When Edward Capobianco pitched the idea for American Community Bank to his financial advisor Aldo Verrelli in 1998, he said it sounded like an excellent idea. Capobianco, a banker for decades, wanted to create a family-owned bank, one that is focused heavily on giving its customers the easiest and most comprehensive banking experience possible.
“He had all the experience and he always thought opening a bank would be a great thing,” Verrelli said. “After he explained it to me, I said, ‘Let’s do it.’”
The two began building capital and planned how their new bank would operate. They opened the first branch at 300 Glen St. in Glen Cove in January, 2000. In celebration of its 20 years of service to Long Island, the city honored American Community Bank with a ribbon cutting.
Additionally, Richner Communications has awarded American Community with its 2020 Family Business Award.
“We are honored to recognize the Capobianco family at our inaugural event because they embody what the word community means,” said Amy Amato, Richner’s executive director of corporate relations and events. “As residents, it has allowed them to become deeply rooted and involved in charitable causes and local associations.”
Since its inception, American Community has established branches in Mineola and New Hyde Park, as well as Commack and East Northport in Suffolk, although the corporate office has always been in Glen Cove. Unfortunately, Capobianco was not able to see his business surpass two decades of success, as he died on 2019.
CEO Tony Capobianco, Edward’s son, said maintaining its status as a family-owned business is pivotal to the success and identity of American Community. He acknowledged that it can be difficult to keep up with larger banks in terms of basic services like ATM access and deposits.
However, Capobianco said the company’s leverage over its competition comes from its far superior ability to provide personal service to its clients, as well as easier access to financial experts. He said that customers know they will be better served on a personal level by a smaller bank, which he said gives American Community a large advantage.
“Being locally owned, individuals have the ability to speak directly to decision makers and we have the local community in the best interest,” said Matt Nartowicz, vice president of the bank’s Nassau branches.
Verrelli, now the bank’s chairman, said the company treats its clients like people, not just as numbers like many larger banks do.
“We treat all of our clients almost like family,” he said. “We’re involved in every loan that the bank makes and we know who our customers are.”
It is this success that has made Capobianco proud of the presence American Community has had in Glen Cove these past 20 years.
“It means a lot,” he said. “I think that it’s challenging for smaller community banks these days, but we’re up to the challenge and excited to continue on.”
“It’s a great achievement,” Verrelli said. “We went from the one branch to five branches. We’re growing the bank cautiously and we’re hoping to get the bank to 10 branches soon.”
Capobianco said he was pleasantly surprised to see that American Community had won the Family Business Award. He said he is proud of the work he and the rest of his team do at American Community. And Verrelli added that the credit extends far past the bank’s higher-ups.
“I think it’s a great honor,” Verrelli said. “Not just for us, but for our employees and our clients who made us what we are today.”
Although 20 years is a long time for any business to thrive, Capobianco said the people at American Community Bank are not even close to slowing down.
“We’re honored and proud to serve the Glen Cove community for 20 years now,” he said, “and we’re excited to do it for another 20 years.