Washington, D.C. (Sept. 2, 2021) — The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) today announced winners of its 2021 National Community Bank Service Awards, celebrating the outstanding service and creative volunteer efforts of the nation’s community banks.
As nimble problem-solvers within their communities, community banks adapt and quickly spring into action. This proved once again to be true as towns and cities across the nation continued to face challenges in the wake of natural disasters and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s awards recognize exceptional service, emerging service, and the people's choice award for standout volunteer community service programs.
“ICBA is proud to recognize the extraordinary contributions of our 2021 National Community Bank Service Award winners, which showcase the unmatched role community banks serve in ensuring the continued vitality of their local communities—especially when hard times hit,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. “Their dedication to community banking principles and unique understanding of the diverse needs of their communities and its citizens is to be commended.”
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 2021 ICBA National Community Bank Service Award winners are:
Exceptional Community Bank Service Award
Kennebec Savings Bank in Augusta, Maine
Emerging Community Bank Service Award
Cross River Bank in Fort Lee, N.J.
National People’s Choice Award
Central Valley Community Bank in Fresno, Calif.
Kennebec Savings Bank’s efforts to fight food insecurity during the pandemic earned the $1.36 billion-asset bank recognition for its generous and creative support. The bank distributed more than 2,300 boxes of food, 2,300 gallons of milk, and 1,200 turkeys to families hard-hit by COVID-19 and donated over $1.1 million to 300 nonprofits and charitable causes across the 35 communities it services last year.
“As a community bank, a cornerstone of our mission is to improve the economic health of the communities in which our employees and customers call home,” said President and CEO Andrew Silsby. “Our employee volunteer work is a vital component to our community involvement and making our communities a great place to live, work, and play.”
Leveraging technology and fintech partnerships, $13-billion asset Cross River Bank launched a proprietary portal and became one of the country’s most prolific providers of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
In total, the bank provided nearly 480,000 PPP loans totaling more than $13 billion to businesses across the nation. “Every single person at the bank committed their days and nights to ensuring we could stand up a program that was safe and reliable and could serve as many small businesses as possible,” said Phil Goldfeder, senior vice president of global public affairs.
When the raging Creek Fire wildfire forced residents to flee their homes for safety, Central Valley Community Bank sprang into action to support affected families and reforestation efforts. The bank raised $83,000 through its donation drive and bank employees are slated to participate in replanting efforts planned for the fall and spring.
The wildfire burned nearly 380,000 acres and destroyed more than 850 structures. "What we wanted to do was not just write a check and walk away," says President and CEO Jim Ford. "We wanted to do something that engaged not only a ‘financial need' but also the people and make it a community activity.”
ICBA also awarded National Community Bank Service Award honorable mentions to:
Learn more about these exceptional award recipients in the September issue of ICBA Independent Banker®.
The Independent Community Bankers of America® creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. ICBA is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education, and high-quality products and services.
With nearly 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ more than 700,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding more than $5.7 trillion in assets, over $4.7 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.6 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org