SEPTEMBER 2014 + » Rebranding Strategies » IT Security Routines » Cutting Call Reports WWW.INDEPENDENTBANKER.ORG 2014 ICBA National Community Bank Service Awards Positive Energy Community banks rally people, causes and communities through volunteer service projects Music teacher Carolyn Sweeney with finalists in this year’s First Columbia Teen Star Musical Competition. 2014 ICBA National Community Bank Service Awards This year’s 2014 ICBA National Community Bank Service Awards are sponsored by FIS RALLYING PEOPLE, CAUSES & COMMUNITIES ICBA members nationwide bring communities together with compassionate and inspiring volunteer service projects V olunteer community service is the hallmark of every community bank. Along with providing superior customer service, common-sense and trustworthy business practices, and special local lending expertise, community banks work hard every day to make their communities better places to live and work. That’s what distinguishes community banks from all other financial services providers. For the past 13 years, the ICBA National Community Bank Service Awards have promoted how community banks everywhere provide outstanding, hands-on and positive volunteer community service efforts. Nearly 200 community banks submitted nominations for this year’s program, which is recognizing a Grand National, two National and five Honorable Mention recipients. These ICBA member banks have started new grassroots service programs that have successfully addressed an important community need, but each program has also achieved so much more in bringing people and communities together for a worthy cause. “This year’s ICBA National Community Bank Service Awards have shown exceptional creativity and commitment to making their communities better places to live and work,” says ICBA Chairman John Buhrmaster, president of 1st National Bank of Scotia, N.Y. “The exceptional volunteer efforts and civic generosity of each service award recipient are examples of, and a heartening testament to, the wide variety of public service contributions that community banks make every day throughout the nation.” ICBA congratulates this year’s National Community Bank Service Award recipients, and all of the nation’s community banks, for the extraordinary volunteer service work they do. Grand National Award Recipient National Award Recipient National Award Recipient First Columbia Bank & Trust Co. Bloomsburg, Pa. Service program: First Columbia Teen Star Musical Competition Service category: Arts and Music Bank website: www.firstcolumbiabank.com 1st United Bank Faribault, Minn. Service program: Ride for Hospice Service category: Other Bank website: www.1stunited.com Bank of American Fork American Fork, Utah Service program: Project Teddy Bear Service category: Other Bank website: www.bankaf.com 22 ICBA IndependentBanker September 2014 Grand National Award Recipient PHOTO: JEFF WOJTASZEK First Columbia Bank & Trust Co. Teen Star Music Competition 1st United Bank Ride for Hospice National Award Recipient Bank of American Fork Project Teddy Bear ILLUSTRATIONS: RANDALL NELSON National Award Recipient 2014 ICBA National Community Bank Service Awards Sponsored by FIS Honorable Mentions First Volunteer Bank Chattanooga, Tenn. Service program: Tailgate-A-Palooza Service category: Community Development Bank website: www.first volunteer.com Choice Financial Group Fargo, N.D. Service program: Go Hawaiian for Hospice Service category: Community Development Bank website: www.choice financialgroup.com American National Bank of Texas Terrell, Texas Service program: Sir Save-ALot Adventures Service category: Financial Literacy Bank website: www.anbtx.com Fidelity Bank Leominster, Mass. Service program: Community Dividend Service category: Other Bank website: www.fidelity bankonline.com Heartland Bank Gahanna, Ohio Service program: Money Matters Financial Summit 2014 Service category: Financial Literacy Bank website: www.heart landbank.com Teen Star Music Competition Striking a Stirring Chord A Pennsylvania bank’s music competition inspires young musicians and rallies a community By Beth Mattson-Teig From left to right, Maria Valles, First Columbia’s marketing director; student Alexis Seiger, first-place vocalist; student Andrew Miller, second-place vocalist; student Keeyan Zimmerman, first-place instrumentalist; and Leslie Chyko, First Columbia’s executive assistant. Front center: Lance Diehl, First Columbia’s president and CEO. PHOTO: JEFF WOJTASZEK F irst Columbia Bank & Trust Co. is hitting a melodious high note with its Teen Star service program. Inspired by the popular “American Idol” television show, the $625 million-asset community bank in Bloomsburg, Pa., launched its own musical competition four years ago. The goal of the program is to support young musicians while raising money for local school music programs. “It has really evolved into something that the whole community looks Grand National forward to,” says Lance Award Recipient O. Diehl, the bank’s First Columbia Bank & president and CEO. Trust Co. Bloomsburg, Pa. Teen Star gives musicians in grades nine through 12 a venue to perform publicly and showcase their talents in a supportive setting. The competition is open to students who live or attend school in Columbia County. Each year the event draws about 50 students who audition, and the top 12 advance to the finals that are held each year in late May or early June. Since the program’s inception in 2011, First Columbia has given away $20,000 in prize money to contest winners, and has raised an additional $20,000 in ticket proceeds and donations that has gone directly to local high school music departments. The schools have used that money to purchase items such as sound equipment, new instruments and sheet music. First Columbia donates all of the program’s prize money for winning musicians, while 100 percent of the