OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE PENNSYLVANIA ASSOCIATION OF COMMUNITY BANKERS

Pub. 2 2020 | Issue 7

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The Chairman’s Award Winners

The PACB IMPACT Awards are meant to recognize the incredible and varied ways that community banks breathe life into the neighborhoods they serve. The IMPACT acronym stands for the following: Implementing Meaningful Projects and Activities to help build stronger Communities for Tomorrow.

Banking is an honorable profession, and PACB is proud of the powerful role that our community bankers play to support local businesses, schools, charitable groups and houses of worship. Our community bankers work hard every day to help their local entrepreneurs and community leaders build vibrant communities where families want to live, work and play.

The Chairman’s Award winners for the three regions are described below.

Region 1: SSB Bank

SSB earned PACB’s Region 1 Chairman’s Award for its unique activities to support business and economic growth in their communities. Further, SSB’s efforts involved all of their bank employees across two branches. The bank’s website identifies the bank’s philosophy: “When you invest in us, you are helping us to continue to invest in the community.” Employees are serious about supporting their community. They do everything they can to take action and get involved because they know their efforts grow the economy, support worthy organizations and improve community relationships.

  • In 2019, SSB launched its Business Spotlight Series that provided a platform for small businesses to share their success with the local community. The bank profiled five local businesses and promoted their success across a variety of platforms, including publishing articles in the bank’s community newsletter, sharing the stories on the bank’s website, and engaging a broader conversation on social media.
  • SSB proudly served as the main sponsor for Pittsburgh Community Television’s Greater Pittsburgh Community Media Awards to celebrate local achievements in community television that showcased activities throughout Bethel Park and Moon Townships in Allegheny County.
  • SSB underwrote the purchase of communications equipment for children with disabilities, supporting the mission of a local charity called Variety — the Children’s charity. Employees were given the chance to donate a small amount of money from each paycheck. In exchange for the donation, employees wear jeans each Friday. For 2019, SSB bought an iPad for a 4-year-old boy named Caleb, and gave it to him and his family (including his siblings, parents and grandparents) at a celebration held July 25, 2019. The iPad makes it easier for Caleb to “live life and enjoy it” despite his physical limitations and communication difficulties.
  • SSB staff collected donations from bank employees in support of a bookbag drive for homeless students living in shelters throughout the Pittsburgh region.
  • SSB partners with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh and its Home4Good grant program.
  • SSB assisted in funding a $100,000 grant to allow the Allegheny County Community Health services chapter to double its outreach to local families and individuals struggling with behavioral health disorders.

If you want to see the impact that SSB’s programs are having, consider Caleb, whose story was discussed previously. In particular, Caleb’s parents and the bank’s president all expressed their appreciation for the iPad Caleb received. Kevin, Caleb’s father, said, “We appreciate all the sponsors and we feel blessed to be a part of this program. Certainly, it will help Caleb to live life and enjoy it, so we are really grateful.”

Caleb’s mother, Crystal, said, “He has been working a lot with the iPad in his speech program both in school and in outpatient therapy. It will be nice for him to have this [iPad] at home for him to practice his skills [and increase his vocabulary]. He has come a long way, but this will continue to help him improve with his speech. We are so thankful for the program and all of the sponsors. You make it all happen.”

Dan Moon, the president and CEO of SSB, represented the bank and its employees when he spoke about the impact of helping Caleb. He said, “Every year, we thought we had to wait until Christmas to do sponsorships and to sponsor a family. Fortunately, in 2018 we found Variety, and the bank was able to do something [during the year] … [This] past year, we were able to give a voice to a child; it is just a no-brainer. We live for this. We love to give money out of our paychecks to wear jeans so that we can do things like this. We are proud. We are excited. Congratulations.”

Initiatives like this and the others described previously are what make SSB Bank stand out from the other financial institutions out there. SSB Bank is an institution that puts its mission and values into action for the communities it serves. Each project SSB Bank participates in or leads holds significance, and bank employees look forward to continuing to serve their communities in the coming months and years, especially during these trying times.

Region 2: Riverview Bank

Riverview Bank and its operating divisions, CBT Bank and Citizens Neighborhood Bank, earned PACB’s Region 2 Chairman’s Award for three community service projects involving over 300 employers in 36 offices across 14 counties.

  • In December 2019, Riverview delivered more than $57,000 to over 55 giving missions as part of the bank’s Operation: Community Spirit project. Every bank employee was empowered to donate at least $75 to a local cause they felt passionate about. The bank also allowed each employee two hours of giving mission volunteer time to support local nonprofits. Riverview Bank employees contributed over 550 hours in less than 20 days to various causes, including delivering Christmas to two 3-year-old twins, one of whom was awaiting a new heart at Pittsburgh’s UMPC Hospital.
  • Riverview Bank’s My Perks Plus Mania Program fostered engagement opportunities for consumers with local business customers of the bank. The program highlighted many valuable merchants and provided Riverview Bank’s communities with opportunities to thrive.
  • Lastly, Riverview Bank’s American Heroes Checking Account and Community Advocacy Program for veterans, active military and first responders provided these customers with valuable benefits including identity theft protection, cellphone protection, roadside assistance and prescription benefits. The account being offered has the same benefits as the Protect PLUS Checking, which is the bank’s most prestigious account, but offered at a discounted monthly fee. As well, the bank also delivered over $15,000 in local appreciation breakfasts, dinners and other events to honor local VFWs and fire departments; these events celebrated the lasting impact of courageous American heroes who protect and support our local communities.

Brett D. Fulk, president and CEO of Riverbank, summarized the value of the Operation: Community Spirit program when he spoke about what the bank did in 2019: “Operation Community Spirit is a community-impact initiative that our entire team looks forward to annually. It is wonderful to see the genuine interest and excitement that stems from each of our employee’s giving missions. I personally have an immense amount of pride for the efforts our almost 300 employees collectively put forth to support their local hometown while creating a huge impact together across our large marketplace.”

Region 3: Harleysville Bank

Harleysville Bank earned PACB’s Region 3 Chairman’s Award for its annual giving campaign, held each November. In 2019, 120 bank employees in seven offices or branches helped to raise $42,886 for local nonprofit organizations. Team members selected the local nonprofits they wanted to help and then they made a pledge. This amount was matched 100% by the bank for a final total of $85,772.

Harleysville Bank distributed the money to 57 local nonprofits in the surrounding communities. For 2019, it was only possible to present one “big check” in person. That one check was presented to the North Penn Valley Boys & Girls Club. (Unfortunately, COVID-19 made it impossible to get group photos of the other “big check” recipients.)

Brendan McGill, president and CEO, stated, “This was truly a team effort; through our team members generosity they have created value for our community. I’m proud of our team and the commitment they have to helping others, providing support and strengthening the communities we serve and live in.”

How does Harleysville Bank select organizations and events to receive donations? The bank uses the following criteria:

  • The organization or event has to be local (that is, within the service area for Harleysville Bank). It also has to benefit residents.
  • The organization, and the number of people being served, both have to be credible.
  • Whether the organization has received help previously.
    The relationship between bank employees and those involved in the organization or event.
  • Whether the organization is nonprofit and tax-exempt, or whether it is a public service organization or institution.
  • Organizations that provide community development, education, housing and youth services.

Bank leaders are careful about which organizations they choose. They make its selections impartially, and not because of individual personal requests. They avoid political organizations, especially if they are involved in elections or lobbying. They do not support discriminatory organizations. Finally, they only support organizations that have legal, ethical and safe activities.

See full photo gallery in the PDF and Flip Book of the publication.

This story appears in 2020 Issue 7 of the Hometown Banker Magazine.

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