Associated Bank was recently recognized for The Continuous Support and Commitment to the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Dane County Award at a reception on December 6 in Madison for their community involvement.

Julia Arata-Fratta, president of the Latino Chamber board of directors, shared this note of recognition for the work Associated and its colleagues have done:

The Board of Directors of the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Dane County is very proud and pleased to inform you that Associated Bank has been recognized with the Continuous Support and Commitment to the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Dane County award.

The award goes to companies that have demonstrated commitment to community stewardship to our organization, in this case for the last six years. Associated has taken an active role in the Latino community, especially in the business sector providing excellent services and also giving back to this community in general. The Latino Chamber of Commerce is very proud of having members like you. Many congratulations to your company on this achievement and best wishes for future growth!

Associated looks for opportunities to connect with and serve our multicultural community members every day. A shining example of that commitment is in Dane County, Wis., where colleague Monica Gonzalez serves on the Board of Directors for the Latino Chamber of Commerce in Dane County.

For her part, Gonzalez is involved in educational courses offered by the Latino Chamber that focus on topics like owning your own business and understanding your cash flow. She also assists with “Enlaces” — monthly gatherings held by a Latino Chamber business member, or at a business that recently opened.

“Our Fish Hatchery Road location also has several bilingual colleagues, who are ready and willing to help the Latino community with their banking needs,” Gonzalez notes.

Beyond that, the branch hosts an Enlace annually and provides volunteers for several Latino Chamber events throughout the year, such as when the Mexican Consulate visits Madison. It is also active in Bank at Work, providing financial education and resources to employers with a large number of Hispanic employees.

Stephanie Wallom, Market Manager, has had a hand in much of the community outreach. She acknowledges Dane County is still an underserved area in that many Hispanic residents are in need of banking, lending and financial education. She says working with the community is incredibly rewarding.

“We truly feel like we’re making a difference in someone’s life — whether it’s opening their very first checking account in the U.S., helping them purchase their first home, or showing them all the tools and resources the bank can provide to help them achieve their goals,” Wallom says.

“We’ve learned that through gaining people’s trust and being their financial partner, these community members become some of our most loyal customers.”

Front row, left to right - Elizabeth Moreno, senior teller; Manuel Garcia Vazquez, relationship banker; James Rubin, branch manager; and Juan Loaiza.

Back row, left to right - Paco Moreno; Latonia Bibbins, teller supervisor; Steve Esposito; Monica Gonzalez, senior banker, and executive board member of the Latino Chamber of Commerce.