Reflections from the road

Article

June 25, 2021

By Joe Vietri, Managing Director and head of Schwab’s branch network

Prior to the pandemic, I was a frequent flier—and by frequent, I mean I spent about 150 days a year traveling around the country. As head of Schwab’s branch network, it was important to me to be able to connect directly with our branch teams and our clients. Without fail I would end each trip with new perspective—about our clients, the ways we support them and our opportunities to raise the bar even higher.

Like everyone else, my life changed dramatically in the spring of 2020, as business travel halted and most of the company pivoted to work remotely. After decades of serving clients face to face in local communities, it was a significant change for us in the branch network. Fortunately, as part of a firm that serves millions over the phone and through digital channels, we were able to adapt quickly and continue to be there for our clients.  I am so proud of the role our branch teams have played in helping clients stay engaged with their investments and on a path to reach their financial goals.

As the nation has moved through the reopening process, Schwab branches have resumed normal operations and we’re thrilled to see both colleagues and clients back in our offices. Reopening also provided the opportunity for me to hit the road again—albeit in an RV this time. My wife, our dog Spoticus and I departed Phoenix and crossed the country to visit Schwab locations in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

At the start of my trip in Dallas, Austin, and Houston, there were some nerves along with energy and excitement as we all embarked on a “new normal.” But by the third and final week of my tour, visiting colleagues in Raleigh, Ashville, and Knoxville, the old familiarity returned as our teams resumed doing what they do bestserving clients locally and in person. Some things were a little different with new health and safety protocols in place, but the commitment to serving clients was unchanged.

While in our branches, I also had the pleasure of talking with some of our clients, and I repeatedly heard how happy they are to be engaging with us in person again.

Joe V. quote

"If this pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that technology can help us work and communicate in new ways, but there is something unique and irreplaceable about connecting with someone face to face."

Joe Vietri, head of Schwab's branch network

More photos from Joe's travels across the Branch network:


More photos from Joe's travels across the Branch network:

A view of the lobby counter at a branch. A group of employees listening to a presentation.  
   
A few employees taking a selfie in front of the Schwab RV.    
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