Michael Serao: More Than Just Banking
By Ilija Sekulovski
How did you get involved with Quontic Bank?
I met the president and CEO four years ago, we just hit it off. It all went from there!
What’s your field of expertise?
I’m the Regional Vice President of the bank. I run the retail, community and governmental relationships. I also serve on 17 boards within NYC, such as Shareing and Careing. With the bank, I make sure that bank is out there every day, and that people know we’re here, and part of the community. I also help organize a lot of the events you see in Astoria!
What kind of events does Quontic Bank sponsor?
Lots of various events! We support events that the organizations support themselves. One was financial literacy program put together by the Minor Miracles foundation. What that program does is offer completely free financial literacy classes to underprivileged children. After they complete the course, we bring them by the bank for lunch, and we show them around.
The children of the Minor Miracles Foundation after they completed their Financial Literacy Program
Why does Quontic Bank aim to be so involved in the community?
The thing is – when you’re a community bank, you need to really be involved. You need to participate, and know what’s happening in your community. We ensure that we need the needs of our community.
At other banks, you’re just a number, at Quontic you’re a person. We work with you. With non-profits, we ask them, “How can we help you? Can we host something? Can we volunteer? Can we donate?”
It comes with the territory of being a community bank – you start to see everything in a way of “How can we make a difference?”
You personally work with a lot of the charities and organizations, are there any organizations you feel really connected to?
Absolutely – I really love any organization that helps children and youth. I’ve always been a firm believer in the fact that children are our future, and we need to invest in them.
Are there any organizations you have something upcoming with?
We’re actually in the process of moving over the Long Island LGBT Center into Queens – we’re currently helping them look for space in Astoria.
Have you always wanted to work in banking?
Actually, my passion was to go to culinary school! I started in banking, started moving up and making a name for myself, and it just sort of happened naturally.
How long have you lived in Astoria?
I’ve worked in Astoria for 12 years, but my family has had ties here for a long time. My grandfather used to own Boden and Sons on Steinway when he came here from Italy. It’s really a great neighborhood, and I feel home in it – and I love living and working here.
If you want to learn more about Quontic Bank, you can visit their website, or stop by and check them out!
Astoria, NY 11106