SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bank of the West today announced the winners of its 2011 Northern California Philanthropy Awards, which recognize individuals and nonprofit organizations that demonstrate outstanding leadership and innovation in serving their communities.
Three nonprofits were chosen as "laureates" and received the top award: a $15,000 cash grant and a video about their organization to showcase their cause.
San Francisco-based Ignite received the top Innovation in Philanthropy Award; The Oral Lee Brown Foundation in Oakland won the bank’s Community Impact Award; and Ross Valley Ecumenical Housing Association (Tam House) received the Team Member Commitment Award.
Two finalists in each of the three categories were also honored and received a $5,000 cash grant.
“Bank of the West is recognizing these outstanding organizations today because they’ve shown extraordinary leadership within their communities as well as the nonprofit sector,” said Senior Executive Vice President John Bahnken, head of Bank of the West’s Wealth Management Group. “We’re pleased to be able to support the people and programs that are advancing meaningful change in our communities.”
“We were inspired by the depth of support and dedication these organizations provide to their communities,” said Executive Vice President Maria Lazzarini, head of Bank of the West’s Northern California Division. “It’s truly an honor to give back to groups that are tackling important issues such as youth leadership, accessible education, and elder care.”
Winners and finalists in each award category are as follows:
Innovation in Philanthropy Award recognizing an emerging nonprofit
Ignite, San Francisco, www.igniteca.org
Community Impact Award honoring the philanthropic efforts of a bank customer
The Oral Lee Brown Foundation, Alameda, www.workoptions.org
Team Member Commitment Award recognizing an organization that has benefited from the leadership of a Bank of the West employee
Ross Valley Ecumenical Housing Association, San Anselmo, www.tamhouse.org
The Philanthropy Awards program is one way the bank demonstrates its commitment to using its financial and human resources to improve the communities in which it operates. Visit Bank of the West’s Community Affairs page www.bankofthewest.com/community or the Community tab on its Facebook page www.gowe.st/Community for more information on the awards program and 2011 winners.
Bank of the West created the Philanthropy Awards program in 2010 to recognize outstanding organizations and individuals who are making a difference in their communities. Awards are given in Northern and Southern California; and the Denver and Boulder, Colorado, metropolitan areas. Nominations for the Innovation in Philanthropy Award are submitted by the public. Candidates for the Community Impact and Team Member Commitment Awards are submitted by Bank of the West employees.
About Bank of the West: Based in San Francisco, $59 billion-asset Bank of the West offers a full range of business, corporate, personal, trust and international banking services and operates more than 700 branch locations and commercial banking offices in 19 Western and Midwestern states. Founded on a commitment to relationship banking, the Bank's Wealth Management Group provides banking, wealth planning, insurance and investment services to high net worth individuals. Bank of the West's holding company, BancWest Corporation, is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, one of the best rated banks in the world.