Woodforest News

News and Press Releases

October, 2019

Woodforest National Bank Wins Two Best of Community Banking Award

THE WOODLANDS, Texas, Oct. 9, 2019 -- The Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT)—the largest state community banking association in the nation—recently honored Woodforest National Bank® (Woodforest) with two 2019 Best of Community Banking (BOCB) Awards. Woodforest received a gold award in community service for its Woodforest FoundrySM program that promotes entrepreneurship activation and a silver award for its New Beginnings financial education program with Family Promise that helps families who have experienced or are at risk of homelessness.

Woodforest National Bank Wins Two IBAT Best of Community Banking Awards for Community Service and Financial Literacy. Pictured front row: Krystian Reyes, Doug Schaeffer, Julie Mayrant, Daniel Galindo and Brenda Wendt from Woodforest National Bank Pictured back row: Christopher Williston, President and CEO, and Ronnie Miller, Immediate Past Chairman from Independent Bankers Association of Texas.

2019 marks the 28th year that IBAT has celebrated the outstanding accomplishments of Texas community banks with the BOCB Award. Community banks, such as Woodforest, play a critical role in their local communities. The Best of Community Banking competition is designed to honor banks for their commitment to helping their customers, neighbors and community. BOCB Awards recognize community banks throughout the state for their innovation, creativity and success in fulfilling a specific community or internal need. Each submission was rated as a gold, silver or bronze award in one of five categories: architectural design, bank culture, community service, financial literacy and marketing.

Woodforest's community service gold winning entry, Woodforest Foundry, is facilitated by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, as mentors to enhance local entrepreneurial ecosystems, which revitalizes underserved communities and helps grow businesses. With the Woodforest Foundry, entrepreneurs find a community of mentors and trusted guidance from peers, Woodforest employees and community partners.

Its silver winning entry addresses an unmet need it saw in communities, not only across its 17-state footprint, but also throughout the nation. Through a community partnership with Family Promise (the leading national organization fighting homelessness in the U.S.), both entitiescreated the New Beginnings program to serve families across 43 states.

This unique curriculum provides a comprehensive approach to achieving financial sustainability, from basic banking concepts to budgeting and managing credit. It is accessible for families of all backgrounds. It is also designed to work in multiple formats, and a key aspect of the comprehensive facilitator's guide allows volunteers to deliver the material effectively from anywhere – even on a cot to a single mother and her children living in a shelter.

"Our goal is to help connect aspiring entrepreneurs to resources within their local communities through the Woodforest Foundry, which is gaining traction in our home state of Texas and across the bank's 17-state footprint. This recognition from IBAT validates that others are starting to notice this program, and we hope they will continue to join us," said Doug Schaeffer, Executive Vice President and CRA Executive Director of Woodforest National Bank. He continued, "We would also like to thank IBAT for continuing to recognize our New Beginnings financial education program with Family Promise. We believe the program, which provides a comprehensive approach to achieving financial sustainability, from basic banking concepts to budgeting and managing credit, continues to help low income and at-risk families learn the skills they need to become economically self-sufficient."

All BOCB gold, silver and bronze winners were on display during IBAT's 45th Annual Convention at Moody Gardens Hotel in Galveston, Sept. 21-24, 2019. For more information about the Woodforest Foundry or New Beginnings, please contact Doug Schaeffer at dschaeffer@woodforest.com.

The Woodforest Foundry is an entrepreneur activation program by Woodforest National Bank, Member FDIC.

About Woodforest National Bank

Celebrating over 39 years of community banking service, Woodforest National Bank has successfully stood among the strongest community banks in the nation, proudly offering outstanding quality customer service since 1980. Woodforest currently operates over 700 branches in 17 states across the United States. For more information about Woodforest National Bank, please visit www.woodforest.com.

