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Omaha Magazine

Care to the Core: Core Bank Employees Pool Resources Together

Mar 30, 2021 03:10PM ● By Megan Keyser

Core Bank’s manifesto, published on their website, states, “We never pretend to be nice. We just are.”

“The feeling you get looking at the website is the same feeling you get as an employee,” Human Resources Generalist Michelle Greenwood said.

Core Bank is based out of Omaha. It’s a full-service banking company that focuses on personal and business clients between seven Midwest locations.

“There’s extreme passion for community giving. We say that we are a community bank. We want to make sure we walk that talk,” Greenwood said. 

The company fosters that culture of giving through a variety of ways, such as paid time off for
serving others.

Core gives each employee 16 paid hours to volunteer their time to a cause that they care about. “Like Habitat for Humanity or the Humane Society, for example,” Vice President of Human Resources Lindsey Wedel said.

Additionally, each employee is given a $100 stipend to donate annually. When an employee is ready to use it, they complete a request form. The employee is then issued a check to deliver to the organization.

“Some employees will pool together their dollars. We have an employee who is really involved in Make-A-Wish [of] Nebraska. He would recruit to make a large donation during their radiothon fundraising. During the floods [of 2018], people gave that way. The Special Olympics of Nebraska is a recipient often,” Wedel said.

“I think that it helps employees and small businesses like ours feel part of a community. We have a lot of fun doing it. When we do the Polar Plunge for the Special Olympics of Nebraska, we make a day of it, celebrating employees and the funds,” Greenwood said. “We dress up in costumes. One year everyone dressed up as ‘Where’s Waldo?’. We had a safari theme one year with hats and animal costumes. We were dominoes. ‘Don’t knock it ‘til you try it,’ was our saying,” Greenwood said.

All employees, like banker Austin Kuch, can participate at an influential level.

“A good family friend of mine is in a wheelchair. I’ve known him my whole life,” Kuch said. “He played numerous types of sports. He coaches a wheelchair basketball team, with ages ranging from 10 to 18. I send my credit over to them every year. One year, I got seven people to donate to it. When they have spaghetti feeds, I try to get as many people as I can over there to support. Whatever help my friend needs, I will do so. I’ve seen a lot of kids grow in the program on those teams.”

When holiday seasons approach, employees bind together to give to those in need in a Core Bank initiative called “Christmas Families.” The company wrapped up its 22nd year of this initiative in 2020. 

Core partners with Eastern Nebraska Office On Aging to sponsor elderly residents who lack a support system. They also partner with four local schools, working with counselors to find families who have fallen on hard times. “Maybe mom or dad lost a job, or families are fleeing domestic violence,” Wedel said. “We get wish lists from six elderly individuals and families and publish these. Employees can purchase off of them. They’re really shopping for them as if they’re shopping for a family member. We want to make sure that a coat, for example, is the girl’s favorite color and will last multiple years.”

When all gifts are purchased, the company holds a wrapping party celebration. “It ends up being 400 presents, so it takes a group to get those wrapped,” Wedel said.

“We are always looking for new ways to support the community. The generosity is awesome to see,” Greenwood said.

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This article was printed in the April/May 2021 issue of B2B Magazine. 

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