Jeff Gagnon » Our Board of Directors
Formerly a Business Relationship Manager at Wells Fargo Bank, Jeff Gagnon is a local entrepreneur who began his non-profit involvement in 1982. He has proven to be a vital part of our organization, championing the topics of affordable housing, local employment opportunities, youth leadership and training as integral in stabilizing communities and transforming community members out of poverty.
Jeff had been with Wells Fargo since 2011 and was previously a Vice President at Citizens Financial Group, PLC—the US Subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland—from 1980 to 1998. From 1999 to 2001, Jeff served as the Executive Director of two nonprofit youth-based organizations and returned to the financial world in 2002 through 2009, working for two investment and mortgage banks located in the Bay Area. Jeff holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree (with a concentration in Accounting & Finance) from Bryant University. Jeff has also attended Rhode Island School of Design and has taught Real Estate Investment courses at Brown University.
Jeff’s non-profit involvement commenced back in 1982, joining the board of a floundering day care center located in a socio-economically depressed section of an east coast city; that’s when Jeff realized community revitalization was contingent upon the local residents’ ability to work and have access to affordable housing and day care for their children. From there, Jeff joined the Governor’s Commission on Cooperative and Affordable Housing, while simultaneously spearheading a home-buying workshop aimed in serving economically depressed and high-rental communities, encouraging home-ownership as a vehicle to improve neighborhood life. Jeff enrolled six local churches to participate; well over 1,000 participants (mostly of minority origin) graduated and about 50% went on to home-ownership within 36 months of completing the program.
Jeff also served on a nonprofit AIDS-based organization for several years, while also serving as the President of a Chamber Orchestra, whose mission, in part, was to provide music education (free lessons and free instruments) to youth located in economically depressed communities. Jeff served for six years on the board of a domestic violence shelter and was intricately involved in upgrading and tripling the size of the center, growing the board and improving the programming, which was all designed to encourage positive results for women and their children who left abusive situations. Jeff has also served as a board member, mentor and in a leadership role for three youth- and teen-based national mentoring organizations.
Jeff now resides in Marina Bay and is committed to working toward providing positive opportunities for Richmond’s underserved population.