About the Independent Bankers Association of Texas

Formed in 1974, the Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) represents Texas community banks. The Austin-based group is the largest state community banking organization in the nation with membership comprised of more than 2,000 banks and branches in 700 Texas communities. Providing safe and responsible financial services to all Texans, IBAT member bank assets range in size from $21 million to $31 billion with combined assets statewide of $193 billion. IBAT member banks are committed to supporting and investing in their local communities.

October, 2019

First Cohort Graduates In Louisville, KY Supported By Woodforest National Bank's Woodforest Foundry And Louisville Central Community Centers, Inc.

The Woodlands, TX (October 2019) – Recently, nearly 20 entrepreneurs in West Louisville, Kentucky completed a 12-week cohort delivered by Louisville Central Community Centers, Inc. (LCCC) that was inspired by Woodforest National Bank®'s (Woodforest's) national award-winning entrepreneurship activation program, Woodforest FoundrySM.

First cohort graduates in Louisville, KY supported by Woodforest National Bank’s Woodforest Foundry and Louisville Central Community Centers, Inc.

The cohort is a curriculum-based, learning model, and part of the Woodforest Foundry, which is powered by Sustainable Startups. It helps aspiring entrepreneurs who want to take action, create and test their ideas in a collaborative and nurturing environment of like-minded peers and local, successful small business owners within their own community.

Other local organizations involved in this community revitalization effort included: MEMStim LLC, Metro United Way, Vogt Invention Innovation Fund, Community Foundation of Louisville and Louisville Forward.

"The Woodforest Foundry program has been (and will be) a great asset to the prosperity of entrepreneurs in Louisville. The foundation of the city's economic success is based on small business growth and the Woodforest Foundry provides aspiring small business owners with the tools they need to make sure their business models will be sustainable. I look forward to growing the entrepreneur ecosystem through the Foundry in Louisville, which in turn, elevates the community economically and socially; and makes it a desirable destination for all," said Kevin Fields, Sr., President and CEO, LCCC.

Doug Schaeffer, Executive Vice President, CRA Executive Director, commented, "We are proud to work with these organizations in Louisville who represent the assets and resources that exist locally. Working together, we can all activate entrepreneurship and help revitalize our communities."

About Woodforest Foundry

The Woodforest Foundry is an award-winning program and recipient of the Consumer Bankers Association's 2019 Joe Belew Award, for the most innovative and impactful small business initiative. The Woodforest Foundry is facilitated by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, acting as mentors to activate local entrepreneurial ecosystems, which revitalizes underserved communities and helps grow businesses. With the Woodforest Foundry, entrepreneurs find a community of mentors and trusted guidance from peers, Woodforest's bankers and community partners. For more information about the Woodforest Foundry, please contact Doug Schaeffer, EVP and CRA Executive Director at dschaeffer@woodforest.com.

About LCCC

LCCC is the widely recognized leader committed to employing self-reliance practices to ensure that children blossom, adults achieve, and neighborhoods thrive. LCCC is a 501(c)(3), private, non-profit community-based organization. We offer a variety of programs and services in support of children and families. Early childhood education, youth development, arts education and other after school programs, entrepreneurial and job readiness training for adults, money management, and homeownership education are just some of the services provided.

The Woodforest Foundry is an entrepreneur activation program by Woodforest National Bank®, Member FDIC.

April, 2019

Woodforest Named to Forbes' World's Best Banks List

The Woodlands, TX (April 2019) – Woodforest National Bank (Woodforest) was ranked 23rd out of 60 banks in the U.S. by Forbes, one of the country's leading business magazines in its inaugural listing of "The World's Best Banks 2019". As provided on Forbes' website: "Companies do not pay a fee for placement on the list, which was independently determined by Forbes."

We are honored to learn that Woodforest made Forbes' "The World's Best Banks 2019" list. Our Commercial, Operations, and Retail Teams work diligently every day to earn our customers' business. "We are focused on providing customers and the communities we serve solutions that are convenient and responsive," said Jay Dreibelbis, President and CEO, Woodforest.

