FirstBank demonstrates community commitment and leadership

As the largest locally-owned bank in Colorado and a leading corporate citizen, FirstBank plays a crucial role in the economic health and civic vitality of our state. Whether providing innovative banking solutions to small businesses or helping 3rd graders understand basic financial principles, FirstBank professionals make a meaningful difference – especially when it comes to educating and inspiring our future leaders.

Since 2000, FirstBank has contributed $1.3 million to JA-Rocky Mountain, enabling thousands of students to gain vital money management, workforce readiness and entrepreneurial knowledge and skills.

In addition, 2,700 FirstBank professionals have contributed their time and expertise to helping teachers bring financial literacy to life for K-12 students. Employees teach traditional JA classroom programs, volunteer at JA Finance Park and assist with the JA Stock Market Challenge.  And when it comes to employees’ passion for JA, it doesn’t stop there; for several years, FirstBank professionals have participated in the JA Bowl-A-Thon. In 2015 alone, 126 employee teams raised $67,654 for JA by bowling alongside their FirstBank colleagues.

Jill Elwood, vice president at FirstBank, has served as the company’s JA volunteer coordinator for 12 years. For her exemplary service to JA, Elwood received the JA USA Bronze Leadership Award in 2015.

Cleve Wortham, FirstBank’s Denver market president, currently lends his experience and perspective to the JA board of directors. Wortham was also presented with the JA USA Bronze Leadership Award in 2012 for his outstanding leadership and support of JA.

Committed to ethical business practices, FirstBank helped JA-Rocky Mountain launch Capitalism with a Conscience, a program that offers opportunities for high school students to discuss business ethics with local business leaders. During a one-hour classroom session, executives help students learn how to create and apply personal strategies for ethical dilemmas.

“Our character and reputation is built upon the mountain of choices that we make throughout our lives,” said Wortham. “By discussing and debating real-world dilemmas that they might face in the workplace, students begin to find their moral compass. Our goal is to equip them with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to make the best decisions possible.”

In addition to JA, FirstBank supports several other non-profit organizations across the state. Among FirstBank’s largest community investment programs is its sponsorship of the Community First Foundation and Colorado Gives Day. Colorado Gives Day is an annual statewide movement to celebrate and increase philanthropy in Colorado through online giving. Since its inception in 2010, Colorado Gives Day has raised more than $111 million for nearly 2,000 Colorado nonprofits. JA-Rocky Mountain is a proud beneficiary of Colorado Gives Day donations and in 2015 received $70,000 through the one-day giving campaign.

FirstBank supports more than 100 nonprofit organizations in Colorado, including Boys and Girls Clubs, Habitat for Humanity, United Way, Volunteers of America and the Women’s Foundation of Colorado.

In addition to its community support, FirstBank offers financial aid to its employees and their children. Since 2000, employees and their children have received more than $4.8 million in educational support through the program.

“We are grateful for the tremendous contributions that FirstBank professionals make to JA, the youth we serve, and our entire community,” said JA President and CEO Robin Wise. “FirstBank is an extraordinary company and corporate citizen.”

FirstBank operates more than 120 locations in Colorado, Arizona and California. It is the largest locally-owned banking organization in Colorado, serving more than 700,000 customers. To learn more about FirstBank, visit