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Jane Pavek, 2019 Excellence in Finance

Jane Pavek

Vice president and community development manager,

Wells Fargo

Photo by Pete Grady.

Jane Pavek has a unique role at Wells Fargo.

She is in charge of ensuring banks in western states are engaged in their communities, including everything from boots-on-the-ground volunteer projects to offering classes to youth and homebuyers about banking resources.

Over the past five years, Pavek has been the vice president and community development manager over Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada. She describes her job as being a matchmaker with Wells Fargo’s resources, connecting residents, teachers, politicians and business leaders.

“A lot of banks don’t have just my position full time,” says Pavek, “and I think I’m really lucky in what I get to do.”

Pavek also works to ensure the banks she oversees are in compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act, a federal law that requires banks to meet the needs of borrowers, including those in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.

She often presents ideas to upper management at the bank when she sees something missing in a community, she says. If enough people are facing the same issue, the bank sometimes develops a new program.

From numbers to community relations

Pavek opened her first savings account with First Security Bank at 5 years old. The expectation was that she would go to college, and she did. She earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Boise State University, and says she’s very comfortable with numbers and has always been really good at math.

From there, it was just a hop, skip and a jump to land in community relations in a bank.

Pavek always loved the people working behind the counters and desks, and she always felt comfortable in the bank, she says. She joined the First Security Bank team around 1993 as a member of the management training program. First Security Bank was bought by Wells Fargo around 2000, and Pavek has been with Wells Fargo for 26 years.

One of Pavek’s proudest accomplishments is helping bring and execute NeighborhoodLIFT 2017 to Boise, and all of Idaho. It wasn’t a new program nationally, but it had only been implemented city-wide in larger states such as California and Florida around the time of the housing crisis.

In 2017, in Idaho, the program provided about $3 million for Wells Fargo to invest in local communities. About 350 families were able to put down payments and move into houses, Pavek says.

The rest of the money, about $1 million, went to neighborhood revitalization projects such as a neighborhood block with a dilapidated house on it in Pocatello. Pocatello City acquired the property and built three new houses on it, and volunteers laid sod and put up fencing.

“Seeing a project go from start to finish, it’s really satisfying,” says Pavek, “And it makes you feel like, ‘Okay, I can do something, you know, good in this world.’”

The digital version of Excellence in Finance 2020 is available for free download.

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