The ABA Foundation has recognized six banks for their outstanding commitment to their communities. The ABA Community Commitment Awards — to be presented on Oct. 23 during ABA’s Annual Convention in New York — are given in six categories to honor innovative, high-impact bank programs and projects that produce lasting results in the communities they serve. Bank award winners and categories were:
- U.S. Bank, Minneapolis, for affordable housing
- Citizens Bank, Batesville, Ark., for community and economic development
- Eastern Bank, Boston, for economic inclusion
- Bank of Nevada, Las Vegas, for financial education
- Old National Bank, Evansville, Ind., for protecting older Americans
- United Bank, Parkersburg, WV., for volunteerism
The fifth annual George Bailey Distinguished Service Award will be awarded to Marcus A. Vasquez, vice president and fair banking officer for Allegiance Bank in Houston, for his efforts to assist his community after Hurricane Harvey. The Bailey Award is presented to an individual banker demonstrating outstanding initiative, effectiveness and inspiration to others.
In 2017, Hurricane Harvey brought catastrophic flooding that caused an estimated $100 billion in total damage to the city. Vasquez led initiatives on behalf of Allegiance Bank to not only engage employees in clean up and volunteer efforts, but also to leverage funding opportunities — specifically a grant program with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas that provided quick funding and financial assistance to those whose homes and businesses had been destroyed. With Vasquez’s leadership, they were able to provide 41 grants to businesses, homeowners and non-profit organizations totaling $367,000.
“Marcus has devoted countless hours to community organizations and initiatives that have resulted in the creation of new jobs, affordable housing and healthy communities across the Houston area,” said George Martinez, CEO of Allegiance Bank. “His efforts throughout his banking career and specifically during the recovery from Hurricane Harvey make him absolutely deserving of this award.”