We’re in this together: Joining forces to make our communities grow and thrive
August 1, 2015
There are a lot of moving parts to creating a healthy, growing community. Some are obvious, like the appearance of a new business, but others are more behind the scenes, like the work it took to make that new business a reality.
In hundreds of communities throughout the United States, a BMO Harris branch is part of the business landscape. Our employees have an investment in seeing the community flourish because not only do they work there, but they live there as well. So, you'll see our employees involved in everything from park cleanups to food drives to using their professional expertise as they work with nonprofit organizations.
In six geographic regions throughout the eight states we serve, BMO Harris is introducing Community Engagement Councils — forums through which our employees can join with members of the community to increase collaboration and get the most benefit from pooling their resources.
"Our tagline is ‘We’re here to help," says Wallace Harris, Chief Community Reinvestment Act Officer. "But those are just words if we don't stand behind them with our actions. That's what our Community Engagement Councils are all about — listening to our community partners so that together we can make a difference."
Recently, the Minneapolis Community Engagement Council hosted a Community Partners' Reception, during which 35 nonprofit agency partners, community leaders and council members came together to hear about what the council hopes to achieve and how each of them can play a role in their mutual success.
Representing the Minnesota Homeownership Center was Executive Director Julie Gugin. "Our organization has a long-standing relationship with BMO Harris," says Gugin. "Dave Lindstrom (Senior Vice President, BMO Harris Bank) has been on our board of directors for many years, BMO Harris has been a generous funder of our organization's outreach, and having a strong homebuyer partner like BMO Harris helps us prepare people for first-time homeownership. This council, and the opportunity it offers to work together in new and more effective ways, is exciting for us, and I look forward to seeing what this new collaboration brings."