Banks on Forbes' "The World's Best Banks" list were rated on customer satisfaction and other important traits including trust, terms and conditions, digital services and financial advice. Working with Statista®, a leading market research firm, Forbes surveyed 40,000-plus customers across 23 countries about their current and former banks to create the ranking.

April, 2019

Woodforest National Bank Wins Consumer Bankers Association's Joe Belew Award For Its Outstanding Community Development Efforts

The Woodlands, TX (April 2019) – Woodforest National Bank recently received The Consumer Bankers Association's (CBA's) 2019 Joe Belew Award, which recognizes outstanding community development efforts for its Woodforest Foundry initiative. The award was presented to Woodforest at the annual CBA LIVE conference for the most innovative and impactful bank small business initiative.


Presentation of the 2019 Joe Belew Award to Woodforest National Bank. Pictured left to right: CBA Community Reinvestment Committee Chair, Sue Whitson with BMO Harris; Daniel Galindo, Julie Mayrant, Doug Schaeffer and Jay Dreibelbis all with Woodforest; and CBA Board Chair, Todd Barnhart with PNC.

Presentation of the 2019 Joe Belew Award to Woodforest National Bank. Pictured left to right: CBA Community Reinvestment Committee Chair, Sue Whitson with BMO Harris; Daniel Galindo, Julie Mayrant, Doug Schaeffer and Jay Dreibelbis all with Woodforest; and CBA Board Chair, Todd Barnhart with PNC.

"CBA members have a long history of serving their small business customers and we are excited this year's Joe Belew Award can recognize that work. Woodforest's Foundry program encourages entrepreneurs to guide other entrepreneurs with the same end goal in mind – enhancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem," said CBA President & CEO Richard Hunt. "CBA is proud to honor Woodforest's initiative to build, strengthen and maintain small businesses through education and expanded opportunity."

"Woodforest would like to thank both the CBA and the award committee for recognizing the efforts of Woodforest Foundry which helps ignite entrepreneurship and small business growth. We are committed to supporting small business, and the Foundry allows us to team up with community partners and other businesses on the ground level to make an impact. We hope this award sheds light on a continuing need to help activate, grow and sustain local entrepreneurial ecosystems, and that others will join the Woodforest Foundry which is open to everyone," said Jay Dreibelbis, President and CEO, Woodforest National Bank.

The Woodforest Foundry helps entrepreneurs turn their passion into action by testing their ideas and ability to run a business while also minimizing capital loss. The tool is facilitated by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs as mentors to enhance local entrepreneurial ecosystems which revitalizes underserved communities and helps grow businesses. With the Foundry, entrepreneurs find a community of mentors and trusted guidance from peers, Woodforest bankers and community partners.

Doug Schaeffer, EVP and CRA Executive Director at Woodforest added, "The Foundry is innovative because it's centered on building an entrepreneurial mindset. It is not an incubator. It is curated coaching to take action. Foundry starts with public community events that demystify entrepreneurship through candid conversations with successful entrepreneurs from the community and often fills needs simply by connecting local resources. We look forward to collaborating with other organizations to stimulate entrepreneurship locally. Join us."

For more information about the Woodforest Foundry, please contact Doug Schaeffer, EVP and CRA Executive Director at dschaeffer@woodforest.com or Daniel Galindo, SVP, CRA and Strategy Director at dgalindo@woodforest.com.

About the Joe Belew Award

The Joe Belew Award was established in 2011 in memory of Joe Belew, former CBA president, to honor his commitment to community development. The annual award recognizes a CBA member bank which continues that legacy. Citizens Bank, Discover Bank, First Niagara Financial Group, PNC Financial Services and Wells Fargo are past winners of the award and recipients are selected by a volunteer subgroup of the CBA Community Reinvestment Committee. The focus of the Joe Belew Award changes annually. Past award winners were recognized for job creation, low-and moderate-income housing programs, financial education, financial inclusion, digital access to financial services and support programs to serve service members, veterans and their families.

