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Wells Fargo Supports Neighborhood Revitalization

Wells Fargo & Company announced it will donate $75,000 to Native American Connections (NAC) of Phoenix as part of a $6 million in grants awarded across 67 nonprofits through its 2013 Leading the Way Home® program Priority Markets Initiative to  help stabilize and revitalize neighborhoods impacted by the economy.   The Leading The Way Home® program Priority Markets Initiative provides grant support for neighborhood stabilization projects that are located in areas designated for revitalization to stimulate growth, stability and investment in distressed areas.

“Wells Fargo is bringing much needed support to enable these nonprofits to help stabilize and revitalize local communities,” said Michael Riley, Metro West area president for Wells Fargo Arizona. “We believe the work of the nonprofit community is a critical conduit to revitalize neighborhoods in cities that have been deeply affected by the challenging economy.”

Native American Connections, is actively involved and experienced in community revitalization efforts and was identified by Wells Fargo as being in need of extra help with large-scale neighborhood revitalization projects. Priority Markets Initiative program grants can be used for any costs associated with the development or redevelopment of the project. Recipients must be an IRS 501c3 organizations with successful histories of building or renovating housing for low-to moderate-income homebuyers.

“Native American Connections first partnered with Wells Fargo in 2004 for our very first Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) development,” said Diana Yazzie Devine, NAC chief executive officer. “The experience helped us grow our capacity to develop high quality, affordable housing serving a range of our client’s needs throughout central Phoenix.  Wells Fargo supports NAC’s strategies of building along Phoenix’s new light rail system, selecting difficult urban infill sites that increase density, reduce parking, building green, and embracing our mission of ensuring our residents have access to much-needed support systems and employment. We would like to thank Wells Fargo for their years of continued support and we look forward to our work together in the future.”

Native American Connections will use the grant funds to make additional energy efficiency improvements to Urban Living on 2nd (UL2), and to further reduce building operating costs and individual unit energy costs.  UL2, opening January 2014, is a 70-unit LIHTC development offering affordable housing along the light rail line at 650 North 2nd Avenue in Phoenix.  Wells Fargo provided construction financing for the project.
Wells Fargo’s Leading the Way Home® community outreach program helps communities stabilize their current housing situation while advancing homeownership to build strong communities into the future. Since 2009, the Leading the Way Priority Markets Initiative grant program, funded through the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation, has provided more than $25 million to nearly 100 communities.

The Leading the Way Home Program Priority Markets Initiatives are administered through the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation. Since 1993, the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation has invested more than $284 million in support of affordable housing and community revitalization programs, and delivered 4.7 million in volunteer hours to build or rehabilitate more than 5,000 homes.


Bankers Trust honors Native American Connections CEO

As a reflection of its growth in the Phoenix market, Bankers Trust hosted a Grand Opening celebration at its new, larger location at 2325 Camelback Road, Suite 100, just one block north of its former North 24th Street address on Tuesday. To commemorate a key factor in the branch’s growth ― its emphasis on giving back to the community ― the event included presenting the first-ever Bankers Trust Community Partner Award to Diana “Dede” Yazzie Devine, CEO and President of Native American Connections (NAC).  Pat Rourke, Phoenix Market President for Bankers Trust Company, presented the award alongside Suku Radia, CEO and President of Bankers Trust Company.

Rourke said, “We created the $3,000 annual award to recognize an individual who shares Bankers Trust’s core values in the areas of diversity, affordable housing and financial education, and who has made a significant, positive impact in the local community. Dede Devine certainly epitomizes those values, and we are thrilled to recognize and support her and Native American Connections in this way.”

For more than 30 years, Devine has served as CEO of NAC, which is a Native American-operated nonprofit corporation that provides comprehensive behavioral health services, affordable housing and community-based economic development opportunities primarily to Native Americans living in Phoenix and nearby tribal communities. Radia said, “In 2011, NAC opened Devine Legacy on Central. This 65-unit, multi-family development enhances access to affordable housing in Phoenix, something we at Bankers Trust are keenly concerned about and want to support whenever possible.”

Devine said, “As CEO of Native American Connections for 34 years, my leadership and values are layered across the organization and mirror the commitment of Bankers Trust to diversity, personal service, leadership and stability. Like Bankers Trust, Native American Connections’ ability to serve our customers is dependent on wonderful relationships and partnerships. It is an honor to be recognized by Bankers Trust for leading a team of mission-driven employees.”