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The Bottom Line
Sunday, May 19, 2013

First State honors 4 employees

Sonia Barajas, a teller at the Tradewinds branch of First State Bank, was named employee of the quarter for her initiative, work ethic, and positive attitude.

Raised in Key Largo and a graduate of Coral Shores High School, Barajas worked for First State from 2007-2011 as a part-time teller. She returned in 2012, according to a bank press release.

"Sonia's pleasant attitude and dedication to her customers and our bank have made her a valued employee and we are proud to recognize her as Employee of the Quarter," said Laura Brown, assistant vice president Tradewinds branch manager.

The bank also recently honored three employees for their outstanding community volunteer efforts to local civic causes.

With more than 60 hours of combined community service through the second quarter, Jana Kosova, Diancy Fundora and Frank Slavin each received recognition for their exemplary volunteer service.

First State Bank has sponsored 129 civic and community events, and provided 338 volunteers representing over 676 hours to community and local non-profit organizations so far in 2013, according to a press release.

Leto joins homeless board

Elmira Leto this week joined the board of directors of the Southernmost Homeless Assistance League (SHAL). Widely recognized for her community service, she is perhaps best known as the founder and chief executive officer of Samuel's House, a safe haven for women, men and now intact families who have no home. She was also a founding member of SHAL in 1999.

"Her extensive experience in assisting homeless people and her knowledge of the resources in our community will be terrific assets as we assemble a program that will better enable homeless people to complete the journey from the streets and the mangroves to a home," SHAL Chairman Alan Teitelbaum said.

McTeer becomes McDaniel College trustee

Key West resident Victor McTeer, a retired trial lawyer and one of the first African-American graduates of McDaniel College, has been named to the school's board of trustees.

A native of Baltimore, McTeer became a prominent civil rights lawyer in Mississippi after graduating from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel) and the Rutgers School of Law.

At age 25, he was the first black Mississippi lawyer since the Reconstruction period to argue, much less win, a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.