Deborah Jackson, the President and COO of East Boston Savings Bank since 2009 who became a fixture in East Boston as a member of several community organizations, has died.
Jackson died in Andover after a brief illness. She was 57 years old.
All of us at East Boston Savings Bank, our board members, senior management and employees, are saddened by the passing of Deborah J. Jackson, our colleague and our President & COO, said the bank s Board Chairman and CEO, Richard Gavegnano. Deb brought all of that education and experience and intelligence here at a crucial moment. She knew that, as they say, the devil is in the details and she knew instinctively how to find and correct the issue that could derail the great progress we ve making. With the help of Deb s efforts we are stronger than ever and more ready than ever to seize the future.
Life had come full circle for Jackson who was appointed to serve as the bank s President and COO in January 2009 and like Gavegnano, Jackson s roots run deep in Eastie.
Jackson grew up on Webster Street in the same home her mother grew up in. Both sets of her grandparents were from Italy and settled in East Boston. Jackson s, whose maiden name is Zeoli, lived a typically Eastie life in Jeffries Point. She lived in one house growing up and her father s parents lived down the street so the families were all very close.
Jackson attended the former Our lady of the Assumption School and then went over to the North End for high school.
After high school Jackson did a semester at Bunker Hill Community College but left to get married. While the marriage produced Jackson s number one love in life–her daughter Christine–it was short lived.
When her daughter was one year old her life changed dramatically. She found herself as a divorced, single mother living in Eastie with no job, no skills and no money.
At that moment Jackson knew she had to do something to better herself, and her daughter s lives.
Jackson went back to Bunker Hill at night and then transferred to Bentley College. It was around this time she landed a job with State Street Bank in Quincy. The job paid for her to get her Masters Degree in Business Administration from Suffolk University.
After she got her Masters Jackson went into community banking. She worked for Waltham Savings Bank for five years before landing the job as Chief Financial Officer at Hingham Institution For Saving, a position she held for 14 years until taking her position with EBSB.
In 2008 she saw an ad in the Boston Globe for the position at EBSB and was thinking about it for a few weeks. Jackson debated on whether not she should apply and with encouragement from her late father she applied. With her extensive banking experience and Eastie roots, Jackson was a shoe-in for the job.
At the time of Jackson s hiring, Gavegnano said with the experience she has running the financial operations of a full service banking institution and her knowledge of our market area and customer base, she will be a critical part of our team and our future success.
Senator Anthony Petruccelli, the chair of the state s Committee on Financial Services said Deb Jackson was always proud to say she grew up in East Boston and her rising up the ranks in the banking industry to become President of East Boston Savings Bank was something all East Boston residents should be proud of.† She was a class act and positive role model,† and will be sorely missed. My deepest sympathies go out to her family and colleagues.