JP Morgan Chase opens Staten Island’s first ‘community-focused’ branch

STATEN ISLAND, NY – As part of its $ 30 billion commitment to racial equity – an effort to drive inclusive economic growth among Black, Hispanic and Latino communities – JPMorgan Chase recently announced the launch of its first community-focused branch in Stapleton and the hire of a Staten Island resident who will focus on the key drivers of closing the racial wealth gap.

“Financial health isn’t always associated with more income …,” noted Kim Avilez, the borough’s first JP Morgan Chase community manager who has worked in financial services for more than 20 years. “Getting the right education is important to understanding how to utilize money and watch your finances grow. That’s why it’s so important to collaborate with neighborhood leaders and organizations to break down economic barriers and support the success of our customers and our community. “

JP Morgan Chase opens a 'community-focused' branch in Staten Island

Kim Avilez, seen here at far right, will be the borough’s first JP Morgan Chase community manager. (Photo courtesy of JPMorgan Chase)

Serving as a local ambassador for JPMorgan Chase, Avilez will build and nurture relationships with Staten Island residents, community leaders, real estate agents and non-profit organizations. In collaboration with these groups, Avilez will host regular workshops – free of charge and open to the public – that focus on a wide range of topics, like building a budget, saving for a down payment and credit health, while finding the right products and services to support individuals’ financial health goals.

Beyond this new leadership role for the firms on Staten Island, JPMorgan Chase is investing $ 6 million of equity in minority depository institutions and community development financial institutions around the country, including New York-based Carver Federal Savings Bank.

Carver expects to utilize most of the proceeds from JPMorgan Chase’s investment to increase lending activities to minority and women business entrepreneurs and expand financial education programs in the diverse low-to-moderate income communities it serves.

“With 158 employees, 12 branches and more than $ 7 million in philanthropic investments over the past year throughout the city, Staten Island is critical to the success of JPMorgan Chase,” said Sekou Kaalund, head of JPMorgan Chase’s northeast division of consumer banking. “We’re bringing in local leaders who know these communities inside and out and are committed to empowering everyone … to take charge of their financial future and succeed.”

JP Morgan Chase opens a 'community-focused' branch in Staten Island

Staff members show off their new custom-made Stapleton T-shirts. (Photo courtesy of JPMorgan Chase)

Avilez has spent the last six years growing her own business, Glow Event Management, which specializes in coordinating and managing social and corporate events. She serves on the board of directors of the Minority Women Business Association of Staten Island and Phenomenal Women Association Inc.

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