has been servicing the insurance needs of Central Massachusetts for over thirty years and brings a wealth of business knowledge and expertise to the Hometown Bank team.”

Woodcome is well known in the Leominster market as an insurance expert, community activist, sportsman, golfer, friend and neighbor. In May, 2014 he was elected a Corporator of Hometown Community Bancorp, MHC. He has been married to his wife, Sue for 32 years and has three grown children.

Hometown Bank is a $395 million mutual bank with offices in Athol, Auburn, Oxford, South Lancaster and Sturbridge and two offices in Webster. The Bank is opening its eighth location at 9 Sack Boulevard in Leominster, with a grand opening celebration slated for Saturday, October 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and a special ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for 10 a.m. The event, which is free and open to the public, will include entertainment, giveaways and refreshments.

Hometown Bank Announces Everyday Hometown Hero for September

OXFORD, MA – In every community, there is a go-to person who always seems to have just the right answer when you need information. In the town of Brookfield, that person is our Everyday Hometown Hero for September, Peter Martell.

For the second month in a row, our committee has selected an honoree from this small town with a population of just over 3,000. And like our August honoree, Donna Lafleur, who nominated him, this month’s Hometown Hero is heavily invested in the town’s fire department and emergency medical service.

Peter Martell pretty much exemplifies the term “public servant.” He started his volunteer service as head of the town’s Civil Defense Department at the age of 19. He went on to join the volunteer fire department and the emergency medical squad and later studied to become a paramedic. Martell is now Chief of the all-volunteer fire department, Captain of the ambulance squad and is still involved in Civil Defense, now called Emergency Management, as its Deputy Director.

According to Lafleur, “everyone knows if they need help, they can call on Peter and it will be done right. He has spent many nights alone in the station during bad weather just in case the radio goes down. He works long hours and covers for other EMTs when they are not available.” Whenever the community’s reverse 911 system is activated during weather emergencies, it is usually Peter’s voice that residents hear on the other end of the line. He also writes a column for the Brookfield Citizen, the town’s all-volunteer monthly newspaper, to keep residents informed about the fire department.
Martell helps to organize the Toys For Joy program for Brookfield and has delivered toys to area children at Christmas for many years. “He has a very generous heart,” adds Lafleur. “I have seen him checking in on families that had a loved one taken to the hospital to see if they needed anything. Pete has delivered food for patients that are housebound and has checked in on patients that just needed a little help, but didn’t want to go to the hospital. He does all of this silently, without telling anyone or asking for thanks.”

In short, Peter Martell has dedicated his life to helping the residents of Brookfield and we are all the richer for his selfless actions. In addition to the $100.00 honorarium that comes with being a Hometown Bank Everyday Hometown Hero, a donation in that amount has been made in his honor to the Brookfield Fire Department.

Hometown Bank is a $395 million mutual bank with branch offices in Athol, Auburn, Leominster, Oxford, South Lancaster, Sturbridge and two locations in Webster. To nominate an Everyday Hometown Hero from your community, visit the Hometown Bank website at

Hometown Bank Announces Staffing for New Leominster Branch Office

OXFORD, MA – Hometown Bank President and CEO Michael D. Hewitt has announced the appointment of two local banking professionals to manage the Bank’s new office at 9 Sack Boulevard, Leominster, which is slated to open in mid-October.

Donna M. Daigle, of Lunenburg, has been appointed branch manager. A banking professional with more than 30 years experience, Ms. Daigle was most recently assistant vice president and store manager for TD Bank’s Fitchburg store, where she was the winner of the 2013 CEO Leadership Award. She is a director and secretary of the Friends of the Fitchburg Senior Center, serves on the committee for the Fitchburg Civic Days and is a member of the North Central Chamber of Commerce. She may be reached by calling (508) 499-1898 or by email:

Cynthia J. Walker has been appointed assistant branch manager. A 30-year banking professional with a strong customer service orientation, Ms. Walker was branch supervisor for TD Bank’s Fitchburg store, where she was also a recipient of the CEO Leadership Award. She and her husband, Kit, reside in Fitchburg and have four children. She may be reached by calling (508) 499-1898 or by email:

“We are so happy to have Donna and Cynthia join the Hometown Bank family,” says Hewitt. “Both of these individuals are real hometown bankers, highly qualified professionals who know the community and local businesses. Being local gives them a distinct advantage in being available to listen to our customers and meet their banking needs.”

