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Paragon Bank partnered with Make-A-Wish Mid-South to help send 3-year old Ana to the Walt Disney World® Resort with her family. This marks the 10th consecutive year Paragon has collaborated with the foundation to grant the wish of a child in the Mid-South.
“It’s an honor to work with Make-A-Wish, and we are delighted for Ana and her family to experience this vacation together,” said Robert Shaw, Chief Executive Officer at Paragon Bank. “Our employees look forward to this event every year, and it’s beyond humbling to witness the joy on a child’s face when his or her wish is granted.”
On May 28, Paragon’s Fountain Place Banking Center was transformed into a castle from Ana’s favorite Disney film, “Frozen.” Paragon employees dressed up in costumes from various Disney movies and rolled out the red carpet for Ana and her family, starting with a horse-drawn carriage ride around the neighborhood. As they made their way to the throne, Ana was presented with gifts before learning her wish had come true: she was going to Disney World.
“For 10 years, Paragon Bank has been a partner to Make-A-Wish Mid-South in more ways than we could have imagined,” said Liz Nelson, Make-A-Wish Mid-South President & CEO. “The employees of Paragon Bank give their time, treasures and talents to make wishes come true for children in the Mid-South.”
As part of its #PB10for10 campaign, a yearlong celebration of the bank’s 10th anniversary, 48 Paragon employees donated their time and efforts to prepare for and take part in the event. Additional donations were provided by Chick-fil-A at Poplar and Massey, McDonald’s at Poplar and Estate, Mr. Lincoln’s Costume Shoppe and The Carriage Company.
About Make-A-Wish Mid-South
Make-A-Wish Mid-South was founded in 1986 by a local businessman who recognized the need for an organization to help sick children in the Mid-South. More than 4,600 wishes have been granted to critically ill children in the Mid-South. For more information, please visit www.midsouth.wish.org or call (901) 680-WISH (9474).
Paragon Bank’s Small Business Capital Group recently participated in a service day through Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County. Specifically, it was part of the Habitat DeKalb program known as “A Brush of Kindness.” The team spent the day helping clean and fix up the exterior of a local woman’s home.
“Our team was honored to be a part of this special day, and we hope the work and time invested leaves a lasting impact,” said Robert Shaw, Chief Executive Officer at Paragon Bank. “Giving back to the communities in which we work, while building relationships with the people in them, is what Paragon is all about.”
The woman living in the home is unable to move throughout her house without assistance, so she spends most of her time in a recliner, while people come by each morning and evening to drop off food for her. Because of her inability to get around, she asked for help improving the look of the exterior of her home.
The Paragon team stepped in and granted this request, as they spent the day working on large and small repairs. Some of the work included painting the front porch posts, as well as fixing and painting the wheelchair ramp and gate. In addition, the team completed an extensive amount of yard work, helping to transform the appearance of the entire property.
About Paragon Small Business Capital Group
Paragon Small Business Capital Group is a team of experienced SBA professionals. With over 150 years of combined experience, the group is prepared to help businesses and individuals navigate the SBA lending world of 7(a), 504, USDA B&I and Conventional loans for small businesses. The Paragon Small Business Capital Group specializes in franchise lending, with loans to 62 unique franchises over the last decade.
Paragon Bank is displaying a new round of local student artwork in the main lobby of its Saddle Creek banking center (7600 Poplar Avenue) throughout March. This month, the art installation includes pieces from Westminster Academy students in both the upper and lower schools.
“Our employees and customers love seeing the creative work of talented young artists in our community,” said Robert Shaw, Chief Executive Officer at Paragon Bank. “We’re thankful for the Westminster Academy students and feel confident our customers will enjoy the showcase.”
With a wide range of ages represented from the school, the art exhibit is comprised of many different styles and themes. Westminster art teachers Jocelyn Collins, from the upper school, and Tirzah Rhodes, from the lower school worked, with Paragon to coordinate the display.
The art was created by Sloane Banks and Sloane Ebach in kindergarten; Aubrey Banks, Graham Otey and Emerson Thorne in second grade; Abby Carney and Jack Rhodes in fourth grade; Annalise Ellard in sixth grade. Student artists in the upper school include Lucy Jones, Lizzy Jorgensen, Hannah Newsome and Sophie Tusant in ninth grade; Addison Furst and Cy Leist in tenth grade; Evan Furst, Charli Hale, Rachel Halford, Spencer Harris, Laura Johnson and Margaret Walker in twelfth grade.
About Westminster Academy
Westminster Academy offers Classical Christian education for kindergarten through twelfth grade and seeks to offer parents a tool for teaching their children to reason, discern and apply truth by way of scripture and the classical liberal arts. For more information about Westminster Academy, please call 901-380-9192 or visit www.wamemphis.com.
