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Webster is a leading regional bank serving businesses and consumers in the northeast. We are a community minded and values driven financial institution that’s been around 80 years.

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Webster Bank’s Jim Smith Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

WATERBURY, Conn., October 8, 2012 – Webster Bank is pleased to announce that Jim Smith, chairman and CEO of Webster Bank, is one of four recipients of the Hartford Business Journal’s distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award.  This honor recognizes business leaders who are making a positive impact on future generations through their community outreach activities; teaching others by example; and providing the leadership and guidance that will create Hartford’s future business leaders.

“I am honored to receive this recognition, especially in the company of such distinguished fellow recipients,” said Smith.  “My father founded Webster Bank during the Great Depression, and I believe he would be proud that we continue to build on the values and principles that he set forth to guide us.”

“We are thrilled to honor Jim Smith for his Lifetime of Achievement.  He has led Webster from a local family owned business to become a regional player in the banking world.  His passions for collaboration, teamwork, and community involvement have been a gift to our business community,” said Gail Lebert, publisher of the Hartford Business Journal.

“In this our third year of the Lifetime Achievement awards, our judges have put together a strong class of four honorees who have built their businesses on a sound foundation of community service and personal values,” said Norman Bell, editor of the Hartford Business Journal. Along with Smith, 2012 award winners include Hartford lawyer and political consultant Peter Kelly; philanthropist Andy Mandell, who founded Data-Mail; and John Carmon, patriarch of eight Carmon Funeral Homes.  

This latest achievement caps off a whirlwind year for Webster – and for Jim - who has been called “the real life George Bailey,” from the classic film It’s a Wonderful Life.  Webster has been singularly proactive with its more than $200 million loan modification program that has helped more than 1,200 homeowners keep their homes as the country emerges from the Great Recession.  This effort received local and national recognition on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, the Wall Street Journal, and on WNPR’s Where We Live.

Jim, following his father, is only the second CEO of Webster Bank.  Under his leadership, Webster has grown from eight full service offices, 250 employees and $592.3 million in assets in 1987 to 168 branches, 3,000 employees and nearly $20 billion in assets today.  Webster is committed to financing the region’s economic recovery and growth, having originated more than $6 billion in loans over the past three years.  Webster is Connecticut’s leading SBA lender and the leading lender to women and minority businesses and Veterans.

You can read all about Jim and his fellow honorees in the special dedicated section of the Hartford Business Journal.  They will be formally recognized on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at a 7:30 a.m. breakfast celebration at the Hartford Club, 46 Prospect Street in Hartford, Conn.

About Webster Bank:
Webster Financial Corporation is the holding company for Webster Bank, National Association. With $19 billion in assets, Webster provides business and consumer banking, mortgage, financial planning, trust and investment services through 167 banking offices, 464 ATMs, 290 of which are owned by Webster and 174 of which are branded; telephone banking; mobile banking; and the Internet. Webster Bank owns the asset based lending firm Webster Business Credit Corporation; the equipment finance firm Webster Capital Finance Corporation; and provides health savings account trustee and administrative services through HSA Bank, a division of Webster Bank. Member FDIC and equal housing lender. For more information about Webster, including past press releases and the latest annual report, visit the Webster website at

Media Contact:
Sarah Barr, 203-578-2287