"Paola has been a tireless advocate for underserved communities and has made it her mission to create access and opportunities for those who need it most."
That's what the American Bankers Association is saying about its 2023 George Bailey Distinguished Service Award winner.
Paola Fernandez, senior vice president of community development for Centreville Bank in West Warwick, RI, will receive the honor at the ABA's Annual Convention in Nashville, Tenn., in October.
The ABA Foundation selects the winner after reviewing nominations submitted by banks of all sizes across the country.
Fernandez, who joined Centreville Bank in 2018 and was tasked with developing a formal and strategic approach to community giving, "successfully launched the institution's long-term philanthropic program and has since directed multi-million-dollar investments to underserved communities from the bank's charitable foundation," per the ABA.
"One of her key accomplishments has been the support and enhancement of student scholarship programs and investment in community programs that support the success of school-age children through Centreville Bank," says the ABA in a statement.
"Her commitment to education and this program has enabled countless students to pursue their academic dreams."
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