Paragon Bank visited Ms. Kimberly Martin’s third grade class at Hawkins Mill Elementary School this February to celebrate Valentine’s Day. This was the first visit of 2015 and marks the 10th year in a row that Paragon Bank has sponsored Martin’s classroom.
“Our team had a wonderful time visiting the students and giving them some sweet goodies to celebrate Valentine’s Day,” said Robert Shaw, Chief Executive Officer of Paragon Bank. “We always enjoy the time spent with Ms. Martin and her students, and this trip was no different.”
During the visit, Paragon employees Jeanine Gipson, Steve Maury, Haley Overcast, Jarmila Reed and Lisa Word helped the students make Valentine crafts and play Valentine bingo. Additionally, the bank also donated classroom supplies to Ms. Martin and handed out goody bags to each student.
Paragon Bank completed its annual campaign for the United-Way of the Mid-South with a significant increase in both employee participation and monetary contributions compared to its 2013 campaign. This year, the bank raised more than $26,400 and experienced a 125% increase in leadership donors, which requires a donation of $500 or more.
“One of Paragon’s guiding principals is giving back to the community that gives us so much,” said Robert Shaw, Chief Executive Officer of Paragon Bank. “I’m proud to lead a team that is passionate about supporting our community and am thrilled with our United Way results this year.”
Paragon kicked-off its campaign on December 2, #GivingTuesday, by hosting an all-employee breakfast. This year, the breakfast featured guest Jo Gilbert, Executive Director at Madonna Learning Center, a nonprofit and faith-based school for children and young adults with disabilities. Additionally, Madonna student Matthew Abis and his father Barney Abis attended the breakfast and shared what Madonna Learning Center and United Way have meant to them.
Following the kick-off event, employees were offered incentives to participate through company drawings and giveaways during the weeklong campaign.
About Madonna Learning Center
Founded in Memphis in 1969 by three Benedictine Sisters, Madonna Learning Center is a private, independent, faith-based school and nonprofit for children and young adults with disabilities. Madonna Learning Center currently serves students ages 5 to 30 years old and offer a low student to teacher ratio and Individualized Education Plans and services to help students achieve success both in and outside of the classroom. To learn more about Madonna Learning Center, visit www.madonna-learning.org.
Paragon Bank collected $11,920 and 278 cans of food for the Mid-South Food Bank during the 7th Annual Mid-South Food Bank Student Food Drive. Paragon accepted donations from customers, employees and the general public at its Fountain Place, Grove Park, Paragon Place and Saddle Creek banking centers throughout November.
“Our ongoing involvement with the Mid-South Food Bank is extremely gratifying for our team,” said Robert Shaw, Chief Executive Officer of Paragon Bank. “The organization is crucial to our community, and we’d like to thank all of our customers, employees and the community for helping us raise enough donations to provide more than 36,000 meals to Mid-South families.”
The Mid-South Food Bank’s buying power enables the organization to generate three nutritious meals for every dollar donated. Paragon’s food and monetary contributions will enable the food bank to provide 36,038 meals to deserving local families.
On December 3, Shaw was joined by several bank employees to present a check and food donations to the organization during the Action News 5 Holiday Food Drive at the Kroger in Germantown.
The Student Food Drive is conducted by Mid-South area high school students to benefit the Mid-South Food Bank. In addition to collecting food for those in need, the drive promotes volunteerism and community involvement, and gives students the opportunity to set a “real life” example of how to get things done through teamwork. The food goes to the Mid-South Food Bank for distribution to its member agencies throughout the area, including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, youth programs, rehabilitation and residential centers, senior programs, daycares and schools.
Paragon Bank visited Ms. Kimberly Martin’s third grade class at Hawkins Mill Elementary School to celebrate Halloween with her students. For the past nine years, Paragon Bank has adopted Martin’s classroom at Hawkins Mill, which is located in Frayser and serves students in kindergarten through sixth grade.
“Our team loved dressing up in costumes and spending time with the kids,” said Robert Shaw, Chief Executive Officer of Paragon Bank. “Through this unique partnership, we’re able to create special memories with Ms. Martin and her students, and we look forward to our next visit in a few months.”
During the Halloween visit, Paragon employees Donna Bain, Lisa Barden, Deborah Howell and Haley Overcast helped students decorate mini pumpkins and played Halloween-themed games with the class. Additionally, Paragon presented goody bags filled with candy and school supplies to the students and classroom supplies to Martin.
Paragon Bank sponsored the 2014 Book It 5K in September and encouraged its employees to actively participate in this year’s race through a new effort, the Paragon Health Challenge. The challenge was initiated in an effort to get employees moving more throughout the day and provided them with an active training plan for the seven weeks leading up to the 5K.
