Need help? Dial 2-1-1 to contact a United Way call center specialist or click here to find resources.

Search

Volunteer Profile: Wells Fargo & Kelly Smith

August 6, 2014

Kelly Smith, North Florida regional president of Wells Fargo
Kelly Smith, North Florida regional president of Wells Fargo
Health benefits. Pensions. Vacation time. All of these are competitive advantages in the job market for companies attracting top talent.

Wells Fargo has added another factor to that list: community support.

While it may come as no surprise that one of the nation’s largest financial services institutions is also one of the most philanthropic companies, the impact of their commitment is felt locally in a big way.

In addition to running one of the top giving campaigns in a five-county region and earning United Way’s Corporate Engagement Award, Wells Fargo has breathed life into low-to-moderate income areas of Jacksonville.

“We’re going to show our communities that we care,” said Kelly Smith, North Florida regional president of Wells Fargo.

In the past few years, Wells Fargo has matched these financial commitments with powerful development and reinvestment work.

One example of this work is the Historic Springfield Community Learning Center that houses Prosperity Place in partnership with United Way’s RealSense initiative.

The space provides a convenient place for members of the community to get free financial education and tax preparation year-round, saving households hundreds of dollars and helping to keep millions of dollars in our community.

While businesses have tightened their belts in the wake of the recession, Wells Fargo has been a consistent force for positive financial impact in their Teach Children to Save and Hands On Banking® programs, as well as in providing funding for a space to house the Jacksonville Day Resource Center for homeless citizens.

But why invest so much in community support?

“We’re responsible for promoting the long-term economic prosperity and quality of life for everyone in our communities,” Smith said, quoting from the Vision and Values of Wells Fargo.

That goes for their team members as well.

“They live in this community. Our giving and support includes organizations that our team members are passionate about.”

While Smith acknowledges the importance of leadership buy-in and celebrating progress, she knows it’s a caring culture that makes employees truly willing to give of their time and financial resources.

“When I look for future leaders, I want to know what they’re passionate about,” Smith said.

That strategy seems to be working. Wells Fargo team members in North Florida volunteered more than 21,000 hours and personally contributed $887,000 to their communities in 2013, setting a strong example of corporate engagement on the First Coast.

[hr]

Learn how you can volunteer with RealSense or find out more about Prosperity Place financial services!