Press Release

Bank of the West Names and Inner City Advisors as $100k Grant Winners of 2014 Philanthropy Awards
San Francisco, CA | Nov 19, 2014

Bank of the West is proud to announce that, a nonprofit design firm, and Inner City Advisors (ICA), an economic development nonprofit, have each been awarded $100,000 grants as winners of the bank’s fifth annual Philanthropy Awards. Both organizations were honored at a ceremony last night at Stanford University’s Cantor Arts Center. The 2014 awards recognize nonprofit innovation, leadership and measurable impact across the bank’s regions and beyond.

The ceremony also included inspiring remarks by Charly Kleissner, co-founder of the KL Felicitas Foundation, and Chuck Slaughter, founder and CEO of Living Goods. Charly and wife Lisa Kleissner are winners of the 2014 BNP Paribas Prize for Individual Philanthropy, while Slaughter won the BNPP award in 2013. In addition, Kasia Moreno, editorial director of Forbes Insights, shared the findings of the 2014 BNP Paribas Individual Philanthropy Index, which measures the current state of philanthropy in four global regions (, Winner of Innovation Award
San Francisco-based received the bank’s Innovation in Philanthropy Award, which recognizes a visionary, ambitious and entrepreneurial nonprofit organization that employs new and creative approaches to addressing challenging social issues that especially affect under-served communities.

In recognizing, the bank was drawn to how the nonprofit helps social enterprises innovate through human-centered design (HCD) – an approach to problem solving which results in higher uptake, impact and scale. Launched in 2011 to bring HCD to the social sector, has completed over 50 design projects with partner organizations, tackling everything from employment and financial inclusion to early childhood development and sanitation. More than 65 percent of the innovations has created are on a path to implementation, and are expected to reach over 25,000 people in 2015.

Inner City Advisors, Winner of Community Impact Award
Oakland-based ICA received the bank’s Community Impact Award, which recognizes an inspirational nonprofit organization making significant advancement in transforming life outcomes for people from under-resourced communities on a local, statewide or regional level.

The bank recognized ICA for its work with small businesses in Bay Area communities to fill critical gaps and create a more equitable and impactful economic network. Since its founding almost 20 years ago, ICA has helped to create and retain over 10,000 jobs, contributing services such as entrepreneurship education, management consulting and talent management to urban and non-urban demographics. Each year, it works with 125-150 entrepreneurs who are committed to scaling their businesses and providing opportunity for the people that need it most. In 2013, the ICA generated over $68 million in total wealth for the Bay Area and increased total minority-held positions by 10 percent.

"Year over year, we are inspired by the contributions nonprofits are making to advance opportunities in under-served communities," said John Bahnken, senior executive vice president and head of Bank of the West’s Wealth Management Group. "Philanthropy is integral to our company and the overall health of the regions we serve, and as such, we’re proud to support organizations that implement sustainable change while addressing the most pressing of societal issues."

" and Inner City Advisors epitomize organizations with a strong vision for innovation and community impact." said Jenny Flores, senior vice president of Community Affairs at Bank of the West. "This year’s Philanthropy Award winners came to the forefront with inspiring stories of how they support the financial health and vibrancy of our neighborhoods, and we’re honored to recognize both nonprofits for their leadership in community economic empowerment."

To learn more about and ICA, watch these Bank of the West-sponsored videos telling the story of their work.

Bank of the West’s Wealth Management Group and Community Affairs Department created the Philanthropy Awards in 2010 to highlight the bank’s commitment to community, and also honor organizations that are making tremendous strides in improving the quality of life for individuals and families within the communities it serves. Nonprofits are selected each year based on eligibility criteria, with final awardees being selected by a jury comprised of an internal selection committee along with external nonprofit and foundation leaders.

About Bank of the West:
Bank of the West is a regional financial services company chartered in California and headquartered in San Francisco with $69 billion in assets. Founded in 1874, Bank of the West provides a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services through more than 650 offices in 21 states and the internet ( Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 80 countries with 190,000 employees.

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