BBN Board member, Julie Thurlow, President and CEO of Reading Co-operative Bank receives industry recognition.

Reading Co-operative Bank President & CEO Julieann M. Thurlow Receives Three Prestigious Industry Awards in a Single Month

American Banker, New England Women in Banking and The Boston Globe all honor Julieann Thurlow in October

Reading, MA…Reading Co-operative Bank, a community bank with eight branches and assets in excess of $440 million, today announced that President & CEO Julieann M. Thurlow received three prestigious industry awards in the month of October.
President of Reading Co-operative Bank since 2006, Thurlow was recently featured in American
Banker’s 12th Annual Most Powerful Women in Banking issue as one of the “25 Most Powerful Women to Watch” in the industry. The issue hit the stands in early October and Thurlow was the only Massachusetts banker to make the influential “Women to Watch” list.
Also in October, Thurlow was presented with the Distinguished Leadership Award at the New England Women in Banking Conference for helping to change the face of banking in New England. This event represents the largest gathering of women in the New England banking and credit union industries.

Thurlow joined Reading Co-operative Bank in 1993 and rose through the ranks to become president in 2006. Since that time, the bank’s assets have grown from $78 million to $420 million and since she took the helm, the number of branches has doubled from four to eight.

On October 25th, Thurlow was ranked #43 on the Boston Globe’s list of “Top 100 Women-Led Companies” published in the Sunday Globe magazine.

“It is a wonderful thing, to be recognized by your peers for being outstanding in your field and it’s most appropriate that Julie’s voice be heard in the banking world today, for hers is the voice for mutuality,” said James M. Liston, Director, Reading Co-operative Bank’s Board of Directors. “There isn’t a finer representative to speak up for mutuality and for the welfare of everyday banking customers.”

Thurlow is a champion of keeping community banks structured as they were originally intended despite the economic trend to convert smaller depositor-owned banks into privately-held companies. “It may be lawful but it’s just plain wrong,” Thurlow says. “It represents the conversion of a public asset to private ownership and wealth; we as mutual bankers were hired as stewards, not for our own gain.”

Since 2000, Massachusetts has lost a quarter of its banks to consolidations and Thurlow has taken significant measures to preserve the mutuality of the 128-year old institution under her stewardship.

Reading Co-operative’s board of directors were presented with a proposal to make it much harder to convert to a publicly-traded company. Under the plan, a “supermajority” vote of eight of 10 board members would be required to approve any conversion in addition to a two-thirds vote by depositors.

The plan would forbid any board member, manager or employee from owning an equity interest in the bank for five years after any conversion, thereby removing personal benefit from clouding future board decisions.
Depositors will vote on Thurlow’s proposal in December.

In addition to managing the day-to-day operations of the bank, Thurlow is the incoming membership council chair at the American Bankers Association and serves on the Massachusetts Bankers Federal Liaison Committee, Bankers’ Bank Northeast and the Cooperative Central Bank of Massachusetts.

About Reading Co-Operative Bank
Reading Co-operative Bank (RCB) is a 21st-century community bank with a track record of progress dating back to 1886. The Bank was founded on the principle that profit and growth go hand-in-hand with responsible banking and service to the community – a philosophy that has put Reading Co-operative Bank on a long-term track for success. Banking Specialists can be reached by visiting one of the eight RCB offices: Andover, Burlington, North Reading, Reading, Reading Memorial High School (available to the RMHS community only), Wilmington (2) and Woburn. Or visit online at