Hello, Greater Washington!
July 26, 2016 10:00 AM
Jason Fedash, Director of Business Banking for Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
Mindy Mercaldo, Managing Director, Market President, Central Southeast Division
Diana Meyer, Sr. Vice President, Metro Washington Marketplace Manager
Courtney Ward, Managing Director, Markets and Securities Services
Candi Wolff, EVP, Head of Global Government Affairs
The City Profiles series is dedicated to highlighting Citi’s history in some of our key markets around the world. We spoke to five Washington, D.C.-based leaders to get their perspectives on Citi’s ongoing involvement in the Greater Washington community.
What is your favorite milestone from Citi’s history in Washington, D.C., and how do we continue to enable progress in Greater Washington today?
Courtney: My favorite milestone is our 1976 financing of bonds for the Metropolitan Transit Authority – the Metro. Now, the Metro operates the second largest heavy rail transit system, sixth largest bus network and fifth largest paratransit service in the U.S.
Diana: In recent years the city of Washington, DC has made a concerted effort to be more inclusive – to be a city where everyone has the opportunity to contribute to and benefit from the local economy. Promoting entrepreneurship, especially in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color, is central to that objective. Citi Community Development has been front and center of these efforts and has built long standing relationships with the City and local community organizations to ensure that all entrepreneurs have access to the capital and assistance they need to start businesses and create jobs. For example, Citi has provided significant financial support and expertise to the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC), which has made hundreds of loans to small and micro businesses in Greater Washington, creating new jobs in the communities that need them the most.
Mindy: In 2016, we opened a Citi Smart Banking branch at Dupont Circle. The branch is one of the first in the country to feature state-of-the art technologies like a digital merchandise wall and a workbench concept. Plus, the smart branch staff is equipped to deliver a more engaging experience to our clients.
Candi: I’m particularly proud of our support for the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation through our title sponsorship of the Citi Open tennis tournament. Every year in July, the WTEF hosts some of the top-ranked players in the world at the Citi Open. A portion of the proceeds from the Citi Open benefits WTEF’s education and tennis programs, which help underserved children and youth in the city. This year, Citi is also providing a new opportunity for the WTEF called “Citi Open Professional Development Day,” an event that will enable a group of WTEF children interested in the inner workings of the sports and entertainment industry to have an opportunity to shadow a series of professionals behind the scenes at the tournament.
Jason: A favorite milestone of mine is our selection, in 2012, by the Washington, D.C. Department of Employment Services to develop a system of prepaid credit cards to replace its reliance on paper checks. We now process unemployment insurance for D.C. residents, as well as payroll payments for more than 10,000 teenagers enrolled in the D.C. Summer Youth Employment Program.
What are some of the key opportunities facing clients and customers in your market?
Mindy: I see small businesses in Washington, D.C., on the rise. We made $61 million in loans to fuel the growth of more than 9,000 small businesses in the district in 2015, and we expect that number will continue to increase.
Courtney: Greater Washington is being seen more and more as a place for larger businesses as well. Citi serves 15 key Fortune 500 clients that are headquartered in this area.
In working on the City Profiles project, did you learn anything surprising about the history of Washington, D.C., and Citi’s involvement there?
Candi: I was surprised that our history in the nation’s capital dates back to the early 1900s. In those early days we established a special Washington D.C. service to facilitate the issuance and retirement of notes by the bank’s correspondents. So our recognition of the importance of Washington, D.C. as the center of all three branches of government began early. We continue to be a proud member of the Greater Washington community, with more than 2,400 employees, 3,100 Citi alumni, 30+ retail branches and more than 850,000 consumer and business accounts.
Jason: I hadn’t known that in 1994 we provided funding to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. The museum plays an integral role in teaching millions of visitors each year, and I’m proud of our involvement.
Looking forward, what are you most excited about for Citi’s future in Washington, D.C.?
Candi: The Citi Foundation selected Washington, D.C. as one of 10 cities for our Pathways to Progress initiative, which provides young people ages 16-24 with the opportunity to develop workplace skills and leadership experience critical to success in the 21st century. We’ve already helped more than 6,000 low-income youths in the city, and we will continue to make an impact on even more lives as the program continues.
Diana: I am looking forward to building on our tradition of helping develop affordable rental housing projects. Over the years, we’ve supported a wide range of mixed-income projects in D.C. communities, including helping the District rejuvenate the 406-unit Fairway complex with an innovative funding solution, financing the renovation of the Samuel Kelsey senior apartments and the construction of The Lofts at Capitol Quarter.
Please visit the full Greater Washington City Profile for more information.