F&M Bank Salutes strength through service in “California’s Strongest People You Can Bank On” Awards


October 02, 2019

Ninth annual awards luncheon shines the spotlight on 10 Southern California community members, honoring service, compassion, and strength of character

From left to right: (Back row) F&M President W. Henry Walker, Christine Walker, Gary Remland, Jim Holden, Donald Glasgow, Randy Gordon and F&M Chairman of the Board and CEO Daniel K. Walker. (Front row) Claudia Copley, Lailanie Jones, Tim Jones, Vera Jimenez, Dr. Kenneth Tokita, and Debbie Painter.

Long Beach, CA (October 2, 2019) Farmers & Merchants Bank (F&M) again paid tribute to 10 extraordinary members of the community in its annual “California’s Strongest People You Can Bank On” awards. Now in its ninth year, the awards honored men and women who have made a profound and lasting impact on their community in a range of areas, including philanthropy, healthcare, women’s empowerment, children’s services, education, poverty, faith-based initiatives, and many others.  

“It is a true highlight of our year when we get to shine the spotlight on local men and women who inspire us and lead us forward,” said F&M Bank President W. Henry Walker. “Each of our 2019 honorees has a unique story of compassion and perseverance and exemplifies the values that have guided F&M since our humble beginnings in 1907.”

F&M's 2019 "California's Strongest People You Can Bank On" are:

  • Claudia Copley (Long Beach), founder and inspirer with 4GIRLS, a two-day workshop where girls from vastly different backgrounds, cultures, and economic standings join together to access valuable tools for empowerment and self-expression.
  • Donald Glasgow (San Clemente), business owner, community leader, and co-founder of Kingdom Builders Ministry, an organization providing a range of vital services and supplies to poor communities in Mexico.
  • Randy Gordon (Long Beach), President and CEO of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce who played a central role in leadership and fundraising to bring the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House to MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital.
  • Jim Holden (San Clemente), Lifelong fisherman and founder of Fish for Life, an organization that is “spreading love one boat at a time” by taking local kids in need on a once-in-a-lifetime ocean voyage and fishing trip.
  • Vera Jimenez (Redondo Beach), Award-winning KTLA 5 News meteorologist and dedicated Redondo Beach Rotarian who has worked with organizations both at home and abroad supporting literacy, women’s empowerment, children and families, poverty and other vital causes.
  • Lailanie Jones (Long Beach), Executive Director of Precious Lamb Preschool in Long Beach, which offers life-changing early education to homeless children throughout the community with the mission of “breaking the cycle of homelessness, one child at a time.”
  • Tim Jones (San Pedro), community leader with The Beacon House Association of San Pedro, which supports young men battling homelessness, drug addiction, and incarceration on the road to becoming responsible, service oriented, and hard-working members of the community.
  • Debbie Painter (Corona Del Mar), founder of Autism by the Sea, a community resource for families with children on the autism spectrum that delivers irreplaceable support, education, and awareness (SEA) along with nurturing peer support.
  • Gary Remland (Orange), Owner of Remland Insurance who helped to start Rotary Club of Orange’s work with Mary’s Kitchen, a vital source of food for at-risk community members who receive brown bag lunches and a much-needed hot meal, as well as spearheaded the launch of the Orange Field of Valor program.
  • Dr. Kenneth Tokita (Tustin), renowned oncologist, founder, and leader of a wealth of local initiatives supporting cancer research, education, development, and personal growth, including the Parnassus Society, for young people across Orange County.

The winners, who were honored in an October 2nd awards luncheon at Parkers’ Lighthouse in Long Beach, were selected based on their demonstration of the values carried forth in F&M’s Declaration of Beliefs: Honesty, Faith, Loyalty, Integrity, Dedication, Gratitude, Humility, Dependability, Compassion, and Service above Self.

About Farmers & Merchants Bank

Founded in Long Beach in 1907 by C.J. Walker, Farmers & Merchants Bank has over $7.1 Billion in assets, and 25 branches across Southern California. The Bank specializes in commercial and small business banking, business loan programs, home loans, and a robust offering of consumer retail banking products, including checking, savings and youth accounts.