We're committed to service when crisis hits

John Hairston
September 14, 2017
When catastrophe strikes, it takes strong, dedicated teams to get recovery going. Recent disasters across our footprint have inspired countless cases of people helping people in times of need. We’re proud our roots run deep in a resilient region where the caring and selfless service we see every day multiplies exponentially on difficult days. 
 
Gulf Coast Strong
Our founders were Gulf Coast business people well-acquainted with what happens when Mother Nature shows her bad side. They understood people need a reliable bank the most when they’re facing the worst. That’s why they set forth clear core values that still inspire our associates’ can-do spirit to help start recovery, restore hope, and rebuild lives when big storms batter our hometowns.
 
Twelve years ago, within 24 hours of Hurricane Katrina blasting the central Gulf Coast, associates—many storm victims themselves—set up makeshift banks and gave out hand-washed money based on handwritten IOUs to help people survive a cash based post-storm climate. Last August, when record floods swept through more than 100,000 homes and businesses in Greater Baton Rouge, associates worked around the clock to serve clients and reopen temporary branches within days of floodwaters receding.
 
We're committed to service when crisis hits

Within days of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in South Mississippi, bank associates in late summer 2005 such as (from left) Amy Altese, Holly Ainsworth, Kassi Price, Monica Wittman, and April Darden distributed much-needed cash from converted RVs in devastated cities such as Pass Christian and Waveland.

 
We're committed to service when crisis hits

Regional Retail Leader Stephen David let clients know associate teams were ready to serve them in a temporary trailer set up on Greenwell Springs Road shortly after record floods inundated Greater Baton Rouge and swamped the financial center with more than six feet of water in August 2016.

 
This August, as Hurricane Harvey ravaged southern Texas and southwest Louisiana with destruction and historic flooding, associates were ready to help, reopening financial centers in cities such as Houston and Lake Charles before other banks. This week, with Hurricane Irma’s outer bands still over the state, associates managed to reopen almost all of our Florida financial centers, including two Tampa Bay locations, to serve worried evacuees needing cash to head home.
 
We're committed to service when crisis hits
Whitney associates present a check to Houston Habitat for Humanity to help residents rebuild after flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey devastated the Houston area. Left to right: Janel Evans, Erik Carrington, Larry Stephens,Scott Brewer, Miles Milton, Kevin Rafferty, John Lennox.
 
 
We're committed to service when crisis hits
 
We're committed to service when crisis hits
As Hurricane Irma moved north, many of our Florida locations opened for clients that afternoon,with most of our other Florida financial centers reopening the next day. Top photo: On Monday, September 11, Hancock client Brenda Flach (right)—anxious to get cash as she returned home, starts her post-Irma recovery with the help of Bradenton associate Danielle Taylor. That same day, St. Petersburg resident Mark Crane (left) opens a new account with associate Dave Feliu at the our 4th Street office.  
 
Doing what it takes when disaster strikes is a century-old legacy we take seriously. When it’s safe and sensible for clients and associates, we try hard to be the last to close and the first to open for people and businesses trusting us to help them financially sustain their lives and livelihoods. That service and support—for clients and each other—secure the cornerstone of our corporate culture.
 
Our hearts go out to everyone suffering damage, loss, and displacement from recent weather events; and our strong, dedicated teams of associates are ready to help. The Commitment to Service that has helped clients and communities come back stronger and better for 100-plus years is just a call, click, or visit away.
 



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