proceeds from the $5 ticket sales go directly to its local schools. The money from the ticket sales is donated to the schools of the finalists. So the more students that a school advances to the final competition the more ticketsales revenue it receives. IBmag.org ICBA IndependentBanker 25 2014 ICBA National Community Bank Service Awards Sponsored by FIS Twelve Teen Star finalists pose for a group shot after the finale. The students will reunite for encore performances at local events throughout the year. Millville Senior High School has had students participating in the program each of the past four years. Students now excitedly start talking and planning for the event months ahead of the curtain finale. This year, the school proudly claimed winners in two competitive categories—Alexis Seiger won first-place vocalist, and Keeyan Zimmerman was named firstplace instrumentalist for his drum performance. As a result, the school’s music department also came out a winner, receiving $3,126 of the nearly $10,000 that was donated to area schools from the event. The music department plans to devote some of that money to buying a new baby grand piano for the school’s auditorium. “It is a wonderful thing that they are doing, and it definitely helps to fund our program,” says Carolyn Sweeney, a music teacher at Millville Senior High School. Especially in the last few years music programs have seen greater state budget cutbacks. “I can speak for all of the music teachers in our area that this has definitely contributed to us being able to purchase things that we would not otherwise be able to,” she says. 26 ICBA IndependentBanker When the music started The idea for Teen Star originated in 2010 when First Columbia was in the midst of some strategic planning. The bank recognized that youth needed to be a bigger focus of its marketing efforts. At the time, one of the hot topics in the community was Season 9 of “American Idol.” Pennsylvania native Aaron Kelly was one of the contestants on the show. The excitement kept building as Kelly to support a performer they know. “The audience has increased steadily each year,” says Maria Valles, marketing director at First Columbia. Ticket sales reached 952 for the 2014 finale. When people first hear about Teen Star, they tend to think of it as a local talent competition. The reality is that it is a very professionally produced show that is held in the theater at the local university, Valles adds. The bank also has expanded the performance to “I can speak for all of the music teachers in our area that this has definitely contributed to us being able to purchase things that we would not otherwise be able to.” —CAROLYN SWEENEY, MILLVILLE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL MUSIC TEACHER continued to advance, eventually making it to the top five. That sparked the idea for the bank to create a music competition of its own that would also benefit local schools. Today the event continues to draw a big audience with 800 to 900 people attending the finale. Some of the fans wear T-shirts or bring signs September 2014 include the “next generation” of Teen Star singers that include a choir of seventh and eighth graders who also perform at the finals. The total budget for the program with prize money and other costs such as advertising is about $15,000. Of course, it would be easy for the bank to just write a check for that amount and distribute it to the schools. But Teen 2014 ICBA National Community Bank Service Awards Sponsored by FIS Photo top left: First-place vocalist, Alexis Seiger, sings an emotionally charged song. Photo top right: First Columbia Bank and Trust President and CEO Lance Diehl acknowledges a great musical competition this year with amazing talent. Photo bottom left: Alexis receives first-place trophy and $1,500 in prize money. Photo bottom right: First-place instrumentalist Keeyan Zimmerman gets the audience cheering and clapping with his electrifying drum solo. Star does so much more. More than music Certainly the Teen Star music competition isn’t the only community service project for youth in which First Columbia is engaged. The bank always does a lot to support local athletic programs, such as sponsoring athletic field scoreboards and Little League teams. “We wanted to do something for our youth who are active in the arts, and this is a great program that allows us to do that,” Diehl says. Teen Star has done just that. It has emerged as First Columbia’s “signature” annual community service event. The bank’s employees 28 ICBA IndependentBanker donate hundreds of volunteer hours to the program each year. The sevenperson Teen Star Committee spends months planning and organizing. The bank’s employees become “Teen Star Ambassadors,” decorating their branches and competing for the most ticket sales. In addition, nearly 50 bank employees and directors volunteered this year to help run the show by serving as ushers, box office attendants and backstage hands. During other times of the year First Columbia promotes Teen Star in different ways, such as posting information about upcoming auditions and competition finalists on its website, in social media posts and in local media press releases. For September 2014 example, the bank is using Facebook throughout the year to post news, photos and videos of the event. Finalists are invited to perform at the local Bloomsburg Fair, and this year the bank’s float in Millville’s annual Independence Day parade featured a Teen Star theme. “This is a better way to engage the community and the young people and to give them a platform to showcase their talent,” says Valles. “It also gives us a platform to talk about how important the performing arts are and how important it is to support these programs in our schools.” Beth Mattson-Teig is a freelance writer in Minnesota.
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