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Michigan’s Dart Bank Wins 2019 Elder Justice Good Neighbor Award

LANSING, Mich., July 26, 2019 – The Michigan Bankers Association (MBA) and the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan are delighted to announce Dart Bank as the 2019 Elder Justice Good Neighbor Award winner. This award is presented by the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan and the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services. The Elder Justice Good Neighbor Award is the association’s way of showing appreciation for the efforts made by individuals and community-based organizations to help Michigan’s seniors and vulnerable adults.

“At the Michigan Bankers Association, we are proud of Dart Bank’s efforts in preventing financial crimes against the elderly: fraud committed by strangers, and financial exploitation by relatives and caregivers,” said T. Rann Paynter, President & CEO, Michigan Bankers Association. “Every year, millions of seniors fall victim to financial fraud. Dart Bank is most deserving of the 2019 Elder Justice Good Neighbor Award due to urging older customers and their trusted caregivers to safeguard all personal information and stay alert to the common signs of financial abuse. Dart Bank has been volunteering for Meals on Wheels for over 22 years, and routinely delivers three routes of meals to the elderly community.”

Dart Bank is a homegrown community bank in the Lansing, Delhi, Mason, and Grand Ledge communities, with over 94 years of experience. Dart Bank makes it their mission to serve the community, and to be there for what matters most to their customers. They dedicate themselves to serving their communities in financial and non-financial ways and strive to make a difference in the lives of those around us.

“This award was received because of the work of Mary Tressel,” stated Bill Hufnagel, President & CEO, Dart Bank. “Mary is an exceptional volunteer in our communities, serving several different agencies and non-profits. She exemplifies Dart Bank’s purpose, which is to positively impact lives and communities. Mary and our employees like her are some of our greatest assets.”

“I have been volunteering for over 27 years with Tri-County Office on Aging and continue to educate the community on elder abuse and fraud,” said Mary Tressel, Special Assets Manager, Dart Bank. “I am extremely grateful to be able to serve the elderly community.”

“It takes a team effort to fight elder financial abuse, we need all hands-on deck. Which is why Mary Tressel and Dark Bank deserve so much credit, because they heard that call to action and took it to heart,” said PAAM President and Muskegon County Prosecuting Attorney D.J. Hilson. “They’re a great community partner, and I think a lot of other organizations can learn a lot from them.”

What is Elder Financial Abuse? It is a crime that deprives older adults of their resources and ultimately their independence. Anyone who sees signs of theft, fraud, misuse of a person’s assets or credit, or use of undue influence to gain control of an older person’s money or property should be on the alert. Those are signs of possible exploitation. Older Americans that may have disabilities or rely on others for help can be susceptible to scams and other fraud. Advances in technology can also make it difficult for seniors to know who to trust and what’s safe.

Despite these threats, taking simple steps to safeguard personal information and being aware of warning signs can protect aging men and women from financial abuse.

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The Michigan Bankers Association (MBA), the voice of the banking industry since 1887, consists of Michigan financial institutions with more than 2,800 branches located throughout the state. The MBA promotes strong communities and economic activity in Michigan by advancing a positive business environment. MBA assists banks by offering products and services to reduce expenses and increase profitability through the strength of the association.

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