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I disagree with your editorial comment “MBNA carved out a whole culture downtown (one that is not particularly missed)” in the above article [“Bank of America’s presence in the City of Wilmington is dwindling,” published Feb. 7].
If you mean a culture of hard work, dedication to the community and being a good corporate citizen is something “that is not particularly missed,” I can tell you as a resident of Wilmington, I wish we had more of these kind of folks. MBNA established and fostered hundreds of charities in Wilmington. Their employees gave generously of their time (in fact contributing time to the community was in many cases a job requirement) and their money. Many former MBNA people continue to contribute to Wilmington. I encourage you to look at the boards of some of Wilmington’s most important nonprofits including Easter Seals, The Ministry of Caring, Saint Francis Hospital, Boys and Girls Club, YMCA of Delaware and Mary Campbell Center, to name only a few, and you will see many ex-MBNA people.
Additionally, unlike many of the companies that have come to Wilmington recently, MBNA did not request, and in some cases outright refused financial assistance from the city and the state. If you were around before they came to town, their headquarters was an unattractive empty lot. With MBNA came many service providers that remain here today including the credit card issuing companies that continue to contribute thousands of dollars to Wilmington and are, in part, the reason why companies like ING, Capital One and Citibank chose to locate here.
I have worked downtown for years during and after the MBNA days and I cannot say the culture is any better now, and, unlike you, I often miss the MBNA culture.-30-
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