The SLCC Foundation is honoring a strong supporter of the community college and communities across Acadiana with its most prestigious award. The SLCC Foundation named Gulf Coast Bank its 2020 Benefactor of the Year. The College plans to recognize Gulf Coast Bank’s widespread impact throughout the Vermilion Parish and Acadiana communities during a ceremony later this year when it is deemed safe to gather.
Gulf Coast Bank has partnered with SLCC since 2013 in a number of ways. The Bank has offered time and expertise through its President and CEO, Paul Patout, serving as a key voice on the SLCC Foundation board in its early years of development. In addition, Gulf Coast Bank has partnered with the Lt. Dronet Marine Corps League in Abbeville to offer an annual scholarship for a student who graduated from a Vermilion Parish high school and who is studying at SLCC’s Gulf Area Campus in Abbeville. The Bank also helped to underwrite several initiatives and events at SLCC, including the Foundation’s scholarship 5K.
“I cannot think of a more deserving honoree this year than Gulf Coast Bank,” said Lana Fontenot, executive director of the SLCC Foundation. “Leaders and employees at Gulf Coast Bank have poured their hearts into this community through the generosity of their time, talent, and treasure, and we look forward to celebrating their overall investment and decades-long support for this community.”
Under the leadership of the Patout brothers, Paul Patout as President & CEO, and Pat Patout as Chairman of the Board, Gulf Coast Bank has become known throughout Acadiana for its continued generous support and commitment to the local community. Pat and Paul’s dedication and enthusiasm cannot help but spread throughout the company. Gulf Coast Bank’s impact includes not only financial contributions, but also the volunteered time and effort of its team; employees are regularly encouraged to volunteer at events in the community, and on average serve over 250 hours total each year.
Many organizations have been impacted by Gulf Coast Bank’s support over the years, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana, the Vermilion Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Vermilion, the Vermilion Economic Development Alliance, One Acadiana, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, SLCC, the Community Foundation of Acadiana, LARC, St. Jude’s, as well as many other local festivals, fundraisers, and events.
Paul Patout and Pat Patout have been recognized over the years for their generosity and commitment to Acadiana. In 2019, they received a Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of the American Legion Vermilion Post 29, in appreciation of their efforts and contributions over the years. Gulf Coast Bank was named Business of the Year by the Vermilion Chamber of Commerce this year, as well as by the Louisiana Cattle Festival in 2016. In 2015, Paul Patout and Pat Patout received the Community Foundation of Acadiana (CFA) Leaders in Philanthropy award for their contributions to Vermilion Parish and the greater Acadiana area.
“Gulf Coast Bank’s passion to give back to the community is rooted in our history. We are inspired by those that came before us at Gulf Coast Bank,” said Paul Patout, president and CEO of Gulf Coast Bank. “My father Charles Patout, Lorraine LeBlanc, Richard Dubois, and many others truly put their heart into this Bank and the communities it serves, and we are honored to continue the legacy, which would not be possible without our amazing team that cares as much as we do.”
The Benefactor of the Year award is the fourth for the SLCC Foundation, where an outstanding partnership is recognized each year. Previous honorees are the Hugh and Byrnes Young Foundation, Lafayette General Health and Elder Outreach.
About Gulf Coast Bank
Charles Patout founded Gulf Coast Bank in 1971 in Abbeville. Paul Patout joined Gulf Coast Bank in 1980 when the Bank had only four branches, and his brother Pat Patout joined him in 1982. They have witnessed many changes in banking over the years. Today, the Bank has grown to 12 branches with 130 employees. Providing outstanding customer service and maintaining active involvement in the communities it serves have remained top priorities for Gulf Coast Bank, and that passion comes directly from the enthusiasm and dedication on which the company was founded.
About the SLCC Foundation
The South Louisiana Community College Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization organized for the purpose of engaging in educational, scientific, literary, benevolent, and charitable works in support exclusively for the campuses of South Louisiana Community College. The SLCC Foundation secures and manages unrestricted and restricted assets to continually support and enrich the academic and scholarship programs at South Louisiana Community College. The SLCC Foundation is managed by a 17-member board of directors.