Cornerstone and LiFE Awards Presented


GRAPEVINE, May 5, 2016 – The Texas Bankers Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Texas Bankers Association, presented the annual Cornerstone and Leaders in Financial Education (LiFE) awards to 13 banks at a special luncheon today at the Texas Bankers Association’s 132nd Annual Convention held in Austin.

The Cornerstone Award recognizes excellence in community involvement by Texas banks. The following banks were honored with the 2016 Cornerstone Award.

Jacksonville-based Austin Bank received a Cornerstone Award for its help in the aftermath of the May 10, 2015, tornado in Van that left two dead, 43 injured and about one-third of the town’s homes and businesses damaged. Austin Bank’s Van location assisted in the cleanup, donated to the recovery fund, accepted outside donations at all of Austin Bank’s 32 locations and collected books and toys for children affected by the disaster.

Kilgore-based Citizens Bank received a Cornerstone Award for its Habitat for Humanity home build project. Starting in 2015, thirty-one Citizens Bank employees and spouses put in more than 900 hours of volunteer service to build a home for a single mother and her three children on South Street in Kilgore.

Dallas-based Comerica Bank received a Cornerstone Award for its Reinvesting in Lockwood campaign. In 2015, to commemorate the opening of a new Lockwood banking center and Comerica Bank’s 20th year of operation in Houston’s Fifth Ward, Comerica Bank pledged $20,000 in community grants to five Houston ISD schools in the Lockwood area —  Pugh Elementary School, Wheatley High School, McReynolds Middle School, Atherton Elementary School and N.Q. Henderson Elementary School — as voted on by the community.

Corpus Christi-based First Community Bank received a Cornerstone Award for its Wimberley flood relief efforts. In May 2015, Wimberley experienced flooding that resulted in at least 23 deaths. Included in the death toll were members of a Corpus Christi family survived by only the father; many First Community Bank employees knew this family personally. Thirty-three bank employees traveled at their own expense to Wimberley, where they worked an 18-hour day, preparing and serving meals for the 500 search-and-rescue volunteers. First Community Bank employees also raised nearly $7,000 for the relief fund for the family.

Plano-based LegacyTexas Bank received a Cornerstone Award for its 2015 Honor our Veterans holiday giving campaign. Through employee contributions matched by the bank, $23,000 was used to donate 130 care packages filled with much needed personal care items to the residents of the VA Home of the Brave Community Living Center. LegacyTexas employees delivered the care packages, decorated the living center for the holidays and watched a movie with the residents. 

Mineola Community Bank received a Cornerstone Award for its “Back the Blue” campaign. In 2015, Mineola Community Bank organized a community-wide appreciation lunch for police officers and first responders in their three markets — Mineola, Grand Saline and Winnsboro. The bank served meals to an estimated 750 people and handed out 1,800 “Back the Blue” t-shirts and 1,500 yard signs.

Houston-based Preferred Bank received a Cornerstone Award for its Season of Giving project. The bank participated in the 2015 Cy-Ridge Relay for Life and raised more than $2,500. Preferred Bank’s accounting team volunteered to do the accounting for the entire Relay for Life event. They also collected new blankets and scarves to be donated to cancer patients at MD Anderson. Lastly, Preferred Bank partnered with Grangerland Intermediate School in Conroe to provide Thanksgiving meals for 20 low-income families. 

Garland-based Texas Brand Bank received a Cornerstone Award for its support of Hope Clinic. Hope Clinic is a Christian organization that serves the uninsured, low income and underserved population in Garland by providing them with primary healthcare services, spiritual support and assistance in identifying community resources. The bank’s critical support has aided the clinic’s growth from serving 660 patients in 2007 to exceeding 7,500 patient visits in 2015.

The Leaders in Financial Education (LiFE) Award honors Texas banks that are dedicated leaders in promoting financial education in their communities. The 2016 LiFE Award recipients are as follows:

Abilene-based First Financial Bank was recognized for its Financial Exploitation Education Program in partnership with the Abilene Police Department and Adult Protective Services. The program educates bankers, customers and the public about scams that target the vulnerable senior population. First Financial Bank has presented 178 workshops at over 100 unique locations.

First State Bank of Uvalde was recognized for its financial literacy course-required scholarship. The bank developed a new scholarship program for Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College in Uvalde. The scholarship carried a unique requirement: Recipients completed a financial literacy course — taught by bank employees who volunteered their time — that educated them about money management.

Mexia-based Incommons Bank was recognized for teaching math and money concepts to children as part of the Waco ISD Adopt-a-School program. Bank employees read the book “Pigs Will Be Pigs” to first-graders at Kendrick Elementary School over the course of six weeks. Incommons Bank provided the books to each classroom and a piggy bank to each student to apply lessons of saving. 

San Antonio-based Jefferson Bank was recognized for their Investor Challenge program. Jefferson Bank’s Investor Challenge introduced high school seniors to financial literacy, financial planning and the stock market. Its secondary goal was to give students an opportunity to attend classes on a college campus — by partnering with the University of Incarnate Word — so they could visualize themselves as students there. The winner of the challenge, where students managed a simulated stock portfolio, received $500. 

Midland-based Security Bank was recognized for focusing on financial literacy education for all ages. In 2015, Security Bank volunteered to teach first-graders through 12th-graders through Junior Achievement; partnered with Midland Need to Read whose clients consist of adults who are seeking to receive their GED, learn English as a second language and other important life skills; and hosted their first Teach Children to Save Day.

Serving Texas banks since 1885, the Texas Bankers Association is the largest and oldest state bankers association in the nation.