Making Dreams Come True at Union Bank and Trust

Story By Mike Watkins

Photos courtesy of Union Bank & Trust

As Omaha Community Relations Coordinator with Union Bank & Trust (UBT), Darbi Warden enjoys a great many things about her job—namely learning about nonprofits in the community. “It amazes me how many nonprofits are out there and the work they do is very important but may not get noticed as they should,” she said. “It makes you wish you had endless funds to support all of them.”

Giving back to the community often by supporting nonprofits and their various causes is an integral part of the UBT mission. As the gatekeeper and presenter of nonprofit sponsorship requests that come to the Omaha management team—of which Tom Weinandt is marketing president—Warden enjoys the opportunity to talk to individuals to learn more about how nonprofits impact the community and align with UBT’s pillars of giving.

“At UBT, we have an annual community involvement calendar that I put together for our Omaha team,” said Warden, who’s been with UBT for 17 years. “It consists of multiple opportunities to volunteer and give back. Employees are also allowed to choose what nonprofit matters most to them and volunteer their time and talents for a couple of these opportunities. I love hearing about new organizations from employees and the nonprofits they are passionate about.”

Warden said UBT has an Omaha Management Committee that votes on events to support. The committee is made of Omaha’s Senior Management. Bank-wide focus includes community betterment and education while the Omaha team has an additional focus on youth.

Weinandt said focusing on organizations that enhance and contribute to the societal and cultural improvement of the community ensures growth and sustainability within each community UBT serves. “Education is key to an economically sound and growing community,” said Weinandt, who has been with the bank for 15 years. “Our Omaha area’s commitment to youth development is rooted in the belief that we need to cultivate and develop our youth because they represent the future of our ever-growing community.”

Warden continued, “They will be our leaders and innovators, so it’s up to organizations like ours to provide them with the tools they need to flourish and succeed—for the betterment of the community as a whole. There are several factors that play into the decision-making process. We look for organizations that match our pillars of giving and/or have employees/customers that are directly involved in the organization.”

Weinandt enjoys being part of the team that helps make dreams that make the community better and stronger. “It is very rewarding to attend our approved events and see their impact right here in our community,” he said. “Our core value is caring about each other, our customers, and the communities we serve.”

One way they accomplish this is through the UBT Community Involvement Program. The program is designed to give associates the opportunity to contribute their time, talent, and treasure to causes that matter most in the communities where we live, work, pray, and play.

One example of UBT’s community impact is through Project Linus, which provides a sense of comfort to children who are seriously ill or traumatized through the gift of new, handmade blankets, crafted by employee volunteer “blanketeers.” Other collective volunteer opportunities include working with Ronald McDonald House Charities, Carolyn Scott Rainbow House, Habitat for Humanity, and Bags of Fun Omaha, to name a few.

“One never knows when they may need to lean into those within their community to get through a trying time,” Warden said. “It’s a blessing to know there are many resources and people who care out there. Many times, it may be behind the scenes work but it is just as important and rewarding.”

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