Paragon National Bank announced that its employees spent more than 500 hours volunteering in the community last year. Through the bank’s Assisting the Community Through Service (ACTS) program, each Paragon employee is granted one week of paid time to support local, regional and national nonprofit organizations of his or her choosing. The ACTS program is one part of Paragon’s community outreach efforts, which also includes the bank’s company-wide support of several nonprofit organizations around the Mid-South.
“One of Paragon’s guiding principles is service, both in our branches and in the community,” said Robert Shaw, Chief Executive Officer of Paragon National Bank. “The bank itself supports several community organizations, but we made the Assisting the Community Through Service program available since the bank’s inception in 2005 to allow our employees to pursue their personal volunteer interests. Our team has truly embraced the program and we continue to be proud of their efforts.”
The bank began tracking employees’ use of ACTS time in 2008 and since then, the team has contributed more than 2,000 hours to dozens of community organizations around the Mid-South. In addition to offering employees time to volunteer, Paragon also helps interested team members identify a nonprofit to support. In late 2012, the bank held an internal lunch and learn event, where Kacie Murley shared information about tnAchieves with attendees.
Tracey Thesmar, Vice President, Controller at Paragon National Bank, helped organize the informational lunch event for interested employees. Thesmar, one of 30 employees who used ACTS time in 2012, became a mentor in the tnAchieves program when the program began in Shelby County in 2011. During her first term, she mentored two students from Raleigh Egypt High School and one student from White Station High School. Additionally, Thesmar served as the tnAchieves Mentor Coordinator for the Junior League of Memphis (JLM), which helps contribute volunteers for the program.
“I find the work I’m able to do for tnAchieves very rewarding and I’m happy to play a part in helping employees find an organization they care about too,” said Thesmar. “Having the ability to volunteer during business hours is rare and doing so allows me the flexibility to do more in the community. It’s extremely generous of Paragon to grant us the time and I plan to continue to make the most of it.”
In addition to tnAchieves, employees used ACTS time in 2012 to support Agricenter International; Boy Scouts of America; Corporate Volunteer Council – Volunteer Mid-South; Hawkins Mill Elementary School; Junior League of Memphis; Komen Memphis-MidSouth Race for the Cure; Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital; Make-A-Wish FoundationÒ of the Mid-South; Memphis Child Advocacy Center; Memphis Urban League; Memphis Symphony Orchestra; Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association; Mid-South Division of the American Cancer Society; Orpheum Theatre Memphis; Ronald McDonald House of Memphis; Shelby Farms Park Conservancy; Tennessee Housing Development Agency; United Housing, Inc; and United Way of the Mid-South.