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Local Heroes Announced for Women’s History Month

San Diego County CA— In celebration of Women’s History Month and as part of its ongoing commitment to inclusion, diversity and responsible banking, Union Bank has partnered with KPBS to honor two inspiring local heroes. The 2016 Women’s History Month honorees are: Teodora Purcell, volunteer attorney, Casa Cornelia Law Center; and Jeeni Criscenzo, founder, Amikas, a non-profit dedicated to helping homeless women and their children. The honorees will be recognized at a private dinner celebration with their families and executives from KPBS and Union Bank.

Since 1998, KPBS and Union Bank have collaborated on the Local Heroes program and recognized more than 200 honorees. The program pays tribute to exemplary leaders who are making a difference and enriching the lives of others by improving their community, region and the world at large. The 2016 Women’s History Month honorees demonstrate a shared commitment to providing their communities with the tools to thrive in today’s changing world.

“Union Bank is proud to celebrate the amazing work of the Women’s History honorees and their positive impact on the community,” said Union Bank Managing Director Pierre P. Habis, head of Retail Banking and Enterprise Marketing for the Americas. “They exemplify dedication and determination, and we applaud their tireless efforts to help others.”

“Local Heroes like Teodora Purcell and Jeeni Criscenzo work day-in-and-out to improve the lives of others,” said Tom Karlo, KPBS general manager. “We are proud to join with Union Bank to honor them and call attention to their contributions.”

The 2016 honorees for Women’s History Month are:
Teodora Prucell

Teodora Prucell

Teodora Purcell serves as a volunteer attorney at Casa Cornelia Law Center, a public interest law firm based in San Diego providing pro bono legal services to victims of human and civil rights violations. Ms. Purcell, an experienced immigration attorney, provides pro bono legal representation to unaccompanied immigrant children and clients seeking asylum in the United States. She has assisted undocumented women and children who are victims of domestic violence and has worked in the center’s Human Trafficking Visa Program. Ms. Purcell has been instrumental in the growth of Casa Cornelia’s programs.  In October 2015, Ms. Purcell was awarded Casa Cornelia’s Pro Bono Attorney of the Year award. She has also received the Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services form the State Bar of California.


Jeeni Criscenzo

Jeeni Criscenzo is the founder of Amikas, a non-profit dedicated to helping homeless women and their children find safe housing. In 2009, Ms. Criscenzo noticed people setting up cardboard houses on the sidewalk in downtown San Diego. She was horrified when she saw a homeless mother leading her child into the cardboard structure for the night. This vision urged her and a group of friends to start Amikas and dedicate themselves to helping San Diego’s homeless women and children find safe transitional and permanent housing. Ms. Criscenzo and her team have also made finding housing for homeless women veterans a priority.

KPBS features a wide range of programming during Women’s History Month. For more information or to nominate a future local hero, please visit: www.kpbs.org/heroes or unionbank.com/heroes.

About KPBS

KPBS serves our local communities with news and entertainment programming that respects our audience with inspiring, intelligent and enlightening content.  KPBS will deliver this content via multiple outlets, including television, radio, and digital media and will adapt and remain relevant in a rapidly changing world.  KPBS values integrity, truth, transparency and lifelong learning. At KPBS we strive to engage with our citizens and showcase the unique neighborhoods and people that make our community thrive.  And as a public service of San Diego State University, education is a core value – from our children’s programming to our local news coverage.  KPBS is committed to being a reliable source for in-depth, thoughtful, and high quality content.

About MUFG Union Bank, N.A.

MUFG Union Bank, N.A., is a full-service bank with offices across the United States.  We provide a wide spectrum of corporate, commercial and retail banking and wealth management solutions to meet the needs of customers.  We also offer an extensive portfolio of value-added solutions for customers, including investment banking, personal and corporate trust, global custody, transaction banking, capital markets, and other services.  With assets of $115.4 billion, as of December 31, 2015, MUFG Union Bank has strong capital reserves, credit ratings and capital ratios relative to peer banks.  MUFG Union Bank is a proud member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (NYSE: MTU), one of the world’s largest financial organizations with total assets of approximately ¥295.8 trillion (JPY) or $2.5 trillion (USD)¹, as of December 31, 2015. The corporate headquarters (principal executive office) for MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation, which is the financial holding company and MUFG Union Bank, is in New York City. The main banking office of MUFG Union Bank is in San Francisco, California.

1 Exchange rate of 1 USD=¥120.6 (JPY) as of December 30, 2015