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Citizens Bank presents “Good Citizens” awards to NH Small Business Development Center and PlusTime NH

Awards presented at Citizens Bank’s 14th annual Community Partners Celebration

Manchester, N.H.    (March 30, 2010) - Citizens Bank recognized Mary Collins, state director of the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center, and Cynthia Billings, executive director of PlusTime NH, with “Good Citizens” Awards at the bank’s 14th annual community partners celebration held Tuesday at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord. The bank presents its “Good Citizens” Award to individuals and organizations for their leadership, vision and outstanding commitment to the state of New Hampshire.

In her remarks to more than 100 community leaders who attended the reception, Cathy Schmidt, President of Citizens Bank, New Hampshire said, “Citizens Bank is delighted to host this celebration each year to recognize and acknowledge all of the great work accomplished by so many New Hampshire community organizations.”

Mary Ellen Jackson, executive director of the New Hampshire Center for Non-Profits and recipient of one of last year’s “Good Citizens” awards, spoke to the group about the state of nonprofits in New Hampshire.

“As a group, New Hampshire nonprofits are a powerful force in New Hampshire’s economy and an integral part of life in New Hampshire,” said Jackson. “With demand for services up and donations down, nonprofits must continue to find creative and strategic ways to reinvent themselves while at the same time continuing to serve their communities. By collaborating with other nonprofits on their programs and services, cutting costs, leveraging their board members and tapping into a younger generation of volunteers, New Hampshire nonprofits have positioned themselves well for the future.”

Schmidt presented the first “Good Citizens” Award to Mary Collins for her success in leading an organization that has provided support and guidance to entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout the state for more than 25 years. Collins was also credited for being a strong advocate for small business in New Hampshire, both at the state and national level. From its four regional centers and several satellite locations across the state, as well as an e-Learning program, the organization provides management counseling and educational programs to 3,000 business owners in approximately 200 New Hampshire communities each year. 

“In a state like New Hampshire that is so dependent on small businesses to keep its economy strong, and at a time when the economic environment is placing increased pressure on small business owners, the Small Business Development Center is  successfully supporting this important business sector. We are proud to commend Mary and her team for their dedication and efforts,” said Schmidt.

Schmidt presented the second “Good Citizens” honor to Cynthia Billings for helping communities throughout the state identify the needs of youths and the resources to develop and sustain after-school programs. From its humble beginnings 20 years ago, the agency has experienced steady growth and has established itself as a leader by offering direct support to after-school programs. Currently the organization is providing training, financial and human resources to 112 after-school programs serving more than 25,000 youths in New Hampshire. Over the past decade, the organization has secured more than $10 million in resources for local after-school programs by developing innovative grant-making and volunteer programs. 
“We are pleased to be able to recognize and salute the great work and commitment of these two leaders and their organizations,” said Kathleen Reardon, Senior Vice President and Director of Community Relations and Public Affairs for Citizens Bank. “We look forward to continuing to work together to address some of the most important issues facing the residents of New Hampshire.”

Schmidt said she and her colleagues at Citizens Bank understand the importance of maintaining a strong community commitment. “We know that the success of our business is tied to the strength of our communities, and as we continue to grow as a company our commitment to our core values is as strong as ever,” she said.
“We will continue to reinvest in our communities, and focus our giving on some of the most critical issues facing the state including small business development and innovative responses to basic human needs.”

About Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank is a division of RBS Citizens, N.A., operating its seven-state branch  network in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York,  Rhode Island and Vermont.  It has 77 branches and 155 ATMs in New Hampshire.
RBS Citizens, N.A. is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $148 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, R.I. 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).