J.D. Power and Associates ranked People s United Bank highest in customer satisfaction for the New England region in its 2009 Retail Banking Satisfaction Study. People’s United is the parent company of Vermont’s Chittenden Bank.People s United garnered the highest ranking customer satisfaction score of 751 points, which was 30 index points above the New England regional industry average of 721. The bank performed well in the Customer Satisfaction Study factors: Convenience, Transactions, Account Initiation/Product Offerings, Account Statements, and Fees. We are clearly pleased by this external recognition of our long-term commitment to providing a superior customer experience, said Philip R. Sherringham, President and Chief Executive Officer of People s United Bank. Along with being among the strongest and most stable banks in the country, we bring a concerted focus across the entire organization to consistently exceeding customer expectations. While our highest ranking from J.D. Power and Associates certainly is very gratifying, our greatest reward is clearly in being second-to-none in our customers minds every day. It is for their support and loyalty that we are most grateful.People s United serves customers from Westchester County, NY to Bangor, ME through its divisions: Chittenden Bank, Flagship Bank, Maine Bank & Trust, Merrill Bank, Ocean Bank and The Bank of Western Massachusetts.J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services firm operating in key business sectors, including market research, forecasting, consulting, training and customer satisfaction. The firm s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of customers annually.People’s United Bank (Nasdaq: PBCT), a diversified financial services company with over $20 billion in assets, provides consumer and commercial banking services through a network of subsidiary banks with approximately 300 branches in Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine and New York. Through additional subsidiaries, People’s United Financial, the parent of People s United Bank, provides equipment financing, asset management, brokerage and financial advisory services, and insurance services.
It’s the last stand for the Wisconsin women’s basketball team.As head coach Bobbie Kelsey’s first season at the helm of Wisconsin comes to a close, the ninth-seeded Badgers will battle Minnesota, the No. 8 seed, in the first round of the Big Ten tournament. Although Wisconsin has dropped six of its last seven contests, a momentum-restoring victory over Illinois Sunday established a renewed confidence that players are hoping to ride into the all-or-nothing tournament.In this unplanned Border Battle, the Badgers aren’t disregarding the importance often placed in taking down the rival Golden Gophers, but remain focused on making sure their stay in Indianapolis lasts longer than one day.“We are really on a positive note, especially coming off Illinois; we should be really focusing in and ready to make that push,” sophomore guard Moran Paige said. “It will be really exciting. I think it’s going to be fun because we have some returners that have been there but we also have freshmen that get to get out there for the first time.”Despite finishing 5-11 in Big Ten play, Wisconsin earned a rather favorable matchup, as they already took down the Gophers Jan. 26 in Minneapolis. However, Minnesota has since proven they have talent to bring down the conference’s best, defeating an Ohio State squad that earned a No. 2 seed in the tournament.At the heart of the Gophers’ offense is freshman guard Rachel Banham, who posts an average of 16.1 points per game and can catch fire from outside as a 43.8 percent three-point shooter.UW forward Cassie Rochel played alongside Banham at Lakeville North High School in Lakeville, Minn., and calls the young Gophers’ guard her “best friend.” And while all personal relationships will be tossed aside once the two face off at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Rochel can’t help but be impressed by her friend’s ability to score from any spot on the court.“She’s a penetrator. She’s got really good handles, so no matter what she’s probably going to break a trap or take you one-on-one off the dribble,” Rochel said. “She’s got a great pull-up, she can go to the basket, she can finish really well and she’s got a phenomenal three-point shot.”While the Badgers can count on standout guard Taylor Wurtz and senior forward Anya Covington – who could be playing the final game of her college career – to produce on the offensive end, the key to victory may lie on the glass. Rebounding has become an emphasis for Wisconsin much of the year as they have too often handed their opponents put-back opportunities thanks to a lack of aggressiveness on the boards.However, all that changed when the Badgers outrebounded the Fighting Illini by a 36-17 margin Sunday. Kelsey & Co. believe how UW employs its height advantage over a smaller, guard-heavy Minnesota squad to gain an edge on the glass will be critical for Wisconsin. “The edge is maybe on the boards, who can get out and get some easy baskets, who can push the tempo a little bit, take care of the ball, so it can tip in either way,” Kelsey said. “I think this is a very good matchup for us.”Complimenting Banham on the offensive side is senior guard Kiara Buford, who averages more than 13 points per game, along with the Gophers’ primary post presence in 6-foot-4 forward Katie Loberg.As the Badgers face one of the more undersized teams in the conference, much of the offense could run through Covington, along with Rochel and forward Ashley Thomas, as they look to establish a dominating presence close to the rim. “Because they’re guard-oriented, we need to make our advantage known inside,” sophomore guard Morgan Paige said. “Especially rebounding – if we have the size advantage, we need to capitalize on that.”With remarkably similar shooting stats on the season – both Minnesota and Wisconsin average close to 40 percent from the field and 34 percent from beyond the arc – issues like turnovers and offensive rebounds will be an essential factor in who emerges with the win.While many players still vividly recall the tremendous disappointment of losing in the first round of last year’s Big Ten tournament, they are determined to make a longer stay in Indianapolis this time around. With little chance at qualifying for the WNIT or NCAA tournaments without a lengthy run in the conference tournament, the entire team realizes what’s at stake.As Kelsey sees it, it’s the final opportunity to go on a thrilling run that would leave players with a lasting, positive memory of this season.“You don’t want moral victories, but you certainly want to let your players know that, hey, they have the opportunity to do something great,” Kelsey said. “If you play together and you’re consistent and you’re not turning the ball over, the little things that are going to make you successful, you have a chance to win the game.”
Team improving However, after losing their first game to the Combined Campuses and Colleges, the team has been improving ever since. This includes two solid victories over Guyana, a one-wicket loss to Barbados, and return-leg triumph over the previously unbeaten hosts. This, according to Miller, has since instilled belief in the unit that they can go all the way, and it was for them to continue improving. Jamaica is scheduled to play in the semi-finals against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, who occupy the top two positions in Group A, and were playing each other at press time yesterday in Antigua. “We are enjoying this tournament and have excited the fans in a few games, and are thinking to continue in that part,” he declared. “We are focused on our game, our game plan and the way we are playing. The mindset is that we have two more games left, and we are going to take it game by game as we are prepared for any team.” Captain Nikita Miller believes team unity and selflessness have been underlying reasons for the success of the Jamaica Scorpions in the on-going WICB Regional Super50 Tournament. The Scorpions, on the back of a five match winning streak, are through to the semi-finals. The Robert Samuels-coached aggregation progressed as the second placed team in Group B behind after winning six matches and losing two. Co-hosts and pre-tournament favourites Barbados Pride, who have in their line-up, several front line West Indies players, with seven wins and a defeat claimed group honours. “What has impressed me the most thus so is our togetherness,” Miller said. “On and off-the-field, every person has been working in the best interest of the team. “I really didn’t expect this so early on due to the fact that it is a new coach, a new system and a new captain. But the fact that the guys buy into our philosophy, into our way of playing, what we believe in and what we are looking to achieve, is good. “In fact, I believe, win or lose, this team is heading in the right direction,” he continued, before adding “but we are going to win though”. Having failed to make it past the group stages last year and having the history of failing to win the tournament over its last five instalments, not much was expected of Jamaica heading into this season. In fact, it was presumed that the new-look outfit would struggle to stave off last year’s beaten semi-finalists, the Guyana Jaguars, for one of the two available places from the group for a final four placing.