Thomas J. Shara
President and Chief Executive Officer
Lakeland Bancorp, Inc. and Lakeland Bank
Lakeland Bank will celebrate its 50th Anniversary on May 19, 2019. To kickoff this monumental celebration, I am excited to share the unique anniversary logo that was designed to mark this historic milestone. It characterizes Lakeland Bank’s long-standing commitment to the communities we serve…both as a local financial provider and a good corporate citizen.
As a community bank, Lakeland is deeply committed to serving and supporting the needs of the local community. We have many long-standing relationships with community organizations within our principal markets, and continue to develop relationships with organizations in the new markets we serve. Last year, the Bank instituted a policy to provide all colleagues with two paid days to volunteer and contributed over $860,000 to charitable programs. The following are some of our most noteworthy philanthropic initiatives:
- Lakeland Bank introduced its Community and Housing Impact Grant program. The program is non-competitive and prospective recipients and their programs are nominated for consideration for a grant based upon an internal nomination process designed specifically for this program. The non-competitive grants were awarded in the second and fourth quarters to the following organizations:
- Lakeland hosted its 46th Annual Scholarship Golf Outing in October and raised a record $190,000! These funds will provide scholarships in 2019 to students from over 70 local high schools. The scholarship recipients are selected by their school and must demonstrate academic success and an interest in attending college. More than $2 million has been awarded to local students since we have hosted this event to support higher education.
- Lakeland’s Jeans Day Charity Program provides the opportunity for colleagues to wear jeans on Fridays in exchange for a minimum monthly donation of $10 to support the charity of the month. Our associates personally donated $45,000 last year to support: Meals on Wheels, American Cancer Society, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Autism Speaks NJ Chapter, SCARC, The ARC of NJ, Alzheimer Association of NJ, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Animal Shelters and the Bank’s Scholarship Golf Outing and Sussex County Golf Classic.
For half a century Lakeland Bank has been the primary bank for many of our neighbors and businesses and, as we expand and grow, we will remain true to the community bank philosophy of relationship-based banking with all of our customers.