Whether you’re a national or local financial institution, it’s important to make sure you have initiatives in place that help you connect with members of your local community. Apollo Bank, a locally-owned bank in the Miami area, is doing just this. We recently spoke with Eddy Arriola, Chairman of Apollo Bank, to learn more about their initiatives and how other financial institutions can learn from them.
In a few sentences, can you tell us a bit more about Apollo Bank?
Apollo Bank is a locally-owned community bank serving clients throughout South Florida from its seven branches across Miami-Dade County’s chief business and residential neighborhoods. With a core clientele of small and mid-size businesses, the bank provides a full spectrum of financial products and services including commercial and personal banking.
What is one of your most recent community initiatives?
Since Apollo Bank opened in 2010, our mission has always been to provide financing to help businesses grow, while being engaged in the communities we serve. Our philosophy starts with getting to know our community and the people who are part of it on a personal level, which helps us better understand their needs and help them grow.
From providing backpacks with school supplies to children in the elementary school next door to our Brickell branch, to collecting blankets for the homeless and serving dinner at the local homeless shelter near our Downtown branch, we are continuously making meaningful contributions and experiences in our city.
How has employee involvement in community service helped connect you with customers?
Apollo Bank has implemented a bank program where employees are encouraged to dedicate time to civic involvement, which has led to increased employee civic engagement and volunteerism in local nonprofits that support important needs in South Florida. As a result, more than 70% of our employees today are participating in meaningful causes.
For the past several years we have sponsored one of our employees to participate in the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Program, which brings together executives to develop projects in areas like education, health and economic development that benefits local communities, while developing their leadership skills.
Does Apollo Bank have any other initiatives to give back to the community?
Throughout the year, our bank hosts a variety of community-centered events. All our branches participate in a holiday toy drive that benefits organizations like Carrfour Supportive Housing and the Kiwanis Club of Coral Gables. We also teamed up with Joshua’s Heart Foundation blanket drive, where we help collect blankets during the fall and winter to provide to the homeless in Miami.
Why does Apollo Bank think it’s important for employees to participate in community service?
The banking business is centered on building solid client relationships and planting strong roots in the community. Apollo Bank motivates bank employees to get involved and donate their time to help a cause that they feel strongly about in the community. We have seen how employees enjoy spending time helping meaningful causes and we like facilitating our employees to do so.
What can other financial institutions learn from Apollo Bank’s experiences?
We are in the services industry and incorporating programs that support not only business service, but motivate entrepreneurship, leadership and civic engagement is key to long-term success as a community bank. As a financial institution with strong roots in our community, it is our responsibility to not only be a key player in the banking landscape, but a meaningful contributor in our community.
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