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Press Release

ABA Foundation Posthumously Honors Virginia Banker with Distinguished Service Award

Elizabeth “Beth” Prever, a Virginia banker who died earlier this year after a courageous fight with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS, has been named the ABA Foundation’s 2017 George Bailey Distinguished Service Award winner. Prever, worked at TowneBank in Suffolk, Va., as senior vice president of marketing and community relations where she spent 11 years building an impressive volunteer program at the bank. She helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in the fight against ALS before she herself was diagnosed with the rare disease. Prever will be honored posthumously at ABA’s Annual Convention in Chicago Oct. 17.
Each year, the George Bailey Distinguished Service Award is given to a non-CEO bank employee who demonstrates outstanding initiative, commitment to their customers and community, and inspires others.
Thanks to Prever’s initiative, TowneBank undertook a number of community service projects that ranged from providing the local homeless with warm gloves and hats during frigid winters to working with the Roc Solid Foundation to build playsets for children with cancer. She also coordinated TowneBank’s participation with the Salvation Army Depot, which annually provides holiday gifts, children’s clothing, and stockings to those in need.  Nearly 80 Towne volunteers help each year, assisting with greeting and shopping activities, as well as assembling and delivering bikes for distribution. The diversity of volunteer activities, as well as the level of staff participation, increased exponentially under her leadership. 
"Serving others and enriching the lives of those in our community represents the foundation of all that we do at TowneBank,” said Bob Aston, TowneBank chairman and CEO. “No one embodied those values more than Beth. She played an enormous role in all that we were able to accomplish and her work has been, and will continue to be, an inspiration to us.”
Her most passionate project was fundraising for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, through the Virginia Beach ALS Walk. TowneBank and Prever were approached nine years ago by a local businessman whose son was suffering from ALS. He asked if the bank could provide volunteer support for the walk. Prever got to work and over the years, her efforts raised approximately $400,000 for the cause and helped transform it into the largest ALS walk in the country with significant participation from TowneBank employees. Sadly, in 2016, Beth received her own ALS diagnosis and passed away in August of 2017.
“We were saddened to hear of Beth’s passing” said Rob Nichols, ABA president and CEO. “She represented the very best of our industry. Her relentless effort to improve the lives of those around her will not be forgotten. This award is one way to ensure we remember her remarkable spirit.”
To honor Prever and the cause she cared about most, ABA has made a donation to the ALS Association in her name. The ABA Foundation honors six banks annually for their commitment to their communities. This is the only award given to an individual. 
For a full list of the honorable mentions, visit aba.com/awards.


About the American Bankers Association

The American Bankers Association is the voice of the nation’s $18 trillion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional and large banks. Together, America’s banks employ more than 2 million men and women, safeguard nearly $14 trillion in deposits and extend more than $10 trillion in loans.

About the ABA Foundation

Through its leadership, partnerships, and national programs, ABA’s Community Engagement Foundation (dba ABA Foundation), a 501(c)3, helps bankers provide financial education to individuals at every age, elevate issues around affordable housing and community development, and achieve corporate social responsibility objectives to improve the well-being of their customers and their communities.

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