We invited staff, our Board of Directors, our branch building team, and community partners to gather at our new 35 Middle Street branch to celebrate our ribbon cutting on January 23, 2019.
cPort’s CEO, Gene Ardito, welcomed guests to the ceremony by highlighting the history of the Middle and India Street neighborhood and cPort’s history on Middle Street. cPort was founded in 1931 as the Federal Employees Credit Union of Maine at the former Post Office and Courthouse at 169 Middle Street, where Tommy’s Park is today. Ardito said, “100 years ago, where you are standing tonight, Banco di Napoli provided banking services and loans to mostly Italian immigrants who settled in this Munjoy Hill neighborhood. I am the son of an Italian immigrant, I think it’s interesting that I’m welcoming you to our newest branch on the former site of an Italian bank. Banco di Napoli was established in 1463 and still exists today. cPort is and has always been a Portland based financial institution providing support and banking services to our community, our members, including new Mainers — much like Banco di Napoli did 100 years ago.”
Ardito thanked our Maine-based team of contractors and service providers who designed and built the branch including Gawron Turgeon Architects and Landry/French Construction. The first and second floors of the building house our branch, and the third and fourth floors are a condominium scheduled for completion and for sale in February. Sotheby’s International Realty provided tours of the condominium throughout the evening.
Ardito also recognized three of cPort’s community partnerships. cPort has hosted our college scholarship program in Portland elementary schools since 2008, and we have awarded over $40,000 in college scholarships to Portland third, fourth, and fifth grade students in 12 years. In support of cPort’s ongoing collaboration with the schools, he presented Portland Public Schools Superintendent Xavier Botana and Portland Education Foundation Executive Director Kate Snyder with a $2,500 donation to PEF Visionary Campaign. Superintendent Botana said, “Portland Public Schools is grateful for cPort Credit Union’s generous support of our Foundation for Portland Public Schools’ Visionary Program. cPort has supported our schools for twelve years by helping students to think about college early. The scholarships are a huge motivator for our students, but just as valuable is the commitment of cPort staff and their energy and contagious enthusiasm for the program.”
Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center Executive Director Alain Nahimana also delivered remarks at the ceremony in recognition of cPort’s $10,000 contribution to its recent expansion. Quoting Martin Luther King Jr. in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. week, Nahmina said, “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now” Thank you cPort for creating opportunities to lift up immigrants in Maine and congratulations for the opening of this branch in a soon-to-be more vibrant neighborhood.”
Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Quincy Hentzel also spoke representing her dual roles at the Chamber and as a cPort board member. “When someone in the community comes to me looking for a creative solution for an issue, I know I can send them to Gene and cPort because they will help develop a way to meet their needs,” said Hentzel.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our ribbon cutting celebration! We look forward to building and deepening our community connections at our new branch.