For Jose Gomez, growing up in West Kensington in the 1980s had its challenges.
It was an era when drugs and crime were notoriously prevalent in the Philadelphia neighborhood, creating an environment that was not the most conducive for a young man with high educational and professional aspirations.
Gomez, now a Vice President at Wells Fargo and leader within the company’s Enterprise Information Technology division, credits the strong Latino community in West Kensington for helping him persevere through these often problematic times.
He is especially grateful to his family. As migrants from Puerto Rico, Gomez’s father worked 10 to 12 hours a day as a maintenance supervisor while his mother oversaw the household. His mother, Gomez said, refused to let her son be limited by his surroundings.
“She always pushed for education,” Gomez recalled. “She wanted to make sure that I knew there was more out there.”
With his corporate success, Gomez has far from forgotten his roots. In fact, encouraging the professional development of young Latinos has become a cornerstone of Gomez’s career with the company.
Gomez is the chair of the Latin Connection, Wells Fargo’s Latino employee resource group for the Philadelphia and Delaware Region. It's a diverse collective, welcoming of Latinos and anybody interested in learning about Latino culture.
With the Latin Connection, Gomez gives back to the Hispanic community through various volunteer initiatives. Recently, members of the group represented Wells Fargo during a career fair at Edison Fareira, a high school in North Philadelphia, and will do the same at KIPP DuBois Collegiate Academy on Nov. 17.
Gomez also serves on the advisory board of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, a national organization dedicated to empowering families with the knowledge and resources necessary for young Latinos from diverse backgrounds to achieve a higher education. As the demographics of the U.S. shift, with Latinos representing a larger portion of the country's population, Gomez works to ensure these young people have the guidance they need to excel academically.
“Making sure that we enable our future Latino leaders is really important to me,” he said.
Gomez expands this commitment through his involvement with Prospanica — also known as the Association of Hispanic Professionals — a national organization devoted to helping Hispanics advance beyond their educational pursuits and into the professional world. Though he no longer serves on the board of the national group, Gomez continues to support Propsanica's efforts whenever and however he can.
In 1992, Gomez began his career with CoreStates bank, which would ultimately become part of Wells Fargo after a series of mergers. Today, Gomez leads a diverse team that is accountable for the secure movement of data in and out of Wells Fargo. Based in Philadelphia, Gomez strives to ensure the company's customer information is well-protected in digital spaces.
A graduate of Temple University, Gomez earned his bachelor’s degree in finance and his master’s degree in IT auditing and cybersecurity.