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Friends & Neighbors: Stonington resident named to 40 under 40 banking list

Richard Balestracci of Stonington, vice president and commercial loan officer at Chelsea Groton Bank, has been named to Independent Banker magazine annual 40 Under 40 list under the category Emerging Community Bank Leaders. According to a release, the award “recognizes the nation’s up-and-coming community bank innovators and influencers who represent the future of the industry.”

Chosen from hundreds of entries, candidates were judged on the following criteria: character, leadership, community involvement, and innovation.

“I’m honored to be in the company of such a distinguished group and to represent Chelsea Groton Bank on ICBA Independent Banker’s 40 Under 40: Emerging Community Bank Leaders list,” Balestracci said in a release.

Balestracci was instrumental during the pandemic in collaborating to ensure PPP loans were handed out to hundreds of local business owners. Balestracci is also treasurer of the Stonington Community Center, a member of the Stonington Economic Development Commission, and a Loan Committee Member for the Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Connecticut in 2007 and a MBA for emerging leaders from the University of New Haven. He completed the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut Leadership Program, and is a recent graduate of the American Bankers Association’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Pennsylvania.

Friends & Neighbors is a regular feature. To submit, email


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