Thursday, December 1, 2016
WALNUT CREEK, CA, December 1, 2016—Mechanics Bank has received the East Bay Leadership Council’s Corporate Philanthropy Award for its many contributions to East Bay communities. The award was presented at an event at the Blackhawk Museum on Nov. 3, 2016.
“Mechanics Bank’s generosity has been extraordinary,” says Jim Becker, Executive Director of Richmond Community Foundation. “We were honored to nominate them for this award.” According to Kristin Connelly, President and CEO of the East Bay Leadership Council, "The EBLC was proud to honor Mechanics Bank with a 2016 East Bay Philanthropy Award because their generosity to 260 local nonprofits goes well beyond the dollars and cents. The Bank's work includes financial literacy training integrated into the curriculum of six public high schools and financial education to students in low-income communities. They also work closely with community partners to offer programs like the Individual Development Accounts for those saving to start a business, attend college, or buy their first home.”
The bank also sponsors and sends representatives focused on solving the most pressing problems in the East Bay community to the Northern California Summit on Children and Youth. Recently, Mechanics Bank stepped up to purchase “Social Impact Bonds” (SIBs) issued by the City of Richmond to support the Richmond Community Foundation’s (RCF) unique program to rehabilitate abandoned homes and provide affordable homeownership in Richmond. SIBs blend private investments and charity to effect social change by providing low-interest loans to non-profits to fund programs designed to address social issues.
Investors only earn a profit if the programs succeed over a period of time, and initial profits are recycled to fund continuing work. Investor profits are capped, and are not guaranteed by taxpayers. In this case, Mechanics Bank is not collecting interest on the bonds. “Mechanics Bank’s support of our housing rehabilitation program was courageous and has gone far beyond purchasing the bonds,” says Mr. Becker. “Not only did they purchase the bonds to finance this unique program, but they also have supported it with staff involvement throughout our launch. We are deeply grateful to them.”
Rauly Butler, Executive Vice President and Director of Retail Banking at Mechanics Bank, says, “It’s a great honor to be recognized by the East Bay Leadership Council. We truly believe that when communities prosper, we prosper. This is at the heart of true ‘community banking’ and it’s what Mechanics Bank has been doing for 111 years.”
About Mechanics Bank
Mechanics Bank, established in 1905, is an independent, full service community bank. With more than $5.4 billion in assets, it is the largest bank headquartered in the Bay Area’s East Bay region. Its 30 branch offices throughout Northern California and five locations in Southern California provide a highly personalized relationship banking experience that includes consumer and business banking services, commercial lending, commercial deposit and cash management services, and comprehensive trust and wealth management services.