Mark J. Meiklejohn

When Brookline Bancorp Inc. acquired Bank Rhode Island in 2011, one might have assumed it was just another case of a bigger out-of-state company swallowing up an Ocean State institution that would soon disappear from the landscape.

Not quite.

Soon after the deal was finalized, Mark J. Meiklejohn was appointed CEO and president of BankRI. A Rhode Island native and longtime BankRI executive, Meiklejohn has remained chief executive for more than a decade and is a sign that Providence-based BankRI has retained its community mindset.

“I know what the market is,” said Meiklejohn, who started his career at Fleet Bank before joining BankRI in 2006 and moving up the ladder. “I know what the market wants.”

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Indeed, Boston-based Brookline has a unique corporate structure in regard to BankRI, according to Meiklejohn. BankRI is more autonomous than other subsidiaries, governed in part by its own board of directors.

Under Meiklejohn’s guidance, BankRI has prospered. The bank says it has doubled its assets from $1.6 billion to $3.2 billion in the last decade and added six branches, bringing its total location count to 20.

And more recently, the bank closed more than 3,000 Paycheck Protection Program loans, helping to get more than $500 million to local businesses struggling at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beyond dollars and cents, BankRI’s 300 employees volunteered nearly 6,000 hours in 2020. And Meiklejohn has done his part, too, serving over the years on the board of United Way of Rhode Island, as well as a trustee for the YMCA of Greater Providence and the Providence ­Foundation.