Interviewer: Women Who Wine Society
Interviewee: Representative from Royal Bank of Canada, Salmon Arm Branch. Title Sponsor of March 2022 Community Giving Event
Q1: What is your name and position with RBC?
Jason: Hello, my name is Jason Bedford and I have been the Branch Manager at RBC for just over four years now.
Steven: My Name is Steven Derksen and I am the Assistant Branch Manager at the RBC in Salmon Arm.
Q2: What brought you to the Shuswap?
Jason: A lifestyle change for my family. We left the big city of Vancouver in April 2018 to allow our son to grow up in a smaller town. This change has been amazing and we are all thriving.
Steven: My Wife grew up in Salmon Arm and we would make the trip up four or five times a year from the coast to visit family. When we decided we wanted to start a family of our own, we knew the Shuswap was where we wanted to raise our children.
Q3: What is your favorite thing about doing business in the Shuswap?
Steven: I love the sense of community and the ‘everybody knows everybody’ small town vibe. It provides extra accountability to do good by your neighbour so that the community can continue to grow and prosper.
Q4: How does your organization aim to make in impact on the communities it which it operates?
Jason: Our Collective Ambition is driven by our purpose of helping clients thrive and communities prosper. In 2021 RBC Foundation provided over $6.5 million in local investment into the communities we live and work in.
Q5: RBC has been known to provide quite a bit of volunteer support to local organizations in the Shuswap for various initiatives. How do you think this benefits your employees?
Steven: I think it’s the other way around. RBC brings on talented people who are ambitious especially when it comes to giving back. The values set in place by the bank and its team is the key driver to supporting the community in any way that we can. One important initiative the bank created was the Employee Giving Campaign. Every employee was given $55 to mark the 55th anniversary of the program. The money could be used at any charity of the employees choosing. Another perk of the program is that RBC will actually deposit money into your Giving Account when you track your volunteer time. Essentially you are able to double up your volunteer efforts by spending your time at one place and then donating the money you earned to another. Pretty cool stuff! We are excited now to sponsor this milestone event for Women Who Wine who are giving back to our local community. $100,000 since 2018 is an amazing contribution and we are so pleased to take part.
Q6: What made you decide to partner with the Women Who Wine Society for this Community Giving Event?
Steven: I got an offer to volunteer at the Paranormal Formal at Harpur Farm in October and it didn’t take long for me to become passionate about the goals of the organization. I remember going home and reading up on everything they have accomplished; I think it’s important to support local women in the Shuswap who have strong entrepreneurial spirits and A LOT to offer. I look forward to our partnership for many years to come.
Q7: Is there anything else about you or your organization that you’d like to share?
Jason: In my 33 years with RBC I have never seen such authentic leadership as we have today. We are leaning into our client experience and employee engagement and working very hard to make a positive impact on our communities. I am especially proud we were able to provide a $50,000 grant in 2020 through RBC Future Launch Foundation to the Shuswap Youth Launch team made up of local youth from Salmon Arm Secondary working closely with Salmon Arm Rotary. We are excited now to sponsor this milestone event for Women Who Wine who are giving back to our local community.