Umpqua Bank, a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation, has concluded the first phase of "The Good Project," the company's month-long initiative encouraging community engagement and celebrating individual achievements.
"Giving back to the communities we serve and celebrating the individuals who share those values are essential parts of Umpqua's culture of service," said Nicole Stein, Umpqua Bank's vice president of community responsibility. "The outpouring of good deed pledges and stories of those who are making an impact every day were nothing short of inspiring, and we're honored to celebrate and foster community engagement."
The Good Deed Fund
Umpqua launched The Good Deed Fund to encourage community members to do simple good deeds. For every pledge, Umpqua added $10 to its Good Deed Fund, and the community responded, pledging 5,058 good deeds to create a $50,580 fund. Grants will be given to community-selected organizations and schools during a campaign beginning November 20 at facebook.com/umpquabank.
The Good Deed Award Winners
In addition, communities have voted to select the winners of Umpqua's first Good Deed Awards. They recognize individuals whose generosity and dedication to giving back have made a positive difference in each of the states Umpqua serves - California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Each winner receives a $5,000 grant to give to their favorite organization. Umpqua's Good Deed Award winners and the benefitting organizations include:
California - Kim Kurnizki, Arts for All via the North Valley Community Foundation
Kim helped to found the "Arts for All" organization, a fund of the North Valley Community Foundation, to save the arts in the Chico Unified School District when music, art, drama and dance programs were being cut due to budget constraints. More than $20,000 has been raised for the fund from galas and other events, providing grants to the teachers of CUSD to pursue projects based in the arts.
Nevada - Polly Wolfe, Tahoe Family Solutions
Polly has been involved with Tahoe Family Solutions for almost 10 years, and has been steadfast on the Board of Directors. In addition to Polly and her husband establishing an endowment fund to send low-income kids to Camp Explore, she regularly donates her time to provide tutoring sessions at the Homework Help Club and chair the annual "Brunch with Santa" event.
Oregon - Ralph Gilliam, Club Impact at Impact NW
Ralph, who is retired from Portland Public Schools, created Club Impact - a place for young adults with disabilities to socialize with one another. The club has been thriving for almost four years as participants work on social skill development in an easy, non-clinical setting, sometimes finding a best friend or even falling in love.
Washington - Michele McKeag Larsen, The Joy Team
Michele is the founder of the not-for-profit The Joy Team, whose mission is to spread joy, optimism and inspiration to millions. Since 2010, she has been spreading joy via different mediums and projects, including: the development of 48 billboards with messages of inspiration and joy; the PB & Joy project, which provided 3,200 jars of peanut butter for hungry children in the Vancouver School system; and "Happy Packets" distributed to 1,500 police, fire, city employees, garbage collectors and others.
Umpqua is also awarding each of the remaining eight finalists a $500 grant for the organization of their choice. Finalists include: Tony Heuschel and Fred Perez from California; Evelyn Mount and De De Rosene from Nevada; Dala Johnson and Paulette Jones from Oregon; and Sally Budack and Doug Starup from Washington.
About Umpqua BankContact Information:
Umpqua Bank, headquartered in Roseburg, Ore., is a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation with locations between California's Central Coast and the Puget Sound, along the Oregon and Northern California Coast, and in Central Oregon and Northern Nevada. Umpqua Bank has been recognized for its innovative customer experience and banking strategy by national publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Fast Company and CNBC. The company has been recognized for the past seven years in a row on FORTUNE magazine's list of the country's "100 Best Companies to Work For," in addition to being named one of the Best Banks to Work for in 2013 by American Banker, one of The Oregonian's Top Workplaces for 2013 and Most Admired Financial Services Company in Oregon by The Portland Business Journal for the eighth consecutive year.
Umpqua Holdings also owns a retail brokerage subsidiary, Umpqua Investments, Inc., which offers services through Umpqua Bank stores and in dedicated offices throughout Oregon, and Financial Pacific Leasing, a nationally-recognized commercial finance company that provides equipment leases to small businesses. Umpqua's Wealth Management Division serves high net worth individuals and nonprofits by providing customized financial solutions and offerings. Umpqua Holdings Corporation is headquartered in Portland, Ore. For more information, visit http://www.umpquabank.com.