Lakeland Bank Opens Its Doors For July Fourth Celebration
Upcoming celebration marks six years of official sponsorship.
- Name: Drew TerWaarbeek is an Assistant Vice President for Lakeland Bank. He also manages the Montville branch of the bank, which, for six years, has served as the official sponsor for the Montville Township 4th of July Celebration. “To us it means that we (Lakeland Bank) are there for everybody,” explained TerWaarbeek. “Without an official sponsor a lot of the events couldn’t take place because of the cost that’s involved in everything. So we like to help out with that.”
- Current Activities: Because it takes place during the last weekend in June, the Montville Township 4th of July Celebration is also known as the Montville Township Independence Day Celebration. This year the three day event is scheduled for Thursday, June 23 through Saturday, June 25. “It is something that we have become the official sponsor of, for many years in a row, now,” added TerWaarbeek. “It’s an event that we look forward to every year.” The bank’s donation to the event exceeds $15,000, and makes it possible for three days of family friendly fun to take place on the grounds surrounding Montville Township High School. In addition to the parade, concerts, carnival, contests, circus, and fireworks, which Lakeland Bank’s Official Sponsorship helps to make possible, TerWaarbeek and his staff open the doors of the Montville branch to customers old and new. “Basically it’s all hands on deck during the Montville 4th of July Celebration,” TerWaarbeek said. “We participate with little games on the front lawn, while the parade is going on. Handing out balloons to the children, give-aways up and down the street, while we’re waiting for the parade to start and come around the corner. And then, once the parade comes we enjoy it from here. Plus we stay open during the parade, too. And if customers need to come in and use the restroom, or make a deposit or withdrawal, we’re there for them.” Lakeland Bank also assists in arranging for an ATM to be at the carnival for the convenience of those attending the event.
- Time: As the official sponsor, Lakeland Bank spends months planning. “We started months ago meeting with the 4th of July Committee,” TerWaarbeek said. “My staff and I work together during the entire month of June putting together promotional materials, and things to hand out during the event.”
- Role: “We participate in the parade. We are usually in the front. My staff and some of their families march.” TerWaarbeek usually marches in the parade, as well. But, his favorite activity of the three day celebration is: “The fireworks. No doubt about it,” he said.
- Other Activities: “We’re very active in the community,” said TerWaarbeek. “Anytime there is a tricky tray, silent auction, or a golf outing, whatever it is. The Chamber of Commerce, Montville Unico, Board of Education, anybody that is doing some sort of promotional idea, we participate with advertisements.” Coming up, Lakeland Bank is sponsoring the T-shirts needed for Montville’s 2011 Project Graduation.
- Career: Eleven years ago TerWaarbeek, who grew up in Parsippany’s Lake Hiawatha area, began his career at Lakeland Bank. Prior to that he worked in the executive offices of Taco Bell’s corporate parent company. Last year the executive assumed responsibilities for the bank’s branch management. “There’s a big difference between the two worlds,” TerWaarbeek said of banking and fast food. “They are both about customers and currency. But it’s a different ball game. In fast food, people want to get in and out, and move on with their lives. In the banking world it’s about building relationships and providing solutions for our customers.” It’s those relationships that TerWaarbeek enjoys, and one of the reasons he feels the 4th of July Celebration is so important to Lakeland Bank. “Every single one of my employees is engaging with the customers on a daily basis. But, my tellers, for example, are only dealing with the individuals who are coming to the branch. At the 4th of July Celebration, they get to see other people from the town, like the business owners, who don’t always come to the bank themselves. At 4th of July, they are out on the street with their children, and business owners come over and say, ‘Oh, hi. I’m so and so from ABC Company.’ And they (the tellers) get to meet them, and interact with them, and it’s a nice time.”
- About Lakeland Bank: According to TerWaarbeek, Lakeland Bank employs ten people at the Montville branch; however, the building accommodates other bank executives in its upstairs offices. There are a total of 47 branches in northern New Jersey, and “three administration centers.” The main headquarters is located in Oak Ridge, NJ.
- Favorite Thing About Montville: “The people, honestly. They’re just very pleasant to deal with,” noted TerWaarbeek. “They’re easy going. They like the fact that we’re community involved. We have a great report with them. It’s a great community to both live in, I’m sure, and work in.”
- Most Meaningful Part of the Job; “Again, working with the customers. We’re not product pushing with our customers. Basically, our clients come to see us because they have needs,” TerWaarbeek noted. “And we provide solutions to them to help them better involve themselves with their banking issues.”
- Hobbies: “I’m an outdoorsman,” TerWaarbeek said. “I love to go fishing, hiking, camping, and, believe it or not, my wife enjoys those things too…. We look for the state parks, and county parks… just somewhere new. You’re away from everybody else. There’s nobody else around you but nature.” TerWaarbeek is also a “huge baseball and football fan.”
- Philosophy: “You know you gotta take life day by day. I am a true believer of that. I can’t really be too concerned with next month. Although you have to be prepared for the future, you really need to focus on ‘now is now.’”