Phoenix PRIDE

Danielle Anderson (Wells Fargo Stagecoach Appearance Program)

Danielle Anderson (Wells Fargo Stagecoach Appearance Program)

Danielle Anderson is a Marketing specialist with the Wells Fargo Stagecoach Appearance Program. She has lived in California all her life, and vows to never leave.

When not working, Danielle is shopping, reading, or exploring all that the Bay Area has to offer with her boyfriend and awesome friends. This is her first post for GBH—but there will be more… (CR)

June is Pride. But events happen all through the year. This past April, the Wells Fargo stagecoach appeared in Phoenix to kick off PRIDE events for 2014, and show our support for the community.

Wells Fargo has been in Phoenix since 1877 when merchants John Smith and Charles Sterns opened our first office there. Smith and Sterns added Wells Fargo Express to their store, which was also a stagecoach stop and housed the local telegraph office. Wells Fargo’s business in Phoenix had grown by the 1890s, and required a larger office. Wells Fargo transferred agent Trustrim Connell to Phoenix to handle the expanded business. The move proved good for Connell and for Phoenix, as agent Connell became active in civic affairs. His home is preserved as a historical landmark in Phoenix today.

Wells Fargo is still prominent in Phoenix, with 17 banking stores around the city and even a Wells Fargo History Museum. If you’re in the area I suggest you check it out, they have some very cool exhibits and you can even schedule a tour!

Blake Skjellerup at Phoenix Pride, 2014 (Photo by Danielle Anderson. Used by permission.)

Blake Skjellerup at Phoenix Pride, 2014 (Photo by Danielle Anderson. Used by permission.)

A Wells Fargo stagecoach rolled through Phoenix again, and I was lucky enough to be there. I walked behind the stagecoach with about 50 Wells Fargo team members, all of us out in full force to show Wells Fargo’s support for the LGBT community.  Wells Fargo team members are proud to work with organizations such as GLSEN, It Gets Better Project, Point Foundation, The Trevor Project and Teach For America. These organizations bring hope and help to LGBT youth.  The message is clear: “Inspire. Hope. Change”

We were so happy that Blake Skjellerup, New Zealand Olympic speed skater and LGBT youth advocate, joined us in the effort. Thanks to Phoenix Pride, Blake rode on top of the coach, in the honored spot next to the stagecoach driver. He said “I have not had a lot of opportunity to attend events like Pride Festivals, due to the demanding training nature of speed skating. Luckily, scheduling allowed for me to hop on a plane to the sunny Arizona desert. I was honored to be riding with the Wells Fargo team on their iconic horse-drawn stagecoach. It was exciting to be celebrating with an organization that is a strong supporter of diversity.”

Wells Fargo stagecoach at Phoenix Pride, 2104 (Wells Fargo Stagecoach Appearance Program)

Wells Fargo stagecoach at Phoenix Pride, 2104 (Wells Fargo Stagecoach Appearance Program)

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