Bell Bank hired Katie Mattis Sarver, a former two-time Executive of the Year for Major League Soccer – Corporate Partnerships, as community development officer serving Bell’s major markets nationwide.
In this new position, Mattis Sarver will work with Bell’s executive leadership, community outreach task forces and community leaders to help guide the bank in assisting neighborhoods, minority-owned businesses and nonprofit organizations in communities historically underserved by financial institutions.
Michael Solberg, Bell Bank president and CEO, pointed out that Bell’s hiring as a community development officer has been a natural progression from the company’s people-focused approach and its long tradition of community giving – perhaps best embodied in Bell’s unique Pay It Forward initiative, which has empowered more than $16 million in charitable giving since 2008 to individuals, families, organizations and causes chosen by employees.
COVID-19 and the social justice protests have brought those needs even more to the forefront, Solberg said, making Mattis Sarver’s hiring even more timely.
“We are challenging ourselves to understand how we as a financial institution can more effectively help create systemic change the Bell way,” Solberg said. “Bell was founded on relationships and personal connections within our community. As we continue to join new communities and neighborhoods, we want to build meaningful relationships, one customer at a time, through the work of our team members and how we pay it forward. Katie’s role is to lead our efforts in fostering new community relationships through listening, building trust and finding ways to take action together.”
Bell Bank’s community development officer and outreach task forces (primarily in the Fargo, ND; Minneapolis and Phoenix markets) will work with business owners, minority-owned businesses, nonprofit organizations and civic leaders. Mattis Sarver and Bell’s task force members will seek genuine relationships with local leaders to understand their unique challenges and help guide how Bell and its workforce can play a role through business development, capital investments, philanthropic gifts and other efforts, including specialized lending programs, programs to increase business and individual bankability, and programs to support minority homeownership.
“I’m excited to join Bell,” Mattis Sarver said. “The culture is second to none. To have an opportunity to work with so many great people to collectively listen and take action, and continue to help the communities where we live and raise our families, is… an opportunity of a lifetime and a true honor.”
As the only person twice named Major League Soccer Corporate Partnerships Executive of the Year, Mattis Sarver has served organizations inside and outside of sports building strategy and operating in the areas of community development, corporate giving, revenue generation and retention, client relations, event production and operations, broadcast and marketing. Prior to joining Bell, Mattis Sarver was an executive team member and senior vice president for corporate partnerships for the Minnesota United Football Club and Allianz Field.
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