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Citizens Bank and WMUR-TV recognize Harvey Bernier as the "heart" of Rochester

"Heart of Your City" program on NH Chronicle highlights people making a difference in their communities

New London, Conn. (June 28, 2012) – Citizens Bank and WMUR-TV have named Harvey Bernier the "Heart of Your City" for his outstanding commitment to the city of Rochester. Bernier’s story, which highlights the positive impact he has made in the community, will be featured on the program NH Chronicle on July 6.

Heart of Your City is a year-long partnership between Citizens Bank and WMUR-TV that recognizes people who are making good things happen in New Hampshire’s 13 cities. Each honoree is featured on NH Chronicle and on the Destination Downtown section of WMUR-TV’s website.

Bernier has operated his own insurance agency for the past 31 years in the heart of downtown Rochester. He was also the city’s mayor from 1996-1997. It was during this time that he launched the Rochester Opera House Restoration Project to help transform the historic building into a place where community members could enjoy local theater and cultural activities. The project earned a Governor’s Award in the Arts for Community Spirit.

"I am passionate about the great city of Rochester, and I enjoy working to help make it even stronger for our future generations," said Bernier. "I could never thank this community, my family and friends enough for all that they have done for me. Their support has been a driving force in all we have been able to accomplish."

Bernier and his wife were the caregivers of a son born with heart complications. After their son’s passing two years ago, they set up the Joseph Bernier Memorial Caregivers Fund to help caregivers who struggle financially. In support of the fight against heart disease, Bernier and his family and close friends helped organize a golf tournament that raised more than $35,000 for the cause. He also helped lead a fundraising event to assist a local resident with medical bills following a heart transplant. Bernier chaired the board of the Strafford County Chapter of the American Heart Association for three years.

"Harvey helps his community thrive through the success of his business and through his support of local causes,” said Wanda Walker, Citizens Bank Rochester branch manager. “He is a treasure, and we are fortunate to have folks like him who work hard each day to make a difference. We are proud to partner with WMUR-TV to showcase these good citizens and the tremendous work they do in our local communities."

"Harvey truly cares about his community and the people in it," said Laura Ring, President and CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. "He has a friendly and fun spirit, is true to his word and is always willing to roll up his sleeves to get things done. Because of his efforts, Harvey was honored with the Chamber's Citizen of the Year and Lifetime Achievement awards. We are so grateful for all he has done to help make this city stronger."

Other New Hampshire towns to be featured in the Heart of Your City program are Claremont, Lebanon, Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Somersworth. Cities that have already been highlighted include Berlin, Concord, Dover, Franklin, Keene and Laconia.

Nominations for Heart of Your City will be accepted throughout the year. If you would like to nominate an individual or group for this honor, please visit the WMUR website: www.wmur.com/destination-downtown.

About Citizens Bank
Citizens Bank is a division of RBS Citizens, N.A., operating its seven-state branch network in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. It has 80 branches and 199 ATMs in New Hampshire.

RBS Citizens, N.A., is a subsidiary of RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $130 billion commercial bank holding company. It is headquartered in Providence, R.I., and through its subsidiaries has more than 1,460 branches, approximately 3,800 ATMs and approximately 19,200 colleagues. Its two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A., and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 12-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont; and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. RBSCFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in more than 30 states. RBSCFG is owned by RBS (the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc). RBSCFG’s website is citizensbank.com.

WMUR-TV (Ch. 9) is an ABC-TV affiliate headquartered in Manchester, N.H., and is owned and managed by Hearst Television, Inc., one of the nation's largest television station groups. Founded in 1954, WMUR-TV is New Hampshire's largest commercial TV station, reaching more than 1 million people. The station's news, feature and sports coverage have won numerous awards for professional and journalistic excellence. WMUR-TV is considered the broadcast news source of record for New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary election. WMUR-TV provides online news and information at www.WMUR.com.