Beyond The Chair with NBT Bank

January 23, 2023

Beyond The Chair with NBT Bank


Each production at Broadway Utica tells a story. Sad, funny, satirical, or bold, these plays allow an audience to in mesh themselves in the heartache, success, and triumphs of courage outside of their everyday scope. Yet, before those stories grace the stage, sets are designed, aisles are swept, and velvet chairs brushed, come the investors who help it all unfold. For NBT Bank, that support arrives in the form of sponsorship and a season subscription designed with a single intention – to nourish the community that has upheld its business.

Situated directly across from The Stanley Theatre, nestled between the inciting aromas of Ancora, Swifty’s, and the warm, comforting perks of Joseph Putrello, is the prominent NBT building. A bank designed by necessity in a thriving Downtown area, NBT holds the treasures of an evening with Broadway Utica as visitors utilize its ATMs, fill its parking lot after business hours, and, most of all, sit amongst its employees as they take in the production they helped make possible.

“Our downtown office allows us to witness the draw and attraction Utica brings. I love looking out my window as buses pull up and wonder what is going on; what show is happening; what schools are attending,” stated Tricia Bushee, Senior Regional Territory Manager for NBT Bank in the Mohawk Valley. “For the past five years, I’ve been able to take in Downtown’s revitalization and access the fundamental changes that the Comets, and new places like the Nexus Center, have brought. Along with the area’s growth and development comes the additional caliber of the arts that Broadway Utica offers. It’s a different buzz, yet it still connects with a large portion of those within our community who are seeking out sports and athletic centers. Those same people in jeans at a Comets game are getting dressed up, going out to dinner, and experiencing another unique dimension of our area. Walking out of work and seeing The Stanley’s marquee lit up, and people milling around the streets, and filling our lot, is precisely the type of environment we want to see all the time.”

As a bank that takes pride in its involvement in the arts, NBT Bank breaks the banking stereotype, which is often focused on money, savings, and profits. “People find it interesting to learn that corporations, like NBT Bank, are invested in the arts. As a company, our stereotype is that we focus on serious, financial matters, which we do, but we also study the best places to invest our funds. The arts are high on our priority list because they are a top priority for our customers. As a senior leader for our Retail Banking Division, I typically take in every other show. This has allowed me to be visible to customers outside the bank and provide a first-hand look at what NBT is investing in, which has been wonderful.” Bushee’s wholesome laugh fills the room as she discusses her favorite scenes from The Book of Mormon – but when it comes to business and marketing she’s quick to point out the conversations the show evokes.

“When we’re at business dinners or visiting customers from outside of the area, we’re always quick to talk about the wonderful changes and growth the City of Utica is undergoing. Highlighting everything our city has to offer and then discussing the latest Broadway show at the historic Stanley Theatre changes the tone and level of conversation. With that connection, showing the bank’s personal side becomes effortless.” As Bushee breaks into a buoyant description of Elf The Musical it’s easy to imagine what a business dinner with her might be like.

“When you go to a show you experience this little-big City of Utica and all the different aspects of life people come from. Watching everyone flood through the doors, saying hello to strangers and people they know, and finding their seats, holds an allure. There’s a sense of magic as you watch everyone lean forward, straining to see how Santa’s sleigh is floating in the air and laughing or gasping in synch with those around you.” That excitement is one of the reasons Bushee is proud to point out NBT Bank’s name on the playbill.

“For NBT, placing the bank’s name on Broadway Utica’s playbill is special. This is where our customers open the page and see their bank’s name highlighted; where they understand that we find the same value in something they do. Our clients and our community are why we remain in the area. Attaching our name to one of the companies that continue to make this area a better place to live and visit continues to emulate our local pride.” Along with Bushee’s annual attendance comes the subscription that employees and clients of NBT share.

“I typically set up a lottery call where we invite and chose employees from our ten area branches. When our employees are chosen, they’re thrilled. But the best part of that experience might be the animation and excitement they bring back to the office as they describe and explain the play and all its details. It’s great to be able to spread that joy around. We have clients who ask for tickets to a certain show, and clients who’ve never experienced a Broadway play. Interestingly enough, we typically find that when clients experience a show, they tend to go back to the theater, or purchase a subscription of their own which in turn gives back to Broadway Utica and our community.”

As 1776 prepares to make its way to Utica, Bushee and NBT Bank have already begun discussing which branch team members will be the recipients of their seats. “We hope that with our continued support, both with our employees and clients, and within Broadway Utica, we can aid in participation and help others experience the joy of what sits directly across the street from us. Broadway Utica and The Stanley Theatre are as much a part of downtown Utica’s revitalization as the new buildings developing around us, and it’s vital that we support that – whether we do it with a sponsorship from our bank or a ticket to a show. The arts and these two aspects are a part of who we are. It’s our history and our growth, and NBT is proud to be a part of it all.”

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