SOURCE: SourceMedia

October 18, 2007 10:45 ET

U.S. Banker Presents Lifetime Achievement Awards at Its Annual Black and White Ball

Shirley Nelson, Chairman and CEO of Summit Bank, and Catherine Allen, Banking Veteran, Retired CEO of BITS and Founder of The Santa Fe Group, Honored

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - October 18, 2007) - U.S. Banker, the leading magazine for senior bank executives published by SourceMedia, will honor Shirley Nelson, chairman and CEO of Summit Bank, and Catherine Allen, retired CEO of BITS and founding Chairman and CEO, The Santa Fe Group, at its annual Black and White Ball on October 22 at the Pierre Hotel.

"Shirley Nelson and Catherine Allen are two women whose performances in the banking industry are only exceeded by their nonprofit and public policy work," said U.S. Banker's editor-in-chief Holly Sraeel. "These women have shown progressive leadership by leveraging their influence and making a positive impact on their communities."

Shirley Nelson, chairman and CEO of Summit Bank in Oakland, CA, will receive the Marjorie Magner Lifetime Achievement Award, in honor of Marjorie Magner, retired Chairman and CEO of Citigroup's Global Consumer Group.

The award, which requires 25 years of banking experience, honors an individual whose outstanding personal and professional achievements are marked by a demonstrated ability to inspire excellence in others and an unrelenting commitment to use personal influence to support education, equal opportunity and diversity within corporate America and communities locally over the course of her career.

These contributions to corporate America and society were deciding factors in determining the recipient of the Marjorie Magner Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

A member of Senator Dianne Feinstein's influential Feinstein Five, Nelson is not only a top-performing CEO and a 42-year banking veteran, but also is deeply committed to the community. She founded Summit Bank in July 1982 and posted profits in the bank's second month of operations, and every month since. No small feat, considering that in today's environment, the average time it takes for a community bank to become profitable is between two-and-a-half and five years.

Nelson founded the Summit Bank Foundation in 1998. The Foundation was created to support volunteerism in small and medium-sized businesses and was one of the first in the nation to create and implement a financial literacy curriculum in public schools. While its overhead is covered by Summit Bank, the Foundation has an independent board, and has raised over $1.5 million in support of these goals. Teaming up with the largest print media outlet in the East Bay of California, ANG Newspapers, the Financial Literacy program is now available to over 300,000 public school children. The Foundation has recently endowed a scholarship, named after Basketball Legend Bill Russell, to help gifted college students in need attend university.

The Marion O. Sandler Lifetime Achievement will be presented to Catherine Allen, a longtime banking veteran, retired CEO of BITS and founding Chairman and CEO of The Santa Fe Group, Santa Fe, NM.

The Marion O. Sandler Lifetime Achievement Award is an annual recognition of an individual with 25 years of banking experience who demonstrates an unrelenting commitment to use personal influence to ensure that local, regional and national policies reflect progressive thinking, thoughtful policy alternatives, and American values in keeping with the pursuit of liberty, community and shared responsibility.

These contributions to corporate America and to social and political activism served as deciding factors in determining the recipient of the Marion O. Sandler Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

Under Allen's direction, The Santa Fe Group, a strategic consulting firm targeted to financial institutions, has established a strong reputation for advising boards and C-level executives on strategies and trends in the financial industry. The group also created a nonprofit that promotes financial literacy.

Until her recent retirement, Allen served 10 years as the founding CEO of BITS, a Washington, DC-based consortium of CEOs and CIOs of the 100 largest U.S. financial services companies. She created BITS from the "ground up" in collaboration with CEOs of the nation's largest financial institutions, and shaped the organization's agenda to focus on vision, integrity, collaboration and thought leadership.

Today, Allen is dedicated to her work at The Santa Fe Group and Senator Bill Richardson's presidential campaign.

Gala in New York City, October 22

In conjunction with its 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking, the 25 Women to Watch and the Top 3 Banking Teams rankings, U.S. Banker and SourceMedia will host a Black and White Ball celebrating honorees on October 22, 2007 at The Pierre in NYC. The black tie gala will feature keynote speakers Amy Brinkley, global risk executive of Bank of America, and Sallie Krawcheck, chair and CEO of Citi Global Wealth Management.

About U.S. Banker and SourceMedia, Inc.

U.S. Banker (, published for over 116 years, is written monthly for the individuals charged with generating greater profits and shareholder value for their financial institutions, covering the market trends, regulations, innovations and individuals that are reshaping the financial services landscape.

SourceMedia, an Investcorp company, is the pre-eminent provider of timely and essential news, analysis, research, and insights for members of the financial services community, and the related fields of accounting and technology. SourceMedia offers its clients and subscribers professional publications, industry-standard data applications, and in-depth seminars and conferences.

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