Woodforest National Bank Earns Two Awards for Woodforest Foundry's Entrepreneurship 4 All

September 30, 2021

THE WOODLANDS, Texas - Sept. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Woodforest National Bank® (Woodforest) recently earned two notable awards for its Woodforest FoundrySM Entrepreneurship 4 AllSM curriculum.

Woodforest National Bank Wins 2021 IBAT BOCB Gold Award for Financial Literacy. From left to right: Nisha Floyd, Krystian Reyes, Julie Mayrant and Mike White from Woodforest National Bank, and Christopher Williston, President and CEO from Independent Bankers Association of Texas.

Woodforest National Bank Wins 2021 IBAT BOCB Gold Award for Financial Literacy. From left to right: Nisha Floyd, Krystian Reyes, Julie Mayrant and Mike White from Woodforest National Bank, and Christopher Williston, President and CEO from Independent Bankers Association of Texas.

As Woodforest bankers saw small businesses in their communities endure hardships and struggle to stay afloat during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team wanted to give back and help keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive in Texas and across the Bank's 17-state footprint. To accomplish this, Woodforest put a team of Community Development Relationship Managers and Retail Bankers together to transform its Entrepreneurship 4 All curriculum from an immersive onsite experience into a 100-percent virtual format in less than 60 days. From the safety and comfort of remote locations, "wantrepreneurs" and small businesses connected with Woodforest in a newly created curated online community of peers who acted as mentors to support, share, test and challenge their business ideas. Participants were also able to leverage a new way of accessing support, resources and financial education for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

For these efforts, the Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT)—the largest state community banking association in the nation—honored Woodforest with a 2021 Best of Community Banking (BOCB) Gold Award in financial literacy for its Entrepreneurship 4 All (Virtual Edition). The BOCB Awards recognize community banks throughout Texas for their innovation, creativity, and success in fulfilling a specific community or internal need.

"This past year has been challenging across the globe as we continue to fight the pandemic," said Christopher Williston, IBAT president and CEO. "But community bankers have been truly inspiring during these difficult days by processing a majority (57.5 percent) of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for small businesses and helping their communities when they were needed most. This year's BOCB Award recipients were particularly inspiring in their efforts to meet the challenges brought on by the pandemic, and this recognition is only a small token of our immense pride in Texas community banks to better the lives of those around them. I sincerely congratulate all of the 2021 BOCB Award recipients."

Additionally, Woodforest Foundry's Entrepreneurship 4 All was selected as one of four 2021 Leaders in Financial Education Award (LiFE) winners by the Texas Bankers Foundation. The LiFE Award acknowledges and honors Texas banks that are dedicated leaders in promoting consumer and financial education in their communities.

"It is our great pleasure to recognize this year's LiFE Award recipients. This award celebrates the banks and bankers who are dedicated leaders in promoting financial education," said Chris Furlow, President & CEO of the Texas Bankers Association. "Those recognized this year have had a significant impact on their communities and we are honored to congratulate them on their efforts."

Jay Dreibelbis, Woodforest National Bank President and CEO added, "Thank you, Texas Bankers Association and Independent Bankers Association of Texas for your recognition. We are extremely proud to help thousands of Texans and many others across our footprint test their business ideas in a safe environment, spur small business growth and help create new jobs with this innovative program."

About Woodforest Foundry

The Woodforest Foundry is a globally recognized, national award-winning accelerator program facilitated by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, acting as mentors to activate 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 bankers and community partners.

The Woodforest Foundry starts with open community events called Entrepreneurship 4 All that demystify entrepreneurship through candid conversations with successful entrepreneurs from the community. Next, aspiring entrepreneurs complete a series of educational ideation workshops called Ideas 2 Action. Lastly, entrepreneurs test and validate their ideas in a cohort of their peers, successful small business owners, and other professionals who provide mentorship and trusted guidance.

About Woodforest National Bank

Celebrating 40 years of community banking service, Woodforest National Bank has successfully stood among the strongest community banks in the nation, proudly offering outstanding customer service since 1980. Woodforest currently operates over 760 branches in 17 states across the United States and is an Outstanding CRA rated institution. For more information about Woodforest National Bank, please visit www.woodforest.com

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