Carolyn Welch and Rich Balestracci to Assume New Commercial Lending Leadership Roles at Chelsea Groton Bank

Chelsea Groton Bank has named Carolyn Welch, Senior Vice President, the Director of Commercial Business Growth and Development, and Rich Balestracci has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Commercial Lending Department Manager.
 
“Throughout the pandemic, Chelsea Groton Bank was the leading PPP lender in the region. We helped hundreds of our own customers to obtain financial support, and we were able to step in and assist many other businesses who weren’t receiving timely support from their financial institution,” shared Tony Joyce, EVP, Chief Operating Officer at Chelsea Groton Bank. “We know our talented commercial lending team is capable of handling the financial lending needs of businesses of all sizes, across the state and beyond. As the rate environment has shifted, we were looking to adapt to changing market conditions and to work to grow our commercial marketshare in the state of CT. We believe Carolyn and Rich taking on these new roles will help us attain significant growth in the commercial portfolio.”
 
Carolyn Welch, Senior Vice President, Director of Commercial Business Growth and Development
In Carolyn’s new role, she will focus on developing new commercial loan and cash management relationships through centers of influence and existing business relationships throughout Connecticut. She and Rich will also work collaboratively to train new commercial loan officers. Carolyn joined the Bank in 2016 as Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer, and was named SVP, Commercial Lending Manager in 2018, and SVP, Director of Commercial Lending in 2021.
 
Prior to attending Niagara University, Carolyn graduated from Niagara County Community College with an AAS in Business Administration. Carolyn is a graduate of Leadership Niagara. She has also completed several courses at the American Institute of Banking, and advanced courses in leadership, commercial credit, and investment training throughout her career. 
 
Carolyn resides in Wallingford, CT with her husband and daughter. She serves as Vice Chairman of the Community Economic Development Fund (CEDF) Board of Directors, and as a board member of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce and Community Investment Development Corporation (CIDC).
 
Rich Balestracci, Senior Vice President, Commercial Lending Department Manager
In Rich’s new role, he will assume leadership of the Bank’s commercial lending team, in addition to maintaining a portfolio of loan customers. Since Rich joined the Bank in 2014, he has assumed roles of increasing responsibility with the Commercial Lending team.
 
Rich and his family reside in Pawcatuck. An active member of the community, he is the Treasurer of the Stonington Community Center, and a Loan Committee Member for the Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region (SECTER).
 
He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and an MBA for emerging leaders from the University of New Haven. He completed the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut Leadership Program and is a graduate of the American Bankers Association’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Pennsylvania.