Q&A with Eileen Viray Alcones of Chase, San Leandro Community Manager —
1. What brought you to the role of new San Leandro Community Manager at Chase?
I have always had two different passions in my career. Having been in finance for over 20 years, I have always been driven to be an expert in the fundamentals of financial success. My other passion has been supporting my community, including my family. Being able to bring these elements together in my new role as San Leandro Community Manager has been a great opportunity. Diversity has also played an important role in my career and I am excited to work with different communities in the Bay Area and provide resources and expertise to people who need help achieving their financial goals.
2. What challenges do you see for the San Leandro community?
San Leandro is one of the most affordable places to live in the Bay Area, and there are a large number of black and brown communities who are unfortunately being pushed out of the areas where they used to live due to rising rent prices and accommodation elsewhere. . Additionally, I have noticed that, overall, there is a lack of education on personal finances, such as the basics of credit, savings, and budgeting. Growing up in a family where financial difficulties were an integral part of my life, I am now dedicated to helping my local community break down those barriers and bringing the necessary financial tools and guidance here locally.
3. How will you impact the local community and help them overcome their barriers to financial success?
Home ownership is a priority for me. The journey to homeownership is a long one and my goal is to organize a series of community literacy events on homeownership, among other important financial topics. Each month we will invite the local community to our East 14and and Bayfair branches to learn more about some of these financial gaps we face, provide education, financial literacy and support.
4. Who has been a role model for you throughout your career?
My role model is my mother. Although she struggled financially, she always made it a point that my siblings and I were responsible for our finances. She taught me to value three important things in life – family, health and wealth – and the importance of tying all of these things together. Also, as an immigrant, the number of hours she worked gave me an idea of what courage is. Thanks to my mother, I learned to be a diligent, responsible and respectful person.
5. Can you give advice to other members of the community who are trying to achieve their financial dreams?
My biggest piece of advice is always to be optimistic. Never feel unable to achieve the goals you have set for yourself. It will take diligence, budgeting and saving, but investing time and being in good financial health will pay off. If you really want to develop your financial health, it will take effort, consistency and time. Plus, take advantage of these resources we provide to the community, that’s where it can really begin.
6. What helped you get to where you are today in your career?
Be aware of the audience you are addressing and find ways to tailor your services to meet their needs. I always ask myself, ‘what can I do to immerse myself in helping them succeed?’ I advance in my career when I improve the people I serve. Now as San Leandro Community Manager, my success is the success of this community.
7. How can the local community get involved and benefit from financial resources thanks to the work you do?
We have upcoming public events on financial literacy open to the public. On the third Wednesday and Thursday of each month, we host Financial Literacy Classes and Workshops at East 14and (1601 East 14th Street, San Leandro, CA 94577) and Bayfair (1320 Fairmont Drive, San Leandro, CA 94578) respectively. During these workshops, we will focus on topics ranging from budgeting and credit basics to home ownership and small business support. I am also looking to connect with local organizations that want to incorporate financial literacy programs into their networks. Plus, we’re planning an event in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month next May in San Francisco, so stay tuned. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or to help you enroll in our upcoming financial literacy courses!