Rachel Holden, who is moving from the Bank’s Athol office, has been promoted to head teller and Jacqueline (Jacky) Scribner, of Fitchburg will be a full-time teller. Commercial lender Christina DiRusso, who has been with Hometown Bank since 2013, will be relocating her office to the new Leominster location from which she will serve all of her North Central Massachusetts customers.

Hometown Bank is a $395 million mutual bank with offices in Athol, Auburn, Oxford, South Lancaster, Sturbridge and Webster, where they also have a convenience center.

Donna M. Daigle, Branch Manager, Hometown Bank Leominster
Donna M. Daigle, Branch Manager, Hometown Bank Leominster
Cynthia J. Walker, Assistant Branch Manager, Hometown Bank Leominster

Hewitt Appointed to Hometown Bank Board

OXFORD, MA – Hometown Bank President and CEO Michael D. Hewitt has been appointed to the Bank’s board of directors, according to Board Chairman Jeanne L. Katrenak.

Hewitt joined the Bank in February, 2011 as senior vice president with more than 30 years of diverse experience in the commercial and retail banking industry. His first assignment was to oversee the merger of Athol-Clinton Cooperative Bank into Hometown Bank and conversion of its Athol and Lancaster branches into Hometown Bank branches. In May, 2013 he was appointed president and chief executive officer.

Hometown Bank is a $395 million mutual bank with branch offices in Athol, Auburn, Oxford, South Lancaster, Sturbridge and Webster, where a second convenience center is also located. The Bank is scheduled to open a new branch office at 9 Sack Boulevard, Leominster in mid-October.

Hometown Bank Names Everyday Hometown Hero for August

OXFORD, MA – Hometown Bank’s Everyday Hometown Hero for August has been a volunteer member of the Brookfield Fire Department for 21 years.

A familiar figure in the Town of Brookfield, Donna Lafleur has been involved with that town’s emergency medical service since 1977. She was Brookfield’s first paramedic and currently serves as chief of the ambulance service, an unpaid position. A passionate advocate for the community’s medical service, Ms. Lafleur is credited with helping Brookfield become the first local community with paramedic level ambulance service and with earning state approval for advanced life support (ALS) status.

Brookfield resident, Cindy Thompson, who nominated Ms. Lafleur, says the community has come to rely upon her professional and compassionate approach as a paramedic. “If you go on an ambulance call in Brookfield and Donna isn’t on duty, you may very well be asked ‘where’s Donna?’ She cares more about her patients than most of them will ever know.”

Another co-worker says Ms. Lafleur’s empathy for her patients is intense. “Having worked with Donna for 28 years,” they said, “it is not uncommon for her to have sympathy symptoms after doing a call. If we bring someone to the hospital with a migraine headache, she will usually have a headache for several hours.”

Donna’s commitment of service to her community does not stop at her involvement in emergency medical services. She was a police officer in the town for 13 years, and for 35 years she has coordinated the town’s “Toys for Joy” program in association with the neighboring town of East Brookfield. Over the years, that annual program has assured hundreds of less fortunate children in both communities with Christmas presents by collecting unwrapped toys and financial contributions.

Hometown Bank’s Sturbridge Branch Manager, Kathryn Latour has been a lifelong resident of Brookfield, where she has witnessed Ms. Lafleur’s efforts firsthand. “It is such a pleasure to be able to shine a light on Donna’s community involvement and her commitment to improving the quality of life for all Brookfield residents. We are all very fortunate to have Donna in our corner.”

