ABA: Foundation Honors Six Banks with Community Commitment Awards

Categories range from affordable housing to economic inclusion

The American Bankers Association Foundation today announced it will honor six banks with a Community Commitment Award, which is provided to institutions that have demonstrated leadership in the area of corporate social responsibility. The ABA Foundation will recognize these banks’ efforts in categories ranging from affordable housing to economic inclusion at ABA’s Annual Convention in New York on Oct. 23.
The selection committee, made up of national experts in each category, chose winners based on the creativity and thoughtfulness of the bank program. Each program must embody the ideals of corporate social responsibility and demonstrate success in measurable terms.
“This year’s recipients have performed meaningful work and inspired others in the process,” said Corey Carlisle, executive director of the ABA Foundation. “These banks’ extraordinary efforts have improved the lives of consumers, as well as their local communities, and have raised the bar for our industry.”
The 2018 award winners are:
Affordable Housing
  • U.S. Bank, Minneapolis, for its American Dream Home Loans program. The program offers solid and ethically priced loans for low-to-moderate income borrowers to help them become homeowners. In 2017, nearly 700 households utilized this program to realize their dream of homeownership, resulting in nearly $48 million in mortgages helping to revitalize communities across the U.S. Bank footprint.
Community and Economic Development
  • Citizens Bank, Batesville, Ark., for its Impact Independence County program – a multi-faceted strategic initiative that brought together county residents and area leaders to identify ways to kick start the formerly stagnant local economy and improve the overall quality of life. Since its development, the downtown revitalization program has been a resounding success.  Two dozen commercial loans have funded over $4 million in projects, and nearly two dozen grants have provided over $90,000 toward renovations.
Economic Inclusion
  • Eastern Bank, Boston, for its Business Equity Initiative (BEI).  Launched in July 2017, BEI has received  a 3-year commitment of $10 million from Eastern to build out an ecosystem to mitigate wealth inequality in Massachusetts’ and Southern New Hampshire’s Black and Latino communities.  The initiative leverages Eastern’s networks and philanthropic dollars in addition to providing enterprises of color with targeted, customizable growth tools including embedded trusted strategic advisors, operational support, growth capital, and market access to companies interested in building their own supplier diversity.​
Financial Education
  • Bank of Nevada, Las Vegas, for its Green Our Planet program. Bank of Nevada joined with Green Our Planet to expand the nonprofit’s “STEAM Garden Curriculum” to include financial literacy. There are currently 150 Green Our Planet gardens at schools in Southern Nevada. Together, Green Our Planet and Bank of Nevada piloted financial literacy curriculum at five of these school gardens. This allowed students to learn how to grow and harvest fruits and vegetables, and create a business out of their school gardens.
Protecting Older Americans
  • Old National Bank, Evansville, Ind., for its Money $afety for Seniors program. The program was created to provide Old National Bank associates, clients and community members with the tools to recognize, respond to and avoid financial abuse – specifically abuse aimed at seniors (65+).  As a part of this program, Old National Bank provided elder financial abuse “red flag” training to all associates, partnered with community, religious, corporate and government organizations to increase awareness with multiple audiences, and partnered with law enforcement in the city of Evansville, Ind. and Adult Protective Services statewide to enhance prosecution and conviction rates.
  • United Bank, Parkersburg, WV., for its Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Action Committee. In 2017, United Bank created a bank-wide infrastructure to connect employees with high-impact volunteer opportunities to move the needle on key challenges facing its communities. The anchor of this strategy is the CRA Action Committee, which consists of representatives from each of the bank’s 20 markets. In its first year, the committee increased employee service participation by 40 percent from 504 to 704 employees, increased CRA-qualified volunteer hours by 49 percent from 10,058 to 14,928, and reached 31,444 total volunteer hours.
All entries for this year’s Community Commitment Awards will be added to the ABA Foundation’s Banks in their Communitiesinteractive map. The map showcases the corporate social responsibility efforts of banks across the country and allows users to search and view program profiles. Winning and honorable mention entries are also noted.
As a part of the Community Commitment Award program, the ABA Foundation also presents one individual with the George Bailey Distinguished Service Award. The award is given to a non-CEO bank employee who demonstrates outstanding initiative, commitment to their customers and community, and the ability to inspire others. The winner of the George Bailey Distinguished Service Award will be named on Tues. Oct. 9 at 10 a.m. ET.
See below for a complete list of Community Commitment Award honorable mentions.
Affordable Housing
BMO Harris Bank, Chicago
First National Bank of Omaha, Omaha, Neb.
Sound Community Bank, Seattle
Community & Economic Development
Evergreen Federal Bank, Grants Pass, Ore.
First National Bank Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska
Simmons Bank, Pine Bluff, Ark.
Skowhegan Savings Bank, Skowhegan, Maine
Economic Inclusion
Bank of Hawaii, Honolulu
Magyar Bank, New Brunswick, N.J.
Norway Savings Bank, Norway, Maine
Wells Fargo Bank, San Francisco
Financial Education
Country Bank, Ware, Mass.
Gothenburg State Bank, Gothenburg, Neb.
MidFirst Bank, Oklahoma City
Regions Bank, Birmingham, Ala.
Trustmark Bank, Jackson, Miss.
Protecting Older Americans
Bank of the Rockies, N.A., Clyde Park, Mont.
Capital One Bank, New York
Glenview State Bank, Glenview, Ill.
New York Community Bank, Westbury, N.Y.
People’s United Bank, N.A., Bridgeport, Conn.
First Federal Bank of the Midwest, Defiance, Ohio
Florida Community Bank, Winter Park, Fla.
Heritage Bank USA, Hopkinsville, Tenn.
Sandy Spring Bank, Columbia, Md.
UMB Bank, Kansas City, Mo.
About ABA
The American Bankers Association is the voice of the nation’s $17 trillion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional and large banks that together employ more than 2 million people, safeguard $13 trillion in deposits and extend more than $10 trillion in loans.
About the ABA Foundation
Through its leadership, partnerships, and national programs, ABA’s Community Engagement Foundation (dba ABA Foundation), a 501(c)3, helps bankers provide financial education to individuals at every age, elevate issues around affordable housing and community development, and achieve corporate social responsibility objectives to improve the well-being of their customers and their communities.

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