Deborah Bochain jumped into an advertising director’s position at Middletown’s Liberty Bank out of college after just nine months of management training.
Bochain has been with Liberty since 1979, when she joined the bank as a management trainee.
“That training program allowed me to see different areas of the organization and I was very intrigued by things I didn’t know about, whether it was the finance department or the new accounts area or being a teller,” said Bochain.
Less than a year in, as the bank was creating a new marketing department, the head of that department was looking for someone to manage the advertising work – and Bochain jumped at the chance.
Bochain continued to work in the advertising and marketing arena for about two and a half years. Then Liberty acquired Willimantic Savings and Loan, which had two branches, and there was a vacancy for a branch manager, which she was asked to fill. Bochain managed that office for three years.
Five years later, Freedom Financial was folded back into Liberty Bank as a department, Liberty Home Lenders, and Bochain was named its president.
She was appointed executive vice president for personal lending in 1999. Then, in 2004, her responsibilities expanded to include the bank’s branch network as executive vice president for the personal financial services group. With the addition of the bank’s investment services group in 2008, Bochain became responsible for the retail banking group.
Now, she is responsible for the bank’s 43-branch office network, community development, VantisLife Insurance, Liberty’s Investment Services and all mortgage and consumer lending applications including origination, underwriting, closing, sales, servicing, collection and quality assurance.
“[The various positions] afforded me an incredible experience to understand all the complexities in trying to serve consumers and our customers in a way that is seamless,” Bochain said. “You can’t teach experience. It’s given me the ability to learn so much about the industry and my own leadership skills, and the opportunity to help mentor other employees in the company, and really to service our customers.”
Bochain is an active member of the Middlesex County United Way, where she has the opportunity to get out into communities and understand their banking needs. Bochain is also active with the Thames River Family Program in Norwich, a residential transitional-living program for homeless individuals.