Wells Fargo New Orleans Middle Market Banking Office Turns Diversity Into Success

NEW ORLEANS – Wells Fargo reps said their 13-team member New Orleans office has become a model for success in diversity since launching in 2011.

         Nikesha Woodridge said she is proud to come to her office in New Orleans every day. That’s because she said she can bring her “whole self” to work.

         “Since joining Wells Fargo, I’ve appreciated that diversity and inclusion embedded within the bank’s culture, vision and values,” Woodridge, a client service manager with more than 13 years in the banking industry, said. “Here, I truly feel that my experience, skill sets and contributions to the team are valued most.”

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         That experience is exactly what Louisiana Middle Market Banking Regional Vice President Doug Kilton said he aimed to achieve when he launched the office in 2011 with a laser focus on diversity.

         Since then, the 13-team member office has become one of the most diverse in Wells Fargo’s Wholesale Banking group, which includes more than 90 lines of business within the bank. Along with its strides in diversity, the team, comprising a representative cross-section of the community, has amassed millions in loan commitments, reps said.

         Like Woodridge, Kathy Broussard, a senior relationship manager with more than 30 years of experience in banking, said she was pleased to see, upon joining Wells in 2014, the office closely mirrors the New Orleans community it serves.

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         “Here at Wells Fargo, we all see the same vision, even if we all see it in different ways from different perspectives,” Broussard said. “It’s truly a team approach.”

         Broussard and Woodridge credit VP Kilton with creating an open environment where team members are encouraged to share their thoughts and suggestions. Kilton said respecting and embracing team members’ differences has helped the office retain outstanding talent, including leaders whose unique backgrounds contribute to everyone’s success.

         “In an office where team members can be who they are, they rise to be the best they can be,” he said. “Diverse experiences are expressed in different strengths, outlooks, energy, passions and perspectives in the office. It’s made us all better.”

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         The Wells Fargo Wholesale Banking group is also committed to diversity recruiting, reps said. The Wholesale Talent Acquisition Diversity Strategy and Programs team, led by Indhira Arrington, in partnership with Wholesale Acquisition recruiting managers, provides guidance and education to help managers make the best hiring decisions.

         “As a company, we know that team members who bring a diversity of thought, ideas and experience to their roles, enable us to meet the changing needs of our customers and communities,” Arrington said. “Our diversity recruiting strategy includes developing partnerships with organizations serving diverse communities, hosting on-campus recruiting events, participating in national conferences and career fairs and staying connected with team members through the Team Member Networks and employee referrals in order to hire and retain top diverse talent.”

         Arrington commends Kilton for driving a culture where team members feel they belong and are empowered to contribute.

         “When it [diversity] becomes part of your fabric and you make it a part of what you do, then you reap the benefits,” Kilton said. “When you absolutely commit to it 100 percent, that’s when the magic happens.”


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