At an open house last week at the Wells Fargo Soldotna Branch district manager Patrick Ryland took the opportunity to introduce several of the nonprofit organizations Wells Fargo is supporting on the Peninsula. “Wells Fargo is only as strong as the communities we serve,” said Ryland. “There’s never been a thriving bank in a struggling community. That’s why we’ve invested $40,000 in 20 nonprofits in the Kenai Peninsula this year and a total of $1.6 million dollars across the state. These funding decisions are made locally with input from our community advisory boards,” he said. According to Melisa Galloway, business loan manager at the Soldotna Branch Wells Fargo does more than support nonprofits financially but encourages their employees to personally be involved in the organizations, “It’s important to Wells Fargo that the employees give back and are involved with their community at every level or aspect that they are able to be involved whether it be serving on a board of director or volunteering hours on the weekends hammering nails,” she said.
Linda Swarner, executive director of the Peninsula Food Bank underscored that statement by presenting Steve Manly and Tim Redder of the Soldotna Branch with certificates of appreciation for the personal heavy lifting they’ve done at the Food Bank over the last year. Other nonprofits present at the open house Thursday was the Peninsula Fair Association, Habitat for Humanity and Central Peninsula Health Foundation. “Nationally, our corporate giving increased 48 percent to the tune of $315.8 million dollars in 2012, making Wells Fargo the number one corporate donor in America. But it’s not just about corporate philanthropy, our team members are actively involved in the community because there is no more important investment we can make. Though we are a large national bank, we were born as a local community bank and the same community banking approach and spirit guides every decision we make. It’s not just about processing a transaction or selling a financial service, it’s about getting to know you, helping you send your kids to college, start a business or keep your money safe, it’s about helping you have a successful life. We believe if we do what’s right for our customers, business results will follow,” said Ryland. And according to Ryland business is doing well on the Peninsula this year, “We are economically strong and seeing good returns on the Peninsula especially comparing it to other parts of the country and that comes from a strong community bond and a sense of belief that we can help each other be successful,” he said. The Wells Fargo open house promises to be an annual event at their branches across the Peninsula.