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Agents of Change ​

Apr 05, 2018
Community Banking Month- Agents of ChangeThe right inspiration can serve as a powerful motivator. It’s been used by heads of state, educators and business executives to galvanize action, sway sentiments, and motivate and empower individuals to serve as agents of change. And it all begins with a message and a platform—be it a podium, lectern or press release.

ICBA Community Banking Month is an opportune time for community banks to thank their customers and remind them that where and with whom they bank matters. The following video explains how community banks are making a difference in their community and the accounts below further illustrate the important role of community banks in our nation’s financial system.

Supporting Small Businesses

Community banks are prolific and preferred small business lenders, so it’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to seek out their expertise. Such was the case for two out-of-town pharmacists who approached Tim Treml with Bank of Luxemburg, Wis., about opening a storefront in the community.

“They knew about pharmacy, of course, and they had a little bit of money, but they didn’t know anything about opening their own business,” Treml told Independent Banker. “We then walked them through the process and made it all work,” he said. “In fact, they were surprised at how quickly we were able to get everything done for them, from inception to loan approval.”

The community bank difference: Because Bank of Luxumberg employees understood the market, they recognized the need for a local pharmacy and worked with the entrepreneurs to get the business up and running. Seven years later, the pharmacy is working on an addition that will double its size.

Funding Homeownership Dreams

Some loans require a bit more time to bear fruit, but the payoff is worth the effort. Benjamin Nelson of D.L. Evans Bank recounted in Independent Banker a young couple’s journey to becoming homeowners.

The community bank difference: Debt and credit issues initially resulted in a loan denial, but with sage advice from their community banker, the couple was able to get back on track, eventually securing the loan to purchase their first home. The couple was so pleased with the service at the bank that they returned when it was time to refinance and later when they were ready to purchase a larger home.

During the holidays Nelson ran into the homeowner, who was performing at an office party at a branch in another town. “She walked on stage and announced to everyone over the microphone just how much she appreciated me and all of the ways I had helped them over the years,” recalled Nelson. “That meant so much to me.”

Supporting Good Deeds

Community banks also enrich their communities through volunteer efforts for worthy causes. TCM Bank, for example, is joining with Habitat for Humanity in Florida for a build day for a family in need.

“Giving back through acts of service is our way of paying homage to community banking’s timeless tradition of uplifting and supporting local communities,” TCM Bank President and CEO Damon Moorer said. “We are happy to be included in such a worthwhile effort and to help deserving families realize their homeownership aspirations.”

Chelsea Groton Bank has also partnered in its community’s long-standing history of investing in the local community through donations of time, talent and financial resources.

In 2007, the bank launched a scholarship program for high school students who exemplify community service through volunteerism and demonstrate academic excellence and strong leadership skills.

The community bank difference: Chelsea Groton Bank’s scholarship program has supported more than 150 local students to date. “Part of our responsibility as a community bank is to help educate the next generation of young adults so they can continue to strengthen our region in the future,” said Pam Days-Luketich of Chelsea Groton Bank.

ICBA invites community banks to share their stories and to submit a nomination for ICBA’s National Community Bank Service Awards, which recognize outstanding, hands-on volunteer community service efforts. Click here to learn more and nominate a deserving bank.

Community Bankers: Difference Makers 

Community Bankers: Difference Makers

Although April is Community Banking Month, we see Community Banks and their employees giving back and making a difference all year long. Take a look at just some of the many examples of how community banks impact their communities! 

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