Changing Our World: Michael Pereira

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This profile series highlights colleagues across the Bank who serve our communities through board service or volunteerism. Michael Pereira [1], Executive Vice President and Head of Personal Finance talks about his support for NatureBridge [2] and what drives his passion for giving back.

What inspires you to be involved in your community? 
Portrait of Michael Pereira,head of personal financeCommunity has always been a strong focus for me. I’ve lived and worked in seven different countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, and in each one, I’ve volunteered with local programs and projects. Community service helps me connect with the people and culture of a country. It allows me to give back to the place I call home.

Tell us about the nonprofit you support in our community.
I’m on the board of NatureBridge, a nonprofit with a mission to connect young people to the beauty and science of the natural world.

Every year, we reach more than 35,000 students with hands-on science programs that take advantage of our diverse regions, including coastal ecology, earth sciences and geology, and cultural history – for example the history of the native people who first settled in the area. Along the way, young people enjoy outdoor activities – hiking, canoeing, and campouts. We hope they’ll connect with the natural world around us and, in developing a love for nature, become future stewards of our earth.

I’m very excited about NatureBridge’s new Environmental Science Center [3] in Yosemite that was constructed with the latest designs in energy efficiency and sustainable materials. Once completed, students will enjoy overnight field trips to the Yosemite Valley and experience architecture that thoughtfully integrates environmental concepts – such as water conservation and efficient use of energy.

How did you choose the organization you serve?
I felt an instant connection to NatureBridge. Their mission of environmental conservation and education resonates with my own values and interests.

We should take care of the place where we live and, if we can, leave it better than we found it. I’m also passionate about youth education and investing in our next generation of leaders. NatureBridge combines two focus areas that are very important to me.

Does your board service with NatureBridge connect to your professional experience?
I’m a new member to the board but already enjoying my interactions with the management team and board colleagues. I see their commitment to the organization’s goals and a strong drive to meet its objectives. Besides supporting the board through development and activities learning more about their educational programs, I’m looking forward to contributing and supporting the overall governance of the organization.

I manage a business that helps people into boats and RVs – recreational vehicles, so I have a customer base that is very interested in connecting to the outdoors. I believe my customers and I have the same goals: we want to enjoy the world around us and preserve it for future generations.

I’m glad to reflect on our bank’s belief in redefining banking for a positive future. Who we are as a company aligns with my business and also personal goals.

Light hitting Half Dome in Yosemite


Article printed from Bank of the West: https://changematters.bankofthewest.com

URL to article: https://changematters.bankofthewest.com/2019/04/19/changing-our-world-michael-pereira/

URLs in this post:

[1] Michael Pereira: https://www.bankofthewest.com/about-us/our-company/leadership/michael-pereira.html

[2] NatureBridge: https://naturebridge.org/

[3] NatureBridge’s new Environmental Science Center: https://naturebridge.org/newhome

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