Baird Branches Expand Partnerships with Diversity Organizations & Schools
As part of Baird’s commitment to Inclusion & Diversity (I&D), Baird’s Private Wealth Management business is proud to spotlight branch offices committed to partnerships with local organizations and schools specifically targeting diverse demographics. Baird’s Seattle office was recently recognized for its alliance with Rainier Scholars and the collective effort made to offer a pathway to college graduation for low-income students of color. Offices in Columbus, Ohio, Denver, Colo. and Portland, Ore. have joined in efforts such as these and established external partnerships with organizations in their communities.
Denver Office and ACE Scholarships
The Denver office began its work with ACE Scholarships in 2020, through an introduction by Loretta Charron, Business Development Consultant.
“ACE Scholarships is a wonderful non-profit focused on providing low-income families with scholarships to quality schools, K-12, and advocate for expanded school choice,” said Matt Curley, Regional Market Director in Baird’s Private Wealth Management business. “Many of the students come from diverse backgrounds and are the first in their families to graduate from high school or college. We are excited to partner with ACE in Denver to provide internship opportunities for ACE Alumni who are now college students, ideally creating pathways for them into our business. This summer, we have two outstanding interns who graduated from our local Cristo Rey high school and are now rising seniors at the University of Denver’s business school. We look forward to a long-term relationship with ACE.”
There is significant momentum behind the partnership with ACE, and the drive to support the organization is illustrated by its pursuit to receive the Paul Purcell’s Kids Win Grant.
Columbus Office and Cristo Rey Schools
Baird’s Cleveland office expanded its partnership with Cristo Rey Schools to Columbus in 2020. Originally established in 2004, the Cleveland branch was also among the 10 founding businesses who formed the Cristo Rey School in Cleveland, St. Martin de Porres. Baird’s own Paul Purcell strongly encouraged the firm’s partnership with Cristo Rey, and even served as the school board president in Chicago in the early 2000s. When Brian approached Paul on getting involved, Paul said, “Outside of my family and Baird, it’s my favorite thing I do; do what you need to do to get involved.”
At the end of summer 2021, students from the school in Columbus will be selected and assigned to work in the Columbus branch. Through this partnership, approximately 40-50 students have joined Baird’s Ohio field offices, including both Cleveland and Columbus. This continued commitment is intended to progress and reach as many students as possible.
“We are excited to continue our commitment to the Cristo Rey Network schools by partnering with the Cristo Rey School in Columbus, Ohio,” said Brian Kurtz, Regional Market Director in Baird’s Private Wealth Management business. “We have been involved with the Cleveland Cristo Rey school since they opened St. Martin de Porres. We were one of the original 10 companies in Cleveland to sign up back in 2004. As we think about how to get a more diverse workforce, this is the gateway to do meaningful work around that and we couldn’t be more excited about the partnership in Columbus. To have these students work in our branch and get exposure to Baird's business, and, at the same time, this work pays for their private school? There are winners all around.”
Portland Office and Emerging Leaders PDX
The Portland office was introduced to Emerging Leaders in 2020, after leadership was exposed to the organization through personal philanthropy with another nonprofit. The mission, to empower diverse talent to excel as professionals through opportunity and a supportive community, aligned with Baird’s efforts in I&D, and the intentional efforts to create and empower young leaders stood out. In addition, helping to expose talented young adults with diverse backgrounds to our firm would benefit both parties. The commitment from the Portland office aims to encourage its community and the leaders of tomorrow.
“Since the partnership began, it has been a fantastic experience,” said Andy Miller, Branch Manager in Baird’s Private Wealth Management business. “There were a number of impressive candidates from Emerging Leaders, which made the decision difficult to just choose one intern. The intern that was selected this summer has been great. He has provided value to the team, as well as a great attitude and energy to the office.”
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