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Updated: June 21, 2021

Chase opens first of five southern Maine branches as hiring continues

Photo / Renee Cordes Kelly Eberly is a Chase vice president and manager of the bank's new retail branch at 480 Congress St. in Portland.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) has opened the first of five branches the bank plans to launch in southern Maine. The first, at 480 Congress St. in downtown Portland, is led by Kelly Eberly.

Eberly is a native of South Paris and an Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School graduate who has been with Chase for two and a half years and in the banking industry for 20 years. She said she jumped at the chance to move back to her home state after previously managing a Chase branch in Tanglewood, Ohio.

In Portland, the Chase Vice President leads a team of 10 employees, both part- and full-time. Though that branch is now fully staffed, Chase continues to recruit as it readies four more locations in southern Maine by the end of 2022.

"I'm fully staffed, but we have career growth opportunities within Chase," Eberly told Mainebiz in an interview at the new branch, dotted with Maine motifs from lobsters to nautical art along with a living-room room area to make customers feel at home. "We're always recruiting even when we're not [hiring]."

Elsewhere in southern Maine, Chase is set to open a branch later this year in Westbrook, at 207 Larrabee Road. That will be followed by branch openings next year in Falmouth, at 25 U.S. Route 1; in Yarmouth, at 756 U.S. Route 1; and in Saco, at 520 Main St., in a former Krispy Kreme that Chase plans to rebuild with a freestanding drive-through window.

Chase bank building in Portland with foot traffic outside
Photo / Renee Cordes
The new Chase branch is located at 480 Congress St. in Portland, a busy downtown area near Monument Square.

Chase's move into Maine is part of a company-wide drive to operate retail branches in all 48 lower U.S. states led by JP Morgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon "to better serve our customers' needs."

The plan in Maine is to employ around 10 people per branch, or around 50 total, the company has said.

Chase has had a commercial office in Portland since 2018, and already has 244,000 business and consumer banking customers in Maine, of which 109,100 are in York and Cumberland counties, a Boston-based spokesperson told Mainebiz.

Justin Brovitz, a Boston-based executive director with JPMorgan who serves as the institution's market director for banking in Boston, Maine and Vermont, told Mainebiz last year he sees the firm's expansion into Maine "as a marathon and not a sprint."

In last week's interview at the branch in Portland, Eberly was unable to share the number of new customers so far but reported that the location had already had a steady flow of traffic, including some people who bank with Chase elsewhere and stopped by during their travels.

"From day one, we've had a nice consistent flow of building relationships," she said. Happy to be back in Maine, she and her family are currently residing in Freeport as they have a house built in New Gloucester.

Eberly has visited Maine every year since she left, and started thinking about about returning to her home state during a family visit last August. She now looks forward to "rediscovering things I never knew about when I grew up" and exploring with her husband and daughter.

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