FSG Bank President and CEO Michael Kramer recently sat down for an interview with the Chattanooga Times Free Press to talk about the importance of being involved in the community.
It seems that whenever good things are happening in the community lately, FSG Bank is involved.
It's true. While FSG has always quietly supported the communities in which we work and live, we decided we wanted a more active role in the organizations where we invest our time, talents and resources.
Can you elaborate?
It means we are not interested in just writing a check for the sake of making a donation. We are being deliberate in selecting organizations that complement our corporate focus on faith, family and education and to partner with them to effect positive change and growth in our communities.
You've probably seen our "Get Closer" ad campaign. While we are striving to get to know our customers better, it is also important for us to get closer to our communities by getting involved on a deeper, more personal level.
Tell me about FSG Bank's partnership with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
FSG and UTC actually have a lot in common. For example, we both have strengthened our leadership teams over the last couple of years. There's a renewed sense of excitement and surge of community support for UTC Athletics and the university's academic programs. For FSG, we've experienced a renewed confidence from the general public in our ability to operate a profitable bank and our customers have remained loyal and steadfast, often referring us to their family and friends. That's the highest compliment anyone can pay us.
A few of the more rewarding aspects of our partnership with UTC are our "Take it to the Bank" in-game promotions during the football and the men's and women's basketball games. We make a donation for every touchdown and three-pointer the athletes score. This last season,
FSG donated $15,000 to local nonprofit organizations such as Young Life, the Chattanooga Ronald
McDonald House, Orange Grove Center, Chattanooga Area Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Urban League and the Go Mocs! Club.
The "Take it to the Bank" program builds financial support for the university and the local charities but also creates visibility around their missions, purpose and the impact they are having on our community. This is exactly how we endeavor to do business; we try to connect like-minded folks with ideas, products and services that will positively impact their businesses or personal financial affairs, and many times those services come from partners of ours, not directly from us.
What are some other FSG Bank community partnerships?
FSG Bank is very proud to partner with LAUNCH to empower entrepreneurs from underserved communities with business training, support and mentoring to better their lives and attain self-sufficiency. LAUNCH accomplishes its mission through two separate tracks for adult and youth participants: the Business Entrepreneurship Academy and the LAUNCH High School Entrepreneurship program.
Another rewarding partnership is with Orchard Knob Middle School. Last fall, FSG provided funding to send five OKMS teachers to participate in the educator training programs at the Ron Clark Academy in southeast Atlanta. They learned how to promote innovation in the classroom and how to engage their students through energetic teaching balanced by a strict code of discipline.
Recently, OKMS principal Crystal Sorrells and her team of dedicated teachers and staff held a TCAP boot camp to give students an extra dose of confidence in preparing for their exams. About 40 volunteers from FSG Bank helped out in the areas of social studies, science, mathematics and language arts. Those children are bright and we discovered many of us are not as book-smart as the sixth-graders.
So, FSG Bank does quite a bit more than just donate money to community organizations?
Exactly. Not only is the bank making a monetary commitment, internally we've made community involvement a pillar when evaluating our team members' overall performance. Associates are strongly encouraged to donate their time, talents and resources in nonprofit organizations the bank supports and other organizations they personally feel passionate about.
It's important to invest back into the communities that have been loyal to FSG Bank and supported us through the tough times and the good times. We reap so much more than we sow when we give back in a meaningful way.
FSG Bank has multiple locations in and around Chattanooga. To find one nearest you, or for more information, visit fsgbank.com.