Texas Bankers Association Honors Banks with Cornerstone and LiFE Awards

In late April, the Texas Bankers Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Texas Bankers Association, announced the 2018 recipients of its Cornerstone and Leaders in Financial Education (LiFE) awards. Twelve banks were bestowed the awards at a luncheon on May 3 during the Texas Bankers Association’s 134th Annual Convention in Houston.

The Cornerstone Award recognizes excellence in community involvement by Texas banks. Here are the 2018 Cornerstone Award recipients:

Austin Bank, Jacksonville, received the award for its Building East Texas Together initiative. Each of Austin Bank’s 32 offices selected a charitable community partner to work with in 2017. Partner organizations included school booster clubs, food pantries, nursing centers, crisis centers, law enforcement groups, homeless shelters, humane societies, children’s resource centers, libraries and mental health groups.

First National Bank Texas, Killeen, was recognized for its You Make a Difference program, which emphasizes the bank’s corporate commitment to community and celebrates the great work being done by employees through volunteerism. The bank provides a matching grant for employee contributions to qualifying organizations; to date, $12,000 in matching funds have been distributed. In 2017, 550 entries were logged by the bank’s Community Development Tracking Tool, representing more than 2,000 hours of service.

LegacyTexas Bank, Plano, was honored for its Community Fest events. Community Fest is the bank’s financial literacy and outreach initiative that launched in 2015. It works with local partners such as churches, schools and other nonprofit and community partners in low- to moderate-income and high minority areas to provide space for the events, which are held three times a year. Free to the public, Community Fest is a family-friendly financial expo with bilingual information and resources on a variety of community services.

Rio Bank, McAllen, received a Cornerstone Award for its support of C.A.M.P. University, which provides opportunities for special-needs young adults to continue developing life and social skills after high school. Rio Bank has been a financial supporter of C.A.M.P. University for many years. During C.A.M.P. University’s Kentucky Derby themed annual fundraiser, “A Night at The Races,” held each May, three dozen Rio Bank employees participate as volunteers.

Security Bank, Midland, was recognized for its Fighting Hunger campaign. In 2017, Security raised funds for the West Texas Food Bank during Hunger Action Month in September. The devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey required much-needed aid from the West Texas Food Bank, leaving their supplies low for serving West Texas residents. Through raffle ticket sales and contributions from the bank, Security Bank presented a $10,000 check to the Food Bank at the end of the campaign. The donation enabled the West Texas Food Bank to provide 40,000 meals to those in need.

TBK Bank, Dallas, received a Cornerstone Award for its work with two community organizations: 2nd Saturday and Interfaith Family Services. 2nd Saturday improves neighborhoods within low-income areas of Dallas by renovating and providing affordable housing. In 2017, through matching contributions from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas, TBK Bank helped secure a $16,000 grant for 2nd Saturday. TBK Bank sponsored a family through Interfaith Family Services, which offers apartment homes, counseling, financial coaching and childcare to formerly homeless families.

Texan Bank, Houston, was honored for its work with Kidz Harbor, a group foster care home located south of Houston in Liverpool that houses 50 to 80 children. Texan Bank built closets for Kidz Harbor. They also collected school supplies, clothes, backpacks and other essentials for the children. Texan Bank also organized parties for the children and fundraisers for Kidz Harbor.

Texas Bank Financial, Weatherford, received a Cornerstone Award for its Dual Credit and Workforce Education Scholarship. For the 2016-2017 school year, Texas Bank Financial awarded scholarships to 33 Weatherford High School students who wanted to take dual credit and workforce education classes, but needed financial assistance to do so.

Woodforest National Bank, The Woodlands, was recognized for its Wealth Building Through Homeownership Program. The bank formed the first-of-its-kind, private/public venture with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to expand LMI homeownership through an innovative $10-million loan agreement that increased access to down-payment assistance and closing cost funds. As part of this initiative, Woodforest also provided housing counseling scholarships through NeighborWorks America. In addition, Woodforest’s Texas employees conducted more than 3,500 hours of homebuyer education through more than 1,000 workshops.

The following banks received Cornerstone Award honorable mention:

First National Bank of Burleson: Employee $5 Jean Day Fridays
Preferred Bank: Preferred Bank Gives Back
First Community Bank: Relay for Life
Lubbock National Bank: Growing Financial Literacy in West Texas
FirstCapital Bank of Texas: FCB Community Impact Initiative
First United Bank & Trust: Denison Affordable Housing Project
Comerica Bank: Prom Dress Drive

The Leaders in Financial Education (LiFE) Award honors Texas banks that are dedicated leaders in promoting financial education in their communities. The 2018 LiFE Award recipients:

Amarillo National Bank was recognized for its School Bank Project. It started two in-school banks for the 2017–18 school year. With the help of Amarillo National Bank representatives, students work in one of four roles—teller, customer service, security or marketing—to help their fellow classmates open checking and savings accounts of their own. The bank pays $10 to students for each report card with As and Bs.

First United Bank & Trust received a LiFE Award for its Spend Life Wisely program. In 2017, the bank offered free financial coaching sessions and workshops to employees, customers and members of their community. Topics included saving money, budgeting and debt elimination. First United Bank & Trust also held three internal financial well-being “challenges” for their employees. In 2017, First United partnered with the Everfi program to provide financial education for more than 1,800 students in their communities.

Texas Bank, Henderson, was honored for its financial literacy efforts. Initiatives—such as participation in Junior Achievement programs, publication of financial literacy editorials, development of high school capstone curricula and involvement through elementary reading programs—have allowed Texas Bank to fulfill its obligation to the communities it serves by reaching close to 2,000 community members with a direct involvement of more than 10 percent of the bank’s staff.

The following banks received LiFE Award honorable mention:

First National Bank Texas: Dismas: Your Future, Your Finances
Woodforest National Bank: ReLi/ReStarter Program
Jerrica Anderson, Texas Republic Bank NA.

Serving Texas banks since 1885, the Texas Bankers Association is the largest and oldest state bankers association in the nation.

Published in Bankers Digest, May 28, 2018