A simple “thank you” can go a long way.
That’s why, every Veteran’s Day since 2015, employees in RBC Wealth Management’s Texas complex put their work day on pause to extend some heartfelt thanks to every single client in their region who has served their country or is an active duty member of the military.
The annual Veteran’s Appreciation campaign was spearheaded by Texas Complex Director Andy Teller, who gathers the names of every veteran and active duty military client and family member in the Texas Complex to receive a special surprise on Veteran’s Day.
(left to right) Houston Center Branch Director Jeff Heberling, Fort Worth Branch Director Kirk High and Texas Complex Director Andy Teller.
The surprise is small but meaningful: a simple, unscripted phone call expressing gratitude for their service and reminding them that they are being thought of on Veteran’s Day.
“Many of the people we call are very humble, and even shy, about their service,” Teller says. “They feel they’re not deserving of attention if they weren’t deployed overseas or didn’t fight in battle. That’s simply not true. We make these calls to show veterans that they are all valued, and we respect everyone’s service. It is a genuine honor and privilege to thank them each for protecting our freedom.”
With more than 500 calls to be made in a single day, Teller knows he and his immediate team can’t make them all, so he recruits the firm’s executives and senior leadership from all around the country to help with the cause. Each person is tasked with making around five calls to veterans, with some making as many as twenty.
The calls go to people in all stages of life. Last year, Teller spoke with a 93-year-old WWII vet, as well as an 18-year-old who had just finished boot camp in the Marines. “I was moved nearly to tears by each conversation,” he says. “We get as much or more out of these phone calls as the veterans do.”
(left to right) Oklahoma City Financial Advisor David Dollarhide, Longview Branch Director Bruce Cammack and Austin Branch Director Tim Marwill
RBC Wealth Management CEO Michael Armstrong is one of several senior executives who have participated in the Texas complex campaign. “I am very proud of the work the Texas complex has done to thank our veterans,” Armstrong says. “I’ve been a part of this initiative since I started at the firm in 2016, and it is always a pleasure and an honor to speak with men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country.”
In addition to the phone calls, the Texas complex makes a donation of $10 on behalf of each veteran to paws4vets, a nonprofit organization that trains and places customized assistance dogs with injured veterans and active-duty service members. In 2018, the complex donated $5,000 from the Veteran’s Day campaign, and Teller expects that number to be even bigger this year.
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