Leadership Profile: 2020 Board Chair Shelley Marquez
Wednesday, January 8, 2020
Posted by: Dora Grace
Each month we profile a member volunteer who has demonstrated outstanding support for Housing Colorado's mission, either by serving on a committee or contributing their time and energy in other ways.
2020 Board Chair – Shelley Marquez
||Shelley Marquez is senior vice president and Community Relations Senior Manager at Wells Fargo, managing the community development and philanthropy teams across 11 states. Shelley and her team are responsible for community outreach, stakeholder engagement, charitable contributions, reputation activities and Underbanked Council work across Wells Fargo enterprise. She has 35 years of banking experience and has been with Wells Fargo for the last 25 years.
How did you end up working in affordable housing?
As a proud Colorado native, I grew up in the Westwood neighborhood of Denver. I have always been passionate about community and giving back. My love for community grew 17 years ago, when I took a position as the Community Development Manager covering the state of Colorado. This role gave me a greater understanding of the community needs and allowed me to further my impact not only in the Westwood Neighborhood but throughout Colorado.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I have been blessed to find a position that aligns with my personal interest and passion. As the Community Relations Senior Manager, I get to work with a great team who is passionate about the community and focused on solving pressing problems around Affordable Housing, and Economic Development. This work has allowed me to lead a team and work in the communities that are near and dear to my heart. I love being able to make a difference and knowing the work I lead is making a difference.
How did you get involved with Housing Colorado?
I attended my first Housing Colorado conference in 2003. The following year, I became involved in the conference planning committee. This allowed me the opportunity to learn more about the work Housing Colorado was doing around quality affordable housing, and advocacy to build a strong economy and healthy communities. It was also a great way to connect with attendees and meet so many passionate people that had the same focus.
How do you currently serve Housing Colorado, and what do you enjoy most about volunteering?
After being on the conference planning committee and finance committee, I joined the Housing Colorado board in 2015 and chaired the governance committee for the last 3 years. I enjoy giving back and working with other like-minded individuals to work on solving the affordable housing issues in Colorado.
What are some exciting progressions or projects currently going on in your work?
Currently we are in the process of implementing our new strategic philanthropy work locally and across the company. The work in community relations continues to evolve and how we are responding to grant request is changing. Wells Fargo is looking to help solve societal problems and our focus areas are Housing Affordability, Financial Health and Small Business Growth. The Housing Affordability pillar aligns well with the work Housing Colorado is doing and this is also an opportunity for Wells Fargo to play a significant role in how we address housing issues nationally and in the local market.
What website(s) do you find useful in your work?
One website I find very resourceful is LiveAffordabilitycolorado.org because it provides some key statistics on the need for housing. I also use the CHFA resources and Division of Housing and of course Google.
What project, program or undertaking are you most proud of and why?
Every project has a special meaning because impact is created and the focus is helping our distressed communities, implementing resources, and creating safe and affordable housing. I think the work we have done with the NeighborhoodLIFT Program in 2014 and 2017 in Denver, Aurora and Arapahoe counties has had a significant impact in the most recent years, given the cost of housing is out of reach for many individuals in our community. Being able to provide down payment assistance is critical and knowing we are changing the life of each individual or family to realize their dream is priceless. In addition, the work we are doing to support nonprofit organizations in our local community that support capacity building or fund programs for low to moderate income individuals it is helping to meet our community needs.
Who has been an instrumental mentor through your career so far, or who do you look up to?
One person I look up to is my dad who served in the U.S. Marine Corp as a military policeman and is a disabled veteran. He worked at Red Rocks Community College as an automotive instructor for many years. He has always been very supportive of my career and he is the internal optimist who provides encouragement and support along the way. He has had to deal with a number of his own challenges from his injuries in the service and the loss of his son’s. No matter the struggle he remains faithful and has a positive outlook on life. He is one of my biggest supporters and has always reminded me to keep my head up and be proud of who I am.