Walking Toward Better Business

April 18, 2003
| By Katy Rent |
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GRAND RAPIDS — The old saying goes, “If the shoe fits, wear it.” So when the shoe came in the form of the March of Dimes, Standard Federal Bank put it on.

Both literally and figuratively.

This Saturday, April 26, hundreds of community members and Standard Federal employees will put on their walking shoes and join forces to combat the problem of premature birth — March of Dimes’ current focus — when the 33rd annual WalkAmerica takes off from Rosa Parks Circle.

Leading the pack will be Dan Terpsma, Standard Federal’s group senior vice president in charge of West Michigan, with his team from across the state.

“We asked that every branch at least have a representative,” said Terpsma. “Right now we have over 20 employees and I am sure that by the time we get to the walk we will have over 40 or 50 walking.”

Terpsma credits the high level of involvement to the validity of March of Dimes. Terpsma himself was recruited by Cathy Gee, executive director of West Michigan March of Dimes, when the local chapter was looking for a corporate sponsor.

Standard Federal thought the organization was a good fit with its corporate mission and structure and decided to lend its support, its name and its people.

At the branch locations, Terpsma said the bank sells stuffed animals and candy that are March of Dimes oriented, with proceeds going to the March of Dimes.

All of these offerings and a chance to raise the public’s awareness and raise funds for WalkAmerica and March of Dimes, Terpsma said, play into what he sees as the bank’s responsibility to the community.

“I think it is more of an obligation in that banks especially reflect the community in which we serve and operate. So as the community grows and does better, a bank grows with the community, and therefore we like to invest in that community,” said Terpsma.

He added that supporting causes like the March of Dimes enhances the greater Grand Rapids area and makes it more attractive as a business community, which in turn helps the community grow — and that helps the bank.

Terpsma also feels that events such as a walk are good for camaraderie within a business.

“Let’s say we have 15 people from the bank walking. It brings people in from retail, commercial banking, wealth management — so all of our lines of business come together. We do something as families and we do something that is non-banking related, and we feel that we are helping the community, together. I think we get a direct benefit out of that,” said Terpsma.           

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