October 1, 2018

Woodforest Receives Award from The Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) for Innovative Wealth Building Through Homeownership Program

The Woodlands, TX (October 1, 2018) – The Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT)—the largest state community banking association in the nation—recently honored Woodforest National Bank with two Best of Community Banking (BOCB) Awards. It received a gold award as well as the "Best of Show" award, which is the competition's top honor, for its community service program that helped customers and the community recover and rebuild following the devastation inflicted by Hurricane Harvey. The bank also received a gold award for its New Beginnings® financial literacy program that helps families who have experienced or are at risk of homelessness.

IBAT Awards Image

2018 marks the 27th year that IBAT has celebrated the outstanding accomplishments of Texas community banks with the BOCB Award. Community banks, such as Woodforest National Bank, play a critical role in their local communities. The Best of Community Banking competition is designed to honor banks for their commitment to helping their customers, neighbors and community. BOCB Awards recognize community banks throughout the state for their innovation, creativity and success in fulfilling a specific community need. Each submission received a gold, silver or bronze award in one of five categories: bank culture, community service, financial literacy, marketing and architectural design.

Woodforest National Bank's community service entry focused on helping to rebuild Texas after Hurricane Harvey. The bank quickly enacted its crisis management plan; and worked with national and community partners to develop innovative and responsive programs that reacted to the immediate (and long-term needs) of its employees, customers and the community by maximizing its available resources and relationships.

Its second entry addresses an unmet need it saw in its communities not only in Texas, but also throughout the country. Through a partnership with Family Promise, the leading national organization fighting homelessness in the U.S., it created the New Beginnings® program to serve families across 43 states.

New Beginnings® is a unique curriculum, designed for families who have experienced or are at risk of homelessness, provides a comprehensive approach to achieving financial sustainability, from basic banking concepts to budgeting and managing credit. It is accessible for families of all backgrounds. It is also designed to work in multiple formats, and a key aspect of the comprehensive facilitator's guide allows volunteers to deliver the material effectively from anywhere – even on a cot to a single mother and her children living in a shelter. New Beginnings® is an ideal tool for volunteers at financial institutions because of its modular structure and practical instructions. This program is more than a cookie-cutter financial literacy course. It meets families where they are, both physically and educationally; and helps combat the vicious cycle and consequences of poverty plaguing Texas and the nation.

"We appreciate being recognized by Independent Bankers Association of Texas for not one, but two awards; but for us, the real win here is having the talent, resources and relationships in place to make a visible difference in our communities. Stepping up to support Texas (our home state) during Hurricane Harvey was just the right thing to do, and we were motivated by the hard work and dedication everyone put into the effort. Regarding New Beginnings, this program goes beyond financial education. It's teaching critical skills to a vulnerable group of people across the country which hopefully gives them a sense of accomplishment and dignity; and importantly, back on a path to financial stability," said Doug Schaeffer, EVP, CRA Executive Director for Woodforest National Bank.

All BOCB gold, silver and bronze winners were on display during IBAT's 44th Annual Convention in San Antonio, Sept. 22-25, 2018. For more information about Woodforest National Bank's award submissions, please contact Doug Schaeffer, EVP, CRA Executive Director at DSchaeffer@WOODFOREST.com or Daniel Galindo, VP, CRA and Strategy Director at dgalindo@woodforest.com.

About the Independent Bankers Association of Texas

Formed in 1974, the Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) represents Texas community banks. The Austin-based group is the largest state community banking organization in the nation with membership comprised of more than 2,000 banks and branches in 700 Texas communities. Providing safe and responsible financial services to all Texans, IBAT member bank assets range in size from $21 million to $31 billion with combined assets statewide of $193 billion. IBAT member banks are committed to supporting and investing in their local communities.

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