Northern Colorado Spotlight: FirstBank
Founded in 1963, Colorado’s own FirstBank plays a significant role throughout our state and in Northern Colorado’s communities. In fact, they’re Colorado’s largest locally owned company. In addition to providing jobs and serving as a financial partner to many businesses in our region, FirstBank believes in philanthropy. They are benefactors of numerous causes and the main supporter behind Colorado Gives Day. What’s more, they provide paid time off for their employees to volunteer.
We asked Diane Wood, Retail Manager at FirstBank in Windsor, to tell us more about her great company, where she has worked for nearly 30 years.
Q: What is FirstBank? When did it come to Northern Colorado/how did it start?
FirstBank is recognized as Colorado’s largest locally owned company, one of the largest privately held banks in the U.S., and one of the best performing banks in the country (according to leading industry outlets: American Banker and Bank Director magazine), with more than $28 billion in assets. The bank started in 1963 from humble beginnings in a 50-foot trailer and has slowly grown to more than 100 locations in Colorado, Arizona and California with more than 800,000 customers. We opened our first Northern Colorado branch in 1993 and currently operate seven locations across Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor and Greeley. Our growth can be attributed to one simple belief since inception: Do what is right for customers, communities, and our employees, and good things will happen. This has transformed how we operate and is the inspiration behind our mantra, “banking for good.”
Q: What stands out to employees?
FirstBank believes that every employee is unique and valuable to the organization, and fosters a culture focused on excellence, courage, diversity and inclusion, community and humility. FirstBank has been recognized as a “Top Workplace” for ten consecutive years by a third-party research firm and survey provider Workplace Dynamics and was named one of the “Best Banks to Work For” by American Banker magazine. The company believes its employees are its most significant asset and allocates the right resources to ensure employees are engaged and valued through employee stock ownership, education and tuition assistance, promoting from within, reduced hours and parental involvement PTO, and wellness reimbursements, among others. As a testament to employee satisfaction, 25 current Northern Colorado FirstBankers have been with the company 10+ years.
Q: How do you further the mission of Work In Northern Colorado?
We believe that by working together we foster economic vitality, encourage job creation and maintain a healthy business climate for our region.
FirstBank is recognized as one of the most philanthropic organizations in Colorado and Arizona (according to both the Denver Business Journal and Arizona Business Magazine). The company aims to make a positive impact on the communities it serves and will continue to do so through some of the avenues listed below:
Gives Days: FirstBank helped launch and continues to be the main partner of Colorado Gives Day, helping raise over $361 million for local nonprofits since inception. More than $54.4 million was raised last year alone, thanks in large part to FirstBank’s funding, grassroots efforts, technology and promotional support. To drive interest, the bank does a “Give it Forward” campaign — where FirstBankers pose as grocery store baggers, restaurant servers, gas station attendants and more — to pay the tab for unsuspecting community members, encouraging them to “Give it Forward” to their favorite Gives Day charity. Local recipients included King Soopers in Greeley (2020), CSU Vet School (2019) and Union Bar & Soda Fountain (2018).
Nonprofit Involvement: Almost every FirstBank Officer serves on nonprofit boards/committees, and the company provides all of its employees with two paid days off to support organizations they’re passionate about (that translates to over 45,000 volunteer hours offered annually). Locally, in 2021, our Northern Colorado staff volunteered more than 600 hours through the company Volunteer Time Off program. Some of the local nonprofit boards that we are very active on and have been for many years include Respite Care, Habitat for Humanity (Loveland, Fort Collins and Greeley), Loveland Housing Authority, Housing Catalyst and Neighbor to Neighbor.
Donations: In 2021, FirstBank donated nearly $4.91 million to hundreds of nonprofits throughout Colorado, Arizona and California, including over $600,000 toward economic recovery and emergency relief efforts. Since 2000, the company has contributed more than $80 million to local charities. FirstBank areas of giving include affordable housing, education, economic development and community. Habitat for Humanity, CASA and Hearts for Horses are a few local non-profits we regularly donate to in Northern Colorado.