THE WOODLANDS, Texas, Feb. 4, 2021 — Woodforest National Bank® (Woodforest) is selected as a finalist in the Societal & Community Impact Innovation category for the 2020 BAI Global Innovation Awards, a prestigious awards program recognizing financial services organizations that have gone beyond the conventional to bring creative ideas to life, especially during a time of unprecedented change.
The award finalists represent the most distinctive, impactful solutions in the global financial services industry, and Woodforest was selected from hundreds of nominations submitted for its Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund which will help create over 1,800 jobs across the bank’s 17 state footprint.
“Thank you, BAI, for recognizing our opportunity zone (OZ) fund on a global scale and CEI-Boulos Capital Management for teaming up with us to leverage both the OZ incentive and the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to make an impact for underserved communities across our bank’s footprint,” said Jay Dreibelbis, President and CEO, Woodforest National Bank. “We are extremely proud of the work our team has done in the OZ space to date.”
The fund invests in high-impact commercial real estate projects in opportunity zones with the goal of positively benefitting these economically distressed communities. The fund’s Social Impact Advisory Board provides input on social and environmental impacts of proposed investments using metrics that align with both the CRA and the “OZ Reporting Framework” developed by the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance, the Beeck Center at Georgetown University, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The fund ensures all investments foster community engagement and promote social equity.
CEI-Boulos Capital Management, the fund’s manager, is a joint-venture of Coastal Enterprises, Inc., a nationally renowned Community Development Financial Institution, and The Boulos Company, an integrated commercial real estate firm.
Since its inception in 2011, the BAI Global Innovation Awards recognizes industry leaders from all regions of the world. It showcases what these innovators are doing to deliver new value to customers and employees, as well as to improve efficiencies and profitability for their organizations. To learn more about the BAI Global Innovation Awards and all of the finalists, please visit BAIGlobalInnovations.com.
About Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund
The Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund invests in high-impact commercial real estate projects in federally designated Opportunity Zones with the goal of ensuring that its investments benefit economically distressed communities in which the projects are located. The fund is an innovative collaboration between Woodforest National Bank, the fund’s investor, a privately held, employee-owned bank with over 750 branches, and CEI-Boulos Capital Management, LLC, the fund’s manager, a joint-venture of Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), one of the nation’s most successful Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), with over 40 years of experience investing in communities with low-incomes, and The Boulos Company, an integrated commercial real estate firm with broad experience in capital markets and real estate development. The fund’s Social Impact Advisory Board provides input related to the social and environmental impacts of proposed investments by using metrics that align with goals of both CRA and the “Opportunity Zones Reporting Framework” developed by a partnership of the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance, the Beeck Center on Social Impact and Innovation at Georgetown University, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The fund is intentional in ensuring that all investments foster community engagement and promote social equity. The fund was recognized by Forbes and the Sorenson Impact Center as one of “The Forbes OZ 20: Top Opportunity Zone Catalysts” and one of the ten most innovative and impact focused Opportunity Zone funds in the country.
About Woodforest National Bank
Celebrating 40 years of community banking service, Woodforest National Bank has successfully stood among the strongest community banks in the nation, proudly offering outstanding customer service since 1980. Woodforest currently operates over 750 branches in 17 states across the United States and is an Outstanding CRA rated institution. For more information about Woodforest National Bank, please visit www.woodforest.com.
About CEI-Boulos Capital Management
CEI-Boulos Capital Management was formed to manage Opportunity Zone funds focused on making investments in high-impact, community supported commercial real estate projects. The company is a joint venture between two long-standing and respected organizations, Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) and The Boulos Company. The CEI-Boulos Capital Management team represents a diverse set of relevant and synergistic skills and perspectives related to its multiple objectives. The two entities are:
- Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) Founded in 1977, CEI has provided loans, equity investments and tax credit financing to nearly 3,000 businesses and projects. CEI and its for-profit subsidiaries have extensive experience in regulatory compliance and fund management. More at www.ceimaine.org.
- The Boulos Company. Founded in 1975, The Boulos Company and its family of companies has extensive experience in all aspects of commercial real estate, including development, construction, brokerage, property management, and capital markets. More at www.boulos.com.
As a nonprofit, independent organization, BAI delivers the financial services industry’s most actionable insights, enabling leaders to make smart business decisions every day. BAI is passionate about the trusted information and powerful tools that provide leaders with the clarity and confidence needed to drive positive change and move the financial services industry forward. For more information, visit www.bai.org.