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Partners in Education: Santa Barbara Bank & Trust Invests in Community

For 33 years, the bank has remained steadfast in its commitment to spread the wealth among schools

[Noozhawk’s note: The Santa Barbara Partners in Education relies on its President’s Council to help expand participation opportunities in our schools. As a proud member of the President’s Council, Noozhawk is helping to promote the organization with a series of features on our fellow members and their commitment — as businesses — to public education. We hope you’ll consider joining us on the council. Third in a series.]

Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, an independent bank, has proven to be anything but isolated from the Santa Barbara community. Since opening its doors in March 1960 to a line of more than 5,000 people, the bank has grown to become a $7.3 billion institution, in terms of assets, with nearly 1,100 employees in 49 offices.

While the bank has extended a helping hand to many local organizations, it has had quite a presence in Partners in Education, an organization whose goal is to connect businesses and individuals with schools and the organizations that serve them to help improve public education in ways that support a more vibrant economy, the health of the community and the well-being of local children and their families.

Among all of the businesses participating in the heralded education-improving organization, few have the same ties to the program as Santa Barbara Bank & Trust. In addition to three of its chairmen — Don Anderson, Dave Spainhour and Ed Birch — who have led the program during the past 33 years, the bank has been involved with Partners in Education since its conception in 1977, when the group was known as the Community Career Development Council.

Participating in the program has allowed the bank to spread the wealth to a multitude of schools through its financial donations as well as its time contributions.

“We have participated in all the programs (Partners in Education) offers and are one of the five founding members of the President’s Council, which has grown to 30 members, who each donate $2,500 a year to assist the various programs,” said Tom Thomas, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust’s community relations executive and retired president and CEO. “We also volunteer each year, we have programs at different schools, and we offer mentoring-type classes in different subjects, which people from the bank have participated in.”

With Santa Barbara Bank & Trust having played such an influential role in Santa Barbara education, Thomas said he couldn’t begin to name all of the schools the bank has contributed to, as “there are too many to count.”

He said the bank will continue to be a part of Partners in Education for as long as it can because the program benefits the bank as well.

“We feel we have strongly benefited,” Thomas said. “The community benefits from an educational standpoint, and we benefit as well because the students become more knowledgeable about the business world. We are able to then use that, because a college education provides more workers here in Santa Barbara.”

Any company has the opportunity to participate in Partners in Education, but the President’s Council is limited to no more than 25. Click here for more information about Partners in Education. Click here for more information on how to become a President’s Council member or contact Michelle Magnuson, development and membership director, at 805.964.4710 x4417 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

In addition to Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, current President’s Council members are ABC-CLIO, American Riviera Bank, AT&T Foundation, ATK Space Systems, Bacara Resort & Spa, Coastal Management Resources, Community West Bank, Cottage Health System, Cox Communications, Earl Warren Showgrounds, ExxonMobil Production Co., Frank Schipper Construction Co., MedBridge Development, Montecito Bank & Trust, Noozhawk, QAD, Rabobank, Raytheon, Santa Barbara Axxess, Santa Barbara Catering Co., Maryan and Richard Schall, Southern California Edison, Venoco Inc. and Verizon.

Noozhawk intern Michael Goldsholl will be a sophomore at Loyola Marymount University in the fall. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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