The Apple Bank Forest Hills and Kew Gardens branches held their joint AppleConnect ’19 event on Wednesday evening, October 30, at the 102-35 Queens Boulevard location in Forest Hills. Key members of the community met and mingled with Apple bankers and customers, entrepreneurs, and business owners in a casual and relaxed atmosphere. The glatt kosher hors d’oeuvres from the bank’s neighbor, Da Mikelle Restaurant, were certainly appreciated by attendees. Queens Jewish Link co-publisher Yaakov Serle won the Apple iPad drawing.

First Vice President and Regional Sales Manager Joelle Gonzalez spearheaded planning for the successful event, working with the Forest Hills and Kew Gardens branches. Gonzalez is responsible for the oversight of the bank’s sales department, including the coordination and implementation of business and employee development programs for the bank’s 79 branches. Gonzalez noted that the AppleConnect events are a great example of Apple Bank’s ongoing community involvement and the bank’s commitment to continually connect with customers and local organizations.

Attendees learned about banking solutions in line with their individual needs and goals. Since its inception in 1863, Apple Bank has continued to serve the banking needs of consumers and small businesses through its branch network and online banking platform. The bank is an active lender in the commercial real estate market as well as the corporate banking sector. Apple prides itself on being the second-largest state-chartered savings bank in New York State, with close to $15 billion in assets and 79 branches in the five boroughs of New York City, and Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, and Rockland Counties.

Apple banker Dana Nagamootoo was excited to welcome participants and noted, “The sense of community a guest feels when visiting an Apple Bank branch and receiving a warm welcome is what we strive for with every branch visit.”

Jacques Smith, Vice President and Branch Manager of the Forest Hills host branch, and Camille Cole, Assistant Vice President and Manager of the nearby Kew Gardens branch, spent time with attendees to learn more about their financial needs and establish new relationships. Smith, a Queens resident, has over 20 years of experience as a banker and joined Apple Bank in 2017. Cole has been part of the Apple Bank management team for over 15 years. Both managers excel in business development, customer service, and community outreach.

Vice President and Business Development Officer Michael Lukin, located at the Cedarhurst office at 115 Cedarhurst Avenue, also attended the event. Lukin, a Young Israel of Woodmere member, is another Apple banker who is engaged with the community. Lukin was the Community Service Award recipient at the Queens Jewish Link networking event in February 2018 and was recognized for Apple Bank’s support and contributions on behalf of the Queens Jewish community.

Guests learned about Apple Bank’s dedication to teaching children and young adults about financial literacy to help them achieve a successful financial future. Apple Bank, Member FDIC, offers Free ClassValue Student Checking to young people ages 14 through 25. This account allows high school, college, or vocational school students, often busy juggling school and a part-time job, to maintain 24/7 access to their banking without a monthly maintenance fee or required minimum balance.

Opening a Youth Savings Account for your child at Apple Bank is a particularly wise choice. It is never too early to teach children the importance of saving for the future. With a highly competitive rate and no monthly maintenance fee, this account is available to your children ages 6 to 17.

To learn how you can take advantage of Apple Bank’s offerings, visit their Forest Hills branch between 68th Road and 68th Avenue on the northern side at 102-35 Queens Boulevard, or the Kew Gardens location across the boulevard at 116-12 Queens Boulevard.

 By Shabsie Saphirstein