Celebrating Black History Month: How Ron Dutton’s Work at WSFS and Nonprofits Helps to Better Communities

Celebrating Black History Month: How Ron Dutton’s Work at WSFS and Nonprofits Helps to Better Communities
Topics CareersDiversity, Equity and InclusionWSFS Culture

In a career that has spanned more than 25 years in banking and financial services, Ron Dutton has held a variety of roles from business banking and government and institution banking to his current position as Senior Vice President, Director, Community Reinvestment at WSFS Bank.

Helping the Community

In his current role at WSFS, Dutton is responsible for Community reinvestment programs and initiatives as part of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). As part of the Bank’s CRA efforts, Dutton is charged with gathering information on lending, mortgages, investments, contributions to nonprofits and volunteerism, the Bank’s retail footprint and more to ensure WSFS is providing banking access to all Communities.

“I’m responsible for compiling this information from across the Bank and tracking it in our software,” he said. “Everyone at the Bank plays a role in its Community reinvestment activities, which are so important. It’s vital that we serve low to moderate wealth individuals just as we would those with higher income, and provide them with financial education to help them gain a better understanding of financial products and avoid predatory lending situations.”

Dutton serves on WSFS’ Contributions Committee to ensure the Bank is donating to qualified and worthy nonprofits throughout the year. He has also worked vigilantly since the onset of the pandemic with diverse chambers of commerce in the area to promote the availability of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to ensure minority-owned businesses have an opportunity to receive needed funds.

But his work to help the Community isn’t limited to within WSFS. Dutton serves on the board of directors for the African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ and DE (AACC), providing financial analysis and programs to underserved businesses, primarily in Philadelphia.

“I’ve been a big advocate for entrepreneurship,” Dutton said. “Only 2.4% of businesses in Philadelphia are African American owned, even though the African American population in the city is about 40%.”

Dutton also serves on the board for the Chester Community Improvement Project (CCIP), which works on affordable housing in Chester, as well as the Loan Review Committee for True Access Capital, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) providing loans and technical assistance to small, minority and women-owned businesses.

Whether it’s within the Bank’s walls or through volunteer work with nonprofits, one thing is for certain, Dutton is making a positive impact on the Community.

“It’s important to help the Community,” he said. “The Bank can only grow if we grow the Communities we serve.”

Advancing Your Career

Having held a variety of positions in banking and financial services during his career, Dutton has been able to help individuals, businesses and nonprofits, while also advancing his own career.

His advice?

Take risks. “Don’t play it safe. It’s important in your career to take some risks, take on new challenges and get out of your comfort zone a bit.”

Work hard and be nimble. “I’ve been blessed with some great opportunities. If you have a strong work ethic and commit to continually learning new things, you’ll be able to adapt to change in the industry. With change comes opportunity and chances to grow and advance your career.”

Maintain your reputation. “Reputation is key, as is your network. You need to make sure people know who you are. You never know when that might help open the door for an opportunity that hasn’t even been posted yet.”

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