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Union Bank Named Banking and Financial Institution of the Year during GLAAACC’S 22ND Annual Economic Awards Dinner

GLAACCC Chair Angela Gibson and UB Todd Hollander photo

GLAACCC Chair Angela Gibson and UB Todd Hollander photo

Union Bank was recently honored by the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce (GLAAACC) with the Banking and Financial Institution of the Year award.  The award was presented to Union Bank Managing Director Todd Hollander, who heads the bank’s Business Banking Group, during GLAAACC’s 22nd Annual Economic Awards Dinner.  The award recognizes the banking institution that has shown the highest level of responsiveness to the African American and small business community.

The GLAAACC’s 22nd Annual Economic Awards Dinner, held at the JW Marriott at L.A. Live, honored the accomplishments of individuals, small businesses and corporations who are working for the greater good of African American businesses.  U.S. Small Business Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet delivered the keynote address

“Union Bank is humbled to be the recipient of such a prestigious award,” said Hollander.  “We are committed to the success of diverse business communities throughout our geographies, including in and around Los Angeles, and we are committed to the needs of business owners who are helping drive California’s economy.”

“Who Will Take the Challenge?”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Every now and then God challenges individuals, institutions, churches, communities and nations to take a Big Step. The baby step will not do the job; only the Big Step will appropriately address the issue. For Martin Luther King Jr., other leaders, Black Churches and many Jewish Synagogues it was a Big Step to take on the movement of Civil Rights in America. The movement itself challenged and changed the world. I submit that even today God is challenging somebody – a whole lot of somebodies to take a Big Step. He is calling us to, “Prove Him” … if He doesn’t open the windows of heaven and pour out blessings we can’t contain”… Uh, uh, I just lost somebody right there, I just know it!

But the “Brother’s Keeper Mission Project,” which God has entrusted to me and the Beautiful Gate Church in Ghana Africa, under the leadership of Pastor Richard Yeboah, believe as Scriptures says, “That we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world” {Matt: 5-13}. We believe that God does not extend his generosity to us, you and me, with the intent that we would hoard blessings for our sole benefit; as we are conduits and not repositories of His blessings. What does it matter if you get involved or not? It matters greatly – it matters to your character as a “Christian.” Yes, it’s true that God has other ways to accomplish His objectives. He has other people He can use. He isn’t frustrated or restrained because you and I may be indifferent. But when we have been called “for such a time as this,” how tragic if we are not there to stand in that hour.  Numerous needs and issues surround us. They summon us to stand up and be counted. Numerous jobs around us need to be done. Numerous ministries need to be started. While we will not be able to respond to all of them, the solution is certainly not to respond to any of them! What seems crazy to most of us I know is to give anything when we are so deeply in debt! We can’t pay our own bills. We owe everybody and their brother and everybody and their brother is calling us.  So why would God require this at this time? Because this is the Challenge of Faith!

Can I tell you a story? Paul was traveling around and was raising a collection for the church in Jerusalem who was experiencing extreme suffering and persecution. The churches in Macedonia were also going through extreme poverty, but Paul was amazed with what they did when they heard of the needs in Jerusalem. “We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.” {2 Corin. 8:1-5). When these saints heard of the need of their brothers, two things happened in their hearts. First, they felt a severe test of affliction, because they had such difficulty imagining giving when they themselves were in so much need. But secondly, they felt an abundance of joy, because here was an opportunity for them to give and reflect on the generosity of God. I tell you when God calls us to give it will be both the hardest thing in the world and the easiest thing to do. It will always be hard because it means we will have to sacrifice and do without something. However, it will also be easy because ultimately we are giving to the One who has given us everything. In verse 3, we see they gave according to their means, but also went beyond their means. They didn’t just give what they could afford; they gave to the point where it truly cost them something. Verse 4 says they were begging earnestly for the favor in taking part in the relief of the saints. This wasn’t what Paul expected. They knew they were poor, but they were begging to give generously. They wanted to show how much they loved them and how much Jesus had given to them. Why did they act this way, so utterly desperate to give?  Because giving to the point where we actually do without, where it hurts, that’s the Cross. Giving to the point where we’re actually sacrificing something, that’s the Cross. The righteous; the folks who are doing the will of God are those who take care of the poor, the widow, the child, and the afflicted. We are to care for the least of these simply out of obedience to God’s Word and the Spirit living inside of us. Once a true need arises, it is a part of every believer’s responsibility to help. And I want you to know, Poverty does not exempt a believer from giving. As revealed by the poor widow who gave her two “insignificant” coins.

