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Hispanic Association of Contractors & Enterprises named Champion in Action in Philadelphia for its work in revitalizing the Latino commercial district

Organization receives $25,000 grant from Citizens Bank and other benefits

PHILADELPHIA (January 20, 2011) - Citizens Bank and its partners announced today that the Hispanic Association of Contractors and Enterprises is the latest nonprofit to be named a Champion in Action®.

HACE received the Champion in Action award for its programs that have redeveloped blighted and vacant land and buildings in North Philadelphia into affordable housing for families, spurring job creation, increasing home ownership and broadening access to social services. As a Champion in Action, HACE will receive a $25,000 grant from the Citizens Bank Foundation, media coverage and extensive promotional and volunteer support over the next three months.

Champions in Action is an innovative program that provides various forms of support for small nonprofit organizations in recognition of their contributions to communities throughout the five-county Philadelphia area. Since the program’s inception in 2003, 28 Champions have been selected, including today’s announced recipient.

“Citizens Bank is honored to recognize HACE as our latest Champion in Action,” said Daniel K. Fitzpatrick, Citizens Bank President and CEO for Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. “HACE was founded in 1982 to prevent the closing of a shopping center in the Latino commercial district in North Philadelphia and has expanded its mission over the years, developing commercial and affordable housing projects valued at more than $85 million.”

“NBC 10 is pleased to be able to recognize the vital work done every day by HACE,” NBC 10 President and General Manager Dennis Bianchi said. "The Champion in Action program allows us to shine the spotlight on nonprofits that often toil in anonymity. HACE may not be well known to the public at large, but its work in the Latino community has empowered hundreds of families with projects such as the Caribe Development Zone, which created commercial and residential development opportunities.”

“HACE’s accomplishments include developing nearly 60,000 square feet of retail and office space, rehabilitating 150 vacant properties and producing 429 units of affordable housing,” said Greg Osberg, CEO and Publisher at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and philly.com. “Those are concrete examples of a nonprofit that works and is clearly making a difference in our community.”

“The community approach HACE uses goes beyond mere redevelopment,” said Martin Molloy, CEO of Greater Philadelphia Cares. “HACE’s Main Street Program, for example, ties Latino arts and culture into the redevelopment initiatives that support small businesses while improving overall quality of life.”

Hispanic Association of Contractors and Enterprises President Guillermo Salas Jr. and his staff were surprised today during a taping of the 10! Show on NBC 10. As a Champion in Action, the organization will receive: 

• A $25,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from the Citizens Bank Foundation.
• Media coverage from NBC 10, including public service announcements and profiles.
• Advertising space in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and on Philly.com to promote both the program and the organization.
• Volunteer support from Citizens Bank, NBC 10 and Greater Philadelphia Cares.
• Extensive public relations support.
• Promotional support, highlighting the Champion in Action in all Citizens Bank branches.
• Exposure on the websites of Citizens Bank, NBC 10 and Philly.com.
• Consulting and implementation services, provided by Greater Philadelphia Cares, to leverage volunteer support that enhances impact.

About Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania
Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania is a state-chartered bank with dual headquarters in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. It has 385 branches and 959 ATMs throughout Pennsylvania. It also operates 15 retail branches and 104 ATMs in southern New Jersey and a commercial loan office in Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $136 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, R.I.

Citizens Financial Group, through its subsidiaries, has more than 1,500 branches, approximately 3,800 ATMs and approximately 22,600 employees. CFG’s two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 12-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. CFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in about 40 states. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc).  

About NBC 10
NBC 10, one of 10 Owned & Operated NBC television stations, is located in Bala Cynwyd, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia. Millions of viewers throughout Greater Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley, South Jersey and Delaware turn to NBC 10 every day for the most up-to-date news, weather, sports, consumer, health and traffic reports. Viewers also tune in daily to watch “The 10! Show,” an upbeat, one-hour lifestyle and entertainment show featuring local, national and internationally known celebrities. The program airs Monday through Friday at 11 a.m. Recognized as the No. 1 Web site (www.nbcphiladelphia.com) in the top 50 markets, NBCphiladelphia.com received the prestigious National Edward R. Murrow Award.

About Philadelphia Media Network Inc.
Philadelphia Media Network Inc. is the leading media company in the Philadelphia region.  PMN is the owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, philly.com, related online products and several community newspapers. Philly.com is the region’s No. 1 local media Web site, with more than 4.5 million unique visitors each month. Together with The Inquirer, the region’s most-read daily newspaper, and the Daily News, the No. 1 tab newspaper in the region, Philadelphia Media Network Inc. reaches almost 2.5 million unduplicated people each week.

About Greater Philadelphia Cares
An award-winning nonprofit, Greater Philadelphia Cares is committed to empowering individuals to realize their ability to contribute to the community in meaningful ways. By providing a variety of flexible, tangible volunteer opportunities, Greater Philadelphia Cares is continuously enhancing the ability for volunteers to serve the community.