Press Release


San Francisco, Calif. | Oct 19, 2011

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Bank of the West Awards $225,000 in Grants to Nonprofit Leaders and Innovators

Philanthropy and community come together to honor local organizations

Bank of the West recently announced $225,000 in grants to the winners of its 2011 Philanthropy Awards.  Award programs were hosted in the Northern California, Southern California and Denver-Boulder regions and recognized recipients in three categories: Innovation in Philanthropy, Community Impact and Team Member Commitment.

"We were inspired by the leadership and dedication demonstrated by the award recipients," said Senior Executive Vice President John Bahnken, head of Bank of the West's Wealth Management Group.  "These organizations are taking a critical look at how they can advance meaningful change in our communities and we're honored to give back to these nonprofits that are addressing some of today's most pressing issues."

Nine nonprofits were selected as "laureates" and received the top award: a $15,000 cash grant and a video about the organization to showcase its cause.  18 nonprofits were named finalists and received a $5,000 grant.

The list of organizations awarded the laureate titles in each category along with their video link are as follows:

Innovation in Philanthropy

Community Impact

  • California Teaching Fellows Foundation of Fresno provides leadership and in-classroom experiences for teachers in-training, while also supporting the Fresno Unified School District's needs for student tutoring and mentors. www.ctff.us
    http://GoWe.st/CalTeaching
  • Work Options for Women of Denver helps low-income women break through poverty through its culinary training program, case management and job placement in the food service industry. www.workoptions.org
    http://GoWe.st/WorkOptions

Team Member Commitment

  • Florence Crittenton Services of Colorado in Denver helps teen parents to raise healthy families through a broad spectrum of services for the entire family. www.FloCritCo.org
    http://GoWe.st/FloCrit

Nominations for the Innovation in Philanthropy Award were submitted by the public, and candidates for the Community Impact and Team Member Commitment Awards were submitted by Bank of the West employees.

Bank of the West's Wealth Management Group and Community Affairs created the Philanthropy Awards program in 2010 to recognize outstanding examples of organizations and individuals who are making a difference in their communities.  The Philanthropy Awards program represents one component of the bank's dedication to utilizing its financial and human resources to improve its communities. The bank also targets loans, investments and contributions to directly support low- and moderate-income people and communities.

Bank of the West donates to organizations, and its employees contribute their time and money in the community. In 2010, the bank and its employees collectively donated $6.5 million to more than 2,000 organizations.

For more information about the Bank of the West Philanthropy Awards, visit https://www.bankofthewest.com/about-us/community-support.html

About Bank of the West
Founded in 1874, $59 billion-asset Bank of the West (www.bankofthewest.com), member FDIC, offers a full range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services. The bank operates more than 700 retail and commercial banking locations in 19 Western and Midwestern states. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, one of the world's largest and best rated banks* with more than 200,000 employees in more than 80 countries.

*Rated AA- by Standard & Poor's as of October 14, 2011.

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  • Lily Ruiz
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  • San Francisco, CA 94104