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CDFIs and Regulatory Change: How to Maximize Your CRA Impact

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Your partnerships with CDFIs are key in helping your institution meet the credit needs of low- or moderate-income individuals and communities. 

But regulatory change is coming, and whether you’re new to the CDFI partnership game or a seasoned pro, it’s important to know what to expect and how to prepare. The proposed regulations suggest that there will be changes to how you partner with CDFIs in the future, as well as how your activities with them count towards the CRA. 

Instead of waiting around in the dark, join this webinar on July 15th at 12 pm CT with CRA expert Linda Ezuka. Linda will teach you how to partner with CDFIs and what the coming regulatory change means for your institution. Linda will break it all down and showcase a few partnerships so you’re prepared for whatever comes your way. 

Register today, and learn what you need to know about CDFIs and the new regulatory changes

The ABA has approved this webinar for 1.25 CERP, CFMP, and CRCM credits.

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Linda Ezuka

Owner, CRA Today

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Want to Grow Your Financial Literacy Program? Learn From the Best Programs in the Country

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You voted for the best financial literacy programs in the country, and here they are. TowneBank, Texas Regional Bank, and Kohler Credit Union were recently crowned the best financial literacy programs in the country. So what makes them so great? Join this panel webinar on August 12th at 12 pm CT to learn what helped build their programs and some of the challenges they’ve had to overcome along the way. You’ll learn how to become a financial literacy master, as well as some tips and tricks for building your program and some things to avoid. If your institution is dedicated to bringing financial education to your community members, you don’t want to miss this. Register today!

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Diana Delaunay

Senior Branch Sales Officer at Texas Regional Bank

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Kirsten Coenen

Community Development Manager at Kohler CU

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Michelle Mogel

Financial Literacy Manager at TowneBank



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The New CRA Proposal vs the Last Major CRA Reform: What it Means for Your Institution

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Wondering what the new CRA proposal means for you and your institution? Want to learn more about it so you can submit comments with confidence? 

Watch this webinar with Dr. Ken Thomas, CRA expert, author of “The CRA Handbook,” and President of Community Development Fund Advisors. 

This isn’t a summary of the 700-page NPR. Instead, Ken shares his opinion about the new CRA proposal and how it compares to the last major reform in 1995 (which Ken was involved in). You’ll learn the key differences between the two reforms, the intent of the new reform (hint: Ken thinks you may be surprised), and what all this means for branchless banking.

After watching this webinar, you’ll better understand the current proposal and what it means for you and your institution, and will be able to submit informed comments to the agencies. (Reminder: your comments are due August 5.) Don’t miss this chance to learn about the new CRA proposal. 

The ABA has approved this webinar for 1.25 CERP, CFMP, and CRCM credits.

The New CRA Proposal vs the Last Major CRA Reform: What it Means for Your Institution
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Linda Ezuka

Owner, CRA Today

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Kenneth Thomas, Ph.D

Founder/CEO, Community Development Fund Advisors

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These CRA Officers Just Survived a CRA Exam: Here’s What They Learned

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It doesn’t matter whether you’re new to CRA or a seasoned pro, the exam process is never easy. It seems like there’s very little guidance when it comes to preparing for your exam, and you can only hope you have everything you need to show examiners all the work your institution has done to meet the credit needs of the community. Hearing from other CRA Officers about their exams and the methods they use can guide you in your own efforts to enhance your CRA program.

During this webinar, CRA expert Linda Ezuka was joined by a panel of CRA Officers who had recently gone through their own CRA exams—and learned a little something while doing it.  

Whether you’re preparing for your first CRA exam or your fiftieth, these CRA professionals will have some tips for you. Watch this panel webinar, where you’ll learn how to prepare for and survive your next CRA exam.

The ABA has approved this webinar for 1.25 CFMP and CRCM credits

These CRA Officers Just Survived a CRA Exam: Here’s What They Learned
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Linda Ezuka

Owner, CRA Today

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How Exactly Do You Meet the Credit Needs of a Community?

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Guidelines under the CRA are frustratingly vague. You know you need to meet the credit needs of your community, but what does that even mean? Instead of just hoping one of your community initiatives will stick, watch this webinar, where we teach you everything you need to know about meeting the credit needs of your community. From taking deposits, redeploying capital, changing tactics based on the size of your bank, and more, we take you through every step of the process. Now you can make a bigger impact that’ll knock those vague guidelines out of the water. Register today!

The ABA has approved this webinar for 1.25 CERP, CFMP, or CRCM credits. To request CE credit, fill out this form.