About the Consumer Bankers Association

The Consumer Bankers Association is the only national trade focused exclusively on retail banking. Established in 1919, the association is now a leading voice in the banking industry and Washington, representing members who employ nearly two million Americans, extend roughly $3 trillion in consumer loans, and provide $270 billion in small business loans.

January, 2019

James "Jay" Dreibelbis Named President And Chief Executive Officer Of Woodforest National Bank

The Woodlands, TX (January 2019) – Robert E. Marling, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Woodforest Financial Group, Inc., is pleased to announce that the Board of Directors of Woodforest National Bank has named James "Jay" Dreibelbis as the Bank's President and Chief Executive Officer, effective December 27, 2018.


James Dreibelbis Named President And Chief Executive Officer Of Woodforest National Bank


"We are extremely proud to announce Jay's promotion to President and CEO of the Bank. He has been a leader with Woodforest from his first day of employment in 2007 and this same leadership has been recognized throughout the banking industry, as well as Montgomery County. Jay's commitment and dedication is evidenced by his service in the role as board member and volunteer of numerous banking and community organizations", said Marling.

In February 2007, Dreibelbis joined Woodforest National Bank as Chief Executive Officer of its newly acquired institution, Woodforest Bank, F.S.B. Shortly thereafter he became President and Chief Operating Officer of Woodforest National Bank, overseeing Technology and Operations.

Said Drebelbis, "I am pleased and honored to serve Woodforest as its new CEO. I am very proud of our Bank, the manner we serve our customers and our communities. I look forward to building on the great reputation and success we hold in the banking industry."

Dreibelbis is a Texas native. He received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, in 1980 and has been a proud Montgomery County resident since moving to Conroe, TX in 1986. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Woodforest National Bank and the Conroe Economic Development Council and is also on the Advisory Council for the Sam Houston State University School of Banking. He is a member of the Finance Committee and Board of Directors of the Texas Bankers Association where he served as Chairman for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. Dreibelbis also currently serves on the Board of Directors for LiftFund (a non-profit organization that helps finance new small business and startup companies and provides small business loans, SBA loans and microloans in Texas and South Eastern USA) and Payrailz, (a digital payments company offering advanced bill payment and money transfer solutions to banks and credit unions). He previously served as Chairman of the Conroe/Lake Conroe Chamber of Commerce and Campaign Chairman for The United Way.

Dreibelbis and his wife, Karol, raised their family in the Conroe community and their children are graduates of the Conroe Independent School District. He is an avid outdoorsman, dedicated father and husband, grandfather, and volunteer.

September 11, 2018

Woodforest Commercial Banking Completes $60 Million Syndicated Credit Facility For Avmont, LLC in the Fixed Income Alternative Investment Space

The Woodlands, TX., September 2018 – Woodforest Commercial Banking, a division of Woodforest National Bank, announced it recently led a new $60 million senior secured credit facility for a private investment fund focused on investing in pools of whole life insurance policies. The financing includes a $60 million line of credit to support continued growth and asset acquisition opportunities.

Avmont, LLC, based in Atlanta, GA, is an asset manager specializing in purchasing whole-life insurance policies from individuals and managing pools of these assets for third party investors. The company primarily purchases policies from qualified individuals with the goal of providing over-insured individuals a source of liquidity for otherwise illiquid assets which they no longer need.

“Woodforest has developed a strong and ongoing relationship with Avmont management and the private equity ownership group. The team is highly experienced and top notch in its execution and strategic direction. This oversubscribed facility was another positive step forward between our teams. We look forward to a long lasting, mutually beneficial, relationship with Avmont and their ownership team," said John Ellis, Senior Vice President and head of Woodforest Commercial Banking Syndications.

William Ketterer, Chief Investment Officer for Avmont added,” Avmont and its investors are excited to be expanding our relationship with Woodforest. The guidance that Woodforest Bank gave us throughout the syndication process was best in class. We look forward to continuing to work with the Woodforest team in the future.”

Woodforest Commercial Banking served as Administrative Agent and Lead Arranger for this transaction.

