Local leaders named to bank positions

March 16, 2012
By

Eastern Bank has named two local leaders to its governing boards as part of its outreach to the Latino and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

Rebecca Haag, president and CEO of the Jamaica Plain-based AIDS Action Committee, and JP resident Gunner Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC), are among 11 people named to the boards.

Boston-based Eastern has a JP branch at 687 Centre St. and is known for supporting progressive causes. It merged two years ago with Wainwright Bank, which also was known here for progressive policies.

“Eastern Bank shows that corporate business concerns can partner with social justice causes for the betterment of both,” said Haag, who is joined the banks board of trustees, in a written statement. “I am so honored to have been asked by Eastern Bank to join their board of trustees and work with them on their continued commitment to strengthen our communities.”

Scott is joining the bank’s “board of corporators,” which represents local community interests. Scott is not only a leader in transgender rights, but also is a prominent member of Occupy Boston, which has been highly critical of corporate banks. He said that Eastern fits in with both causes.

“They really do give back to the community,” Scott said of Eastern, contrasting it with large corporate banks. “They carry on the tradition of Wainwright Bank.”

Scott said that Eastern has been a major MTPC supporter, including by sending bank officials to testify in favor of last year’s groundbreaking state law protecting the rights of transgender people.

With banks so focused on identifying customers, they can pose special challenges for transgender people who are changing their name and officially defined gender, Scott said, noting that Eastern has been sensitive to such issues.

Other people appointed to the bank boards include the executive directors of MassEquality and the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition.

Eastern is a mutual bank, which means it is owned by its depositors.

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