Trisha Schultz: 40 Under 40 2015

VP, corporate communications, Wells Fargo

Very little rattles Trisha Schultz. When she was just 25, and one month into her position as a buyer relations manager at the famed Chicago Merchandise Mart, her manager departed unexpectedly for maternity leave, leaving Schultz to run a $10 million budget creating national marketing and PR campaigns.

Six months later, the company selected her to launch a new division. The promotions and accolades continue to add up for this young in-house PR pro. In two short years with Wells Fargo, Schultz is credited with "outstanding" results. Working first as a consultant and now as a VP in corporate communications, she turned the traditionally press-shy capital finance division into a media standout, taking it from virtually no media coverage in 2012 to more than 3,400 placements in 2014.

She did so by relentlessly, but carefully persuading management of the value of PR and forging strong media relationships. So much so that leadership now insists on her presence at their quarterly management meetings, and she’s working on preparations for Wells Fargo’s annual shareholder meeting.

"Trisha is recognized by her managers as an outstanding leader, innovative thinker, and tireless champion of the Wells Fargo brand," says Oscar Suris, EVP and head of corporate communications at Wells Fargo. "She has quickly distinguished herself as one of the top PR practitioners in her field."

An experienced storyteller, Schultz played a defining role in creating the company’s new One Wells Fargo approach, which brings together traditionally siloed businesses by identifying synergies and promoting them in a holistic manner to tell a single inclusive story.

"In addition to significantly increasing awareness and understanding of Wells Fargo’s complex wholesale bank, this practice has enabled the organization to facilitate storytelling in cities that don’t have a retail bank branch presence and trade industries that are untapped," adds Suris.

Despite her reach across industries, Schultz hasn’t forgotten the importance of community. When Michael Brown was killed in a suburb of her hometown of St. Louis, igniting riots and national discussion on race, she acted as a liaison between local media and the financial services industry as a member of Wells Fargo’s crisis management team.

- Recognizing a missed opportunity for Wells Fargo, Schultz’s efforts in Boston resulted in a two-page spread in the Boston Business Journal

- Schultz volunteers with multiple charities, including CJ’s Journey, where she raised $10,000 to keep a cancer-stricken mother’s three children out of foster care

- She is an active individual and a lifelong athlete, who recently completed her first marathon and earned her MBA while working full time

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