The Fabulous Christine Ragos
Working Wardrobes is honored and privileged to have such committed and hardworking Board Members, and Christine Ragos is one of these very special people. On behalf of her organization, U.S. Bank, Christine has lent her valuable support and guidance to Working Wardrobes through the years to help expand the services we offer and the number of clients we serve.
We recently sat down with Christine to learn more about her passion for our organization and her commitment to helping our clients realize
The Power of a Paycheck.
Christine, how did you hear about Working Wardrobes? How did you become a valued Board Member of our organization?
I first learned about Working Wardrobes through my colleague,
Anna Conrekas, who passed away a little over a year ago. She was a Working Wardrobes Board Member in the years prior to her passing and I was leading U.S. Bank’s Development Network in Orange County. She asked me for support to help spread the word about the Working Wardrobes mission and to explore opportunities in which we could partner with the nonprofit. Through the years, U.S. Bank has provided volunteer support, sponsorships, clothing donations, and more, and I have had the good fortune of attending Working Wardrobes events such as Smart Women and fundraising galas. I have also lent volunteer support at some of the different events throughout the years.
Working Wardrobes is not new to me. I have been a supporter of the organization for many years.
What makes you passionate about Working Wardrobes? What do you feel are some of the most important aspects of our work in the community?
I believe that everybody who is part of Working Wardrobes does it from their hearts and I see this across the whole organization, from the volunteers to the staff to the Board Members. We support Working Wardrobes to help people earn a paycheck and better their lives. We have the ability to impact so many people’s lives and the lives of those around them, which is the best part. This is what makes me so passionate. Something as simple as a new jacket, in conjunction with the skills they learn here, can give a person the confidence they need to get a job and become self-sufficient. I also appreciate the fact that we started as an organization helping women, but today we assist clients across the board – women, men, young adults, and veterans.
Working Wardrobes has evolved based on the needs of the community to meet those needs and to enrich the lives of others.
What is your role at U.S. Bank and what do you believe sets your organization apart from other banks?
I am a District Manager at U.S. Bank. I am responsible for overseeing 14 branches in the Orange County market. What sets U.S. Bank apart from other banks is the fact that we put the customer at the center of everything single thing we do. Every choice we make, every conversation we have, the advice we give, and every business decision is based on what’s best for our customers. Our people are here to serve our customers and that is really important. Our bank offers some of the best products and services and has recently been on the cutting edge of technology advances, but that - by itself - isn’t enough. You have to blend the services and technology with a commitment to customer service from our employees. U.S. Bank has done a great job of combining technology with an unparalleled level of service that is consistent and ongoing.
Please tell us about the Anna Conrekas Scholarship Fund and why it's so important?
Anna was so passionate about the Working Wardrobes mission. I knew her for over 20 years, as well as the entire time she was a Working Wardrobes Board Member. There were few things about which she was more passionate. Her work with the nonprofit was top of mind and we wanted to continue that legacy for her.
In celebration and remembrance of her, we developed the Anna Conrekas Scholarship Fund close to the anniversary of her passing to support deserving Working Wardrobes clients so they can participate in career training programs. Anna loved the Working Wardrobes banking initiative and the National Retail Federation Customer Service and Sales Program, and now, more clients will be able to take part in these valuable training programs.
We wanted to remind everyone of the Working Wardrobes mission through her memory. Not only have we spread the word here in Southern California, we have also been able to spread the word through our entire organization because she impacted so many people. In conjunction with developing the fund, we also held a U.S. Bank clothing drive for Working Wardrobes. The drive was held throughout five Orange County locations for U.S. Bank employees and sitting in front of me, right now, are racks and racks of clothes – well over 300 items here, in from just one location. I’m really excited about the response.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself, personally.
My favorite thing to do is spend time with my family – my husband of 12 years, my 8-year-old son, and my extended family members. My husband and I spend a lot of time chasing around my busy son who is part of the Ocean View Little League organization in Huntington Beach. I also serve on the Board of Directors of Ocean View Little League as Treasurer. I love to be a part of my community through participation, representing U.S. Bank through nonprofit events and activities. When we aren’t at the baseball field or a nonprofit event, we are usually up in the mountains.
Christine, thank you for being such an important part of Working Wardrobes and for your continued support of our clients.
We appreciate you and the entire team at U.S. Bank for your contributions.
To learn more about the Anna Conrekas Scholarship Fund, visit workingwardrobes.org/annaconrekasscholarshipfund/.