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Bank of America names award winners

Margie Manning



Metropolitan Ministries was one of two local nonprofits named as 2020 Neighborhood Builder award winners by Bank of America.

Bank of America has awarded $200,000 each to two local nonprofits.

Metropolitan Ministries and Pinellas County Urban League were selected for the bank’s Neighborhood Builders award because of their work addressing issues fundamental to economic mobility, specifically basic needs and workforce development, a news release said.

Bill Goede

“As we consider many of the challenges that our community is facing – from the health and humanitarian crisis brought on by the coronavirus to the need for progress on racial equality and economic opportunity – the Neighborhood Builders program is committed to supporting the communities we serve,” said Bill Goede, Tampa Bay market president for Bank of America. “This program enables long-term partners like Metropolitan Ministries and Pinellas County Urban League to plan strategically for growth and long-term sustainability.”

Neighborhood Builders is a national program from Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina and the largest retail bank in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. Nationally, the bank has invested over $260 million in 50 communities through the program. That includes working with 41 local nonprofits that have received $8.6 million since 2005.

Tim Marks

Metropolitan Ministries, based in Tampa, is a past Neighborhood Builder awardee, and a long-time partner of Bank of America. The organization serves more than 31,000 households each year, providing food, housing and other support.

“We are prepared to face the challenges of the new decade in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis and plan to leverage technology to once again increase service levels and reach to meet the enormous community need,” said Tim Marks, president and CEO of Metropolitan Ministries. “Since March 2020, we have increased our homeless prevention services by more than seven times, and Bank of America’s support will enable us to serve additional households and invest in our staff through training and resources to improve efficiency.”

Related: Technology, innovation let Metro Ministries pivot during pandemic

Pinellas County Urban League helps minority communities increase their social inclusion, educational competitiveness and economic prosperity. The organization focuses on the hardest hit neighborhoods, and emphasizes helping individuals and small businesses rebound from unexpected circumstances and loss, such as those brought on by the pandemic.

Watson Haynes

“Minority small businesses were disproportionately affected as a result of the pandemic, and these funds will help support our small business development initiatives and foster employment and revitalization efforts in underserved communities,” said Watson L. Haynes, II, president of Pinellas County Urban League. “With added support from partners like Bank of America, small businesses can continue to make a lasting impact and inspire growth and expansion to contribute to a thriving community.”

In addition to the monetary award, each nonprofit will receive a year of leadership training for the executive director and an emerging leader. Metropolitan Ministries selected Christine Long, chief programs officer, as its emerging leader. Charlotte Anderson, vice president of housing and community economic development, is the Pinellas County Urban League’s emerging leader.

Examples of the leadership training topics include human capital management, increasing financial sustainability and storytelling.

Neighborhood Builder honorees also get access to a network of peer organizations across the United States, and the opportunity to access capital to expand their impact, the bank said.

The invitation-only program is highly competitive, and leading members of the community including Brian Auld, Stacy Baier, Elizabeth Frazier, Dr. Cynthia Johnson and Marlene Spalten participated in a collaborative selection process to identify this year’s awardees, the bank said.

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