A donation of $100 has been made to Toys for Joy in Ms. Lafleur’s honor. You may correspond with them at P.O. Box 575, East Brookfield, MA 01515.


Each month during 2014, Hometown Bank’s 125th anniversary year, we will select one individual to recognize as that month’s Everyday Hometown Hero. Hometown Bank will present the honoree with a check in the amount of $100 and will make a $100 donation to the local, non-profit organization chosen by the honoree. Our Everyday Hometown Hero may be anyone who is recognized by his or her community as indispensable because of the contributions they have made and continue to make. We are especially interested in identifying those individuals who work behind the scenes without much recognition, but who do so much in their own quiet way. Do you have someone in mind who you think should be recognized as an Everyday Hometown Hero? Visit our website at for a link to the online nomination form.

For Immediate Release: Hometown Bank Names Everyday Hometown Hero for July

OXFORD, MA – Gordon Cook is the kind of guy who really doesn’t like to be in the spotlight, but he’s become sort of an expert at cajoling other people to help him realize his annual goal of feeding 160 needy local families every Christmas. The Oxford man with the surname “Cook” has actually been a cook at the popular Carl’s Diner for more than twenty years, and for the last six of those he’s been running his now famous prime rib raffles every holiday season to benefit the local food pantry.

Here’s how his program works: Every Veterans Day, Cook begins selling raffle tickets. Then, almost daily, he pulls a winner for a 15 pound prime rib. As the end of the year approaches, he holds what he concludes with what he calls the “Grand Finale,” a mega drawing that includes a prime rib, plus a ham and other roasts and a number of gift cards. “This year, we’re adding a wide screen TV,” Cook smiled as he measured the imaginary TV with his outstretched hands.

When the raffles are complete, Cook uses the proceeds to purchase 160 turkeys and delivers them to the Oxford Ecumenical Food Pantry together with all the rest of the fixings assembled from local donations.

“I couldn’t possibly do it alone,” Cook demurred. “People are very, very generous. I depend heavily on Carl’s suppliers and many friends in the community who come through for me every year.”

When the turkeys are delivered and all of the bills are paid, Gordon donates the balance of funds raised to the Food Pantry, an amount that generally falls between $1,500.00 and $2,000.00.

Cook’s friend and Carl’s Diner owner, Paul Bremer nominated him for the Everyday Hometown Hero recognition. “He does this every year without fanfare, and he seeks no credit,” Bremer said. “Because of Gordy’s crusty personality, no one would ever guess the level of his effort and his generosity to the community.”

The annual prime rib raffle is his biggest venture, but it’s not Cook’s only contribution to the community. He sometimes mentors a budding chef from Project C.O.F.F.E.E., an occupational skills-based program at Oxford High School, and he is a regular participant in Clara Barton School’s annual Community Reading Day. He also encourages his two children, 12-year-old Molly and 14-year-old Evan to give back to their community, involving them in the annual raffle process.

“Gordon is exactly the kind of community volunteer we hoped to recognize with this program,” said Hometown’s President and CEO Mike Hewitt. “He even got me to commit to being a community reader next year, proving once again that it’s pretty hard to turn a guy like Gordon down.”

A donation of $100 has been made to the Oxford Ecumenical Food Shelf in Mr. Cook’s honor. You may find them at 4 Maple Road, Oxford, MA 01540 or call (508) 987-1062.

Hometown Bank’s Everyday Hometown Hero for June is making his mark in service to America’s heroes

OXFORD, MA – Hometown Bank’s Everyday Hometown Hero for June, veteran William H. Moore is the ideal honoree as we approach the July 4th holiday.

Serving in the United States Air Force as a crash rescue firefighter in the 1970’s, Bill and his fellow firefighters successfully rescued two pilots from a burning F-111. Injured in the process and honorably discharged in 1980 with a service-connected disability, Bill was granted full disability by the Veterans Administration in 2007. Since that time, Bill has volunteered countless hours supporting veterans and their families.

