Pioneer Bank is a COMMUNITY BANK which provides products and services that foster community well-being. Their investments in real estate development and local business growth translate into job creation, affordable housing, and increased public revenue. Pioneer Bank began its volunteer program, Team Pioneer, in 2017. Through the volunteer program, the Bank has donated resources to hundreds of community nonprofits, with its employees volunteering their own time in support of the community’s endeavors.
Pioneer Bank is proud of their partnership with the White House and is a Certifying Organization for the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Being approved as a Certifying Organization, Pioneer Bank is responsible for verifying community service hours and delivering the PRESIDENT’S VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD to honor its volunteers with the one of the highest honors- Presidential recognition.
Non-profit organizations now have the opportunity to contact the Bank to contribute financially or request volunteers. Many of the Team Pioneer team members are involved in a variety of community organizations. As a community bank, Pioneer is committed to making a positive difference by engaging in meaningful and effective programs that work to improve the quality of life in our own communities and neighborhoods.
Hours are measured over a 12-month period and awards are designated based on cumulative hours. The President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) recognizes, celebrates and inspires our volunteers to lead the charge. The awards are offered in multiple levels and are designed to recognize each milestone of a volunteer’s service achievement. Levels include bronze, silver, gold and the highest honor, the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for those who contribute more than 4,000 hours of service in their lifetime.
“On behalf of a grateful Nation, I thank you for your service to your fellow Americans and those most in need. Through your dedicated services, you have ensured the continuation of America’s unparalleled commitment to improving the lives of others,” the letter from President Trump states. “Over this past year, you have served as a model of the American spirit. Your many hours of service have strengthened the bonds of cooperation and trust that bring people together, while helping to address some of the greatest challenges of our times.”
Pioneer Bank is proud to announce that despite the limitations on volunteerism due to the pandemic, six employees have gone above and beyond in volunteering for their communities and have each earned a 2020 Presidential Volunteer Service Award at various levels.
Juliana Halvorson, Vice President/Marketing Director has earned the Presidential Award many times through her volunteer efforts, the first being in 2012. Juliana serves her community as often as she can, tracking over 250 volunteer hours in 2019 to earn a Silver Award. She currently serves as an Executive Board Member for Walker Aviation Museum, board member of the Conquistador Council – Boy Scouts of America, is President for MainStreet Roswell, and helps with many other non-profit organizations. She is a 2018 graduate of Leadership Ne w Mexico and continues to serve on the Curriculum Committee since her graduation. Juliana has received numerous awards and recognition for her commitment to service. The most recent being the Leadership Roswell Alumni Association Outstanding Leader Award in 2020. In 2018 she was awarded the United Way Community Volunteer Service Award as well as the Dare to Be Her Humanitarian Award, named Chaves County Person of Character in 2011, given the Excellence in Broadcasting award in 2011, and New Mexico Parks and Recreation Volunteer of the Year Award in 2011.
This is Leigh Humble’s second award, earning Silver in 2020 with 261 volunteer hours. Leigh is involved in an ongoing blanket-making project for the patients of the UNM Children’s Hospital in Albuquerque. She is a member of the Compass Church financial committee which addresses the financial needs and requests of the church, members and the community. She also loves volunteering at the Roswell Community Kitchen. Leigh volunteers for various projects, such as decorating Main Street for the holidays and helping kids select toys at the Toys for Tots giveaway. “It’s an amazing feeling I get from helping others,” stated Leigh. She is also a dependable volunteer when Team Pioneer cooks for the Roswell Homeless Coalition.
Adriann Ragsdale, In-House Counsel, volunteered 101 hours in Chaves County. Adriann worked with the Eastern New Mexico State Fair, United Way, Roswell Artist in Residence Foundation, Roswell Library Foundation and Chaves County Bar Association. “I really enjoy giving back to my community and encourage others to volunteer,” stated Adriann. She has earned the Bronze Award.
This is Kiel Hoffman’s third year at earning an award. He volunteered over 225 hours and earned the Bronze Award. Kiel is a Senior Vice President and the Market President of the Las Cruces Pioneer Bank branches and has been for the past 16 years. In total his banking career spans over four companies and 34 years. He is past Chairs of the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce, Mesilla Valley Economic Development, Mesilla Valley Hospice, the Conquistadores and Big Brothers Big Sisters. He is a former board member of the Bridge of Southern New Mexico and is currently Treasurer for the March of Dimes and Revolution 120. He also serves in the capacity of Military Base Commissioner (appointed by the Governor) for the State of New Mexico and sits on various committees including LCPS’s Count Me In, the Chambers Junior Leadership Program, Team WSMR, March of Dimes Executive Leadership Team and many other committees. In 2019 he also became a big brother under the Big Brother Big Sisters program. He is a graduate of University of New Mexico where he received a bachelor’s degree in business and accounting. In addition, He graduated from New Mexico Military Institute where he received an associates degree and a commission in the United States Army. He is married to Bethany Williams and is the proud father of two daughters, Sidney and Tori Hoffman and his step- son Drew.
Additionally, Team Pioneer member Eric Ehler, Asst. Vice President | Retail Banking Operations/Business Development/Information Security Officer has earned his second Bronze Award for volunteering over 140 hours.
2020 is the first year for Santiago Meza, Commercial Lender to earn his Bronze Award. Santiago dedicates his free time to the youth of Las Cruces. He volunteered over 350 hours. Santiago has been coaching both boys and girls soccer with young adults from 16-18. “I love coaching these kids because not only does soccer develop their skills on the field, but off the field as well,” says Santiago.“I want to be sure they are ready and prepared for their next level in life, which is college.” Santiago is also a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters. He has been mentoring the same Little for about 2 years now. “I would highly recommend becoming a big for anyone who may be interested in joining. It is a very awesome program that allows you to help shape our youth for tomorrow,” added Santiago. Lastly, he is also a member of the Ambassadors with the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce.
“The importance of volunteers should never be taken for granted,” stated Christopher G. Palmer, Pioneer Bank President/CEO. “Team Pioneer exemplifies the strong support and participation needed to help our communities and industry thrive. The gift of their time and talent is an important, necessary, and generous contribution. We are committed to continue to make a positive difference in the lives of those who work, bank, and invest at Pioneer Bank.”
Along with the honor of presidential recognition, recipients received a personalized certificate, an official pin, medallion and a congratulatory letter from the President of the United States.