ChoiceOne Bank was honored to receive the 2019 Editor's Choice Award for Community Commitment fromCardRates.com based on the Bank’s various fundraising and volunteer efforts that directly impact the Michigan communities ChoiceOne serves.
“We were certainly honored to receive the Editor’s Choice Award this year for our community commitment,” said ChoiceOne Bank President and CEO Kelly Potes. “As the local community bank, we are always focused on giving back to the communities we serve. Having a national organization specifically recognize the time and talent our staff give to making our communities a better place for all of us to work and live confirms we are living up to our vision to be the best bank in Michigan.”
Managing Editor for CardRates, Adam West, who oversees content and regularly interviews some of the payments industry's biggest influencers and decision-makers had this to say about ChoiceOne Bank, “In a Nutshell: ChoiceOne Bank begins and ends in farm country, working since 1898 on behalf of farmers, businesspeople, and families in West Michigan. As times have changed, the bank has too, but one thing that hasn’t is its commitment to the people who help its communities succeed. With ambitious and creative programs that make financial services accessible to temporary agricultural workers and by helping area students start career savings accounts, ChoiceOne is building a better Michigan for today and tomorrow, earning it our Editor’s Choice™ Award for Community Commitment.” For more information see https://www.cardrates.com/news/choiceone-bank-supports-temporary-workers-and-students-in-michigan/
ChoiceOne was recognized for the time and talent they contributed to support temporary agricultural workers, students, and many others in West Michigan. Here are several examples of ChoiceOne’s commitment to the communities they serve.
The Bank serves hundreds of locally owned farms that employ seasonal help from Central and South America, resulting in an influx of unbanked and Spanish speaking consumers. In 2016, ChoiceOne began an outreach program that provides safe, secure banking to Spanish-speaking workers in the area’s agricultural and farming communities. Many of these workers lack access to U.S.-based banks and use check cashing facilities that charge high fees to cash paychecks.
ChoiceOne’s initiative was to provide customer service in Spanish and access to a bank account or prepaid card with direct deposit. The staff of ChoiceOne travels to the farms to deliiver financial literacy and service to these workers. This program has positively impacted thousands of workers and was recognized with a national award in 2017. See https://www.choiceone.com/choiceone-bank-receives-national-community-bank-award/.
This year, ChoiceOne Bank also helped launch Kickstart to Career programs in Newaygo and Muskegon Counties. KickStart to Career is the name given to Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs); a type of savings account in the United States, usually designed for higher education and career advancement savings. In addition to providing operational support, ChoiceOne staff is in the classroom each year providing financial literacy to students. ChoiceOne’s efforts for these programs were also recognized recently with an award for financial literacy. For more information see https://blog.choiceone.com/choiceone-bank-receives-2019-mba-financial-literacy-award.
These initiatives are just a sampling of the many programs ChoiceOne Bank offers to their customers and the communities they serve. Employees donate hundreds of hours individually each year to make programs like these a success, totaling 3,600 hours in 2018. “We take our mission is to provide superior service, high-quality advice and show our utmost respect to everyone we meet seriously,” said Potes. “At the end of the day, it is how we treat one another that will set us apart…and make us the best bank in Michigan. We have a team that really cares, and it shows. We appreciate CardRates.com for recognizing our community commitment.”
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