Exceptional Minds Hero Award Goes to City National Bank

Senior VP Accepts Hero Award

The nonprofit academy and studio for artists with autism recognizes bank for mentorship and financial support.

The students and staff at Exceptional Minds awarded City National Bank with its Exceptional Hero Award on Friday, May 31. City National Bank Senior Vice President Tina Van der Zee accepted the award on behalf of the bank, which was singled out for its close partnership with the autism-related nonprofit, which includes financial, as well as mentorship, support. “The success of Exceptional Minds depends on the support of our families, friends and corporate partnerships like this one,” said Exceptional Minds Executive Director Jeffrey Shapiro.

The nonprofit is a training academy and professional studio with a mission to prepare individuals on the autism spectrum for careers in the fields of visual effects, animation and video game rigging animation. The honor took place at the Exceptional Minds school during an event showcasing its artists. Exceptional Minds annually serves an average of 250 full-time, part-time and privately tutored students. The organization runs a professional studio where graduate artists work on paid visual effects and animation projects for the entertainment industry. City National Bank joins past Exceptional Hero Award winners Adobe, Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors Foundation, and Mitsubishi Electric America.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 84% of adults with autism are unemployed and many more are underemployed.​

Source: Exceptional Minds