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San Diego
Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Bank of America Celebrates Centennial of Service in San Diego

BANKING: Nearly $10M Donated to Local Nonprofits Since 2017

Reaching milestones is important to Bank of America San Diego President Rick Bregman, but maybe none have been so near to his heart as the financial institution’s recent celebration marking 100 years of service to San Diego County clients and communities.

Rick Bregman
Bank of America San Diego

It’s not just the century of service that makes Bregman proud, it’s also what accompanied it: Bank of America recently announced $2.4 million in grants to local “high impact nonprofits… to help them scale their services and grow sustainably for future service to those in need,” he said.

Bregman has been with Bank of America for 32 years, and also runs the healthcare commercial banking side of things locally at Bank of America. Bregman said he said he is proud of his employer’s century of philanthropy.

“We’ve been doing these things for literally 100 years in San Diego,” he said. “We are celebrating our centennial but in terms of investing back to the community, from a philanthropic standpoint which is one way we do it, it’s in our fabric. It’s what we do. We absolutely believe in sharing success. When we’re successful, we’re going to keep investing back. It’s all tied in together.”

In early September, the bank held a centennial celebration with 300 local clients and community leaders on the U.S.S. Midway, and at the event shared the latest round of grants – grants that emphasize Bank of America’s commitment to the region’s economic and social advancement, Bregman said.

Grant recipients included Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee on Anti-Poverty of San Diego (MAAC), Reality Changers, Southwestern College, San Diego State University and the San Diego Symphony.

In the past five years, Bank of America has awarded nearly $10 million in philanthropic capital to area nonprofits and its 1,200 employees have volunteered 70,000 hours of service to local charities and community needs.

Bregman said looking at how San Diegans are emerging from the last 2½ years with COVID-19 challenges, health care crises, economic volatility and social justice issues at the forefront is also important.

“It’s been so difficult for so many people,” he said. “Bank of America wants to help lead the way as we emerge out of this pandemic, this state we’ve been in for 2½ years. We are grateful be in position to take it to another level when our community, our region and our country have been faced with challenges that have created more acute needs that need to be addressed if want to be as good as we can be.”

Bregman, a San Diegan since he was six months old, and 1983 graduate of Point Loma High School, has served as Bank of America Market President in San Diego since 2008. He coordinates the efforts of executives running all business lines in San Diego to maximize business, civic and philanthropic impact.

Past Chairman of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and currently on the boards of BIOCOM and the National Conflict Resolution Center, he was a member of the San Diego Chairman’s Competitiveness Council and previously served on the boards of CONNECT, the Zoological Society of San Diego, the YMCA of San Diego and the United Way.

Bregman said the only job he had before going to work for Bank of America was as a lifeguard at area beaches. While a job wearing shorts and being outside in the sunshine may seem completely the opposite of suits and ties in corporate settings, the two careers are not without connection.

“You know what lifeguarding teaches you to do?” Bregman asked, rhetorically. “If you think of Mission Beach on the Fourth of July, you can see how that teaches you how to stay cool under pressure – and teaches you how to manage crises.”

Bregman said the latest round of funds will help the chosen nonprofits cover basic needs, economic mobility, paid health care workforce training and placement, and education and economic attractions through performing arts.

The grants include:

  • $1 million anchor grant to the San Diego Symphony for its new summer home – The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. This architectural feat sits at San Diego’s edge near the heart of downtown and will be a job creator and economic draw for the region.
  • $500,000 in grants to Southwestern College and San Diego State University as part of the bank’s “Progresando” initiative created to help Hispanic-Latinos achieve upward economic mobility through careers in healthcare, while also helping to increase representation and address the shortage of culturally sensitive Spanish-speaking health providers.
  • $400,000 in grants to MAAC and Reality Changers as part of the bank’s Neighborhood Builders program supporting nonprofits addressing economic advancement and social progress. Each organization will receive $200,000 in flexible funding and leadership development training.
  • An additional $525,000 to nonprofits supporting local economic development and small business.

“We love to invest in collaboration, and we love to invest in innovative ideas,” Bregman said. “So much of what we do is partnership in with the community and other community leaders.”

Bank of America
FOUNDED: 1904, first branch in San Diego in 1922
FOUNDER: Amadeo Peter Giannini
CEO: Brian Moynihan
REVENUE: $97 Billion
EMPLOYEES: 200,000
CONTACT: 800-432-1000
SOCIAL IMPACT: Over the past five years, Bank of America has awarded nearly $10M in philanthropic capital to local nonprofits
NOTABLE: First bilingual bank in 1920s; opened branches on local military bases in 1940s; financed Gaslamp District redevelopment in 1980s; public plaza named after founder in Little Italy in 2018.


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