By Allison Jarrell
Farmers & Merchants Bank honored 10 members of the Southern California community at its seventh annual “California’s Strongest People You Can Bank On” awards, which took place Nov. 3 in Long Beach.
Winners were nominated by bank employees and represent many communities throughout the region, including San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente. The awards are given based upon achievements that demonstrate values and strength of character.
In San Juan, Cynthia Roe, who works with the National Center on Adoption and Permanency, was given the “Loyalty Award” for her work as a dedicated social worker and clinician over the last 25 years. Roe’s work is focused on children and families impacted by abuse, neglect, foster care and adoption. Roe has also done extensive work in both the public and private sectors that encompasses speaking, training and consulting with the National Center on Adoption and Permanency.
F&M officials said that one of Roe’s core passions is working to keep siblings together.
“Cynthia and her sister are graduates of the foster care system in Colorado and were reunited with their biological brother as adults,” F&M officials said. “She is also a proud adoptive parent herself. Cynthia and her partner adopted two brothers who were in foster care and had experienced a traumatic separation.
“It is these real-life challenges and triumphs that Cynthia carries in her heart each day as she advocates for these children who would otherwise have no voice. Loyal and forthright, Cynthia will use whatever means necessary to let them be heard.”
F&M Bank President W. Henry Walker said it’s one of his “greatest joys” to honor the “amazing members of our community ever year.”
“Each and every one of them represent the very best of our shared values, and they embody the ‘can do’ spirit and service-above-self bedrock that F&M has been based on for the last 110 years,” Walker said.