Inside the Stagecoach
July 7, 2015

Refugees find a way to better serve their Iowa community

Wells Fargo team members in Des Moines join forces to find tellers who speak their refugee customers’ languages — and provide jobs in the process.

Ty Dunker was volunteering to assist a refugee community in Des Moines, Iowa, when he realized the newcomers would feel more welcome at Wells Fargo banking stores if tellers spoke their language.

Because Ty, who leads a technology team, didn’t know exactly where to start, he walked into the Beaverdale store in Des Moines and broached the subject with Store Manager Jeramy Bethards.

Ty says, “I thought that employing these individuals could not only open up a career path for them, but also support our Wells Fargo culture: By knowing the customers we serve, we also help the communities we serve.”

Jeramy agreed and started interviewing candidates.

One of those was Lweh Moo. Her parents are from Burma, but because of war, she was born in a refugee camp in Thailand. When she was 11, her family moved to the U.S., and she now lives in Des Moines and works as a Wells Fargo teller in Beaverdale.

Jeramy said he instantly knew that he should hire Lweh because she would be able to build “a personal and emotional connection” with customers.

She says when her community found out she was working at Wells Fargo, they were very proud of her.