Secretary, Board of Directors and Wayfinder Community Council member
“All children deserve to be in a safe, loving home” says Erica Fernandez. This belief drives her ongoing commitment to Wayfinder. Erica has a demanding job as a senior vice president and region manager for California Bank & Trust in Northern California, plus two sons of her own. But she always finds time to assist Wayfinder in improving children’s lives.
Erica has a passion for children. A friend of Erica’s adopted a child whose experiences in the child welfare system had been very painful. “What the child went through pulled on my heart strings,” she explains. “I knew I needed to be part of an organization that gets children into loving homes.”
Illustrating Erica’s belief that nothing happens by chance, she was seated next to a Wayfinder senior staff member at a networking event. “We started talking,” Erica recalls. “She explained what Wayfinder does to get children into permanent homes. I asked her if she had board seats available. She said, ‘yes,’ and now it’s been eight years.” Erica serves as secretary on the Wayfinder Board of Directors and is a member of the Community Council, which raises funds and awareness of Wayfinder in the Sacramento area.
Erica was among the first to make a four-year pledge to the Change the Future Fund, which provides sustaining funds to Wayfinder’s programs. “I know the money is going to support children and families in need,” she says.
Also, Erica ensures that her employer allocates funds to sponsor Wayfinder’s Derby Day fundraising event in Northern California. And since she joined California Bank & Trust two years ago, the firm has been very active in Wayfinder’s annual holiday toy drive. Each of the 16 banks in Erica’s region has a donation box for employees and customers to contribute items that will make the holidays special for children with disabilities or in the child welfare system.
“I love the Wayfinder name,” Erica says. “Through support services and resources, we are helping children and families find their way. Wayfinder means kindness, care, love, compassion and support.”
“If you want to be a part of helping the most vulnerable children in our communities and improving their futures,” Erica says, “Wayfinder is definitely the organization to support.”
March 30, 2023