The Montecito Bank & Trust college scholarship fund for high school seniors has been in existence for 24 years, funding more than $190,000 in scholarships through the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara. For 2014, the bank will provide $9,000 in scholarships, with an additional $2,000 specifically for arts scholarships.
Montecito Bank & Trust continues to demonstrate a commitment to its long-standing tradition of giving back to the community, but this scholarship tradition doesn’t end with simply providing the money. Each year, the Scholarship Foundation selects the scholarship recipients to receive the bank’s scholarships, and the bank then extends to these students a special luncheon invitation hosted by Chairman Michael Towbes, President/CEO Janet Garufis and other members of the bank’s Executive Team.
At Tuesday’s luncheon, each student shared their plans for the future, and then Towbes provided the history of the Scholarship Foundation and a very personal message for these young adults. He asked them to remember this luncheon day and the fact that their community assisted them in fulfilling their dreams. He also asked that as they become established in a community, they remember to give back to others in need in order to continue the tradition of support.
“The bank’s philanthropic events like this scholarship luncheon mean a great deal to me," Towbes said. "Hearing the achievements and ambitions of these very bright young adults reminds us all that there is hope carried by this next generation to tackle ever-increasing challenges. Their energy, innovation and most importantly, active community participation, will make a significant difference.”
The Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara began in 1962, founded by a small group of individuals that included Towbes. He was a board member for many years and was active in the interviewing process with the scholarship selection committee. In the early 1970s, Towbes' late wife, Gail, along with Montecito Bank & Trust board member Jerry Parent and others, elevated the vision and activities of the Scholarship Foundation, taking it to a new level of substantial funding. Today, the Scholarship Foundation is the largest community funder of scholarships in the nation.
“We have been honored to have a close relationship with the bank and Mr. Towbes as partners in the community, helping young people achieve their educational goals,” said Colette Hadley, executive director of the Scholarship Foundation. “In 2014, all of us at the Scholarship Foundation feel even more fortunate, because Janet Garufis, president and CEO of the bank, is serving as our current foundation board chair. Janet’s leadership is outstanding and she is an exemplary role model for everyone. We are grateful to the whole team at Montecito Bank & Trust for their commitment to excellence and service.”
Montecito Bank & Trust received a 2013 designation of a Premier Performing Bank by The Findley Reports, an independent service which rates the annual financial performance of California banks. The Findley Reports has designated Montecito Bank & Trust as a Premier Performing or Super Premier Performing bank 28 times in its 39-year history.
Montecito Bank & Trust, an S Corporation, is the oldest and largest locally owned community bank in the tri-counties. Founded in 1975, with nine branch offices located in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Solvang, Montecito, Carpinteria, Ventura and Westlake Village, the bank offers a variety of competitive deposit and lending solutions for businesses and consumers including business loans and lines of credit; commercial real estate finance; SBA loans; consumer loans; credit cards; merchant services; and online services, including mobile banking and cash management. Its Wealth Management Division provides full investment management as well as trust services for all branch office markets.
— Andy Silverman is a marketing coordinator for Montecito Bank & Trust.