SOURCE: First Bank

First Bank

February 10, 2015 15:41 ET

First Bank Increases Community Service & Giving

Fast-Growing Bank 'Gives Back' Record $78,800 to Communities

HAMILTON, NJ--(Marketwired - February 10, 2015) - First Bank donated a record amount of time and money in 2014 to the communities that it serves, according to findings released today from the company's corporate citizenship program.

First Bank tracks "corporate giving" to ensure that its philanthropy grows along with its assets. Last year's program generated more than $78,800 to various area nonprofits:

  • Employees and Board of Directors provided nearly 1,400 recorded hours of community service that translates into more than a $35,400 in-kind donation, according to the latest figures from the Independent Sector, an organization that places a market-rate value on volunteerism.
  • First Bank and its employees raised and donated more than $43,000 to their charities of choice.

"First Bank is interested in being a good corporate citizen and encourages employees to participate in volunteer programs to show what our company is all about," said Elizabeth Camishion, vice president of information technology at First Bank, who volunteers for Komen Race for the Cure, Camden County Animal Shelter, Food Bank of South Jersey and the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey. "We are offered time off during the workday or there are coordinated days of service for staff to work together on a group project. These opportunities offer proof to the employees that First Bank cares about more than just making a profit. Volunteering also help employees strengthen their leadership and interpersonal skills and gives an outlet to make a difference and to gain satisfaction outside what we do for our customers."

Passion for volunteerism starts at the top with First Bank CEO Patrick L. Ryan. He serves on the strategic planning committee of the Young Professionals at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital. He is also a member of the Hamilton Partnership, Mercer 200 Club and Friendly Sons and Daughters of Saint Patrick. In addition, Ryan volunteers at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen and coaches Hopewell Valley Baseball and Nassau Hockey.

"I have always believed in giving back to the communities where we live and work," Ryan said. "We really feel at home in our locations and we put our neighbors first and support them however we can -- from volunteering at an animal shelter to youth sports to building a home. We want to be wherever we are needed."

Employees at all First Bank locations are encouraged to actively participate in volunteer activities of their choice.

"I want to make sure I do my part as a member of this community. Throughout the year, I spend a number of hours volunteering at my temple and organizing different events such as food drives and clothing drives," said Veena Jain, assistant manager of the Somerset branch. She volunteers at Shirdi Sai Dham in Plainsboro and the East Brunswick Sai Center in addition to activities in Somerset. "Since I joined First Bank, I was proud to see they encourage community involvement and being interconnected with the neighborhoods we serve. A large senior community surrounds the Somerset Branch and I donate my time for different events, such as bingo tournaments and craft/ jewelry-making classes. The branch has also donated gift bags of toiletries for the veterans and gift baskets for prizes at their bingo tournaments."

"In working for a community bank, such as First Bank, I've learned that volunteerism and community involvement are a very important component of not only my job description, but also to my integrity as a person," said Kristin Bachik, Ewing branch manager who volunteers with Nottingham Little League and University Heights Elementary School, in addition to donating school supplies. "Having the opportunity to participate in a variety of different community events has taught me to be a more outgoing, empathetic, diverse, and knowledgeable person. It's awarded me the chance to meet some wonderful people and develop lasting business relations."

Volunteerism is encouraged from Day One for all employees.

"Since the day I started with First Bank, I have been encouraged to get involved in the community, to volunteer when available, to join organizations that give back," said John Pettit, Williamstown branch manager. He serves on committees at the Gloucester County, Washington Township and Camden County Regional chambers of commerce. He also contributes his time to the Williamstown Rotary and its foundation, the Monroe Township Business Association and the Gloucester Township Girls Athletic Association, Gloucester Township Lions Club and the Williamstown Food Pantry. "I have to say that this encouragement makes me proud to represent First Bank. It really shows our commitment towards giving back and supporting the communities we serve."

As First Bank continues to grow and open new branches, its employees continue the tradition of giving back to their communities. The number of employees has increased from 55 in 2013 to 95 employees in 2014, which means more employees are serving in more ways than ever before.

"First Bank has always been a leader in our community and has continuously demonstrated the importance of employee's community volunteer efforts," said Marian Sorrentino, first senior vice president, BSA and security officer. She serves as a leader of ministries at Pinelands Community Church and at VFW Post 316, which are both located in Little Egg Harbor. "Thanks to First Bank's encouragement, I see so many of my co-workers all over the bank taking their personal time and making it count."

For more information about First Bank, visit www.firstbanknj.com.

About First Bank
First Bank is a New Jersey, state-chartered bank. First Bank offers a traditional range of deposit and loan products to individuals and businesses throughout N.J. and eastern Pa. First Bank's common stock is quoted on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol "FRBA." For more information, visit www.firstbanknj.com.

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