“The Book It 5K has always been a great event for us to sponsor, and this year, we wanted to get our employees involved even more than they had been in the past,” said Robert Shaw, Chief Executive Officer at Paragon Bank. “The goal for this challenge was to provide an opportunity for our employees to form new, healthy habits, and we are thrilled with the outcome.”
Prior to the challenge, Paragon hosted a lunch and learn with race organizers and leaders from the race’s beneficiaries, Shelby County Books from Birth and the Emmanuel Center, to get employees excited for the upcoming event. To create internal competition, Paragon employees were divided into six teams, which competed against one another in the weeks leading up to the race. Each member wore a pedometer during this timeframe and awards were given out to teams weekly to recognize their hard work. Some awards included:
· Individual with Highest Steps: Chris Platania, Technical Support
· Best Team Name: Red Hot Chili Steppers: captained by Steve Maury, First Vice President Residential Construction Lending
· Team with Highest Steps: Take a Hike: captained by Jarmila Reed, Analyst
As a result, more than 60 employees participated in the Paragon Health Challenge, and more than 65 employees and their family members attended the race in September.
Paragon Bank worked with Make-A-Wish Mid-South to grant 14-year-old Carrie-Lynn’s wish of meeting World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) professional wrestler John Cena. This is the ninth consecutive year that Paragon has worked with Make-A-Wish Mid-South to grant the wish of a child being treated in Memphis.
“We are honored to work with such an incredible organization like Make-A-Wish Mid-South,” said Robert Shaw, Chief Executive Officer at Paragon Bank. “Our employees worked hard to organize Carrie-Lynn’s big day, and what a special moment it was for us to see the look on her face when her wish was granted. This is an annual tradition that Paragon looks forward to continuing long into the future.”
Paragon staff donated more than 150 hours of their time to prepare for this year’s Make-A-Wish event. In addition to spending time outside office hours to set up for the event, employees had the opportunity to volunteer during the workday through the bank’s Assisting the Community Through Service (ACTS) program. ACTS grants Paragon employees one week of paid time to support a nonprofit organization of their choosing.
On August 25, Carrie-Lynn was picked up by a limousine, which took her to Paragon’s Fountain Place banking center. Once inside the bank, Paragon employees played several rounds of Let’s Make a Deal with Carrie-Lynn. After winning the game, Carrie-Lynn learned from Make-A-Wish Development Coordinator Rebekah Sudduth that the bank was granting her wish to meet WWE professional wrestler John Cena.
“Each year, I am honored to see the dedication and compassion demonstrated by the employees of Paragon Bank,” said Rebekah Sudduth, Make-A-Wish Mid-South Development Coordinator. “Their willingness to fund and give the time to help reveal a wish to the child is just incredible. We are so fortunate to have companies like Paragon in our community and involved with our organization.”
Paragon was able to grant Carrie-Lynn’s wish with additional support from local organizations including Larry’s Pizza and Coletta’s Restaurant, who donated food, and Farris Bobango Attorneys at Law, who donated suite tickets for a WWE event.
About Make-A-Wish® Mid-South
Make-A-Wish® Mid-South was founded in 1986, by a local businessman who recognized the need for an organization to help sick children in the Mid-South. More than 4,600 wishes have been granted to critically ill children in the Mid-South. To give your time, treasures or talents, please visit www.midsouth.wish.org or call (901) 680-WISH (9474).
Paragon Bank employees visited Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in August to deliver 10 no-sew blankets to patients staying at the facility. The no-sew blankets were made during the bank’s Employee Appreciation Week, with employees taking advantage of the Assisting the Community Through Service (ACTS) program, which grants each staff member a week of paid time off per year to support nonprofit organizations of their choosing.
“The Blankets for Le Bonheur initiative is an annual tradition our whole team has participated in for the past four years during Employee Appreciation Week,” said Robert Shaw, Chief Executive Officer at Paragon Bank. “Not only is it a great team activity to give back to the community, but it’s such a humbling experience for us.”
While at Le Bonheur, Paragon employees Linda Cook, Stacy Fields, Debbie Howell, Haley Overcast and Sheila Welborn delivered the blankets to several patients on the nephrology and neurology floors of the hospital. The bank coordinated the blanket delivery, as well as a tour of the hospital, with Timorie Stewart, Le Bonheur’s Volunteer Services Coordinator.
“We are grateful for the continued support from Paragon Bank. It’s very special for the patients at Le Bonheur to have the opportunity to select a handmade blanket that will keep them warm and cozy during their hospital stay,” said Stewart. “The children’s faces light up whenever the Paragon employees walk into their room to deliver the blankets, and it’s such a joy to witness.”