Marcus A. Vasquez, a Texas banker, has been named the ABA Foundation’s 2018 George Bailey Distinguished Service Award winner for his efforts to assist his community after Hurricane Harvey. Vasquez currently serves as the vice president and fair banking officer for Allegiance Bank in Houston, and has more than 14 years of banking experience both as a federal bank regulator and community banker. He will be honored at ABA’s Annual Convention in New York on Oct. 23.
Since 2014, the George Bailey Distinguished Service 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 ABA Foundation selects the winner after a review of nominations submitted by banks of all sizes across the country.
In 2017, Hurricane Harvey hit Houston and its surrounding communities, dumping an estimated 11 trillion gallons of water on the city. Catastrophic flooding destroyed homes, businesses and communities, and caused an estimated $100 billion in total damage to the city. As a native Houstonian, Vasquez was devastated by the effects of the storm and felt compelled to help Houston get back on its feet.
Vasquez led initiatives on behalf of Allegiance Bank to not only engage employees in clean up and volunteer efforts, but also to leverage funding opportunities – specifically a grant program with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB) that provided quick funding and financial assistance to those whose homes and businesses had been destroyed. With Vasquez’s leadership, they were able to provide 41 grants to businesses, homeowners and non-profit organizations totaling $367,000.
In addition to his work after Hurricane Harvey and his daily responsibilities of leading Allegiance Bank’s fair banking-related programs, Vasquez is also actively involved with local non-profit organizations. He has served on the board of directors of the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation for more than seven years, was previously a board member of the Credit Coalition and has helped develop affordable housing-based programs for organizations like Houston Habitat for Humanity.
“Marcus has made giving back to the city of Houston a priority throughout his career,” said Rob Nichols, president and CEO of ABA. “The aftermath of Hurricane Harvey was no exception. Marcus went above and beyond to ensure Houston and its residents had the resources they needed to begin the long road to recovery. His leadership and commitment to helping others truly embodies what the George Bailey Distinguished Service Award is all about.”
“Marcus has devoted countless hours to community organizations and initiatives that have resulted in the creation of new jobs, affordable housing and healthy communities across the Houston area,” said George Martinez, CEO of Allegiance Bank. “His efforts throughout his banking career and specifically during the recovery from Hurricane Harvey make him absolutely deserving of this award.”
The ABA Foundation honors six banks annually for their commitment to their communities. This is the only award given to an individual.
For a full list of the bank winners, as well as honorable mentions, visit aba.com/awards.
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 $8 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.