New president, board members named to lead Norwest Housing Foundation
DES MOINES — November 8, 1999
The Norwest Housing Foundation (NHF), which supports community organizations dedicated to housing solutions for low-income and homeless families nationwide, has named Jorge Valencia as president. Valencia is a strategic business development manager for Norwest Mortgage, Inc., and a founding member of the NHF.
Team members from all Norwest and Wells Fargo & Company businesses provide volunteer support to NHF-sponsored activities nationwide. The Foundation also makes financial contributions to national housing organizations and those serving individual communities. Since the NHF's inception in 1993, more than 1,000 homes have been built or remodeled for low-income, first-time homebuyers through the Foundation.
Valencia succeeds Cara Heiden, executive vice president, national consumer lending sales for Norwest Mortgage, who served as the Foundation's president since 1996. Heiden will continue to serve as a committee member.
"Cara's passion for helping people inspired our entire organization and helped establish the Norwest Housing Foundation as one of the most recognized housing-minded organizations in the nation," Valencia said.
"Thanks to the support of an organization that is passionate about its mission, the Norwest Housing Foundation has accomplished so much in such a short period of time... all in an effort to ensure more families realize the most basic human need all a decent, safe place to call home," Heiden said.
A 12-member committee governs the Norwest Housing Foundation. Kimberly Jackson, Norwest Housing Foundation executive director, announced two additions to the committee in conjunction with Valencia's appointment. New committee members include Linda Engelkes, internal communications manager for Wells Fargo & Company, and Julie Piepho, vice president, program manager for Norwest Mortgage.
Other NHF committee members include; Todd Bjorklund, senior vice president, loan servicing for Norwest Mortgage; Dan Frahm, director, communications for Norwest Mortgage; Pat Hanson, managing officer, community development for Norwest Bank Minnesota, N.A.; Diane Lilly, corporate relations manager for Wells Fargo & Company; Rob Nye, senior vice president for Norwest Mortgage; Brian Porter, consultant for Norwest Mortgage; Dan Russell, executive vice president, emerging markets for Norwest Mortgage and Jim Strother, executive vice president, and secretary and general counsel for Norwest Mortgage.
Recent noteworthy initiatives supported by the NHF include the following:
- The NHF announced a $16.5 million commitment in loans and contributions over five years to Habitat for Humanity International's Rebuilding Our Communities (ROC) campaign in 1996, one of the largest contributions ever provided to Habitat in its 20-year history. The goal of the campaign is to build 50,000 homes by 2001.
- The NHF launched a first time Focus Communities Initiative in 1999 to generate decent and affordable housing for low-income families in six Wells Fargo/Norwest communities Santa Ana and San Francisco, Calif.; Phoenix, Ariz.; San Antonio, Texas; Minneapolis, Minn.; and Philadelphia, Pa. Through the initiative, a lead organization in each community is provided a $100,000 "challenge grant" to help them attract additional support from local, state and national funding agents.
- In 1999, the NHF is a national sponsor, supporting Habitat for Humanity International's First Ladies Build, a campaign aimed at having a home built by women in each capitol city across the nation.
- In the last three years, the Foundation in conjunction with local volunteers has sponsored four homes with Texas A&M in Bryant, Texas, and four homes with the University of Notre Dame Alumni Association in South Bend, Ind.
Based in Des Moines, Iowa, Norwest Mortgage, Inc., is a subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC). It is a leading originator and servicer of residential mortgages and the nation's leading lender to ethnic minority, immigrant and low- to moderate-income homebuyers. With more than 800 stores nationwide, Norwest Mortgage operates the largest mortgage lending network in the country and provides funding for approximately one of every 15 homes financed annually in the United States.