First Southwest Bank honored with ASU Willis Fassett Jr. Award

(10-24-2012)

First Southwest Bank employees, at the main branch in Alamosa, show their Adams State University pride during Homecoming on October 12.

First Southwest Bank's enduring commitment to Adams State University inspired the ASU Foundation Board to award it the 2012 Willis Fassett, Jr. Award. Named for a founding member of the Foundation -- also a banker -- the award honors individuals and organizations with an exceptional record of support for the college's educational mission.

The bank's Chairman of Board David E. Broyles '74 and Chief Operating Officer Jeni R. Jack-Goodwin '85 said they are honored to receive this prestigious award. In 2008, First Southwest Bank received the Grizzly Corporate Sponsor Award.

Broyles said the partnership between the bank and the university provides economic advantages, and both institutions play important roles in the community. "One of our key core values is education. Adams State provides so much for the whole San Luis Valley community and is beneficial for growth within the community."

For over 20 years, First Southwest Bank has been a Grizzly Club Corporate Sponsor at the $10,000 level. In addition to their yearly financial commitment, the bank recently helped fund purchase of the scoreboard at Rex Stadium and also supports a full-tuition men's golf scholarship.

"We also co-sponsor the Bankers' Classic Basketball Tournament," Jack-Goodwin said, noting the tournament boosts the local economy when out-of-town teams attend the games. "We try to look at the total impact to the community when we commit. When our contribution is multiplied by helping local businesses, we believe that is a worthy cause."

"Adams State offers a higher education to many of our local students who cannot afford to go elsewhere," Jack-Goodwin said. She appreciates the addition of the agribusiness program, and Broyles is excited about the recent addition of the Master of Business Administration Program and the direction the university has taken in the last few years.

They are pleased with the growth of the university and the number of athletics programs, including the junior varsity and developmental sports programs. They value the impact the athletic programs makes on enrollment and the local economy.

Jack-Goodwin and Broyles will accept the Willis Fassett Jr. Award on Thursday, November 2, during the annual Donor and Student Recognition Dinner.

Jack-Goodwin noted First Southwest Bank, its directors, and employees have contributed their time to the ASU Foundation, Grizzly Club, and Alumni Association. She has served on the Grizzly Club Board for many years and on the ASU Foundation Board for the last five. Broyles is also a former Grizzly Club Board member.

The bank also has an alliance with Adams State's School of Business. Broyles has taught classes on loans and finance, and the bank hires many Adams State graduates.

"Almost one-third of our employees in the main Alamosa Branch are Adams State University graduates," Jack-Goodwin added. The bank also employs full and part-time students.

Jack-Goodwin said the ASU Foundation Board strives to increase growth, focusing on raising more unrestricted funds. The majority of donations are earmarked for specific scholarships or programs. She also said the Foundation serves as a sounding board for the community and university regarding various issues.

"The Alumni Relations and Foundation staff do an incredible job building relationships and support for the university," she said, praising the work of Gaylene Horning, program assistant; Tammy Lopez, executive director of the Foundation; and Lori Laske, director of Alumni Relations.

First Southwest Bank, with branches in downtown Alamosa, Alamosa's Walmart, Center, Del Norte, and Saguache, are also large donors to the Creede Repertory Theatre, Cattails golf Course, the Alamosa Round-Up and Ski-Hi Stampede Rodeos, the Early Iron Festival, Boys and Girls Clubs of the San Luis Valley, SLV Pilots Association and the San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center's Bolos & Boots fundraiser.