Zions Bank Employees are a vibrant part of the United Way of Salt Lake network. Read how they got involved and what they like most about volunteering in the community.
In almost every town in Utah, you can find a Zions Bank. From north in Smithfield and Logan to south in Blanding and Kanab, Zions Bank has been a part of the Utah community since 1873.
“Banking is the heart of every community,” says Crystal Low, Executive Vice President at Zions Bancorporation and United Way of Salt Lake (UWSL) Board Member. “We’re in the business of helping people in our community: we help people get their first car loan, help people buy their first home, help fund school, and help an entrepreneur’s dream come true by giving them a line of credit to buy their first load of inventory.”
For many years, Zions Bank has been a key supporter and valued partner of UWSL. “I’ve seen the evolution of United Way of Salt Lake over the years, it’s great to see their effort really focus on bringing key community partners together to ensure… wholistic solutions that are going to be long-standing,” Low says.
In addition to having Crystal on our board, we welcome Zions Bank employees as members of our Donor Networks — these dedicated individuals make additional commitments to volunteer, advocate, and help shape the Salt Lake community.
We talked to just a few of them to learn more about their connection to UWSL and what being a part of the UWSL team means to them.
Jamie Schwarzenbach, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Retail Service Strategy Manager, talked about Women United and why their work resonates with her. She told us, “One of the primary focuses of Women United is to support the educational achievement of girls and women in our community, working to ensure they have the opportunities and the tools to pursue their educational dreams. It’s been said that education is the great equalizer, and I truly believe education is the key to solving many social inequities. This mission really resonates with me because I have been fortunate to have the support of positive role models who have encouraged me to pursue my own educational goals.”
David Wenk, Senior Vice President, Regional Director at Zions Bank, told us about his favorite part of volunteering with UWSL. He says, “my favorite times with United Way have been “Science Wednesdays” at the Guadalupe School. I have seen kids progress from being shy to outgoing as we have worked with them in these after-school programs. You feel like you have an impact on these kids’ lives.” He goes on, “When you understand that the kids of today are our future, you really understand the importance of helping them and preparing them to be the leaders of tomorrow. And nothing feels better than feeling like you are a positive impact in a child’s life. United Way has provided me multiple opportunities to experience these positive experiences in my own life and I am grateful for that.”
We asked Shannon Kelly, Senior Vice President, Head of Model Risk Management and Women United Member, how Zions encourages giving and volunteerism. She told us, “Zions has encouraged charitable giving and community involvement especially in ways that improve the lives of others, including improving access to better education and needed services. Zions believes that it is important to strive to lift up all members of the community and to provide the tools to do so.” She goes on to say that it’s important to her because, “A company that supports their community believes in a long-term commitment to community and employees. This impacts their strategic investment and growth decisions to focus on long-term sustainability.”
Crystal summed it up when she told us, “The work is bigger and more important than most people realize. UWSL is much different than what people think of as a traditional United Way. At the core, the goal is to provide cradle-to-career support for the children in our communities. This means bringing together all the necessary resources kids need to thrive… UWSL is changing, for the better, how people, organizations, and systems work together.”
Thank you to Zions Bank for their support and community engagement!
By Jessica Gezon, Sr. Content Manager, United Way of Salt Lake