Rina Patel was first introduced to the United Way of Greater Austin more than 10 years ago through her position as the Wells Fargo area president for Mid-Central Texas. Upon moving to Austin in 2013, UWATX VP of Mission Advancement Dr. Leah Meunier, who then was in charge of managing our Women’s Leadership Council (WLC), met with Rina to introduce her to the giving society.
“I have remained a WLC member because I am passionate about helping our youth—particularly through early childhood education— and ensuring they are set up for success,” said Patel. “The program also offers the opportunity for motivated, passionate, community-minded women to network and collaborate for a great cause. In particular, I’ve enjoyed the WLC meetings because the team always comes up with creative ways to educate everyone about important topics that need to be addressed in Austin.”
Rina is also a dedicated volunteer and appreciates that Wells Fargo is invested in giving back to our community as a corporation as well. She finds that volunteering with her team members by sharing the expertise they already have is one of the best ways to give back. Wells Fargo’s Austin team has an impressive volunteer track record. More than 495 Wells Fargo Austin team members have volunteered more than 11, 500 hours and supported 695 nonprofit organizations through these projects. This includes 100 team members serving on local nonprofit boards, building three homes for families in need over 13 days and raising more than $325,000 last year to support local nonprofits in our city.
“It’s extremely important to me that I work for a company that supports our communities because we are only as strong as the communities that we serve,” she added. “When our communities are successful, we are successful. Wells Fargo’s vision aligns with my core believe system and how I was raised.”
Rina serves on the Girl Scouts of Central Texas board of directors and her team has done many projects with them. In fact, they hosted financial literacy training for young girls so they can build their financial acumen and earn their Wells Fargo Financial Literacy patch. Since 2011, Wells Fargo has invested over $246,250 as the financial literacy corporate patch partner and has distributed more than 44,660 patches. In 2016, Wells Fargo was honored with the Girl Scouts “Workplace of Distinction” award.
Rina grew up volunteering with her family, which influenced her decision to continue giving to her community as an adult.
“My parents were very involved in our community growing up,” she said. “They taught my brother and me how important it is to always give back to others in need, whether it is through money or volunteer time. They taught us that small efforts can make a huge difference.”
She adds, “Once a month, we would volunteer downtown as a family by making food and serving meals in our community; this was an experience I will always remember. My parents have kept up this tradition and when I go back home to Arizona, I join them in their volunteering activities. Additionally, I have continued this in my life by doing community activities with my team at Wells Fargo. We select an organization once a month to volunteer our time or make donations.”
She also shares great advice for those looking to take the first step in getting involved in the community.
“It is possible for one person to make a BIG difference in so many lives! If you’re interested in volunteering, think about what you’re passionate about and select an organization that allows you to fulfill that,” said Patel. “When you find a nonprofit that speaks to your heart, this will keep you motivated to continue to give back your time, make a financial contribution or even inspire others to get involved. When you find something you love, it doesn’t feel like work.”
We are grateful to not only have Rina Patel as a UWATX volunteer and WLC member, but also to work with Wells Fargo and its incredibly generous team!