Donor Spotlight: Union Bank

Sponsor Spotlight: Union Bank

Platinum Sponsor of AnewAmerica's Microbusiness Expo & Celebration

An Interview With Julius Robinson, Executive Vice President - Group Head, Corporate Social Responsibility

1.Union Bank is AnewAmerica’s Platinum sponsor at this year’s Microbusiness Expo and Celebration. Why does Union Bank support the work of AnewAmerica?

AnewAmerica’s ambitions are consistent with those of Union Bank: we are both working to achieve economic equity in underserved communities. At Union Bank, we are trying to collectively collaborate with community partners to leverage the best that we all have to offer. We recognize AnewAmerica as a leader in building corporate and community partnerships to benefit low-income communities. I would also like to recognize and support the work of my colleague, Debra Taylor, who serves on the Board of Directors of AnewAmerica.

2. How does AnewAmerica’s work align with the values of Union Bank?
AnewAmerica’s microbusiness incubator model helps families cultivate their entrepreneurial spirit to create a new life in this country. Similarly, Union Bank is a strong supporter of small businesses, particularly those owned by women, minorities and veterans. Partnering with organizations like AnewAmerica around our common goals helps us to extend our work. We are dedicated to helping people grow small businesses, build assets, develop financial literacy and purchase homes. At Union Bank, we subscribe to a “theory of change” that is rooted in supporting the growth of healthy communities. Like AnewAmerica, we are dedicated to social responsibility in action.

3. Why is it important to teach low-income individuals about entrepreneurship and financial literacy?
The past five years has witnessed the worst economic downturn of our country’s history since the great depression. Those times were exasperated by individuals and families who were not equipped to make the best decisions about their finances. In the present economic climate we are extremely aware of how important it is to teach people how to make decisions for their long-term financial security. Teaching individuals how to start their own business and nurturing their entrepreneurial spirit gives them the opportunity to become economically self-sufficient and to establish long-term economic well-being.

4. Each year AnewAmerica grants one of our entrepreneurs with a Green Business of the Year Award.
We are excited to have Union Bank present the award this year. What does Union Bank view as the importance of environmental sustainability? There is no award that makes me happier than this award. Teaching entrepreneurs how to conserve resources lessens their impact on the environment and also saves capital, that they can put back into their business and nurture their families. In addition, by being “green”, AnewAmerica’s entrepreneurs are competing in a cutting-edge industry. Environmental sustainability is one of the priorities of Union Bank, and we are proud to grant this award at the Microbusiness Expo & Celebration

5. Anything else you would like to add?
Viola Gonzales, AnewAmerica’s CEO, is a member of our Community Advisory Board. We are grateful for her contribution and insight into the unique challenges of low-income and immigrant communities.