June 06, 2019

TGR Foundation shines Donor Spotlight on Bank of the West

Our mission to empower students to pursue their passions through education is brought to life through award-winning programs that are supported by generous donors and partners. We are grateful for the contributions of companies and organizations that help us drive our mission forward and are proud to shine a Donor Spotlight on Bank of the West for their support of our TGR Learning Lab.

We recently sat down with Dr. Corneil Montgomery, Vice President and Sr. Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, who shared more about Bank of the West and its ongoing partnership with TGR Foundation.


What are Bank of the West’s philanthropic and/or corporate social responsibility goals?

As a purpose-driven bank, our goal is to make the world a better place. We are focused on four key areas:  diverse entrepreneurs, accelerating energy transition, investing in young leaders and contributing to local communities.

We leverage new innovations, philanthropy, our people, products and services to drive real impact and change forward across our priority areas.


Why are education and workforce development important to Bank of the West?

Education and workforce are pathways toward economic and social mobility. Education is critically important, particularly for first-generation college students who haven’t had the model or seen a divine trajectory. It can begin to break down some of those barriers and create opportunities.

Our workforce efforts focus on increasing access to jobs opportunities and economic growth across diverse and under-resourced communities. We support a number of organizations and several internal initiatives that provide individuals with the tools and resources to realize their fullest career potential.

In a growing and changing economy, it’s important that all people have equal access to resources, skills and opportunities to grow and thrive with the economy, and we believe that education and workforce are two avenues to reach those milestones. We accomplish this mission through strategic partnerships with leading organizations that deliver high-impact programs and demonstrate shared values and impact.


How did Bank of the West get involved with TGR Foundation?

Our journey with TGR Foundation began during our annual financial education campaign.  TGR Foundation and another partner hosted a number of Bank of the West volunteers to provide financial education to TGR Learning Lab students.  Those early days of excitement led to what we know now as a partnership.

There were a number of synergies and real alignment for Bank of the West and TGR Foundation to get its start. The flagship learning lab is in a community that we had an interest in, and we wanted to be actively involved with an organization that was not just doing the work, but one who has a lens for change and are innovative with their approach- a sophisticated and long-term partner. So, it made sense, after a number of conversations, to become partners. We’ve just started. The bank looks forward to learning and continuing to invest in the lives of young people that are coming through those doors, being more focused on what happens when they leave and how we can, alongside TGR Foundation, be invested and supportive.


Why should other companies support programs like those of TGR Foundation?

The need is substantial. While we would love to solve all the problems as a single organization, we can’t. We can approach them from a collaborative standpoint and bring all sectors together—public, private, and foundation partners to create lasting impact.  Most importantly, I believe the work that TGR Foundation is doing is scalable, and scale takes resources and expertise. I invite companies to be open to experiencing new opportunities, innovations and impactful work in partnership with TGR Foundation.


What do you want everyone to know about Bank of the West?

We’re taking action to have a positive impact on society – protecting the planet, improving lives and strengthening communities.


Redefining what it means to be a champion.