Hometown Champions: Port Richmond Savings

Communities across Pennsylvania are growing and thriving because their community banks care. The service and commitment demonstrated by community bank employees keeps customers faithful, and their sincerity keeps others hopeful. It is because of these employees that communities across the Commonwealth are thriving and becoming better places to live and work.

When it comes to community banking in Pennsylvania, the uniqueness, talent and attributes of the 14,000 individual community bank employees combine to make the entire industry greater than the sum of its parts.

As we travel across Pennsylvania, we meet community bank employees from many different backgrounds. Some are new to the industry, others have worked their entire careers in it. No matter how long these employees have been involved in community banking, they all share a common thread – a love for their community. They truly are the ones responsible for #KeepingTheLightsOn in their hometown.

As part of an ongoing series, each month we will be featuring brief interviews with these community bank employees, these “Hometown Champions”. Through these interviews, we hope to gain some insight into what makes the community banking industry great in Pennsylvania.

This month, we chat with the hometown champions from Port Richmond Savings, serving the Philadelphia neighborhood of Port Richmond. True to its long-established Polish community, Port Richmond’s main streets are lined with Polish markets, delis, bakeries and restaurants. The area is also known for the the restored trolleys running down Richmond Street, along the Delaware River. Port Richmond Savings is stalwart member of this community, serving both personal and business banking customers from the Philadelphia area.

Susan Dylinski
Branch Manager

How did you get into community banking?

Susan: It all started back in August of 1988 when my neighbor and loan officer, Tom Werynski interviewed me for a part time teller position at Windthorst Warsaw Savings Association.  I accepted the job and a few year later we changed our name to Port Richmond Savings.  

What is the most rewarding aspect of working in community banking?

Susan: The most rewarding aspect for me is the personal touch I share with my customers.  I enjoy customer service very much.  I take great pride in thoroughly explaining each and every product and service that Port Richmond Savings offers.  I like the fact that my customers feel very comfortable with me and they can always call me or stop by the office for any help they may need.  Sometimes it has nothing to do with banking.  I have lived in the neighborhood of Port Richmond my whole life.  I live 2 blocks away from the bank.  I am always promoting Port Richmond Savings as the #1 Community Bank since 1919 to everyone.  Often when I’m out and about in the neighborhood people ask me lots of bank related questions.  I am happy to answer them. I am very fortunate to work in the community that I grew up in. 

People always want a definition of “community bank,” what’s yours?

Susan: My definition of a community bank is a bank that serves the local community and the surrounding neighborhoods.  Our community bank focuses on what is good for the customer not how we can make money off of that customer.  We recommend the best products that would suit their needs.  A community bank makes time to get to know the community by attending many local events throughout the year and by making donations to many originations to help their cause.  A community bank like Port Richmond Savings often invites the kids from local schools to stop by as a group to learn about banking.  We offer refreshments and give all of the kids piggy banks and coloring books that promote savings.  It has always been a great experience for the us and the kids

Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.

Susan: Several years ago my husband Stan and I had our backyard certified as a way station for monarch butterflies.  We have the host plant for the monarch butterfly which is milkweed.  That is where they lay their eggs.  We also have a very large and beautiful butterfly bush (tree) that the butterflies use as their nectar source.  Over the years, we have seen many eggs turn into caterpillars after they ate all of the parsley and dill that we planted.  Eventually the caterpillar turns into a chrysalis, and after several days emerges as a beautiful monarch butterfly.

What is the 5th picture in your camera roll on your phone, and can you please share the story behind it?

The 5th picture (5 is my lucky number) in my camera roll is a picture of my mom and me.  My husband, mom and I were on our way to mom’s surprise 80th birthday dinner at Ristorante Pesto in South Philly.  My mom thought it was only the 3 of us going out to dinner.  Little did she know, when we arrived at the restaurant mom was greeted by her family which included her brother and sisters and spouses, all of her 7 adult grandchildren and spouses and a couple of friends and nieces.  We had an awesome time.  If you are every in Philly and want a delicious Italian meal go to Ristorante Pesto at 1915 S. Broad St.  You won’t be disappointed.  Just Tell Concetta (owner) that Susan from Port Richmond Savings recommended the restaurant.       

Jurga Arteoggi
Accounting & IT Manager

How did you get into community banking?

Jurga: I was a new immigrant in the United States at the time and looking to finish my college degree and a job to pay for it. Being an immigrant without American job experience is a tough task to get in the professional job market. While looking for a school to complete my degree, I ran into a Program Manager at Pierce College who was friends with the President at the Port Richmond Savings Bank in Port Richmond area of Philadelphia. So it happened that I lived in the same area as well. I was offered an interview and landed a job as a teller at Port Richmond Savings. I have been with the bank ever since. This past February marked 15 years.

What is the most rewarding aspect of working in community banking?

Jurga: Sense of community is the most rewarding aspect of the community banking. You get to see a new businesses like a coffee shop or a child care center open up in the area because your bank gave them a loan. These businesses not only serve the community, but also better the area, create new jobs.

Our bank helps support a community park, sponsors church summer festivals as well as other organizations that keep kids off the streets.

Port Richmond Savings will be celebrating 100th Anniversary in 2019. My wish for the bank is a hundred years more!

People always want a definition of “community bank”, what’s yours?

Jurga: “Community bank” is where you know your customer by their first name, you know their story and their needs. Your customer could be your neighbor or your child’s teacher. A local bakery that is our bank customer, brings their famous pound cake with every visit. Talk about spoiled!

Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.

Jurga: I already mentioned that I was not American born. I am originally from Lithuania and came to the United States when I was 22. I am proud of my heritage and I love that I live in the United States of America.

What is the 5th picture in your camera roll on your phone, and can you please share the story behind it?

Jurga: I am a mom to three boys and my phone is filled with pictures of them. The fifth picture happens to be of our youngest 16 month old Massimo eating a home grown tomato. He loves to walk around the garden and eat ripe fruit and vegetables.

Joshua Mooney
Loan Department Manager

How did you get into community banking?

Josh: I graduated from Millersville University in 2009 at a time when finding a job was very difficult. I majored in Mathematics with a Business minor and I was searching for a job where I could use my skills. Fortunately I was able to strike up a conversation with the President of Port Richmond Savings and I landed an interview for a position in the Loan Department. I am still thankful that a community bank was willing to hire me at a time when most banks were experiencing historic losses. Port Richmond Savings has been a fantastic place to learn and serve.

What is the most rewarding aspect of working in community banking?

Josh: I love being able to provide capital to a new or existing business. Whenever I complete a new deal for a customer there is a bond that is created between myself and the business that is indescribable. It is rewarding to see a customer work extremely hard on an idea or venture and then see the culmination of all the sleepless nights and countless emails and phone calls end in a business growing and jobs being created. It never gets old!

People always want a definition of “community bank,” what’s  yours?

Josh: A Community Bank is an institution that believes in the growth and prosperity of a community it serves. A true community bank exists to first serve the financial needs of the people and businesses in their area. Finally the goal of a community bank is to position itself as a trusted partner and community advocate for the prosperity of everyone it serves.

Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.

Josh: I earned 1st Team All Catholic in the City of Philadelphia for High Jump. My High school record was 6’2″ and was good enough to advance me to compete at the State Championship.

What is the 5th picture in your camera roll on your phone, and can you please share the story behind it?

Josh: This Picture is of my two kids (4 and 2). We recently took a trip up to Long Lake, NY located in the Adirondacks. This was taken in front of their General Store. My son Cole caught his first fish during the trip and my daughter Charlie enjoyed stomping through the lakes.



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