Today we’d like to introduce you to Katelin Cwieka.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew up in going to mom and pop shops for everything. We bought our bread at a bakery, our produce at a corner stand and fish at the docks. I have several entrepreneurs in my family as well so I truly value local business. While I didn’t take the entrepreneurial path – I did make up my own way. I first went to school for Criminal Justice and then started out in the public safety field but quickly decided it wasn’t for me.
For a while, on the side, I had my own blog, sharing about all the local gems outside of Boston, specifically in MetroWest and Worcester. From there, businesses started to ask me to help them with their marketing, whether it was starting their Facebook page, writing a sponsored blog post or even creating them a website.
Eventually, all this freelance work led me to working with two very important people – who I’d certainly call Powerhouse Entrepreneurs. Amy Lynn Chase of Crompton Collective/Haberdash and Lysa Miller of 3 Media Web, Cowork Hudson and the MetroWest Women’s Network.
I learned a lot from them and expanded my network dramatically! We still collaborate on a lot today and our main focus is very local!
Now, working at Avidia Bank in their Marketing Department, I have the opportunity to share about our communities and the businesses that are thriving! It’s my favorite part of what I do! You’ll often see me out making a video about a business or posting some Instagram stories about some hot spots and hidden gems.
Beyond banker life, I love to be a part of my community so I’ve been helping out with the new Hudson Farmers’ Market, the Hudson Business Association and I’m on the Board of Directors for Leadership MetroWest and the MetroWest Women’s Network. When I’m not in the office, you can find me hiking or out for a long run as I’m training for my first marathon!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Not by any means! Making a career 180 was risky, scary and took a LOT of hard work. I remember at 28 years old – working two jobs and freelancing, while many of my peers were getting promotions and management roles. Mentally, it was exhausting and frustrating. At one point, I remember sitting in a job interview in the midst of my career change and they laughed at me, telling me to go make a cup of coffee for them.
I’m lucky enough though to have some great mentors and my own “personal board of directors” who have helped me keep my head up and supported me in my career and in my personal life!
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Avidia Bank – what should we know?
I work at Avidia Bank, which is a community bank based in Hudson that serves the MetroWest and Central MA area. Our focus is on helping small businesses grow, providing great banking technology to our consumer and business banking customers and being a part of many nonprofits and community initiatives.
I work in our marketing department overseeing our social media, PR, video and blog content, plus I run our employee advocacy team – the Avidia Smarties. Think of them as a modern-day street team. This is where I get to do what I love most, hear and share people’s stories whether they are a business owner, industry disruptor or making an impact in our community.
In addition to my role at Avidia Bank, I’m also a marketing instructor for the Center for Women and Enterprise in Westborough.
As a company (Avidia Bank), I’d say I’m most proud of our commitment to the community, whether we are donating money, being a board member for a nonprofit, hosting a supply drive or getting out and volunteering. I love working at a place that supports these initiatives and helps our community grow. This commitment to our community paired with our drive to offer the best in banking technology is definitely our differentiator.
You don’t need to be at a big bank to have the best mobile banking app or that has a fun presence on social media!
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Drive and an open mind. I consider myself to be a career student first, as I’m always trying to learn new things and that has certainly helped me get to where I am today. I’m always willing to work hard and setting new goals to achieve.
- Check out our Facebook Page for events for kids like Crafternoons, Max Savings Adventure Days and free business classes! www.facebook.com/avidiabank/events
- Avidia @ School – Now through October 15, 2018, when you open an eligible Avidia @ School account you will receive a $50 Amazon gift card.What are the benefits of Avidia @ School? • No monthly maintenance fees •• Mobile Banking with People Pay* (get mom or dad to enroll in Avidia Mobile and they can send you money at school that’s available instantly!) • Debit card that earns Avidia Rewards+ points • ATM fees reimbursed Open up either a First Checking (14-18 years old) or a Smart Checking (19-23 years old) to be eligible. Open in any branch or online: https://www.avidiabank.com/avidiaschool
- MAX High Yield Checking – Available at our new Framingham location: What You Get: 2.70% Annual Percentage Yield* (APY) on balances up to and including $25,000 (.25% APY for balances $25,000.01 and above) Refund of all foreign ATM Fees ATM Surcharges up to $25 What to Do: Minimum $10 to open and maintain a balance greater than $0 Make 12 debit card purchases each statement cycle Enroll in eStatements & Internet Banking Have 1 direct deposit or ACH transaction each statement cycle https://www.avidiabank.com/framingham-specials
- Address: Main Office: 42 Main Street Hudson, MA 01749
- Website: www.avidiabank.com
- Phone: (800) 508-2265
- Instagram: @AvidiaBank
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/avidiabank
- Twitter: @AvidiaBank
- Other: Instagram and Twitter for me: @BankSmartKate