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For Immediate Release

Jane Yedinak
(415) 765-3241

Evren Odcikin
(415) 553-8451

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, February 21, 2014  – In celebration of Black History Month and as part of its ongoing commitment to cultural diversity and responsible banking, Union Bank, N.A., has partnered with KQED to honor two inspirational African Americans as local heroes. The 2014 Black History Month honorees are: Kimberly Bryant, founder and executive director of Black Girls CODE, and Gina Fromer, M.S., district vice president of the Bayview, Mission and Buchanan YMCAs. Both will be recognized in February at a private celebration with their families and executives from KQED and Union Bank.

Since 1995, KQED and Union Bank have collaborated on the Local Heroes program and recognized 112 honorees. The program pays tribute to exemplary leaders who are making a difference and enriching the lives of others by improving their workplace, community, region and the world at large. The 2014 Black History Month honorees demonstrate a shared commitment to empowering the youth in their communities to achieve academic and future success.

Throughout the year, honorees will also be identified during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (May); Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month (June); and Latino Heritage Month (September/October).

“We applaud both of our Local Heroes for their inspiring work as they embody Union Bank’s values of giving back,” said Union Bank Senior Executive Vice President Pierre P. Habis, head of Community Banking. “From mentoring future leaders to empowering students to succeed, the work of our Local Heroes is an outstanding example of the transformative power of education and community engagement.”

“KQED is honored to continue its long-term partnership with Union Bank as we celebrate the 2014 local heroes, whose work not only benefits the local African American community, but the Bay Area at large,” said KQED President John Boland. “KQED will continue its celebration of Black History Month with programming and community events throughout February that highlight the historical and modern-day achievements of African Americans.”

The 2014 honorees for Black History Month are:

Kimberly Bryant is a biotechnology and engineering professional and the founder and executive director of the San Francisco-based Black Girls CODE, a nonprofit organization. Ms. Bryant has helped train more than 1,500 girls of color in technology and computer programming while encouraging them to become builders of technological innovation and their own futures. Ms. Bryant was one of 11 recipients of the 2013 White House Champions of Change Tech Inclusion Award that celebrates leaders working to expand technological opportunities for youth in historically underserved communities. She was selected by Business Insider in 2013 as one of the 25 Most Influential African Americans in Technology, and also received the prestigious Jefferson Award for Community Service in 2012.

Gina Fromer, M.S., is the district vice president of the Bayview, Mission and Buchanan YMCAs. Ms. Fromer, a Bayview native, has more than 35 years of experience working with children and adolescents in the Bay Area and focuses her efforts on three major issues facing youth: literacy, obesity and truancy. She has spearheaded the Center for Academic Reentry and Empowerment, a safe space in which truant youth can re-engage with school and feel empowered to succeed academically. Ms. Fromer was recently recognized with the Jefferson Award for Public Service, a local award for outstanding contributions to the community.

KQED offers a wide range of Black History Month programming in February. For more information or to nominate a future local hero, visit To learn more about the Local Heroes program, please also visit

About KQED
serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. Home to the most listened-to public radio station in the nation, one of the highest rated public television services and a leader in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas. Visit for more information.

About UnionBanCal Corporation & Union Bank, N.A.
Headquartered in San Francisco, UnionBanCal Corporation is a financial holding company with assets of $105.9 billion at December 31, 2013. Its primary subsidiary, Union Bank, N.A., provides an array of financial services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, and major corporations. The bank operated 420 branches in California, Washington, Oregon, Texas, Illinois, New York and Georgia, as well as 2 international offices, on December 31, 2013. UnionBanCal Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. Union Bank is a proud member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG, NYSE:MTU), one of the world’s largest financial organizations. In July 2013, American Banker Magazine and the Reputation Institute ranked Union Bank #1 for reputation among its customers. Visit for more information.