PLATTSBURGH - It's a new year for Ron Marino and one where each day will start a little different than it has in the past.
Marino, manager of Glens Falls National Bank's Margaret Street branch, retired Dec. 31, ending his 45-year career in the banking industry. However, retirement is something that will take a little getting used to, he said.
"I'm from an Italian family, so I had it ingrained in me that if you don't work you're a bum," Marino said, laughing.
Marino's career dates back to January 1966, when he took a job downstate with then State Bank of Albany. He had just completed a stint in the U.S. Navy, with the intention of staying out for 30 days then going back to the recruiting station to reenlist.
"I wanted to get to Italy and, at the time, if you were out over 31 days, you got the choice of a new duty station," Marino said about reenlisting. "I had been in the Navy for six years and every time I tried for a transfer I got Korea, I got Japan, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Norfolk - every place but Italy."
However, after a little more than a week of "sitting around," Marino found he couldn't sit still and applied for a job as an outside collector at the State Bank of Albany.
"I really got to like it," said Marino. "I was getting paid to take away cars, TVs, to adjust people's thinking and helping them to recognize their just obligations. I loved it, so I stayed with it."
Marino loved it so much, he didn't reenlist in the Navy until 1978, when the Reserve program called him. Eventually, Marino was transferred to SBA's Hudson branch, where he met his wife, Diane. The couple then moved when Marino was transferred to Johnstown and later Fort Plain, where he oversaw his first branch. In 1984, Marino came to the North Country when he was transferred to SBA's Plattsburgh branch.
"We've been here ever since," said Marino.
Though his employer has changed - from SBA to Norstar to Fleet then, finally, to Glens Falls National in 1997 - Marino's love for the banking business hasn't.
"I've loved it," said Marino. "Most of my memories are about customers that I've helped. That's what's kept me going."
What changed Marino's frame of thinking was a heart attack he suffered in 2002. That led him to want to spend more time with his wife and two sons, Chris and Brian, not to mention his six granddaughters.
"I felt like I was living on borrowed time, so I wanted to start concentrating my time more on them," said Marino.
He retired from the Reserves the following year, after more than 30 years of overall service in the military. And, in November 2009, he started thinking about his retirement from Glens Falls National, too.
"I always thought that the longer you hold on, you run the risk of going out looking like a bumbling idiot," laughed Marino. "So, I figured it'd be better to go out at the top of your game rather than the bottom."
However, Marino won't be resting on his laurels now that he's retired. He remains active as president of Sunrise Rotary Club and Clinton Community College Foundation and plans to volunteer with RSVP of Clinton County's AARP Tax Program, helping the elderly and low-income families prepare their annual income tax returns.
"So, I'll be busy," said Marino. "I'm not one to sit on the porch and watch the world go by."
As for Italy? Marino said he'd like to finally go since he never go to so many years ago.
"Before I croak, I'm going to go," he said, laughing.