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Growing Forward with the Owners’ Dividend:
Diane Fitzgerald Harris

Q&A with Diane Fitzgerald Harris, ESL personal banking member since she was 17 years old

Diane’s story

My parents have always belonged to ESL, and for as long as I can remember, they taught me the importance of saving and budgeting. I would watch my mom put a few dollars away each week for our family’s Christmas Fund.

I took my parents’ advice and opened my very first account at ESL when I was just 17 years old and had my first job. I’ve been an ESL member ever since.

Then and now: How did you/do you use your Owners’ Dividend payout?

Before buying our first house, my husband Tony and I were renting in the Park Avenue area. We wanted to wait—and save—for two years before buying a house. We saved the dollars earned in our Owners’ Dividend and put that toward our new home. That was back in the day.

Today, very much my mother’s daughter, I save the money from my ESL Owners’ Dividend and put it away for something special, like our annual family trip. It’s nice to see a little added bonus when you look at your bank account.

Diane and her husband Tony

Do you feel like you “Belong to Something Bigger” at ESL?

I feel like I’m part of the growth of ESL as a whole. When you’re a member, you’re a part of this community and ESL actually shows me that. The Owners’ Dividend is just one example of that.

Every time I walk into the Brighton ESL branch, the team greets me with a smile, always goes above and beyond. I’ll have a problem solved or I’ll get the answers I need. There’s a woman who works at the Brighton branch—Sharon Gilhooly—and she’s one of my favorite human beings! She’s top-notch and so personable. I feel so welcomed every time I walk into this branch.

If a leader at ESL if reading this story, what would you like them to know?

Keep hiring self-motivated, smart employees and keep treating them well. Our experiences are so dependent on your team. When I take my parents to the ESL branches—they’re still members to this day—the ESL team knows my parents by name, always greets us and asks what they can do to help. This is such a powerful thing. When you personally know someone where you bank, you know that they’re looking out for my parents when I’m not able to be there, too.

And about the Owners’ Dividend, what do you want the ESL team to know?

I appreciate it! It shows me that ESL puts their money where their mouth is. ESL is making members part of the growth story. Some companies say they do that, but ESL actually does. And I appreciate that.

Learn how an annual dividend payout has grown to become so much more >

The individual Owners’ Dividend payout amounts ESL members receive are based on established Owners’ Dividend criteria. For more information about the criteria, please visit Qualification for the Owners’ Dividend is subject to eligibility requirements and payment of the Owners’ Dividend is not guaranteed.