Ever since Michelle Barone-Lepore arrived at Rhinebeck Bank corporate headquarters in February 2016 things haven’t been quite the same. With a resume that includes owning a company that juggled 200 social media accounts and 50 clients by the time she was 29, this marketing professional was hired to shake things up. And she did.
In May 2016, she and co-worker Mark Malone launched an online community-interview show called “Wake Up with Rhinebeck Bank,” that grabs anywhere from 10,000 to 35,000 views per episode. “It’s massive exposure in a very small market,” says Barone-Lepore, who notes that the show is probably a factor in the recent surge of homeowner loans. She also initiated a social media campaign for a Dutchess County Fair ticket giveaway. “We’ve built a fantastic partnership.
“The difference with a community bank and a bigger bank is that you can make a real impact,” says Barone-Lepore. “That’s our competitive edge. We know the intricacies of this market. We know our customers. When we’re out to dinner or hiking at Mount Beacon, our customers are there, too. We are part of the community. We’re doing things that are different and relatable to people, but still within the wheelhouse of finance and banking. And that’s what really moves the needle.”
What was your first job?
“I worked at Sugar and Spice Café in the Marshalls mall (in Poughkeepsie) when I was 16. I loved it there! It was a great family to work for and it taught me how to work with customers.”