Kevin Wilson Brings His Whole Self to His Work

President Paige thanked Matt Parrish for the wonderful job of presenting terrific speakers in December. Shifting from outside speakers, Paige called upon Kevin Wilson, who joined AWER in August, to present a ‘classification talk’ – describing his life and career. Kevin began by saying it’s unusual for him to talk about himself, but for Rotary, he was willing to do so, because the Club wanted to know about him as a person, in addition to receiving career information. Kevin first emphasized his own family, wife Crystal, son Nicholas and daughter Morgan, both college students. Morgan joined her dad for his presentation, and to give moral support. He gave credit to his parents, who grew up in Mississippi, noting he benefited greatly from them during his whole life because of their strong values. His dad, who was a well-organized, dependable breadwinner, gave the family order and stability. His mother was outgoing, politically active, and focused on "giving back," key values she passed on to her family. In the 1940s as a part of the black migration north, Kevin's parents left Mississippi and settled in Chicago, where Kevin was born. His mother took charge of where Kevin would be educated, choosing a Catholic high school in a somewhat dangerous neighborhood where Kevin was part of the 1% black enrollment. He had to make major adjustments, and did not chafe under discriminatory acts by the administration or students. He felt he was positively challenged to think differently and consider new views about life. Growing up Kevin reported a diverse religious life. The family began as Baptists, but when they saw a child kicked out of the church because she had become pregnant, the Wilsons quit, and became Catholics. But given Kevin’s need for a healthier diet, which was a part of Islam, his mom led the family to become Muslims. His mom’s sister was of a different faith and her children were prospering, so his mom wanted the same for Kevin. The family followed his aunt’s religion and became Lutherans. When it was time for college, Kevin’s dad took charge and selected Loyola University, urging Kevin to choose accounting or to be trained in heating ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) as a career where he was sure to be employed and make a good living. After graduating in finance, Kevin’s first job was in money management, and he moved to a money-marketing firm, but was laid off. Fortunately, he soon landed a new job at Bank of America leading him into wealth management, which was exciting, and broadened his vision and skills as he was thrust into sophisticated finance discussions with clients, and having to be prepared to advise on private foundation investment strategies. The job is people-centered and highly diverse given varied goals and directions people have for themselves and therefore their money. His CEO gave him great advice: bring your whole life to work! As a result Kevin presents his whole self to his clients and their families, their work, and their understanding of goals for their communities, all based on being honest so all can "sleep at night" because decisions are ethically based. Technology has a huge affect on banking, so while it commits to building quality banker-client relationships, online banking makes it easier for more customers resulting in a trend of fewer people actually going into a bank. Still he emphasizes the bank seeks ways to being people-centered.

Posted by Neil Shorthouse
December 20, 2019 2:00pm