Wells Fargo mourns loss of community relations VP Jennifer Riordan

Riordan died as a result of injuries sustained in the emergency landing of Southwest Airlines Flight 1380.

Jennifer Riordan
Jennifer Riordan

ALBUQUERQUE, NM: Jennifer Riordan, Wells Fargo’s VP of community relations, died on Tuesday as a result of injuries sustained in the emergency landing on Southwest Airlines Flight 1380.

The plane, en route from LaGuardia Airport in New York to Love Field in Dallas, landed at Philadelphia International Airport after its engine exploded creating shrapnel that punctured one of the airplane windows on Tuesday. Southwest Airlines posted a video message featuring CEO Gary Kelly on Tuesday expressing his sympathies for Riordan’s death.

An internal Wells Fargo memo, obtained by PRWeek, explained that Riordan was returning home from a meeting in New York, where she was "leading important work for Wells Fargo focused on shifting the narrative of poverty in America."

In the memo, Mike Rizer, head of community relations for Wells Fargo, noted that Riordan was very skilled at community relations and communications, and passionate about her community.

"She never met a stranger, and lived our vision and values every single day," said Rizer. "It was easy to see that she was able to accomplish so much because her humility was attractive to others who also wanted to build community. She shared her heart with everyone who had the honor to know her."

Riordan joined Wells Fargo in 2008 and spent time as part of the company’s corporate communications and community relations teams. She most recently served as Wells Fargo’s community affairs lead for New Mexico, southern Texas, El Paso, and the panhandle and West Texas areas, and was the face of Wells Fargo each year for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, according to the memo.

At Wells Fargo, she was responsible for reputation management, volunteerism and community involvement, and supported local and regional nonprofits though the company’s corporate giving program of over $2 million. Riordan received a Wells Fargo Volunteer Service Award in 2017.

Before joining Wells Fargo, Riordan was VP of community and PR for Citigroup for three years, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Riordan obtained a bachelor’s degree in organizational communications with a concentration in PR from the University of New Mexico and an associate degree from Champlain College in Vermont.

Riordan leaves behind her husband Michael and two children, Averie and Joshua.

The memo included a statement from Riordan’s family that said her "vibrancy, passion, and love infused our community and reached across our country. Her impact on everything and everyone she touched can never be fully measured. But foremost, she is the bedrock of our family."

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