Cornerstone and LiFE Awards Presented

The SAN ANTONIO, May 11, 2017 – The Texas Bankers Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Texas Bankers Association, presented the annual Cornerstone and Leaders in Financial Education (LiFE) awards to 11 banks at a special luncheon today at the Texas Bankers Association’s 133rd Annual Convention held in San Antonio. The Cornerstone Award recognizes excellence in community involvement by Texas banks.

The following banks were honored with the 2017 Cornerstone Award:

Tyler-based Citizens 1st Bank received a Cornerstone Award for its Rusk TJC Citizens Promise scholarship program. The Rusk TJC Citizens Promise is available exclusively to qualifying Rusk High School graduates who enroll at Tyler Junior College within three years of graduation. Rusk TJC Citizens Promise Scholars may receive up to $8,000 for two years to be used toward tuition, fees, books and housing.

Dallas-based Comerica Bank received a Cornerstone Award for stocking Ella Austin Community Center's bookshelves. More than 3,000 books were collected at Comerica’s seven banking centers. Comerica volunteers not only collected the books, they sorted and catalogued them, and stocked the book shelves at Ella Austin. In this way, the bank provided a turnkey project for Ella Austin, an organization that has a limited number of volunteer supporters.

Abilene-based First Financial Bank received a Cornerstone Award for its Day of Service on Columbus Day last year. In 27 locations across Texas, more than 650 bank employees volunteered to serve at a variety of worthy nonprofit organizations. From preparing and delivering meals, to cleaning, painting and landscaping, First Financial associates pulled together to make it a day dedicated to serving others. What’s more, First Financial Bank also paid visits to veterans, the homebound and residents of assisted living facilities in their communities.

Killeen-based First National Bank Texas received a Cornerstone Award for its support of Nexus Recovery Center. In 2016, First Convenience Bank, a division of First National Bank Texas, launched a year-long partnership with the Nexus Teen Residential Program in Dallas. Nexus requested the bank help mentor the women in the facility on sound banking and interviewing skills.

Midland-based FirstCapital Bank of Texas received a Cornerstone Award for its Purple Cow Challenge. The Purple Cow Challenge gives employees a way to voice their ideas on how the bank can better stand out among their competitors. Nydia Andriano, a credit administrator, suggested giving to families in need during the Thanksgiving season. As a result, 300 rolls were donated to the Faith City Mission’s Thanksgiving meal and 400 meals were provided through the High Plains Food Bank in Amarillo. In Midland, 48 families were provided meals through the Breaking Bread Soup Kitchen.

San Antonio-based Jefferson Bank received a Cornerstone Award for its Community Crew 12 Months of Giving project. Through their efforts, Jefferson Bank employees addressed financial literacy, domestic violence, assisting those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, poverty, military service appreciation, food insecurity, education, animal welfare and healthcare. Jefferson Bank’s 12 Months of Giving added up to 6,380 employee service hours, providing a value to their community partners of more than $150,000.

Plano-based LegacyTexas Bank received a Cornerstone Award for its Operation Silver Bells holiday giving campaign. The bank spread cheer to 375 residents in senior living centers within low-to-moderate income areas in Collin, Dallas and Tarrant counties. LegacyTexas Bank employees raised $20,000 to host holiday celebrations and purchase care package items for the residents. More than 150 volunteer hours were spent assembling and delivering care packages, hosting holiday parties, playing bingo, caroling, and teaching fraud prevention and basic computer classes.

Frisco-based Texas Republic Bank received a Cornerstone Award for supporting and sponsoring the Frisco Public Library’s Ready to Read Railroad. The Ready to Read Railroad is an early literacy and learning environment housed in the Frisco Public Library specifically designed for preschool children that will help Frisco’s children develop the skills needed to prepare them for school and beyond. It is a fun, proven and unique way to promote and encourage literacy.

Houston-based Wells Fargo received a Cornerstone Award for supporting Habitat for Humanity. In 2016, Wells Fargo committed more than $7 million in grant funding to support local Habitat for Humanity affiliates and the work of Habitat for Humanity International. In Houston, 150 Wells Fargo team members volunteer more than 750 hours for Habitat builds each year. The bank also presented Houston Habitat with a $275,000 Priority Markets award.

The Leaders in Financial Education (LiFE) Award honors Texas banks that are dedicated leaders in promoting financial education in their communities. The 2017 LiFE Award recipients are as follows:

La Grange-based National Bank & Trust was recognized for its Penny Pincher Financial Education program. The bank created their Penny Pincher Financial Education program by inviting kindergarten classes to tour the bank and learn a about different aspects of banking. National Bank & Trust employees have kept the relationship going by teaching Texas Council of Economic Education lessons to the same classes that took field trips to the bank.

Midland-based Security Bank was recognized for teaching Junior Achievement and Teach Children to Save programs to Midland and Odessa students. Security Bank employees taught students from kindergarten to high school level. Lessons included the importance of saving money and how to keep it safe.

Wells Fargo was recognized for its Hands on Banking Partnership with AVANCE San Antonio. Hands on Banking is Wells Fargo’s financial education program which promotes financial literacy by teaching the public to think about money management, reaching financial goals and developing life money skills. As part of AVANCE’s parenting curriculum, Hands on Banking is taught to young women and mothers. Every May, Wells Fargo hosts the AVANCE commencement ceremony; 2016 reflected the highest number of graduates thus far; 270 students completed the program, impacting 240 families.

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