Recognizing Outstanding Community Service

Schwab employees have always been passionate about getting involved and making a positive difference in peoples’ lives. The Outstanding Community Service Award honors five individuals who demonstrate an exemplary and longstanding commitment to their communities. To learn more about the amazing accomplishments of our 2017 winners, read their profiles below.

Luz Beam
Associate, Administrative Support, Operational Services
El Paso, TX

Luz Beam is the driving force behind Schwab’s community service efforts in El Paso. For several years, she has cultivated strong partnerships with many organizations in the region, helping to establish Schwab’s community presence. Luz has had a hand in nearly every community event held in El Paso, and has inspired countless Schwab employees to become active volunteers. 

Whether it’s working at a school with Junior Achievement, planning an event with a Boys & Girls Club, or coordinating a collection drive for the needy,  Luz takes a very thoughtful approach to her community efforts, ensuring that both the nonprofit and the employees volunteering have a positive experience that keeps them engaged on a continuous basis.  In the words of her colleague, “Luz exhibits kindness and genuine love for helping others and continually sets the tone for all events. For this reason, she attracts volunteers to join the cause and commit their time to community service.” In 2017 to date, 55% of El Paso employees have volunteered on company time. Luz’s hard work and passion for service has clearly helped move that dial significantly, and Schwab is proud to have employees like her leading the way.  

Carol Gillet
Managing Director, Operational Services
Denver, CO 

Carol Gillet is a well-known advocate for financial literacy in the Denver area. As a Regional Community Ambassador, she leads Schwab’s Denver Financial Literacy committee and has made a tremendous contribution to the financial education of students across the region. Not only does she teach numerous financial literacy sessions to students and adults each year, she has also taken the region’s financial literacy-focused community service to a new level by creating a formal Schwab MoneyWise training program to recruit and empower new volunteers to teach the curriculum and scale Denver’s local impact. The committee initially set a goal of offering one financial literacy-focused volunteer event every month. Carol led the charge in exceeding this goal in 2017, consistently delivering three to five events every month, benefitting at least ten different organizations, including several local schools and various workforce development organizations. 

In addition to her dedication to bringing MoneyWise to many different groups in the area, Carol has helped to forge a key partnership with Goodwill Industries—Denver,  recruiting dozens of volunteers for various events and helping to secure a grant for the organization from Charles Schwab Foundation. Schwab is proud to honor Carol’s deep commitment to serving others and her exceptional leadership in recruiting and supporting new volunteers with a 2017 Outstanding Community Service Award.    

David Gudal
Senior Team Manager, High Net Worth Representative, Investor Services,
Indianapolis, IN

David Gudal is receiving the Outstanding Community Service Award for his achievements in cultivating record-breaking levels of employee volunteerism in Schwab’s Indianapolis region. David has been a lead Regional Community Ambassador for several years, and his main focus has been on bringing Schwab’s financial literacy programs to local schools and nonprofit organizations including Boys & Girls Clubs, Junior Achievement, and Goodwill.  His leadership has helped more than 1,000 local youth improve their financial knowledge. 

David’s commitment to rallying volunteers goes beyond the Indy region. He proactively works with other regions to share best practices, and he works with firm-wide Employee Resource Groups to coordinate volunteer opportunities across the country. According to a colleague, “David’s focus, positive attitude, and selfless energy toward helping his community and fellow employees have been infectious across Indianapolis.” David’s unwavering commitment to serving the community while bringing other employees along has made a big impact in his office and across the firm. Schwab is proud to honor him for this award. 

Russell Simmons  
Senior Team Manager, Portfolio Consultant, Investor Services  
Denver, CO

Russell Simmons has earned the Outstanding Community Service Award for his accomplishments around community volunteerism and philanthropy in Schwab’s Denver office and beyond. He serves as a Schwab Community Ambassador in the region, supporting and scaling the firm’s community relations efforts. In addition, as a veteran and Army Reserve, he has taken on the role of co-chair of the firm’s Military Veteran’s Network, leading many events and activities aimed at supporting local veterans and their families. 

Earlier this year, Russell and a small team organized and led the inaugural “Lone Tree Freedom Race,” a large-scale fundraising event benefitting Comitis Crisis Center, Veteran’s Passport to Hope, and the USS Colorado Commissioning Committee. The team planned the event from the ground up, coordinating multiple people and organizations and overseeing logistics.  They brought in a military presence including vehicles, identified sponsors and secured facilities to accommodate hundreds of attendees. The event was a smashing success, raising $18,000. Whether he’s making an impact by calling a veteran to ensure his or her well-being, planning a successful fundraising event, organizing a full week of volunteer activities, or creating a procedure guide to help other volunteers get involved, his dedication has contributed to Denver’s record-breaking employee volunteerism and engagement.  Russell’s leadership is making an immeasurable impact at Schwab and in the community.

Luis Zapata Jr.  
Associate, Operational Services  
Orlando, FL

Luis Zapata Jr. is receiving the Outstanding Community Service Award for his leadership in driving volunteerism, mentorship and diversity awareness in the Orlando region. In 2017, he set a personal goal to get his region more deeply involved in the community in a variety of ways. Whether he’s spearheading donation campaigns, coordinating volunteerism events, running mentorship and job-shadowing programs, or facilitating grants and sponsorships for various nonprofits including A Gift for Teaching, Junior Achievement, and Boys & Girls Clubs, Luis’s efforts have helped hundreds of local kids and families in need. 

Additionally, in partnership with the Schwab Organization of Latinos (SOL) Employee Resource Group, Luis has worked tirelessly to promote diversity in the workplace in Orlando and across the firm by organizing a screening of Project Eñye, a film that sheds light on and celebrates first-generation American-born Latinos.  In Luis’s words, “I certainly don’t do this for the accolades but I’m very appreciative that Schwab provides me the tools and resources to make a lasting impact in the community.” Indeed, Schwab is very appreciative for the lasting impact Luis has made on our firm and in the greater community.

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