How Exactly Do You Meet the Credit Needs of a Community?
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Linda Ezuka

Owner, CRA Today

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How to Build a Successful CRA Strategy & Action Plan for 2022

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Do you know what your top 3 community development priorities are for 2022? Or are you overwhelmed with competing priorities and not sure where to start? Watch this free webinar with CRA expert Linda Ezuka to learn how to create an effective and actionable CRA strategy for your institution. Some of the topics we cover include planning considerations given your current CRA exam cycle, aligning CRA initiatives with your bank’s core business strategy, developing your CRA strategy and goals, partnering with business units to set performance targets that are mutually beneficial, and creating an action plan with clear steps to help you hit the ground running.
To learn more about this topic, check out our blog post and download 26 Questions to Ask Yourself When Building Your CRA Plan for the New Year.

How to Build a Successful CRA Strategy & Action Plan for 2022
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Linda Ezuka

Owner, CRA Today

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How to Build a Strong CRA Team Without Growing Your Staff

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Many banks don’t have the resources to employ a large CRA staff (or, let’s face it, more than one or two people). But you can still build a strong CRA team! In this webinar, you learn how to grow your CRA team without necessarily growing your staff. You learn how to engage various stakeholders within your financial institution in your CRA program. From setting department goals, embedding CRA responsibility into job descriptions, and creating meaningful incentive programs, watch now for some fresh new ideas to build your CRA dream team for 2022 and beyond!

How to Build a Strong CRA Team Without Growing Your Staff
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Linda Ezuka

Owner, CRA Today

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Learn How Starting a Foundation Could Expand Your Community Impact

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Are you looking for a way to expand your bank or credit union’s community impact? Start a foundation! Del Norte Credit Union’s new “LOV Foundation” has benefited everyone involved, including the credit union and community members. Not only has the LOV Foundation elevated community support and given CU employees a purpose and philanthropic voice, but it has also deepened the CU’s nonprofit partnerships, helped them reach their financial literacy goals, and given thousands of dollars back to the community.

Watch this webinar to learn all about the benefits of starting a foundation, as well as some of the hurdles you’ll need to overcome.

Learn How Starting a Foundation Could Expand Your Community Impact
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Connie Tooker Nunez

Director, Del Norte Lov Foundation

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Up and Out Move—Ending Homelessness One Family at a Time

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Imagine how hopeless and afraid you might feel if you had no home, no job, and weren’t able to provide for your family. Half a million Americans live this nightmare every single day. To help combat this need, Northern Bank partners with Heading Home, a local nonprofit that aims to end homelessness in the Greater Boston area by providing food, permanent housing, and other supportive services (like financial education) to families in need. Watch this webinar to learn more about how Northern Bank is ending homelessness and how you could create a similarly impactful partnership in your community. Oh, and they also partnered with an NFL superstar to surprise the sons of one family! Make sure you watch the webinar for the full story :)

Up & Out Move—Ending Homelessness One Family at a Time
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Katie Gatcomb

Northern Bank & Trust

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Compassion Into Action: A Day For All Employees to Volunteer

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Many banks and credit unions struggle to get employees to volunteer throughout the year. And since volunteering is crucial to many institutions’ core values, brand, and CRA programs, you have to find a way to overcome employee forgetfulness. Isabella Bank has overcome this challenge by holding a company-wide volunteer day where everyone has the opportunity to serve. Not only that, but this volunteer day builds brand awareness, contributes to the CRA program, and benefits many nonprofits and community organizations.

Watch this webinar to learn more about Isabella Bank’s “Compassion Into Action” community service event and how you may be able to do something similar for your bank or credit union.

Community Involvement Ideas - Compassion Into Action - Jennifer Brick - Isabella Bank
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Jennifer Brick

AVP, Director of Marketing, Isabella Bank

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Community Development Finance for CRA Officers

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Do you know how to effectively facilitate community development transactions? If you don't or want a refresher, watch this webinar about community development finance. We cover the basics of CD finance, from assessing your community's credit needs to convening internal and external stakeholders. And to get a bit "into the weeds," we cover gap financing strategies so you can promote economic growth and financial stability in your lower-income and disadvantaged communities. Watch now to learn these principles & strategies that are central to your role as a CRA officer.

Community Development Finance for CRA officers
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Linda Ezuka

Owner, CRA Today

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CRA's Section 109: What it is and why you can't ignore it

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If your bank has or plans to have interstate branches, you need to know about “Section 109" of the Riegle–Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994 (Interstate Act). According to Section 109, your bank can’t take in deposits outside your home state and fail to meet the credit needs in those communities.

Join the nation’s leading CRA expert and author, Dr. Ken Thomas, to learn more about Section 109, why it’s becoming more heavily scrutinized during CRA exams, and how to ensure your bank avoids violating it. Plus, you learn what your bank can do if it doesn’t currently meet the requirements (Hint: you need to act fast). 