July 2, 2018

Woodforest National Bank® Donates $2,500 to American YouthWorks

The Woodlands, TX (July 2, 2018) – Woodforest National Bank recently presented a check for $2,500 to American YouthWorks in celebration of the bank’s remodel of its branch located at 710 East Ben White Blvd. in Austin, TX.


Donation to American YouthWorks


Cecilia Castelo, Vice President-Retail Regional Manager for Woodforest National Bank states, “Woodforest is passionate about its commitment to the communities it serves and proudly works with local non-profit organizations, like American YouthWorks, through financial support and volunteer hours provided by its employees when possible. We are proud to support American YouthWorks and their efforts.”

Every year nearly 300 young adults come to American YouthWorks seeking education, skills training and mentorship, and the opportunity to make a positive impact in their communities through service projects. They improve their community while successfully creating career pathways for their future. Whether learning green construction techniques through the YouthBuild program or building and restoring trails at a state or national park through the Texas Conservation Corps, each participant engages in critical, hands-on service projects that positively contribute to the environment and the community.

June 29, 2018

Better Business Bureau® Recognizes Woodforest National Bank® with Winner of Distinction Award

The Woodlands, TX (June 29, 2018) – In recognizing businesses and non-profits for their achievements and commitment to quality in the workplace, Woodforest National Bank was one of 285 companies recognized as a “Winner of Distinction” at the annual Better Business Bureau Awards of Excellence luncheon May 9, 2018 in Houston, TX.


Better Business Bureau Awards of Excellence Luncheon


When asked what it means to Woodforest to receive this recognition, Michael J. White, Senior Vice President-Texas Retail Division Manager for Woodforest National Bank states, “We work hard to provide top notch service to our customers in the communities we serve, and it is an honor to be recognized for our efforts.”

The “Winner of Distinction” award recognizes businesses and non-profit organizations in the greater Houston area that maintain a superior commitment to ethics, overall excellence, and quality in the workplace.

June 28, 2018

Woodforest National Bank Donates $2,500 to Kids' Meals

The Woodlands, TX (June 2018) – Woodforest National Bank recently presented a check for $2,500 to Kids’ Meals-Houston in celebration of the bank’s grand opening of its new branch located at 9555 South Post Oak Road in Houston.

“Woodforest is passionate about its commitment to the communities it serves and proudly works with local non-profit organizations, like Kids’ Meals, through financial support and volunteer hours provided by its employees when possible. We are proud to support Kids’ Meals and their efforts”, said Alex Breton, Branch Manager-Post Oak location of Woodforest National Bank.


Kids' Meals


Beth Harp, Executive Director of Kids’ Meals-Houston added, “Kids’ Meals is so appreciative of Woodforest National Bank and their community partnership with us to deliver hope and healthy meals to impoverished preschool children in our city! This gift will feed more than 1300 children.”


About Kids' Meals

Kids' Meals-Houston is a nonprofit that prepares and delivers free, healthy meals directly to the homes of Houston's hungriest preschool-aged children in 37 zip codes throughout the city. More than 15,950 volunteers from corporations, places of worship, service groups, families and organizations help prepare 2,700- 4,500 meals every weekday.

May 4, 2018

Woodforest Receives Award from Texas Bankers Foundation for Innovative Wealth Building Through Homeownership Program

The Woodlands, TX (May 4, 2018) – Woodforest National Bank, in collaboration with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) was recently recognized by The Texas Bankers Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Texas Bankers Association, with a Cornerstone Award for its innovative Wealth Building Through Homeownership Program. The Cornerstone Award recognizes excellence in community involvement by Texas banks.

Doug Schaeffer, EVP, Executive Director CRA, Woodforest National Bank said, “Being recognized by The Texas Bankers Foundation for these initiatives is validation that Woodforest is being responsive to the needs of our communities. We are grateful to work with organizations like TDHCA and NeighborWorks America to develop innovative solutions aimed at combating the financial challenges faced by those in our communities who are most in need. These programs educate underserved borrowers and provide them trusted solutions available to support them as they strive for homeownership."


