Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Thanksgiving Wish

Dear Friends,

I hope your Thanksgiving was a great one and that you were able to spend it with family and friends.  During this time of year it is common for us to reflect on and appreciate what we have.  I am personally grateful for having a job I absolutely love, a family that I could not live without and that supports my every move, and a staff and board of directors that believes that the activities of Pan American Bank are not just part of a job, but part of a movement.

I recently read Tribes by Seth Godin.  In his book there is a passage that could have easily come out of my mouth, "It took me a long time to figure out why I was so happy to be checking my e-mail in the middle of the night.  It had to do with passion.  Other than sleeping, there was nothing I'd rather have been doing in that moment - because I'm lucky enough to have a job where I get to make change happen."  As President and CEO of Pan American Bank, I truly believe that Pan American Bank can make change happen.

I have attached the latest newsletter from Bienvenidos CEO Ritchie Geisel.  Those of you that live and/or work in East Los Angeles are likely very familiar with Bienvenidos.  Bienvenidos is a top tier nonprofit that serves East Los Angeles.  I am proud to say that I am not only a fan of Bienvenidos, I am also a Director.

I am attaching Ritchie's recent newsletter because it succintly speaks to the challenges of East Los Angeles as well as the many efforts currently being undertaken to move East Los Angeles out of the "Forsaken Five Percent," a term used to describe communities such as East Los Angeles in the "2011 A Portrait of California."  I ask you to read it and share it with others that may have an interest in the empowerment and transformation of East Los Angeles.

As Ritchie states in his update, "it would be easy to become discouraged in the current economic and political environment."  Ritchie and I, however, are hopeful that we do not become discouraged and that we find ways to continue to support the activities of Bienvenidos and the many other wonderful organizations that serve the East Los Angeles community.  His update speaks to the many collaborations currently focused on boosting the socioeconomic status of East Los Angeles.

Again, I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving.  I definitely did.   If you would like to keep informed on the work of Bienvenidos and the efforts of the community to move East Los Angeles out of the Forsaken Five Percent, please send your email to join the Bienvenidos mailing list.


Jesse Torres
President and CEO
Pan American Bank
East Los Angeles, CA 90063