Cocktails and Conservation

Cocktails and Conservation

News item May 26, 2022 by American Riviera Bank

American Riviera Bank was honored to be the Presenting Sponsor of the Santa Barbara Zoo’s new Cocktails and Conservation Presentations. These presentations are developed as a way to create meaningful community outreach and demonstrate the Zoo’s all-encompassing conservation efforts, for both animals and the environment. These presentations came to life as a result of the successful ongoing collaboration between American Riviera Bank and the Zoo.

We kicked off the two-part event series on April 28th. The first presentation featured the Species Survival Program. We hosted the Zoo’s Circle of Care Members and other major donors to inform them of the Zoo’s conservation efforts with an emphasis on their Masai giraffes, Amur leopards, and Asian small-clawed otters.

The second event will be held on November 3rd and will feature the Wings of Conservation presentation which will educate Zoo partners and donors about the conservation of important winged species. This will be an exciting opportunity for an in-depth look at the Santa Barbara Zoo's conservation work with California condors and the Monarch butterfly.

These presentations are the result of ongoing successful partnerships between American Riviera Bank and the Santa Barbara Zoo. We initially began supporting the Zoo through our sponsorship of Zoofari which we continue to support to this day. Additionally, we have collaborated with the Zoo for non-event driven programs such as the Zoo4U program, where we sponsored title one school students to attend “A Day at the Zoo.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, and the Zoo4U program was no longer viable, we immediately reached out to Elaine Mah, the Zoo’s Vice President of Community Relations, to discuss how to continue our support. After collaborating with Elaine we decided to contribute to the Australian Walkabout campaign and sought an unsolicited matching donation from the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) that nearly doubled our initial campaign investment.

As the pandemic continued and businesses were shut down for a number of months, we understood that financial support was paramount for our nonprofit partners. American Riviera Bank took the money budgeted for our client holiday party and, through the voting of our invitees, awarded a number of local non-profits with much needed funding. This was such an overwhelming success that the bank conducted the same voting-donation program again the following year. The Santa Barbara Zoo was awarded a donation in both instances.

In early 2021, the bank was made aware of another FHLB match program. We contacted the Zoo immediately and made an unsolicited donation to go toward a yet to be determined sponsorship. This enabled us to apply for the FHLB match which we were successful in obtaining.

As COVID mandates started to ease a bit, the Bank reached out to Sam Franz, the Zoo’s Sponsorships & Corporate Giving Officer, to discuss further win-win partnership opportunities. It was during these discussions that the American Riviera Bank became the Presenting Sponsor of the Cocktails and Conservation presentations.

We are proud to continue our partnership with the Zoo and to educate the community about the important efforts that make the Zoo a special, educational, and important community resource.

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