October 09, 2019

Woodforest National Bank Wins Two Best of Community Banking Award

THE WOODLANDS, Texas, Oct. 9, 2019 -- The Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT)—the largest state community banking association in the nation—recently honored Woodforest National Bank® (Woodforest) with two 2019 Best of Community Banking (BOCB) Awards. Woodforest received a gold award in community service for its Woodforest FoundrySM program that promotes entrepreneurship activation and a silver award for its New Beginnings financial education program with Family Promise that helps families who have experienced or are at risk of homelessness.

Woodforest National Bank Wins Two IBAT Best of Community Banking Awards for Community Service and Financial Literacy. Pictured front row: Krystian Reyes, Doug Schaeffer, Julie Mayrant, Daniel Galindo and Brenda Wendt from Woodforest National Bank Pictured back row: Christopher Williston, President and CEO, and Ronnie Miller, Immediate Past Chairman from Independent Bankers Association of Texas.

2019 marks the 28th year that IBAT has celebrated the outstanding accomplishments of Texas community banks with the BOCB Award. Community banks, such as Woodforest, 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 or internal need. Each submission was rated as a gold, silver or bronze award in one of five categories: architectural design, bank culture, community service, financial literacy and marketing.

Woodforest's community service gold winning entry, Woodforest Foundry, is facilitated by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, as mentors to enhance local entrepreneurial ecosystems, which revitalizes underserved communities and helps grow businesses. With the Woodforest Foundry, entrepreneurs find a community of mentors and trusted guidance from peers, Woodforest employees and community partners.

Its silver winning entry addresses an unmet need it saw in communities, not only across its 17-state footprint, but also throughout the nation. Through a community partnership with Family Promise (the leading national organization fighting homelessness in the U.S.), both entitiescreated the New Beginnings program to serve families across 43 states.

This unique curriculum 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.

"Our goal is to help connect aspiring entrepreneurs to resources within their local communities through the Woodforest Foundry, which is gaining traction in our home state of Texas and across the bank's 17-state footprint. This recognition from IBAT validates that others are starting to notice this program, and we hope they will continue to join us," said Doug Schaeffer, Executive Vice President and CRA Executive Director of Woodforest National Bank. He continued, "We would also like to thank IBAT for continuing to recognize our New Beginnings financial education program with Family Promise. We believe the program, which provides a comprehensive approach to achieving financial sustainability, from basic banking concepts to budgeting and managing credit, continues to help low income and at-risk families learn the skills they need to become economically self-sufficient."

All BOCB gold, silver and bronze winners were on display during IBAT's 45th Annual Convention at Moody Gardens Hotel in Galveston, Sept. 21-24, 2019. For more information about the Woodforest Foundry or New Beginnings, please contact Doug Schaeffer at dschaeffer@woodforest.com.

The Woodforest Foundry is an entrepreneur activation program by Woodforest National Bank, Member FDIC.

About Woodforest National Bank

Celebrating over 39 years of community banking service, Woodforest National Bank has successfully stood among the strongest community banks in the nation, proudly offering outstanding quality customer service since 1980. Woodforest currently operates over 700 branches in 17 states across the United States. For more information about Woodforest National Bank, please visit www.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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