Deborah Bateman is much more than the Vice Chairman for the National Bank of Arizona; she is a renowned activist and fervent community leader. She has professionally shattered glass ceilings in her career through her role and as a catalyst to Zion Bank's philanthropic efforts in many states. Personally she has been a driving force for good in the Phoenix community and in many others, parlaying her professional influence to make a positive difference whenever and wherever possible. Deborah’s authenticity infuses power into everything she becomes involved with. Deborah’s support of many emerging female professionals, as well as, her unwavering dedication to developing meaningful programs through the National Bank of Arizona continue to build her legacy. And now she is dedicated to another amazing resource through Risk Blossoming, her newest endeavor, and this is one where her adventurous spirit and storytelling acumen is pollinating inspiration everywhere she travels. Learn more about Deborah Bateman.....
How do you describe what you do:
For the past 47 years, I have been a banker. I believe that I was drawn to this career because of the community bankers who were leaders in our community. I watched these men actively supporting causes and helping others. And, even though these bankers were men, I could envision myself leading in my community, helping those less fortunate, and making my community a better place for all. I believe my core values of altruism and community service led me to a banking and financial services career.
What is the mission for your businesses’ giving:
National Bank of Arizona® (NB|AZ®) is the community bank with which I have always wanted to be aligned. Our core values include being Arizona business savvy and being a part of our community. Philanthropy has been a part of the bank’s DNA since it was founded in 1984 and it is what attracted me to NB|AZ.
Our mission is to give and make a difference locally. When you look at our giving, you will see generosity with causes related to education, children, health and social services. Our employees drive the giving and it is as varied and diverse as our employee base and geographic footprint.
How do you give back to society through your business:
There are numerous ways that NB|AZ gives back. Again, it is a part of who we are. We have a Nonprofit Banking division that provides specialized products, services, and relationship management to the thousands of Arizona nonprofits that we serve. We appropriate sponsorship and donation dollars to support the community organizations that the Bank Executives and Officers are involved with, and we have NB|AZ Charities that helps to organize and facilitate community volunteer opportunities and an annual employee-driven grant process.
As vice chairman, many of my responsibilities are focused on supporting the bank’s philanthropic efforts in our communities.
Charity or Charities of choice:
As a second-generation Arizonan, I am very proud of my state and my community. Throughout my career, I have served on more than 30 nonprofit boards. Today, I find myself most engaged with the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute and the Arizona Historical Society.
Why have you supported these causes:
I personally support the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute and the Arizona Historical Society because of their missions and the legacies that they support. I believe these initiatives are important to carry forward to future generations.
Favorite business based on their giving efforts and why:
While I am unable to pick a favorite business based on their giving efforts, I do tend to favor those companies and brands that practice strategic philanthropy and give back and support specific causes. I will say that Amazon Prime is worth noting because they make it so easy to give. I pick a local charity (Gabriel’s Angels) and a small percentage of everything I buy goes to one of my favorite local community organizations!
Who influenced your spirit of giving and how:
Many years ago, Jo Wilson was one of my teachers in high school. Jo’s Father was the area President of the Valley National Bank in Mesa, Arizona. He was one of the men that I looked up to and aspired to be like. Jo must have seen something in me, as she reached out and included me and got me involved in local events. I would go with her and support her when she taught at the local YMCA, or help her to create and arrange centerpieces for a local gala or event. She opened the door and showed me how I could do things to make a difference.
Today, Jo is my wonderful friend. Like her father, she has been an incredible community leader and is an icon in the East Valley. Her engagement, accomplishments, awards, and recognition continue to inspire others and make a difference.
How do you believe fashion can aid philanthropy:
It’s only right that smart designers and socially-conscious fashion retailers do whatever they can to ensure that their target audience knows HOW they give back and HOW they make a difference.
Whether it’s TOMS Shoes’ “One for One” campaign or Donna Karan’s “Urban Zen Foundation” or Lafayette 148 New York’s “Promise Project,” businesses that create greater visibility – by giving back or making a difference in their community – tend to be more profitable, attracting new clients and creating and retaining loyal customers.
What is your biggest philanthropic accomplishment:
My biggest philanthropic accomplishment has been to be a local philanthropic catalyst. By that I mean to engage and include others and enable them to experience the joy of giving. That alone tops everything else that I have done. It is one of the reasons that I founded NB|AZ Charities. It allows our employees to engage, collectively give and participate in philanthropic events.
After we complete our annual NB|AZ Charities grant process, every check is hand delivered to the respective Charity’s Board of Directors. It fills me with such great joy to know that each employee that delivers a check will experience that incredible feeling of giving, and knowing that they have done something that will make a difference.
The reason that it thrills me to have our employees involved with giving the checks is because I know that feeling that giving creates! It fills your heart, and yet it is also addictive and contagious. It is my hope that all our employees involved will then want to continue to replicate that feeling and share the opportunity of giving with others.
Favorite philanthropic quote:
"Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared."
Learn more about National Bank of Arizona's non-profit banking here
Learn more about Risk Blossoming here
Follow Deborah: here here here
Folllow Risk Blossoming: here
Photo Credit: Marion Rhoades Photography