Business Briefs

World Savings donates 10K to SC Housing

Gilroy – World Savings recently presented a check for $9,000 to South County Housing. The funds will be used to match money saved by low-income families for higher education and homeownership.

“With the generosity of World Savings, families will be that much closer to achieving their goals of higher education or realizing the dream of owning a home,” said Aida Zaldivar, Director of Neighborhood Development for South County Housing.

“It’s a great feeling for us to be able to show our concern and willingness to support the community,” said Patrick Harvey, Assistant Vice President and Regional Manager of Loan Origination in World Savings’ Capitola branch, in Santa Cruz County.

The non-profit South County Housing serves Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito counties.

Award-winning, non-profit South County Housing is celebrating its 25th Anniversary of building affordable homes and apartments and providing neighborhood services. Based in Gilroy, it serves Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties.

For information contact Public Relations Manager Jack Foley at 408-842-9181. Email: [email protected]

New H&R Block office

Gilroy – H&R Block, the world’s largest tax services company, and Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, celebrate year two of an agreement that provides H&R Block tax services in nearly 1,000 Wal-Mart retail stores nationwide.

To celebrate the opening of H&R Block’s new office located in the Gilroy Wal-Mart, a grand opening celebration is planned for today from 11am to 3pm. The event will highlight the convenience of H&R Block’s new location inside the local Wal-Mart retail store and provide those attending an opportunity to talk with H&R Block professionals about tax law changes and tax planning for the 2005 filing season. The public is also invited to attend.

Bracco receives award

Gilroy – Dion Bracco from Braccos Towing of Gilroy has received the prestigious American Towman ACE Award for achievement in service performance.

Recipients were nominated by the nation’s major motor clubs and dispatch centers, including Allstate Motor Club, Asurion, Canadian Roadside and Recovery, Coach Net, Cross Country Automotive Services, GE Consumer Finance, GEICO Direct and Road America.

The nomination guidelines for the ACE Award include the highest percentage of calls when the estimated time of arrival is achieved, consistency in response time, written appreciation from customers, and percentage of calls serviced (instead of turning them away) thereby reflecting reliability and overall professionalism. ACE recipients rank in the top one percent of the towing industry’s service providers. The ACE Award is presented by American Towman Magazine, the leading trade publication serving emergency road service professionals.

The ACE Award was commemorated by an original design belt buckle. The buckles were presented to the towing professionals during the ACE Award Ceremony, cosponsored by Allstate Motor Club, Asurion, Coach-Net, Cross Country Automotive Services, GE Consumer Finance, GEICO Direct and Road America at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland Nov. 21 at the American Towman Exposition, the world’s largest trade show and convention for emergency road service providers.

Brad Smith joins bank organization

Monterey – Clayton C. Larson, Vice Chairman of the Board of Pacific Capital Bancorp, holding company for First National Bank of Central California, South Valley National Bank and San Benito Bank, announced that Brad L. Smith has joined the organization as a Senior Vice President.

Smith will have responsibility for a variety of community relations/business development activities for the three local community banks, which serve customers in the communities of Gilroy, Morgan Hill, San Juan Bautista, Hollister; Monterey, Carmel, Watsonville, Soledad and Salinas.

Smith has been a local community banker since 1977. He most recently held the position of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Commerce Corp, a bank holding company headquartered in San Jose. Prior to that, Smith was President and Chief Executive Officer of South Valley National Bank, which merged with Pacific Capital Bancorp in 1996. His local banking career also includes senior positions with Pacific Valley Bank, Gilroy; Bank of the West, San Jose; and Crocker Bank, San Francisco.

Smith is a native Californian and a 27-year resident of Gilroy. He received a degree in wildlife biology from Humboldt State University in 1973, and has completed a wide range of post-graduate courses in accounting, real estate, credit analysis, and numerous banking courses. He is past president of the Gilroy Rotary, former Chairman of the Board of Good Samaritan Health System, currently a member of Gilroy Elks, and participates in various Gilroy Chamber of Commerce activities.

South Valley National, San Benito and First National banks are brands of Pacific Capital Bank, N.A.

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