Blog   Tagged ‘volunteer’

VTO takes Anthony Rutledge back in time

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For one associate, UMB’s volunteer time off (VTO) program* recently reconnected him to his past.

Twenty years ago, UMB associate Anthony Rutledge was a third grade student at Meadow Lane Elementary School. His class participated in the School of Economics, which provides students with a hands-on experience focused on implementing real economic principles. Students create their own business—from determining operating expenses to selling goods and managing money.

As a student, Anthony spent weeks preparing for School of Economics and when the big day came, he worked as an accountant. Through helping “business owners” track money, pay off loan debt and pay rent, Anthony was hooked.

Fast forward to the present, and Anthony, a customer relationship manager for UMB, found himself back at School of Economics—this time, as a volunteer.

THEN                                                         NOW

Anthony Rutledge as a student attending the School of EconomicsAnthony Rutledge volunteering in 2016








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“I wanted to give back to something that I enjoyed as a student. Most kids do not understand why they have to do something, and showing how what they’ve learned translates into how I, and the other UMB volunteers, make our living is very rewarding,” Anthony explains.

The VTO program empowers many to give back to organizations that have helped shape them. According to Anthony, “most of us would not have the opportunities we’ve had, or be where we are today, if someone hadn’t volunteered to help us in one way or another.”

*All full-time UMB associates (and part-time associates who work at least 20-hours per week) receive two paid days each year to volunteer at qualifying organizations of his or her choice. Learn more about our community involvement and associate benefits.


When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.

Jen Houston joined UMB in 2015 as community relations manager. In her role, she works to create volunteer opportunities and to be a resource for associates looking to get involved in their communities. Jen holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from the University of Missouri – Columbia. She also holds a Master of Business Administration degree, with an emphasis in leading and managing people, from the University of Missouri – Kansas City, in addition to completing the Multimedia Studies Certificate Program at the Kansas City Art Institute.

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Community Partnerships: The key to your diversity and inclusion plan

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So your company has created and implemented a comprehensive diversity and inclusion plan. Now what? A key component of your company’s plan is choosing community partners. These partners provide an expertise and insight on how your company can succeed from a diversity and inclusion perspective.

Diversity Partners

At UMB, we choose organizations and groups that have been identified through our diversity council as major contributors to our strategy. Our goal is to have these organizations enhance our diversity and inclusion strategy in four ways:

  1. Talent acquisition and development – We build a stronger company by hiring and retaining talented, high-performing associates with diverse backgrounds.
  1. Associate engagement – We demonstrate inclusiveness by ensuring each of our associates has a voice and opportunities to share ideas.
  1. Corporate community involvement and volunteerism – Our associates regularly volunteer at the organizations who are our collaborative partners.
  1. Regional cohesiveness – We try to find organizations that have outreach in multiple cities across our footprint (Black MBA Association in Kansas City and St. Louis, Urban Financial Services Coalition in Kansas City, St. Louis and Omaha). But we also will work with independent organizations (The Regional Business Council of St. Louis).

So how do both the company and the community organization benefit from these partnerships?

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Within the company, community partnerships help make associates aware of diversity. Additionally, they help associates stay educated about their community. Some organizations even offer training programs for associates, like a Lunch and Learn, so they can get a better understanding about the community organization and the work they do. For example, UMB works with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Greater Kansas City and they provide our associates with training about how to work with Hispanic businesses.

The company benefits externally from these partnerships by helping us connect with our community. They help us connect with people, resources and other businesses. They help share our vision, mission and values in the diverse communities that we serve.

Community organizations benefit from these partnerships depending on the company. At UMB, we provide them with financial education programs. We also have company officers who serve on boards for the organizations. And we encourage our associates to volunteer for their various programs.

Ultimately it’s important for both the company and the organization to feel like the partnership is bringing some value to them. Both parties should be involved, creating mutually agreed upon activities and goals. Representatives from both organizations should meet regularly to discuss whether or not the partnership is on track. In fact, at UMB we require our collaborative partners to submit an annual report, as well as a scorecard that gives information about their website traffic, how many scholarships they gave out and the amount (if applicable), how many programs they organized during the year, etc.

With the help of these community partners, your company’s comprehensive diversity and inclusion plan will be complete. With your unique combined perspectives, you can be more competitive and create stronger connections within your markets.


When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.

UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.

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The best way to celebrate turning 100? Giving back.

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How do you normally celebrate a big anniversary or milestone birthday? I would guess most people go to a nice restaurant for dinner or go on vacation. Or, maybe splurge on an expensive gift for yourself or your significant other. Well at UMB, we decided to celebrate our 100-year anniversary with a few million of our closest friends.

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UMB has always stressed one thing above everything else – dedication to our communities. We currently touch 19 states throughout the United States with a physical presence for a wide variety of financial services, and we wanted to celebrate 100 years with the people who have supported us.

At the beginning of our milestone anniversary year, we challenged all of our associates to join together and give back. We asked 500 associates throughout our footprint to volunteer 5,000 total hours to organizations in their communities in 2013. That’s a pretty hefty ask, don’t you think? Our associates didn’t even blink. We still have a few more days left on our challenge, and our associates have already volunteered more than 31,700 hours with more than 1,000 organizations. More than six times the original goal. Now that’s dedication to the community!

But our associates still didn’t think that was enough. After all, turning 100 is a really big deal. So, more than 220 associates in St. Louis, Denver and Kansas City organized three separate days dedicated entirely to volunteerism. Approximately 50 St. Louis associates planted more than 40 trees at a Forest Park playground. Additionally, 70 associates in Denver built storage cabinets, painted rooms and even weeded overgrown flowerbeds for Urban Peak, an agency that offers services to young people struggling with poverty and homelessness. And in our hometown, associates helped spread the support across eight locations in Kansas City by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, American Royal, Della Lamb, and much more. We also spent a day uplifting veterans at the Kansas City Stand Down event in November.

I encourage you to join us in supporting your community through organizations you are passionate about! Cheers to another 100 years!


Ms. Vaughn West is the Vice President of Community Relations at UMB in Kansas City, Mo. In this role, she is responsible for managing corporate community outreach, associate volunteerism, charitable giving and the UMB Big Bash concert for a cause. She joined UMB in 2008. She earned a BA in Communications from University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. She also has a certificate of business proficiency from the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain.  She has served on many community boards and volunteer councils, including her current position as vice-president of United Way’s Corporate Volunteer Council. 

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