In September and October of each year, we pay tribute to the history, influence, and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans during National Hispanic Heritage Month. This month and all year long, Wintrust is proud to showcase and celebrate our Hispanic team members, partners, and communities, and the cultural enrichment they bring to our neighborhoods and society.
FOUNDER & CEO
National Hispanic Heritage Month first began as a week-long celebration in the U.S. in September of 1968, commemorating six Hispanic countries proclaiming their independences: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Mexico. And, I’m proud to say that Illinois played a role in the observance’s expansion into a month-long tribute as our own Senator Paul Simon introduced the bill in the U.S. Senate in 1988.
Wintrust is honored to partner with numerous organizations, including the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, to promote the rich heritage and extraordinary contributions that generations of Hispanic and Latino peoples have brought to our country. A lot has changed during the past 33 years in the Hispanic and Latino communities. And, there is a great deal that remains to be done. This month reminds us of the many struggles overcome in the past and the many opportunities attainable in the future. We celebrate the distinct cultures of strength, passion, and endurance. And, we remember that our lives are always enriched by diversity, equality, and inclusion.
Please join me in this joyous remembrance and celebration.
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT & CHIEF DIVERSITY OFFICER
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT & CHIEF DIVERSITY OFFICER
Latinos? LatinX? Latinidad? Hispanics? Many communities of color at one time or another will experience the fierce debate about the most appropriate name for labeling a wonderfully eclectic and nonmonolithic community. At the least, a futile linguistics workout. At the most, falling short of satisfying everyone that may self-identify as being of the community on the basis of geographic region, heritage, and, perhaps, native language.
As one who self-identifies as a member of the Black community, I am sometimes asked which is my preferred label: Black, Afro-American, or African-American. Now, before anyone accosts me with disapproving finger wags, let’s reflect on the history of why communities of color find themselves in the generational quagmire. For those wielding power, it was a brush off for lumping together the ‘others’ not of their kind. From my perspective, it’s a matter of acceptance, unity, edification, and even survival.
There’s a certain comfort in connecting with your peeps of affinity, especially when one finds themselves as the minor-minority in a crowded room. A glance or a nod in recognition of shared experiences, similarities in cultural norms and practices, and most certainly a heritage steeped in historical achievement can provide much-needed relief. As American residents, the 10-year census obligates us all to check a box meant to sum up who we are. But, by who’s standards and definition? It’s exhausting.
During this (the federally dubbed) National Hispanic Heritage Month commemoration, I hope my Hispanic brothers and sisters sidestep the label debate, and instead celebrate the collective contributions, successes, opportunities, and fierceness of a thriving community like no one is watching.
We salute you!
President of Elgin State Bank, Yaneth Medina, was only two years old when her family migrated from Mexico to the U.S. Despite arriving to the country at such an early age, she never lost sight of her culture and values, thanks to her family’s influence. She continues to uphold these same values and positively impact those around her as a leader at Wintrust.
The Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is the largest Hispanic business organization in Illinois and has been providing training and resources to the Hispanic business community for more than 30 years. Wintrust is proud to partner alongside an organization that helps make an impact for small businesses and people in Chicagoland communities.
To ensure we’re supporting all communities that make up our company footprint, we choose our partnerships intentionally. We’re proud to give back to organizations that support the Hispanic and Latino communities across Illinois through programming, volunteering, and financial contributions. Here are just some of the nonprofit partners, among many others, we work with:
Our Hispanic Heritage event series is an opportunity to reflect on different cultural experiences. During this panel, our Latinx Wintrust members discuss stories and share different cultural perspectives that have shaped their professional careers. We are revisiting some of the highlights from this event for National Hispanic Heritage Month.
We’re proudly rooted in Chicago’s Little Village, Logan Square, Ogden Commons, Pilsen, and Rogers Park neighborhoods, as well as Addison, Aurora, Elgin, Gurnee, Hanover Park, Hoffman Estates, Palatine, Prospect Heights, Rolling Meadows, and Waukegan, among our more than 170 community banking locations across the area. Click through below to visit each bank’s website:
Find a convenient location near where you live or work.