Watch now and avoid the consequences of inaction!

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Kenneth Thomas, Ph.D

Founder/CEO, Community Development Fund Advisors

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How partnering with local TV and radio can help your communities

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Partnering with local media can yield astonishing results for not only your brand but also your community. Watch this webinar with Courtney Taylor from Veritex Bank to learn how they've partnered with local TV and radio stations to promote financial literacy and their nonprofit partners. This has resulted in increased nonprofit support and brand awareness for Veritex, establishing them as local community leaders.

Watch now to learn about Veritex Bank's media partnerships and if something similar could benefit your institution and community.

How partnering with local TV and radio can help your communities
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Courtney Taylor

SVP, Community Development Officer, Veritex Bank

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Ask an examiner! How to prepare for your next CRA exam

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If you’ve ever wondered just how an examiner thinks and approaches a CRA exam, now’s your chance! Watch Linda Ezuka of CRA Today and Jason Keller, a Community and Economic Development Senior Advisor and examiner from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in a fun and fast-paced session where they share their tips and tricks on preparing for your next CRA exam. 
 
We take both a CRA Officer’s perspective contrasted with an examiner’s approach to a CRA examination to share exactly how to ensure a productive and smooth process. From the pre-exam process, to the onsite examination, and then to the eventual verdict (your rating), we share best practices each step of the way to ensure you and your financial institution remains "exam ready!”

Ask an examiner! How to prepare for your next CRA exam
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Linda Ezuka

Owner, CRA Today

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Jason Keller

Senior Advisor, Community and Economic Development, FRB

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CRA Ambassadors—Engage employees in CRA

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It can be difficult to engage employees in your community development program. Iris Jones (VP, CRA Officer at Seacoast Bank) had the same problem. Based on their success in one area of their footprint, Iris and her team built the CRA Ambassadors program. This program engages select employees and helps expand the bank's community development program. Since its inception, they've dramatically increased the number and quality of their community development activities. 

Watch this webinar to learn about the CRA Ambassadors program and how you could start something similar in your organization.

CRA Ambassadors—Engage employees in CRA
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Iris Jones

VP, CRA Officer

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PCs for People

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Hundreds of financial institutions across America throw away computer equipment each year when upgrading to newer equipment. This equipment usually ends up in a landfill, even though it’s still functional. North American Savings Bank (NASB) saw an opportunity to keep their used equipment out of the landfill, repurpose it to help bridge the digital divide in the low-to-moderate income (LMI) community, and receive CRA credit.

NASB worked with PCs for People, a nonprofit social enterprise, that recycles business electronics, refurbishes used computers, and distributes them at deeply discounted prices to low-income households and non-profits throughout the United States. NASB donated over 400 computers to PCs for People, who then refurbished and provided the computers to local adults, students, and non-profit organizations. When schools and businesses pivoted to online learning and work due to COVID-19, these donations were vital in helping our community's students and adults find success.

Watch this webinar to learn more about how you could donate your old computer equipment, make an impact in your community, and potentially receive CRA credit!

PCs for People
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Sarah Baharin

VP, Fair Lending/CRA Officer

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Demystifying the CRA "Outstanding" Rating

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It can be hard to know how to make the jump from a "Satisfactory" CRA rating to an "Outstanding." And why would you want to if a "Satisfactory" is all you need? In this webinar, Janice DeLima of Norway Savings Bank explains how they got an "Outstanding" rating and why it’s been beneficial to their institution.

Demystifying the CRA Outstanding Rating
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Janice DeLima

VP, CRA Officer

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Magical Moments - Community Involvement Ideas

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The COVID-19 pandemic required all of us to close our doors and rethink our “normal” community activities. As COVID-19 is coming to a close, Carter Bank & Trust wanted to find a way to boost its local economy in a COVID-friendly way. From that thought evolved the Magical Moments campaign. For every customer account opened, they gave $10 to a nonprofit organization in their community. As a result, over $30,000 was given back to nonprofits in their community. Watch this webinar to learn more about Magical Moments and how you could do something similar in your community.

Magical Moments—Community Involvement Ideas
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Kim Simon

VP, Marketing Officer

Suzy Barta

VP, Marketing Services Manager



Her Traditions - Community Involvement Ideas

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We know that the financial realities of a woman’s life are unique — different stages, different paths, different personalities, different levels of preparedness. So Traditions Bank created "Her Traditions," a program to support women in their unique lives. Her Traditions focuses on helping women gain the knowledge — and the confidence — needed to achieve strong financial health.

