Alamo resident Shirley Nelson, Founder/CEO of Summit Bank will receive John F. Kennedy University's Kennedy Laureate Award November 2 at the Blackhawk Auto Museum. JFK University continues its tradition of lifelong learning and community service through the award. The award is bestowed on individuals who embody these ideas through excellence in their respective fields and service to others and their community.
The dinner is also a fundraising event with proceeds in excess of $150,000 used to fund educational scholarships for JFK University veteran and low-income students.
Growing up poor in Tennessee, Nelson began her banking career
as a teller. In 1979 she realized there
was a “glass ceiling” for women in banking, so she decided to start her own
bank in spite of the fact that she didn’t come from a rich family or have a
college degree. Summit Bank was founded
in 1982 and has been consistently profitable since its second month of
Nelson believes in giving back. She started the Summit Bank Foundation, which
produces and sponsors a program called the ABC’s of Financial Literacy for K-12
students in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.
The program promotes financial responsibility and the application of
math skills to everyday money matters in a fun and educational environment.
Students learn the basics including writing checks and balancing a checkbook,
credit card use and the difference between needs versus wants. The program is provided free of charge to teachers. The program reaches approximately 25,000
students each year. In addition to this
program, the Foundation has also given hundreds of thousands of dollars to
other East Bay individuals and organizations in need.
The University will also honor two additional awardees at the
event including The Honorable Thelton Henderson, US District Court Judge, and Jonathan
Moscone, Artistic Director of California Shakespeare Theater. The awards program will include dinner and a tour
of the auto collection, silent and live auctions, comments from the award
recipients and a special preview of JFK University’s 50th