Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 12:13 PM on Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Well Fargo manager settling into Homer

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff Writer


Photo by McKibben Jackinsky, Homer News

Enjoying his first summer in Homer is Tyler Davis, left, Wells Fargo's Homer store manager, who recently spent time with David Kennedy, right, Alaska communications manager for Wells Fargo.

Tyler Davis isn't new to Alaska, but he is enjoying his first summer on the southern Kenai Peninsula.

Since arriving in March, the Ketchikan native has been focused on his role as manager of Wells Fargo's Homer store. Matt Knell, who has transferred into Wells Fargo's home mortgage office in Homer, formerly held the store manager position.

Davis' experience with Wells Fargo began seven years ago as a part-time teller while attending classes at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash.

"I learned a lot about the company and the responsibility of helping customers," he said of that introduction.

He followed up four years in personal banking with three years in service and store manager positions for Wells Fargo in his hometown of Ketchikan and, before coming to Homer, in Juneau.

Since arriving in Homer, Davis has been involved in restaffing the 20-employee site and the training needed for those new employees.

In Homer, Wells Fargo has 15 retail employees, four in business banking and one in home mortgage. The Wells Fargo's insurance office in Homer is in the process of being relocated to Soldotna.

Davis ranks customer service high on his list of priorities. That emphasis also has been identified in customer surveys. A five-member community advisory board helps Davis and Wells Fargo know how they're doing in that regard.

Davis speaks highly of Wells Fargo's corporate support of community activities and the support given through employees' volunteer efforts. Wells Fargo donated financial support to the Homer Playground Project and a team of business banking employees donated their time to work on the project last month.


Photo provided

Members of the Wells Fargo team participate in building a new playground at Karen Hornaday Park. From left are Cinda Martin, Wells Fargo business relationship manager in Homer; Miranda Weiss of the Homer Playground Project; Tim Redder of Wells Fargo in Kenai; Homer Foundation Executive Director Joy Steward; Brandon Grochow, Wells Fargo business relationship manager in Homer; Wells Fargo Kenai Peninsula Business Banking Manager Andrew Riddell; and Deb Cox of the Homer Playground Project.

"Wells Fargo invested $7,775 in the project, including $1,000 from Wells Fargo Insurance and $500 donated on behalf of Homer Business Relationship Manager Cinda Martin, who volunteered more than 50 hours in 2011," said David Kennedy, Alaska communications manager for Wells Fargo.

A Homer employee is currently volunteering with Girl Scouts. Another employee recently served as a volunteer for The Moving Wall's visit in Ninilchik.

"Wells Fargo also is a longtime sponsor of Project Grad," said Kennedy. "Homer Personal Banker Nubia Cipres presented our Hands on Banking financial education program to Project Grad students in May, and Wells Fargo facilitated financial education seminars in Ninilchik on April 24 in partnership with Ninilchik Traditional Council." Wells Fargo donates $10,000 within the Homer area each year, but Davis expects that to reach between $12,000-$13,000 in 2012. Within the state, Wells Fargo gives $1.5 million annually through its corporate and foundation giving to more than 300 nonprofits and schools. In 2011, team contributions totaled $373,000 in community support and the United Way Campaign. In addition, Wells Fargo gave $88,000 in grants to housing nonprofits for building and rehabilitating homes, homeowner education and foreclosure prevention.

Wells Fargo employees volunteered 9,000 hours in Alaska 2011. Volunteer Service Award grants to nonprofits in recognition of team members' volunteer service last year totaled $27,000.

"There's a lot of good happening out there," said Davis.

In the future, Davis is looking forward to increased interaction with the community through such programs as Hands on Banking, which he describes as a "nonpromotional" interactive program offering financial advice and education. The program offers banking and investment information for entrepreneurs, as well as for individuals from third-grade youngsters to adults.

Wells Fargo opened seasonal offices in Southeast Alaska in the 1880s. In 2000, it merged with National Bancorp of Alaska and, in 2008, merged with Wachovia. Its regional headquarters are in Anchorage and there are 49 community banking stores in Alaska.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.