Washington, D.C. (Aug. 8, 2019)—The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) today announced winners of its 2019 National Community Bank Service Awards, which celebrate the outstanding and innovative volunteer efforts of the nation’s community banks. Whether responding to natural disasters, promoting financial literacy, or funding essential municipal services, this year’s honorees exemplify hallmarks of community banking.
“ICBA is proud to recognize the extraordinary contributions of our 2019 National Community Bank Service Award winners—all of whom have demonstrated the vital role of community banks in identifying and serving the unique needs of their communities through targeted outreach efforts that make a real difference in the lives of local citizens,” said ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey. “Their dedication to community banking principles and unwavering support for their customers and communities serves as a shining example for our industry.”
This year’s winners were chosen from a pool of 100 nominations for their creative and impactful economic empowerment programs and service. More than 100 community banks and employees have been recognized since the program’s inception in 2002. Bank technology services provider FIS, of Jacksonville, Fla., sponsored this year’s program.
The 2019 ICBA National Community Bank Service Award winners are:
Grand National Award recipient:
- Golden Valley Bank in Chico, Calif.
National Award recipients:
- Community Financial Services Bank in Benton, Ky.
- Somerset Trust Co. in Somerset, Pa.
Grand Award Winner
Golden Valley Bank’s efforts to help rebuild ravished communities in the wake of the most destructive wildfire in California history earned the $350 million-asset bank top honors this year. Building on the civic service roots of the Golden Valley Bank Community Foundation, the bank leveraged its employees’ fundraising experience to raise $13 million. It has already distributed more than $4 million to survivors, nonprofits and agencies. Participating employees logged on average 100 volunteer hours to assist with fundraising, accounting and awarding grants via the foundation.
National Award Winners
ICBA also recognizes Community Financial Services Bank (CFSB) for its Financial Wellness and Coaching initiative, which is helping to support systemic financial literacy in Kentucky. When the bank realized that Kentucky received near-failing grades in financial literacy, it sprung to action. Through CFSB’s collaboration with Ramsey Solutions and the Kentucky Financial Literacy Initiative, the $1.2 billion-asset bank has provided one-on-one coaching to 100 individuals and additional training to 5,000 individuals through sponsored school curriculum and workshops. CFSB also helped garner support for Kentucky House Bill 132, which was signed into law last April and incorporates financial literacy principles into state-mandated graduation requirements.
Additionally, Somerset Trust received honors for its Champion of First Responders program, which provides funding in support of local volunteer fire departments and EMS organizations. The bank also honors the service and sacrifice of these brave individuals through various events, along with social media outreach. The $1.3 billion-asset bank makes annual donations to 60 local fire departments in excess of $35,000 and boasts an 80 percent employee volunteer rate.
ICBA also awarded National Community Bank Service Award honorable mentions to:
- 1st Bank Yuma in Yuma, Ariz., for its Kinder to College Financial Initiative, which fills the literacy gap between school and the real world from kindergarten to college-aged students and beyond.
- First State Bank of Purdy, Mo., for its 1st on Front downtown revitalization initiative in support of artists and local businesses.
- Home Bank in Lafayette, La., for its Thrive Academy, which promotes financial literacy for at-risk middle and high school youth.
- Profinium Inc., in Truman, Minn., for its annual giving program, Achieving Dreams Together, which produces life-changing moments for members of the community.
- Royal Bank in Elroy, Wis., for its disaster relief recovery efforts following damaging floodwaters affecting areas of Southwest Wisconsin.
- Sandy Spring Bank in Olney, Md., which launched a foundation focused on fostering affordable housing, health and wellness, and education and personal growth.
- United Bank in Atmore, Ala., for its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which provides tax preparation and financial management education for local citizens.
Award recipients will be featured in the September issue of ICBA Independent Banker®.