The new Investors Bank at 896 Manhattan Avenue celebrated its grand opening with a VIP reception and ribbon cutting ceremony last Tuesday.
With 14 other locations already in Brooklyn, the Greenpoint branch is the latest for the New Jersey-based bank. Altogether, Investors has 145 offices, 45 in New York, and $22 billion in total assets, according to Domenick Cama, the bank’s CEO.
“As a Brooklyn native, it’s important to me to come back to this area and enjoy the renaissance that Brooklyn has gone through over the last 20 years,” Cama said. “Even as a $22 billion bank, we are firmly entrenched in the community. We believe in participating in community events. We believe in contributing funds to community causes.”
Cama lived in Brooklyn for five decades, which he said was one of the reasons why the bank has opened so many branches in the borough. He was born and raised in Carroll Gardens and later moved to Dyker Heights. Both of those neighborhoods have an Investors Bank.
“I have branches opened in all of the neighborhoods that I’ve lived in,” he said.
There’s going to be another branch opening in Park Slope, and Cama hopes to open another location in Williamsburg. With the resurgence of many Brooklyn communities, Cama hopes Investors can be helpful by contributing to many local partners.
“We are here to be your neighbor, we are here to help,” he said. “I can assure you that we will live up to that promise.”
The Greenpoint branch has already begun fulfilling the role of community partner. Kendall Charter, executive director of the Greenpoint YMCA, said Investors has made a $5,000 pledge to the Y’s youth development programs.
“It’s going to go for scholarships, after school, swimming, karate classes, our summer camp program,” Charter said. “It’s tremendous, especially for young people with families that might need a particular program because of economic reasons. This gives them the opportunity because we’re not going to turn them away.
“They’re investing in the community,” he said of Investors Bank, “not just taking and walking away,” he said.
Currently, the Greenpoint Y is working on getting someone from Investors on their board of managers. Charter said it’s important for that board member to see how their resources are being spent.
“It’s not just about giving, but seeing the fruits of their labor,” he said. “The number of kids that they’re serving, they’re part of that as well.”
The Greenpoint branch will be managed by Debbie Hootam, who was born in Guyana but raised in East Flatbush. The location opened on June 27, and for the last few weeks Hootam's team has been getting to know small businesses and organizations in the area.
“There’s a lot of great stuff happening, and I love the idea that this community is growing so rapidly and becoming so diverse,” Hootam said. “I’m excited to be here.”
Hootam boasts a 19-year career working in the banking industry under TD Bank and other financial institutions. She was attracted to Investors because of their community-oriented culture.
“My passion is to help others and see them grow,” she said. “Giving back to the community and helping the community grow to bigger and better things. Even though it’s only been three weeks since we’ve been here, I’m very involved in the community.”