Bank of the West today announced Portland-based Ecotrust and Denver-based Warren Village as winners of the Bank of the West Philanthropy Awards. Each nonprofit was awarded $100,000 and recognized for their respective programs advancing environmental conservation and economic self-sufficiency.
Since 2010, the Bank’s Philanthropy Awards have highlighted nonprofits’ game-changing programs at an annual event introducing leaders from the philanthropic sector to like-minded individuals in the community. Nonprofit organizations are recognized in two categories— Innovation and Community Impact. Awardees are chosen by a jury comprised of Bank of the West committee members along with external foundation and nonprofit leaders.
Innovation Award winner Ecotrust partners with local communities from California to Alaska to generate jobs while preserving farmlands, forests and waterways. Through philanthropic and investment funding, the nonprofit is currently developing a logistics hub in Portland that will support sustainable food systems by helping small-scale farmers and ranchers access cold storage, food processing facilities and distribution so their products can be delivered to urban markets—such as schools and hospitals—where demand for healthy food is high.
Community Impact winner Warren Village provides a safe and nurturing environment where low-income families can build a foundation for economic self-sufficiency. Their comprehensive program includes affordable housing, educational and job development services, childcare, and life-skills courses. Warren Village residents are primarily homeless single parents between the ages of 21 and 29 with one child under the age of five. Every year, the organization helps approximately 145 families transition out of precarious life circumstances to a stable and healthy environment.
“As part of global organization BNP Paribas, our corporate social responsibility approach supports positive impact in local communities while also contributing to a global commitment of building a sustainable future,” said Pierre Ramadier, Senior Executive Vice President and Head of the Wealth Management Group. “We are pleased to recognize extraordinary leadership in the nonprofit sector, and it is our hope that the Bank of the West Philanthropy Awards inspire others to participate in a shared vision of making our world a better place.”
Academy Award winning actor Forest Whitaker was the guest speaker at the awards event held at the Huntington Library and Gardens. Mr. Whitaker is the founder and CEO of the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, co-founder and chair of the International Institute for Peace, UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation, and a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy Group. Through WPDI, he has developed the Youth Peacemaker Network, a global peacebuilding social network with hubs in South Sudan, Uganda, and Mexico. He and WPDI are committed to providing educational tools and better living conditions to young women and men in regions touched by violence, war, and conflict.
The Bank of the West Philanthropy Awards are just one component of the Bank’s corporate social responsibility approach, which supports sustainable development through education and job training, affordable housing, microenterprise and small business development, environmental conservation, and the arts. Last year, Bank of the West partnered with more than 540 nonprofit organizations. Volunteerism is integral to the Bank’s commitment to community. In 2016, more than 2,000 team members donated 52,000 hours toward positive impact across the Bank’s footprint.
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Bank of the West is a regional financial services company headquartered in San Francisco. Founded in 1874, Bank of the West provides a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services through more than 600 branches and offices in 23 states and digital channels. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, a leading bank in Europe, which has a presence in 74 countries with more than 192,000 employees. To learn more about Bank of the West, visit About Us via BankoftheWest.com.
Ecotrust is powered by the vision of a world where people and nature thrive together. Since 1991, it has partnered with local communities from California to Alaska to build new ways of living and doing business. From forestry to finance, food access to green building, it works to advance social equity, economic opportunity, and environmental well-being. Together with citizens and communities, Ecotrust makes the region we live in a home that we love. Learn more at ecotrust.org. Follow on Twitter and Instagram @ecotrust.
The Redd on Salmon Street is a new Ecotrust development located in the heart of Portland’s historic industrial Central Eastside district, designed to support authentic local food-related enterprises in Portland, connect them to the rich producers in surrounding farmlands, and scale a robust regional food economy across the Pacific Northwest. Learn more at ecotrust.org/redd or connect with @reddonsalmon.