Biannual Here Matters Award Winners Announced
Synovus believes strongly in ensuring the long-term health of its communities, and this month, the financial services company is pleased to recognize Senior Community Development Manager James Chatfield and Maintenance Supervisor Mike Windham as Here Matters Award winners.
"James and Mike are incredible team members who exemplify servant leadership and our commitment to communities," said Alison Dowe, Synovus executive vice president and chief communications and corporate responsibility officer. "They are two among a workforce of individuals at Synovus who truly put others above self and who are deeply committed to helping people reach their full potential. We couldn’t be more grateful for and proud of their efforts, and humbled by the spirit of giving that permeates our work family.”
Presented biannually, Synovus' Here Matters Award celebrates individuals and/or teams with extraordinary outreach stories in the bank's five-state footprint. Synovus donates $500 on behalf of each award recipient to a nonprofit of their choice, and the recipients are considered for the company's annual William B. Turner Community Impact Chairman's Award.
About James Chatfield's Commitment to Community
Chatfield is a senior community development manager based in Columbia, South Carolina. In his role, Chatfield supports the community development activities of Synovus' South Carolina, Northeast Georgia, and West Central Georgia divisions as they work to enable customers, communities, and other stakeholders to reach their full potential. As part of these efforts, Chatfield recently planned, developed, and executed Synovus' first Youth Entrepreneurship Summer (Y.E.S.) Camp in partnership with Benedict College, a historically Black college and university in Columbia.
The free, one-week enrichment camp served as an inaugural offering of the college's 2022 Upward Bound Program and introduced pre-college students from diverse backgrounds to the skills and knowledge needed to own and operate a small business. Chatfield established Y.E.S. Camp as part of Raise the Banner, Synovus' flagship financial education program. He engaged Synovus team members and Columbia business leaders to teach camp courses, mentor the students, and offer real-life experiences on various topics. During the Y.E.S. Camp graduation ceremony attended by members of the bank's executive leadership team, Benedict College representatives, and families and friends, three graduates presented business elevator pitches. Afterward, President and CEO Kevin Blair surprised the Y.E.S. Camp graduates, announcing each student would receive $1,000 to help them bring their ideas to life once they prepare a business plan.
As a result of Y.E.S. Camp and Chatfield's dedication, Synovus fueled student success and community betterment. In addition, the bank successfully deepened its relationships with Benedict College and the Columbia community. Synovus looks forward to fostering new interests in entrepreneurship and lifelong financial education through Y.E.S. Camps across the Southeast.
About Mike Windham's Commitment to Community
Windham is a Synovus maintenance supervisor based in Columbus, Georgia. In June, Windham stepped up to help lead a bank-sponsored volunteer event with Home for Good to further Synovus' outreach efforts in the Columbus community. Home for Good is a United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley strategy that works to transition individuals and families from homelessness to permanent, stable housing.
In June, Synovus partnered with United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley to update a local residence that houses a Home for Good client. Windham determined what critical updates could be completed by a team of Synovus volunteers during the three-day project. He also managed the planning, purchasing, and delivery of tools and equipment to the residence. During the project, Windham worked alongside other Synovus volunteers from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. as they painted the house's living room and kitchen, replaced the carpet of a bedroom with luxury vinyl plank, and completed other home improvement tasks. Every day, Windham showed up at the worksite with a smile and a trailer of tools. He even frequently took breaks to ensure volunteers were safely using the construction equipment. On the final day of the project, Windham helped confirm the house was in pristine condition, even loading trash and materials into his personal truck to take to waste management.
Thanks to Windham's hard work and dedication, Synovus deepened its commitment to Columbus and contributed to the availability of safe, affordable housing that builds strong communities.
About Here Matters
Synovus expresses its commitment to communities through Here Matters, the bank's community outreach program. Here Matters builds on a century-plus legacy of service to local communities, focusing volunteer and financial contributions in the areas of economic, environmental, social, and human sustainability. Synovus team members demonstrate Here Matters through projects across our footprint in the spring and fall — and through rapid response to event-driven needs. Learn more about our Here Matters community outreach efforts at synovus.com/about-us/community-outreach