Lee Bank Names New VP to Expand Financial Wellness Services

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LEE, Mass. — Lee Bank has named a new financial wellness officer who will broaden the bank's financial planning and money management services to area residents with a broad range of incomes and needs.
Matthew R. Freitag, a certified financial planner and Cheshire native, has been named vice president, financial wellness. He works with Lee Bank customers to assist them in achieving better financial stability and devising personalized financial plans, regardless of income. This service is offered at no cost to customers of Lee Bank.
"The pandemic has shown us just how fragile some people's financial circumstances are," said Chuck Leach, president of Lee Bank. "We want to clear up any misperception that financial planning services are only for the wealthy. We aim to be an inclusive financial resource to help strengthen all of our customers' circumstances, which in turn strengthens our community."
Financial planning encompasses an array of money matters: budgeting, debt management, savings, tax questions, college planning, social security strategies, investment and retirement planning. 
"As we come out of Covid, many of our customers are reckoning with their financial futures after pandemic-related money challenges," said Freitag. "For many people, their bank is already a trusted financial partner, and we can build on this foundation. Even for those who weathered Covid-19's impact, it may be time for some financial evaluation and adjustment. This is a truly unique offering for a community bank but also a natural extension of Lee Bank's longstanding approach to putting clients and customers first."
Freitag will be based at Marble House in Lee but is available to meet with customers at any Lee Bank branch, in Great Barrington, Stockbridge, Lee, Lenox and Pittsfield, by appointment. 
In addition to his work with Lee Bank, he will also collaborate with October Mountain Financial Services, providing wealth portfolio management and financial planning to Lee Bank customers with substantial assets.  Lee Bank and October Mountain Financial Services have a longstanding strategic alliance with shared clients. 
Most recently a senior client advisor at RINET Company LLC in Boston, Freitag is a graduate of Bentley University, where he earned a master's in personal financial planning. He earned his bachelor's degree in finance, with a focus in ethics and social responsibility, also from Bentley, where he graduated cum laude. He now resides in Lenox

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Lee Bank Foundation Announces Community Funding

LEE, Mass. — The Lee Bank Foundation has awarded $64,500 to eight Berkshire area organizations in its second-round of 2021 community grant awards. 
Recipients were awarded grants ranging from $2,000 to $12,500 to support their local programming.
The following organizations received funding from Lee Bank Foundation:
  • Berkshire Bounty
  • Berkshire County Historical Society
  • Berkshire South Regional Community Center
  • Elizabeth Freeman Center, Inc.
  • Flying Cloud Institute
  • Music in Common
  • New Stage Performing Arts Center Inc.
  • Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires
To be considered  for grant awards, applicants must be a (501)(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on funding organizations that work to bridge  income and opportunity gaps in our region. Funding requests should reflect one or more of Lee Bank Foundation's primary focus areas:
  • Education and literacy
  • Food security and  nutrition
  • Economic growth and development
  • Health and human services
  • Mentorship, internship and “school to work” initiatives;
  • Arts and culture
Applicants may submit only one application in a 12-month period. Sept. 1 is  the next application deadline.
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