• Umpqua Holdings Corporation
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  • Umpqua Bank’s Connect Volunteer Network Sets Industry Standard With 90 Percent Associate Participation
    Company Release - 01/11/2012 13:33

    Contributes Nearly 45,000 Volunteer Hours in 2011

    PORTLAND, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Umpqua Bank, a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: UMPQ), achieved record-breaking associate participation through its Connect Volunteer Network™ (Connect) in 2011. With 44,946 combined volunteer hours, Umpqua Bank attained a new industry standard in corporate responsibility with more than 90 percent employee participation in its Connect program. According to research conducted by the Carroll School of Management Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College for their 2011 Community Involvement Index, a 90 percent participation rate is only seen by three percent of companies that offer paid time off.

    “As a community bank, Umpqua has an obligation to the communities we serve and I could not be more proud to see so many of our associates make a positive difference by participating in our Connect program,” said Ray Davis, president and CEO of Umpqua Bank. “Collectively, the time they volunteered in 2011 is the equivalent of 22 associates working in our communities full time, and our company and neighborhoods are healthier because of their commitment.”

    In 2011, the bank challenged its associates to do even more to assist its communities during a time of continued economic uncertainty. Together, Umpqua Bank associates increased Connect participation by 12 percent, with 2,217 associates donating their time to the youth-focused organization, school and community development program of their choice. Umpqua associates assisted more than 1,500 community organizations and schools across the bank’s four-state footprint.

    “Effective volunteer programs can provide more than the expected benefit to the community at large – they can also make a measurable difference in core business functions for their companies, adding to employee retention, recruitment and team building,” said Colleen Olphert, director of membership at the Carroll School of Management Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College. “We urge companies to follow Umpqua’s lead and build volunteer programs that create high levels of involvement and help create a corporate culture of engagement while having a positive impact on the communities they serve.”

    How to Start a Successful Volunteer Program

    Umpqua Bank attributes the success of the Connect program to three primary areas of focus. Companies seeking to start or enhance an employee volunteer program should consider each of the following:

    • Culture Fit – Volunteer programs should be a natural extension of a company’s culture, reinforcing the organization’s strengths and points of differentiation. Establishing a volunteer program as a core value is key to making it a priority for employees.
    • Executive Ambassadors – Successful volunteer programs have strong executive support, with executives actively setting an example by participating themselves. This top-down approach has proven successful in launching and retaining corporate volunteer programs.
    • Easy to Use – Creating a program that is embedded into a company’s operations and allows for easy participation is critical to achieving high employee involvement.

    Umpqua’s Connect Volunteer Network™

    Established in 2004, Umpqua Bank’s Connect program has become a nationally-leading volunteer program that provides associates with paid time-off each year— 40 hours for full-time and 20 hours for part-time— to serve at youth-focused organizations, schools and community development programs.

    Through the Connect Volunteer Network™, Umpqua associates are given the opportunity to choose the organization where they would like to be involved. Associates participate in a variety of activities such as spending time in schools, engaging in mentoring projects or dedicating their time to local food banks. Umpqua associates continually rank the Connect program as one of the bank’s most-valued employee benefits and nearly one-third of its participants say the program was their initial introduction to volunteerism.

    Connect has been cited as a key factor in Umpqua’s inclusion on FORTUNE Magazine’s list of the country’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” the past five years.

    About Umpqua Bank

    Umpqua Bank, headquartered in Roseburg, Ore., is a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: UMPQ) with locations between San Francisco and Seattle, along the Oregon and Northern California Coast, and in Central Oregon and Northern Nevada. Umpqua Bank has been recognized for its innovative customer experience and banking strategy by national publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Fast Company and CNBC. The company has been recognized for the past five years in a row on FORTUNE magazine’s list of the country’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Umpqua Holdings also owns a retail brokerage subsidiary, Umpqua Investments, Inc., which offers services through Umpqua Bank stores and in dedicated offices throughout Oregon. Umpqua’s Wealth Management Division serves high net worth individuals and nonprofits by providing customized financial solutions and offerings. Umpqua Holdings Corporation is headquartered in Portland, Ore. For more information, visit http://www.umpquabank.com.

    Tracy Anderson, 503-546-7897

    Source: Umpqua Bank