In this webinar, we share how Traditions Bank supports women through Her Traditions’ Financial Personalities as a tool to engage in goal setting. We also explore the Her Traditions scholarship program, events, and communications, all of which are focused on celebrating and supporting women.

Her Traditions - Community Involvement Ideas
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Nicole Shaffer

Director of Her Traditions

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Kindness Kits - Community Involvement Ideas

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Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, State Employees Credit Union of Maryland planned to host their first companywide volunteer day during their annual month-long Giving Campaign. However, with in-person volunteer opportunities on hold, SECU instead shifted their efforts to a company-wide Day of Kindness in which employees took a full day to complete random acts of kindness in the community. By providing employees with kindness kits containing some tools to help get started, SECU ignited a movement to share kindness with friends, family, neighbors, and strangers to create a ripple effect that inspires others to spread smiles and positivity. Watch this webinar to learn more!

Kindness Kits - Community Involvement Ideas
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Amanda Parsley

Sr. Community Outreach Specialist

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Solomon Dragon Boat Festival - Community Involvement Ideas

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Sometimes it can be hard to blend a fun activity with a cause that will really make an impact. But Kristin Kauffman of Cedar Point Credit Union has found a great solution. Each summer, Cedar Point CU is a direct sponsor of the Solomons Dragon Boat Festival. Community members get a chance to race long canoes, and all of the proceeds go to providing events and opportunities for adults with physical and intellectual disabilities in the Southern Maryland region. Watch this webinar to learn more about their sponsorship and how you could do something similar in your community.

Solomon Dragon Boat Festival - Community Involvement Ideas
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Kristin Kauffman

CMO, Cedar Point FCU

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COVID-Friendly Community Involvement Ideas

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COVID-19 has made holding community events hard this past year. Watch our Community Involvement Ideas webinar to learn about community initiatives that have worked well during COVID-19.

Non-profit organizations everywhere have seen a drastic cut in donations due to COVID-19. Theresa Wendhausen of First National Bank and Trust Company saw this gap and decided to take action. Through their Employee Directed Donations program, they’ve engaged their employees by having them select the non-profits they would like to support. Their employees get to play a bigger part in the donation process and non-profits get their much-needed funding.

COVID-19 has made it difficult for families to provide for even the most basic necessities and many businesses have struggled to conduct their business remotely. Through their Rapid Relief Fund Grants, Melissa Denbow & Machias Savings Bank help struggling families receive food, shelter, and childcare. And through their Business Resilience Grants, they help support small businesses adapt to working remotely. 

Community Involvement Ideas with Machias Savings Bank
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Melissa Denbow

VP, Corporate Giving & Community Relations

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Theresa Wendhausen

Vice President, Branding and Communications Officer

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Student-Operated Branches - Community Involvement Ideas

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Want to create a unique & impactful financial literacy program for students? Then this is the webinar for you! Alana Parker, Vice President, Community Development Officer, and Director of Relationship Banking talks about First Metro Bank’s nationally recognized Student-Operated Branches program. First Metro has established branches within local high schools that are run by the students themselves! Watch this webinar to learn more.

Student-Operated Branches - Community Involvement Ideas
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Alana Parker

Community Development Officer, First Metro Bank

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$5K Halftime - Community Involvement Ideas

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Wondering how you can partner with local schools? In this webinar, Sierra Jones, Marketing Assistant, talks about Forward Bank’s high school cooperative programs. This includes a $5K Halftime program and their new (COVID friendly) School Pride Video Contest. Watch this webinar to learn more.

$5K Halftime - Community Involvement Ideas
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Sierra Jones

Marketing Assistant, Forward Bank

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Grilling for Good - Community Involvement Ideas

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Looking for a fun way to engage your community? In this webinar, Danielle Remus, Marketing Director, talks about NebraskaLand’s Grilling for Good program. With over 150 events each year, 600+ service hours, and over 45,000 hamburgers and hotdogs, “The Grill” has become an important part of NebraskaLand’s marketing and community involvement strategy. Watch this webinar to learn more.

Grilling for Good - Community Involvement Ideas
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Danielle Remus

Vice President Marketing Director, NebraskaLand National Bank

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Pay-it-Forward - Community Involvement Ideas

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Looking for a community involvement program that will really engage your employees? Then this is the webinar for you! Julie Peterson Klein, EVP and Chief Culture Officer talks about Bell Bank’s Pay-It-Forward program. With Pay-It-Forward, each year every full-time employee receives $1,000 and every part-time employee receives $500 to give to a cause or someone in need. Since 2008, Bell Bank has generated 12,000 stories and donated $17 million as part of this program. Watch this webinar to learn more.

Bell Bank—Pay it Forward
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Julie Peterson

Chief Culture Officer, Bell Bank

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