- Category: Philanthropy
- Published on Friday, 14 September 2012 01:00
- Written by Jodie Gilmore
Heritage Bank, chartered 85 years ago in Olympia, is growing – it will soon be adding a branch on 164th Avenue, bringing its total number of branches to 34, with eight of them in the southern region (Castle Rock, Wash., to Wilsonville, Ore.). Heritage Bank’s Vancouver office opened about two years ago, on the Vancouver center’s first floor at Eighth and Washington streets. It is in the process of building out regional headquarters on the seventh floor, where commercial banking, wealth management and regional administration operations will be located as of Nov. 1.
“We intend to grow by building branches in the Clark County area, and to acquire on the Portland side,” said Brett Bryant, Heritage Bank’s market executive for the southern region.
Another significant part of Heritage Bank’s business plan, said Bryant, is philanthropy.
“If you read the plan, it would be very evident that corporate philanthropy is central,” said Bryant.
“We have made a commitment to do something fairly substantial once every quarter, in addition to some lower profile things we do on a monthly basis,” he said.
Bryant joked that staff were still tired from Heritage Bank’s recent title sponsorship of the Wine & Jazz Festival. He said they were very excited about the success of one component in particular – a Thursday night venue with no entry fee, no alcohol and a focus on kids and families. The Thursday night event featured high-school jazz bands, and Heritage Bank matched audience donations – resulting in about $3,000 divided among the participating bands.
“High-school bands are always stretched for funds,” said Bryant. “This was a fun way for us to make it a give-back.”
Earlier in the year, Heritage Bank was the sponsor of the Keystone Leadership breakfast for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington. This event, in which Heritage Bank partnered with Beaches Restaurant, served Sunday breakfast to about 400 people. Heritage Bank staff served as waiters and waitresses. Proceeds were used to send Boys and Girls Clubs members to a leadership conference. Heritage Bank was also the title sponsor for the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington’s annual luncheon in May.
On Oct. 12, Heritage Bank is sponsoring an inaugural fundraising event for the Clark County Food Bank. Titled “Taste and See,” the event will be held at the new food distribution warehouse in the Cold Creek Industrial Park just north of Minnehaha.
According to Bryant, the event will feature “food tasting and a lot more.” Attendees will see the food bank in action, and Heritage Bank employees will be volunteering at the warehouse.
“We get when we give,” said Bryant. “Events such as these enable bank employees to get together and do something transcendent.”
Typically, said Bryant, the bank choses events based on input from committees formed in each county (Clark, Cowlitz and Multnomah). The committees identify events and make recommendations for what to give and how much.
“It’s a ground-up activity,” said Bryant. “There has to be interaction between executive management and staff, but we like it when it finds its origin in the staff.”
Bryant said that philanthropy and economic success are “indelibly linked.”
“As a financial institution,” he said, “we depend on economic vitality. That vitality is what must drive unwavering compassion. It’s incumbent on all of us as businesspeople to be very strong financially and very strong philanthropically – that is a sustainable business.”