MANCHESTER — Citizens Bank awarded its annual Al Venne "Be Inspired Award" to Heather Francoeur, vice president and branch manager in Derry, for her outstanding commitment to the community.
As part of the award, the Citizens Bank Foundation will contribute $2,500 to the charity of her choice.
Francoeur volunteers in leadership capacities for many organizations in the area, including the Greater Derry/Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, where she is the vice president of the board and serves on several committees.
She is a board member of The Upper Room and was recently appointed chairman of the development committee. She also is a board member of the Salvation Army and is a member of the bell-ringing committee and the annual chili-chowder cook-off committee.
"Heather is an amazing person and volunteer," said Kimberly Bavaro, executive director of The Upper Room in Derry. "She gives 110 percent to the organizations where she volunteers, and always brings enthusiasm and energy that inspires others to do the same. She has contributed an enormous amount of time to making a better community for all through her volunteer work. We are extremely proud to have her on our board of directors and development committee."
The surprise award was presented to Francoeur at an event attended by 300 Citizens Bank colleagues as part of the bank's annual Colleague Appreciation Week.
"Heather sets a tremendous example with her natural desire to help those in need, while at the same time inspiring and encouraging others to join her," said Joe Carelli, president of Citizens Bank in New Hampshire.
The Be Inspired Award — renamed the Al Venne Be Inspired Award in memory of a dedicated colleague — was created by RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc. to honor volunteers who perform exemplary service in the communities where Citizens Bank does business.
Nominations for the Be Inspired Award are made by colleagues. Awards are given in each of the 12 states where Citizens has a presence.
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