Banker Richard Leonard joins Cape Cod Five

Cape Cod Five announced plans Monday to open a full service branch office in Vineyard Haven.

Richard Leonard. — Courtesy Richard Leonard

Well known Island banker Richard Leonard did not stay retired long. The Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank announced Monday that it had hired Mr. Leonard to serve as its regional president for Martha’s Vineyard.

The announcement dovetails with the Cape bank’s effort to establish a stronger physical presence on the Island.

Also Monday, the bank announced that it had purchased 412 State Road, the former Coca Cola bottling plant and most recently the proposed site of the new Tisbury Farm Market, where it intends to open a full service banking center.

Mr. Leonard will lead the bank’s cross-functional team from its office located on Beach Street Extension in Vineyard Haven,” according to a press release.

“We are delighted to welcome Richard to our senior officer team,” said Dorothy A. Savarese, President and CEO of The Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank in prepared remarks. “He shares the values that are so important to us at Cape Cod Five. Richard is a dedicated and active participant in important community nonprofit agencies, and he has a proven track record of providing locally-tailored, customer-focused community banking on Martha’s Vineyard.”

Mr. Leonard, 54, an Oak Bluffs native, has spent most of his life on the Island and his entire career in banking. He started in banking at the age of 15 at Edgartown National. When he was 25, after graduating from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, he moved to the Martha’s Vineyard Co-Operative Bank, eventually serving as president until it merged with the Dukes County Savings Bank.

In June 2007, citing a shared culture of personal service and community values and the evolving nature of the banking business, Martha’s Vineyard Co-operative Bank and Dukes County Savings Bank became Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank.

In April of 2013, Mr. Leonard announced his retirement. “It was simply time to move on,” he said at the time.

One year ago Mr. Leonard said he was looking forward to the future and new professional opportunities, but not immediately. “Right now I’m looking forward to working in the yard, biking, golfing, and shellfishing,” he said.

In a telephone conversation with The Times on Monday, Mr. Leonard said he retired from the Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank, and had “not necessarily retired from work.” After one year of catching up on chores it was time to get back to work, he said.

“I took a year off to think about what it is that I really love to do and what I really love to do is help people and be active in the community. And working with a good strong community bank has always been an approach that I enjoy and I am happy to have the opportunity to enjoy it again,” he said.

Mr. Leonard said Cape Cod Five has been serving the Island’s commercial and residential customers and has been looking to expand its services and bring its brand of community banking to the Vineyard for some time.

Mr. Leonard said the State Road site is a wonderful location. “We’re looking forward to working with the local boards and authorities to develop our plan,” he said

Mr. Leonard serves as President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Island Housing Trust, Inc., President of Greenough House, and President of You’ve Got a Friend, Inc.

He lives in West Tisbury with his wife, Pia, and daughters Tonya and Brielle.

The Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank is an independent state-chartered savings bank with over $2.5 billion in assets, according to a press release.