TBA Awards


Tim Irvine, TDHCA Executive Director added, “As a state agency that is created to promote business and economic development we are always extremely gratified when there is a win-win opportunity to work in tandem with the private sector to serve Texans! It is always good to see Texas banks continuing to lead the way in developing and carrying out prudent but creative solutions.”

The Wealth Building Through Homeownership Program is the first-of-its-kind, private-public venture with TDHCA to expand homeownership for low-to-moderate-income individuals through a $10 million loan agreement that increased access to down payment assistance and closing cost funds. As part of the initiative, Woodforest also provided housing counseling scholarships through NeighborWorks America, and, its employees conducted more than 3,500 hours of homebuyer education through over 1,000 workshops.

“Nonprofit housing counselors empower community residents to prepare for successful homeownership, build assets, and even assist existing homeowners avoid foreclosure after a hurricane or other life-altering events. NeighborWorks America is committed to building the skills and expertise of counselors but we can’t do it alone. Thanks to an investment by Woodforest National Bank, we trained counselors through a series of NeighborWorks America regional trainings,” said Sheila D. Anderson, Senior Relationship Manager, NeighborWorks America.

Woodforest is leading the charge in growing homeownership by encouraging other community banks to participate in future transactions of the Wealth Building Through Homeownership Program in Texas and across our 16 other states. For more information contact Doug Schaeffer at dschaeffer@woodforest.com or Daniel Galindo, VP, CRA and Strategy Director at dgalindo@woodforest.com.

Woodforest also received a special “Honorable Mention” from The Texas Bankers Foundation in the LiFE Awards category for its ReLi®/ReStarter® Program. This initiative supports borrowers looking to rebuild their credit and return to financial stability. The Leaders in Financial Education (LiFE) Award honors Texas banks that are dedicated leaders in promoting financial education in their communities.


About TDHCA

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is committed to expanding fair housing choice and opportunities for Texans through the administration and funding of affordable housing and homeownership opportunities, weatherization, and community-based services with the help of for-profits, nonprofits, and local governments. For more information about fair housing, funding opportunities, or services in your area, please visit www.tdhca.state.tx.us or the Learn about Fair Housing in Texas page.


About NeighborWorks America

For nearly 40 years, Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp. (d/b/a NeighborWorks America), a national, nonpartisan nonprofit, has created opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $34 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation's leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.

May 1, 2018

Woodforest is proud to support myWay to Credit

Washington, D.C. (May 1, 2018) — The Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), a national non-profit organization dedicated to changing the way that capital and services flow to underserved Main Street businesses, launched myWay to Credit (www.mywaytocredit.com), the first-ever bank referral marketplace for small business lending. myWay to Credit gives options to small businesses that don’t currently qualify for financing by connecting them to a vetted network of community lenders and small business mentors. Early bank adopters played an essential role in the successful creation of the referral marketplace. Woodforest National Bank partnered with AEO during the early design and testing phase, and JPMorgan Chase invested through its $150-million Small Business Forward initiative to ensure the creation of a scalable service that can be repeated for any referral partner regardless of size. Both firms are currently referring customers to the marketplace.
Read more about myWay to Credit here.

January 26, 2018

Woodforest Supports Hill CDC’s First Cohort Aimed at Product-Based Businesses

The Woodlands, TX (January 22, 2018) – Woodforest National Bank, in collaboration with the State of Pennsylvania and Paramount Co-Op, is supporting Hill CDC’s Do It Now: BizU with Paramount Co-Op. This is the first cohort program by Hill CDC aimed at establishing and accelerating product-based businesses. The 12-week program, running through April 2018, consists of weekly 2-hour classes on an array of topics including marketing, financing and goal setting.

“Supporting cohorts and programs like those provided by Hill CDC are critical to the growth and sustainability of small businesses in Pittsburgh and across the country,” said Doug Schaeffer, CRA Executive Director, EVP, Woodforest National Bank. He continued, “We are proud to partner with the Hill CDC to provide programming that helps spur economic growth and increase jobs in the Hill District.”

