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Honoring the “Numbers Guy” Who Made Countless Contributions to Our Community

Mark O’Connell, President & CEO, to retire after 35 years of service to Avidia

When he started his career more than three decades ago, Mark O’Connell never envisioned he would be where he sits today – in the corner office of a $2.5-billion financial institution.

Actually, he never even planned to work at a bank.

A self-proclaimed “numbers guy” with a passion for accounting, Mark planned a nice career as a CPA after he graduated college.

But when he accepted his first job with a company specializing in auditing financial institutions, his career would go down a different (and bright orange) path.

In 1988, one of the banks he was auditing, a little bank named Hudson Savings Bank, asked him to come onboard as a controller.

“I took the job, thinking I would stay for a little while. But, I really liked the people. The rest is history,” he laughs.

And what an upward history it has been.

Mark would go on to become Treasurer, then CFO, and then in 2004, was appointed to President & CEO by the Board.

And on May 26, the anniversary of his hire date, he’ll make one more pivotal move in his Avidia career – retirement. It will mark a perfect 35 years of service for the accomplished “numbers guy.”

A legacy of growth and community service

In his tenure at Avidia, Mark has so much to be proud of.  He is however, most proud of the way Avidia has grown and adhered to the principals on which it was founded.

In 1988, when he started, Hudson Savings Bank had just 2 Hudson locations and $120 million in assets. Under his leadership, it now has some $2.6 billion in assets with nine locations.”

“I love that we’ve grown and stayed true to our community roots as a mutual savings bank that does a lot of lending and charitable giving.”

He’s also extraordinarily proud of the relationships he has built at Avidia over the years.

“We had like 40 employees and now have about 270. Some of them have been here a long time, even longer than me. I’m just so thankful for all our employees over the years who have played a role in our success.”

A lot to feel good about

Mark believes his retirement comes at a great time and that Avidia is in very capable and trusted hands.

“My successor, Rob Cozzone, has so much experience coming from Rockland Trust. He’s hit the ground running and already doing a great job.”

Though Mark will stay on the Board of Directors for three years to assist with the transition, he’s confident that Avidia is in a strong position.

“We’ve always had a conservative nature and as a result, are safe and sound,” he shares. “We have the added protection of DIF insurance and have even garnered deposits from people who have moved their money to us.”

Continuing a winning tradition in retirement

On a personal level, Mark plans to spend his days at his retirement home on Cape Cod and pursue his passion for golf and Boston sports “How about them Celtics!” He will also leave Avidia with a new award, as he was recently recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the United Way of Tri County for his decades of leadership and community service to the people of MetroWest/495 Corridor.

Congratulations Mark and best of luck! It has Honestly been an honor to learn from you, share laughs with you, and serve you.