The American Bankers Association Foundation named seven banks as 2020 Community Commitment Award winners. The annual awards recognize banks for extraordinary corporate social responsibility efforts in seven specific categories ranging from affordable housing to economic inclusion. The winners will be recognized today at ABA’s Unconventional Convention.
“This has been a challenging year in so many ways, and banks of all sizes have stepped up to assist their communities at this time of need,” said Rob Nichols, ABA president and CEO. “The banks and programs recognized by this year’s Community Commitment Awards showcase banking at its best, and the essential role banks play in helping communities confront difficult issues.”
The selection committee, made up of independent, national experts in each category, reviewed bank nominations from across the country and chose winners based on specific criteria including the creativity and thoughtfulness of the bank program. Community Commitment Award winners must embody the ideals of corporate social responsibility and demonstrate success in measurable terms.
The 2020 award winners by category are:
- TIAA, Jacksonville, Fla., for its One Team. One Home program. In partnership with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars and Habitat for Humanity, One Team. One Home plans to build or repair 100 homes in northeast Florida by 2023. Since the program’s launch in 2018, 32 homes have been built with over 23,000 volunteer hours contributed by bankers and volunteers.
Community and Economic Development
- Valley National Bank, Wayne, N.J., for its partnership with the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce to operate the Lake Martin Innovation Center, a collaborative space that provides resources and programs for small businesses. With support from Wildcat Entrepreneur Academy and Gateway Education Foundation, the center also allows students from the surrounding area to learn about entrepreneurship and starting a business by partnering them with local business owners and business professionals.
- Alpine Bank, Glenwood Springs, Colo., for working with PCs for People (PCFP) to help local Coloradans get online. This year, the bank’s IT team refurbished over 400 computers and distributed them to students in need of devices for remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Banco Popular, San Juan, Puerto Rico, for its program, Finanzas en Tus Manos (Finances in Your Hands). The free program is designed for all age levels and teaches the fundamentals of good money-management, including how to save, manage credit and plan for retirement. Since the program’s inception in 2010, it has improved the financial well-being of individuals and businesses throughout Puerto Rico.
Protecting Older Americans
- Mizuho Americas, New York, for its work with Encore Community Service, a New York City non-profit, to keep senior citizens socially connected in a safe manner during the COVID-19 pandemic through the Friendly Phone Call Program. Some 1,600 seniors receive a weekly phone calls from Mizuho employees, who provide them with consistent socialization and arrange additional help as needed. The program currently has 60 dedicated volunteers participating, with rising engagement.
Supporting Military Families
- F&M Bank, Clarksville, Tenn., for its OPERATION: Partners Serve Program, which provides a variety of critical resources and opportunities for members of the military community. From one-on-one financial counseling to curated financial education programs, this powerful partnership ensures veterans, active-duty military and their families can take control of their financial well-being. With over 1,000 volunteer service hours and a devoted annual budget of $50,000 F&M Bank ensures that the military community remain recognized and rewarded.
- Manasquan Bank, Wall, N.J., for its program, CREW Cares. A revamped version of the bank’s longstanding commitment to volunteerism, the CREW Cares program works to connect bank volunteers with nonprofit groups and community organizations across the state of New Jersey. Bankers give a minimum of 15 hours annually and efforts range from housing builds, to volunteering at a local women’s shelter and providing food to local families.
“This year’s award winners exemplify the creativity and innovative spirit of the banks and their community partners,” said Corey Carlisle, executive director of the ABA Foundation. “Their achievements and tireless efforts address many of today’s most critical challenges for underserved communities across the country.”
All nominations for this year’s Community Commitment Awards will be added to the ABA Foundation’s Banks in their Communities interactive 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 noted on the map.
As a part of the annual Community Commitment Award program, the ABA Foundation also honors individual bankers with the George Bailey Distinguished Service Award. The award is given to non-CEO bank employees who demonstrate outstanding initiative, commitment to their customers and community, and the ability to inspire others. This year’s George Bailey Award co-winners are Alex Fennoy of Midwest Centre Bank in Missouri and Detra Miller of M&T Bank in Baltimore. This is the first time in the award’s six-year history that two bankers will be honored for their individual efforts in their community.