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PowerPlayer: Joseph MarcAurele

Monday, April 18, 2011


Lifelong Rhode Islander Joe MarcAurele celebrates his first year as CEO of Washington Trust this week. GoLocalProv caught up with the veteran banker to find out what life is like running the country’s oldest community bank. He is not only CEO but also is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, and a member of the Board of Directors. Founded in 1800, Washington Trust is the largest independent bank in Rhode Island and the oldest community bank in the nation.

1) You've been at the helm of Washington Trust for nearly a year, now. What's it been like steering a financial ship during one of the worst financial years in Rhode Island's history?

This has been a challenging year, however, Washington Trust has performed very well.  I would attribute that performance to the outstanding people who work here and their dedication to the company and customer service.

2) Take us through a day in your life.

My days are pretty full.  I spend most of my time in meetings, with employees, customers and the investment community.  After hours, are spent working with non-profit groups that I am involved with and relaxing with my wife, Meredith.

3) If you hadn't heard, Rhode Island is small, which means everyone seems to know what everyone else is doing. Are you conscious of your role as a public figure?

To some extent.  It is important to be conscious of how you treat people.  Being respectful matters.  People notice impolite behavior.

4) What's the most difficult/disappointing part of your job?

I am very rarely disappointed about my job.  I am, at times, disappointed in myself when I miss things that I should have seen, or don’t take advantage of opportunities.

5) If you could change one thing about the state, what would it be?

I would like people to be less negative and more grateful for the wonderful lifestyle available in Rhode Island.

6) Tell us something nobody knows about you?

I am less confident and self-assured than I appear.  I have as much concern and self-doubt as anyone.

(Quick Hitters)

Role Model:   Several teachers and coaches, but mostly my father.  He was a very nice man and always supportive.

Favorite Restaurant:   Jim’s Dock in Jerusalem.

Best Beach:   East Matunuck State Beach.

Best Book You’ve Read In The Last Year:   “The Last of the Imperious Rich” by Peter Chapman about the history of Lehman Brothers Investment Bank.

Advice For The Next Joe MarcAurele:   Work hard and don’t change Washington Trust too much.  It’s a great company.  And don’t take yourself too seriously.


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