Spotlight on the Honorees: Joseph V. Roller II

At our 12th Annual Spring Fundraising Event on May 20, 2015, MHSA will honor two individuals and one program that have all made outstanding contributions to ending homelessness. Today, we’re excited to launch our Spotlight on the Honorees blog series with an interview with Joseph V. Roller II, President and CEO of Cambridge Trust Company. MHSA will honor Mr. Roller, along with Linda Wood-Boyle and Bentley University’s Service-Learning Center, on May 20th at the Omni Parker House Hotel in Boston.

Joseph Roller has been a member of the banking community for 40 years, spending the last 30 years in executive leadership positions with Boston-area financial institutions, including (the former) BayBanks and U.S. Trust. Mr. Roller is actively engaged in the community, serving on the boards of the Cambridge Community Foundation, Mount Auburn Hospital, Huntington Theatre Company, and Massachusetts Bankers Association, as well as on the Corporate Advisory Board of The Boston Club. Mr. Roller has chaired fundraising campaigns for the Cambridge Housing Assistance Fund (CHAF) and The Salvation Army. Mr. Roller received an award from Cambridge College School of Management for his work with students on financial literacy. In addition, he was presented with the Continuing the Tradition of Caring award from VNA Care Network & Hospice for co-chairing the successful capital campaign to renovate Chilton House in Cambridge. Mr. Roller holds a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University and attended Harvard Business School’s Management Development and Strategic Marketing Programs. Mr. Roller and his wife Jan reside in Boston and have two grown sons.

What motivates your dedication to community service?

Early in my life, I grew up often hearing the words, “To whom much is given, much is asked.” Contributing to the community is not hard. I enjoy being on a team and partnering with others to work towards a common goal. When that shared goal is to improve someone’s life, it is compelling. To have a role in activities that can produce profound impacts in the community inspires me and motivates me to remain engaged.

What role do you see for the private sector in efforts to end homelessness?

In the Cambridge Trust Company’s 2014 Annual Report, I referred to a quote that posed the notion that positive change in a community can be accelerated “by combining assistance with organized local self-determination and effort.” Fighting homelessness is a multi-dimensional challenge requiring creative thinking, resources and action. The private sector can and should play a role in effecting change in the cycle of homelessness. By collaborating with leaders in the homeless sector like MHSA, and bringing talent and resources to the partnership, the private sector can help facilitate change and produce positive outcomes.

What does this award mean to you?

I appreciate and am honored to receive this award. It is also a recognition of my bank, Cambridge Trust Company, which, as an institution and through its employees, has for decades been actively engaged in community development. I am also humbled to receive this recognition because I am well aware there are many “unsung heroes” who are equally, if not more, deserving. In the end, each of us has a role to play, and together we work as best we can to improve the lives of our fellow citizens.

Join us on May 20, 2015 to recognize Joseph Roller and our other outstanding honorees! Learn more about sponsoring or attending Home for Good: Solutions Start Here.

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