Wells Fargo, Central Iowa’s largest employer, has focused on supporting the communities in which it operates, said Mary Mack, the senior executive vice president, head of consumer banking, who oversees 107,000 workers across the country.

“We’re measured by the success of the communities in which we work,” Mack said to a crowd of more than 700 business leaders, state and local public officials and Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts leaders, as well as scouts. “We are passionate about connecting to our communities.”

That focus reflects the missions of the Scouts organizations, she said. Mack was the keynote speaker at the 10th annual Governor’s Scout Luncheon Wednesday at the Iowa Events Center. 

In 2017, she said, Wells Fargo gave $4.5 million to nearly 300 nonprofits and schools, and Iowa workers added up 210,000 volunteer hours. There are nearly 14,000 employees in Central Iowa.

In an interview, Mack and Regional President Marta Codina highlighted NeighborhoodLIFT, a program that provides $15,000 down payment assistance grants for homebuyers with annual incomes of no more than 80 percent of the local area median income, which is about $63,700 for up to a family of four in Polk County. (Read a Business Record story on the program.) There have been 246 grants, with another 19 pending, the executives said. The response has been greater than expected.

While Mack focused on the positive to the Scouts, her message also touched on the effort to restore trust with customers and employees in the last few years as scandals about improper handling of accounts, among other accusations, have dogged Wells Fargo.

Transformation in the wake of the scandals and ensuing investigations has required several key traits that young workers seem to possess -- resiliency, optimism and the ability to adapt to change. “Those traits are what will propel us into the future as we transform to be a better bank in the future,” said Mack.

She encouraged attendees to support the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa and the Mid-Iowa Council, Boy Scouts of America. The two groups reach 40,000 youths in the state.

Wells Fargo, and other area businesses, sponsored the luncheon.