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Franchise Finance Team

About our experts

The Franchise Finance team at People’s United Bank specializes in helping franchisees build and maintain financially strong businesses. With uncommon expertise and a relationship focus, our industry experts provide practical, flexible financing solutions* that meet the unique needs of your business.


Joseph Blanchard is the Senior Commercial Credit Analyst for the Franchise Finance team at People’s United Bank. Joe began his career in commercial banking in 2018 following the completion of a B.S. in Business Administration from Bryant University. Joe began his focus in Franchise Finance in 2020 when he joined the People’s United team, but has experience with Dunkin Donuts lending. Joe is also pursuing a M.A in Applied Economics from American University.


Bill joined People’s Bank in June 2019, as VP Commercial Portfolio Manager for Franchise Finance. Bill brings 19 years of commercial lending experience, including large corporate finance and loan workout, with the last 7 years focused on restaurant franchise finance. Prior to People’s, Bill held positions at Citizens Bank and Bank of America. 


John Doucette joined People’s United Bank in 2014 as the Regional Manager of Eastern Massachusetts, was promoted to Market Manager in 2018, and was promoted again to Head of Commercial Banking – Massachusetts in 2019. He is responsible for developing and implementing the strategic plan to increase the Bank’s commercial loan business throughout Massachusetts. Doucette’s office is located in Boston, Massachusetts.

Focusing on commercial banking ranging from deals from $500,000 to $50,000,000, Doucette manages eight commercial lending teams that provide creative financial solutions, encompassing both short- and long-term credit facilities and investment opportunities to mid-size and large companies. Doucette’s teams include four Corporate C&I teams focusing on lending opportunities in excess of $5,000,000, three Commercial C&I teams focusing on lending opportunities below $5,000,000 and a Franchise Lending team focusing on multi-unit franchise / chain restaurants on a National basis.

Doucette has over thirty years of experience in the banking industry and has held a variety of management and staff positions. Prior to joining People’s United Bank, he was with Santander (Sovereign) for fourteen years, holding positions of increasing responsibility. His last position was Market Manager – New England Asset Based Lending, where he was responsible for managing a team of six Asset Based Relationship Managers and a portfolio of commercial and asset-based loans with a concentration in the seafood industry.

Previously, Doucette was at Fleet Financial Group, holding various positions in commercial banking. Additionally, he worked at US Trust in the loan recovery group.

Doucette participates in both community development and professional associations. Currently, he is a member of the Board of Directors - Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Board of Directors and Investment Chairperson - Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries of Boston, the Board of Directors of the People's United Community Foundation of Eastern Massachusetts, the Board of Directors of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Borrower and the Board of Directors – South Shore Hospital Charitable Foundation. He continues to be involved with the Commercial Finance Association and previously served as chairman and president.

Doucette earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Bentley College. He resides in Hanson with his wife Michelle and three children, Shannon, Michael and Sean.


John joined People’s United Bank to in April of 2018 to develop and grow a national franchise lending division. John has over 25 years of experience in commercial lending with an expertise in medium to large franchise business owners as well as large corporate franchisors. His experience includes senior debt, sub-debt, mezzanine, equity for single lender transactions as well as larger syndicated deals. The majority of John’s career has been focused on all areas of franchise and chain business financing most recently helping Citizens Bank Restaurant Finance Group grow to the 3rd/4th largest restaurant lending group in the country. Other firms include Pinnacle Commercial Capital (correspondent with Sovereign Bank), Lehman Brothers and Franchise Mortgage Acceptance Company, who was the first dedicated firm to securitize several billion in franchise paper.


Maria Liachev joined People’s United Bank as a Portfolio Manager in January 2019. Prior to joining People’s United Bank, Maria worked as Commercial Lender at Boston Private Bank for 4 years and spent 12 years at RBS Citizens Bank where she spent most of her time in Commercial Banking as a Portfolio Manager on the Technology Lending team and then Portfolio Manager in the Franchise Finance group.

Originally from Moscow, Maria grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. She studied Finance at the University of Utah. Maria currently resides in Braintree, MA with her family.


Carolyn Normand has over 15 years of commercial banking experience and is currently a Senior Credit Officer with People’s United Bank in Boston. She is responsible for review, approval, and portfolio management of credit covering Franchise Lending; Commercial and Industrial teams in Boston, Worcester, and Springfield; Not-for-Profit Lending; and Business Banking. Prior to People’s United she worked with Rockland Trust as the Commercial Credit Manager managing a team of 25 credit analysts responsible for analyzing and underwriting large commercial relationships across the bank footprint. Carolyn also worked at Santander as a Credit Officer/Portfolio Manager and Wells Fargo as a Commercial Underwriter. Carolyn earned her Master’s degree in Business Ethics and Compliance from New England College of Business and Finance, a BS in Accounting from UMass Dartmouth, and recently completed a certificate program with eCornell University focused on Women in Leadership. She resides in West Wareham with her husband and enjoys cooking and attending live music events.


Helen is a senior relationship manager in the Franchise Finance group for People’s United Bank. In this role, she is responsible for managing a portfolio of customers in the restaurant industry and bringing in new customers to the bank as well as structuring and cross-selling various banking services.

She started her commercial banking career in 2004 and worked in various commercial lending groups that include Corporate Banking, Middle Market and Specialty. She has bachelor’s degrees in both economics and computer science, with a minor in Chinese language and a certificate in management/finance from the University of Rochester.

Commercial banking services to help your business succeed

Work with our team of local experts whose in-depth experience and expertise know how to tailor our full array of banking services and financial solutions specifically for franchise businesses like yours.

Uncommon expertise

Beyond delivering practical financial solutions, we bring thought-leadership and insights from our on-the-ground experts for perspective about what's happening in your industry.


*Credit approval required.

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