NW Iowa bank receives 2017 Community Banking Month Best-of-the-Best Award
LE MARS — Independent community banks across Iowa have an important role to play in encouraging development and growth in local communities. Each year Community Bankers of Iowa (CBI), the only statewide association advocating exclusively for Iowa’s independent community banks, presents their Community Banking Month Best-of- the-Best Award.
This award honors the Iowa community bank that showed excellence in promoting financial education and in giving back to their local communities during Community Banking Month, which is observed in April in Iowa and across the nation. American Bank of Le Mars and Remsen was named the 2017 recipient and presented with the award at a ceremony during CBI’s 46th Management Conference and Annual Convention, held in Okoboji, this July.
The work American Bank has done sends a clear message about how community banks are making a difference in their communities.
American Bank’s team leveraged social media to educate the public and to promote their programs all throughout Community Banking Month. Each week during the school year, American Bank employees visit a second grade class and read a story to them. Throughout the school year, they hold a weekly School Bank session at area schools, assisting students as they act as tellers, bookkeepers, board members with students depositing money into their own savings accounts at their individual schools. During Money Smart Week and Teach Children to Save Day in the last week of April, they spent a class period at each school encouraging students about the importance of saving habits. The bank also participated in sponsoring CBI’s state-wide Money Smart Week Poster Contest, a competition among second through sixth graders in Iowa. In addition to submitting all posters the bank received from area elementary schools for the state-wide competition, they chose and awarded a local winner as well.
What stood out to CBI and decided American Bank as the 2017 Best-of- the-Best Award recipient was their consistent support and gratitude to local entrepreneurs and to their communities as a whole. The bank hosted their community’s weekly Community Chamber Coffee event, bringing together about 100 customers and local business people. American Bank president Paul Jacobson spoke about what it means to be a community bank and how they give back to their communtities, and encouraged attendance at American Bank’s Community Shred Day to assist the public in destroying personal documents. The bank also held a Tax Appreciation Day, visiting local tax preparers with gift baskets and providing information on American Bank’s corporate online banking services. American Bank employees were also honored by (then) Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds and the Le Mars Daily Sentinel news staff for volunteerism to Le Mars organizations. The exhaustive amount of other community events and volunteerism carried out by American Bank employees clinched the bank as CBI’s latest honoree.
“The role community banks play in stimulating local economies is essential to the survival of Main Street Iowa,” said Community Bankers of Iowa CEO Dave Caris. “American Bank’s voluntary actions throughout Community Banking Month demonstrate a deep commitment to the communities they serve, and exemplify the unique relationship community banks have with their customers.” Paul Jacobson, American Bank President, stated, “Community Banking is alive and well in Plymouth County. I am very proud of our staff for their community efforts recognized last July by the CBI for April’s Community Banking Month. Just as I, and our board of directors, are proud of their many other volunteer efforts contributed throughout the year to benefit our communities.”
As the 2017 Best-of- the-Best Award winner, American Bank was presented with a commemorative plaque and rewarded with a pizza party for all bank staff, compliments of CBI.