LSO Sponsor Spotlight: West Gate Bank
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May 3, 2021
LSO Sponsor Spotlight
Concert Sponsor: West Gate Bank
West Gate Bank was founded in 1968, and has grown over the past 50 years to seven branches in Lincoln and three branches in Omaha. Locally owned by Chairman, President, and CEO Carl Sjulin and his family, West Gate Bank has over 220 employees that serve the Lincoln and Omaha communities.
Community banking has been West Gate’s focus, devoting all of their resources to the betterment of their customers, employees, and the communities in which they serve. A central tenet of their commitment is to maintain a safe and strong bank that demonstrates excellence in all facets of banking while exemplifying the highest level of integrity and character.
As a locally-owned community bank, giving back to the communities they serve is an important part of the West Gate Bank mission. West Gate Bank deposits are 100% reinvested into the community, and West Gate is represented on over 100 local nonprofit boards and in charities and other philanthropic activities across the eastern part of the state. Their commitment to giving back to the community has earned them a number of awards including the Federal Home Loan Bank Community Leader Award and the Better Business Bureau Integrity Award.
“We strongly believe in Omaha and Lincoln and are committed to helping them grow,” says Kirby Reardon, Assistant Vice President with West Gate Bank and President of LSO’s Board of Directors. “Through charitable donations, West Gate Bank provides sponsorship and support to numerous community organizations including Food Bank of Lincoln, Project Harmony, Habitat for Humanity of Lincoln, the People's City Mission, the Lincoln Community Foundation’s ‘Give to Lincoln Day’, and the Willard Community Center.”
In 2019, West Gate Bank reached 100% employee participation in the Lincoln United Way campaign for the 12th consecutive year. Employees also participate in the Meals on Wheels program, Junior Achievement, Better Business Bureau "Shred Day", and many other organizations.
West Gate Bank has been a corporate sponsor with LSO since 2017. “I started on the board back in 2016 and have served as the Treasurer and now as the President,” says Reardon. “It has been a great organization to work with and one I believe is a pillar in the Lincoln community.”
Since the beginning of this partnership, West Gate has focused on sponsoring LSO’s family concerts, and in the past, has worked with Runza to provide free mini runzas and cookies to the families that attend the concert they sponsor.
“I think the arts and music are crucial to providing the community with different opportunities based on personal preference. Lincoln and Nebraska as a whole have this national stigma of just being centered around the University sports, but when you peel back that layer, we have a thriving arts and music scene in both Lincoln and Omaha,” says Reardon. “In the words of one of my fellow board members Dr. Lance Nielsen, once things return to some normalcy, there will be a new cultural ‘renaissance’ around the world.”
Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra is proud to partner with West Gate Bank and is grateful for their continued support as corporate sponsors. “What Lincoln’s Symphony has done is allow anyone who’s interested to participate,” says Reardon. “By exposing the symphony to people who wouldn’t necessarily think that it’s for them, LSO has made it a vibrant experience that is open to everyone.”