Listen; when we give, we honor God, we advance His Kingdom, we demonstrate faith in His promises, we expose ourselves to His blessings, and the Lord is given the wonderful opportunity of proving His power to provide for His people. But when God is denied this opportunity, then the child of God has forfeited a great blessing and has entered into a state of unrepentant sin before the Lord. Don’t underestimate the importance of Jesus “love-your-neighbor” addition from Jesus. Support “Brother’s Keeper Mission Project… It matters!  We are blessed to be a blessing to others; we are privileged to serve others. Jesus said, that’s were true wisdom lies – in helping those in need.  So let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” In (Mark 8:2) Jesus said, “I have compassion on these people, they—have nothing to eat.” The persistent challenge poverty presents to Christ’s followers is to move beyond speaking the truth about love, compassion, and concern, to living the truth in deeds of compassion and acts of kindness. We must find concrete ways to relieve the burdens of the poor and needy. We must see them as people with whom we are all one in God. For we cannot truly “praise God from whom all blessings flow” and ignore the reality of a world of human suffering and misery. God’s blessings must flow through us in ways that will make a difference in the life of those in need. As a covenant people, we not only share the gospel but our lives as well. For the Gospel, is the power of Christ that empowers us to live not for ourselves, but to live first for Christ and then for others. We do this by employing our gifts and resources for the need of others. Support “Brother’s Keeper Mission Project” by going to http://www.gofundme.com/99630w and making a donation or send a check payable to: Brother’s Keeper Mission Project, 390 West 5th Street, #408, San Bernardino, CA 92402. If you would like to be a part of “Brother’s Keeper Mission Project, please call (909) 649-8148 or you may send a message via email to colemanlou@hotmail.com.  Our mission is to glorify God by serving others! This is our highest motivator and all-encompassing purpose. Planting, strengthening and partnering with churches around the world as we minister to human need.

AKA Debutantes Nubian Pearls of Distinction Presented to Society

L/R Back Row Debutantes: Jordan Brown, Diamond Tabron, Rachel Harris, Sabrina Cook, Alexis Hoxie, Lakaya Hodge, Klarke Scott Cierra Gilmore,, Sydni McKinley-Parson, Makayla Marshall.  L/R Front Row Escorts: Andrew Daniels, Kyron Frazier, Erin Owens, Nathaniel Byron, Donjae Owens, Antonio Crosby, Cody Tucker, Jordan Underwood, Jhaen Haynes, and Terrance Robinson.

L/R Back Row Debutantes: Jordan Brown, Diamond Tabron, Rachel Harris, Sabrina Cook, Alexis Hoxie, Lakaya Hodge, Klarke Scott Cierra Gilmore,, Sydni McKinley-Parson, Makayla Marshall. L/R Front Row Escorts: Andrew Daniels, Kyron Frazier, Erin Owens, Nathaniel Byron, Donjae Owens, Antonio Crosby, Cody Tucker, Jordan Underwood, Jhaen Haynes, and Terrance Robinson.

ONTARIO, CA- The 2015 AKA Debutantes Nubian Pearls of Distinction of Eta Nu Omega Chapter in partnership with the Inland Ivy Foundation were presented to society in a formal presentation on Saturday, April 4, at the Double Tree Hotel, Ontario California.  The Debutantes under the training of Ms. Nancy Ross, Chairman and Mrs. Elizabeth Macon, Co-Chairman of the Debutante program and committee experienced nine (9) months of various activities, workshops and programs to prepare them for social grace, community service, high scholastic achievement, foster cultural awareness and training to dance formally.  The Debutante Ball is a culmination of the debutante program.  Congratulations to the 2014/2015 AKA Eta Nu Omega Chapter Debutantes!