First, he produced and hosted the Route 9 Veterans Forum cable access show with viewership in over 100 New England communities, informing veterans how to access services. In 2010, Bill was inspired by a website for a Minnesota organization called Project New Hope that provided free weekend retreats for veterans and their families. Bill liked the idea, contacted the founders and was invited out to see their program in action.

In January 2011, he formed the Massachusetts chapter of Project New Hope, Inc. Building upon the concept of weekend retreats, Bill tailored each retreat to a theme — Women Veterans, Male Veterans, Veterans and families, Military Sexual Trauma, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), LGBTQ and Gold Star and Surviving Family Retreats. Project New Hope retreats were so successful that first year in Massachusetts that veterans in surrounding states started to take notice.

Now, the retreats are offered for free to veterans throughout New England and their families. They are open to all eras of veterans where rank takes a backseat to bonding over their common experiences, with an emphasis on reconnecting with civilian life, spouses and families. Sports activities and workshops are staffed by unpaid volunteers, most of whom have some military connection. Workshops range from yoga and meditation to counseling sessions with special programs for children of veterans. In addition, Bill goes above and beyond with care packages for the troops, toy and school supply drives for the children of military families. “Bill puts 100%+ into everything he does supporting our veterans, military members and their families as well as families of fallen soldiers and strives to continue to help them on a daily basis,” said Tracy Vaillancourt, who nominated Moore for the recognition.

“We congratulate Bill on his selection and thank him not only for his service to our country but to the many veterans who have also served,” said Hometown Bank President and CEO, Michael D. Hewitt. In addition to a $100.00 honorarium, Hometown Bank has made a $100.00 donation to Project New Hope, Inc. of Massachusetts.

Hometown Bank Community Bancorp, MHC Conducts Annual Meeting

OXFORD, MA – The annual meeting of Hometown Community Bancorp, MHC was held on Thursday, May 22 at Tatnuck Country Club in Worcester.

Chairman of the Board Jeanne L. Katrenak presided over the meeting, welcomed attendees and provided a brief summary of the role of Corporators in the newly-formed mutual holding company.

Clerk Henry J. LaMountain, Sr. presented the report of the nominating committee and the following nominees were elected as Corporators: Norma Collins, Sharon Dimopoulos, Michael D. Hewitt, Joseph J. Klimavich, Kathryn Latour, Michael P. Mahlert, Deanna Mills, John Nutter, Jonathan Oglebay, Susan Simeone, Karen Yancik and Edward Woodcome.

Corporators re-elected Trustees Steven H. Duvarney, Jeanne L. Katrenak and James O’Coin for three-year terms and Henry J. LaMountain, Sr. for a one-year term as Clerk of the Corporation.

Hometown Bank President and CEO Michael D. Hewitt reported on the Bank’s activities during the prior year, its financial performance and its favorable standing among other Massachusetts banks of a similar size for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2013. “At year-end, Hometown Bank had total assets of $365 million, and increase of 10.9% over the previous year,” Hewitt reported, “compared to a growth rate of 6.5% by other banks in our peer group. Our net income was at 0.98% compared to an average of 0.58% for our peers.”

Hewitt went on to describe a number of activities that will mark Hometown Bank’s 125th anniversary year, including its new “Everyday Hometown Heroes” program that is shedding a light on monthly honorees who exemplify the spirit of volunteerism in their local communities. He also announced that the Bank is offering special 125th anniversary rates on 12, 24 and 60-month CDs and Super Money Market Checking accounts.

Ms. Katrenak concluded the meeting with a presentation to retiring director, Daniel S. Rovero who has served Hometown Bank in that capacity for 12 years.

“Dan has always been an active and valuable member,” she told the group, “and he has served on each of our committees over the years.” Mr. Rovero will remain a Corporator and continue to be involved with the Bank, she said.

At a subsequent annual meeting of the Trustees of Hometown Community Bancorp, MHC, the following individuals were appointed as officers for 2014: Michael D. Hewitt, President and Chief Executive Officer, Jonathan Oglebay, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer and Henry J. LaMountain, Sr., Clerk