Hill CDC's Do It Now

Woodforest is funding the facilitator costs for the Do It Now program, and Woodforest bankers volunteer their time to facilitate cohort classes. Additionally, in 2017, Woodforest sponsored, in part, Hill CDC’s BLAST program and Pitch Party that championed entrepreneurs who were seeking funding to start new small businesses.

Marimba Milliones, Hill CDC’s President and CEO added, “Thank you Woodforest for your ongoing support of our initiatives. We are excited to support businesses in the product and innovation space, because these businesses are not as common in developing neighborhoods. We believe fostering their growth will aid in future job opportunities for residents and the redevelopment of our commercial corridor."

About Woodforest

Celebrating over 37 years of community banking service, Woodforest National Bank has successfully stood among the strongest community banks in the nation, proudly offering outstanding quality customer service since 1980. Woodforest currently operates over 700 branches in 17 states across the United States. For more information about Woodforest National Bank please visit www.woodforest.com.

About Hill CDC
The Hill CDC helps residents and stakeholders to create, promote, and implement strategies and programs that connect plans, policies and people to drive compelling community development opportunities in the Greater Hill District. The Hill CDC understands the connection between a thriving community and a viable business presence. We bring resources to bear in attracting, retaining and expanding new and existing Hill District businesses. As part of our work, we offer business support programming to small businesses and entrepreneurs. To learn more visit http://www.hilldistrict.org

January 22, 2018

Woodforest Bank Foundry Celebrates First Cohort Graduation

The Woodlands, TX (January 22, 2018) – The Woodforest Bank Foundry graduated its first entrepreneurship cohort in partnership with Maestro Entrepreneur Center and The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. 11 entrepreneurs participated in the inaugural 10-week curriculum-based business development and business accelerator cohort program for small minority, women and veteran owned businesses in San Antonio.

Woodforest Bank Foundry is a creative incubation space where entrepreneurs can collaborate, create, test and launch their ideas. The Foundry blends practical mentorship through peers and professionals and proven educational programming. The goal of the Foundry is to foster a community of entrepreneurs, turning passion into actions, and shaping the businesses of tomorrow, while creating community value.

“The graduation ceremony for our first cohort at the Maestro Center was awe-inspiring and invigorating. Watching the graduates present what they’d learned, and how they benefitted from this program is more than we could have hoped for, and we are excited to open additional foundries across 17 states in 2018 to help more entrepreneurs and small businesses grow,” said Doug Schaeffer, CRA Executive Director, EVP, Woodforest National Bank.

Woodforest Foundry Cohort Graduate

“I am deeply proud of the 11 businesses who underwent this transformative experience offered to them by the Maestro Entrepreneurship 10-Week Cohort Program,” said Elizabeth Eguía-García, Maestro’s Executive Director. “The key to our success is our partnerships. I am grateful to The Woodforest Bank Foundry grant program and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce who made this possible.”

About Woodforest
Celebrating over 37 years of community banking service, Woodforest National Bank has successfully stood among the strongest community banks in the nation, proudly offering outstanding quality customer service since 1980. Woodforest currently operates over 700 branches in 17 states across the United States. For more information about Woodforest National Bank please visit www.woodforest.com.

About MEC
Maestro Entrepreneur Center™ is a nonprofit small business incubation center founded in May 2016 in partnership with the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Located in a HUBZone, Maestro Entrepreneur Center™ serves small minority, women and veteran owned businesses in the City of San Antonio and beyond by offering its unique Maestro Accelerator Program™, and the Maestro Mentorship Program™. Clients range from diverse industries such as the industrial and professional services to culinary catering services and product. Visit MaestroCenter.org for details.

Media Contact
Daniel Galindo
Woodforest National Bank
Vice President, Director, CRA Strategic Initiatives
210.862.0511 Email: dgalindo@woodforest.com

Woodforest National Bank

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