Small Business Banker and Operations Manager Kyra Minick spends her workday counting thousands of dollars and assisting other tellers at the branch of Wells Fargo Bank in the Shops at Penn Branch, 3200 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. More importantly, Minick has dispensed savvy financial advice to the bank’s many Ward 7 customers for a decade.
“I get to see in real-time all the benefits I give to my customers,” Minick said of her work. “I get the most satisfaction with helping people, especially those in the community who look like me, get to their financial goals like starting a savings plan, creating a budget and investing.”
Minick serves the community she was raised in herself.
Minick was born in the nation’s capital on Jan. 23, 1981, at the Columbia Hospital for Women. At that time, her family resided in Bloomingdale, near Howard University. Minick was one of two children. Her half-brother, Anthony, 12 years her senior and disabled, resides with her today.
Around the time Minick attended kindergarten, her family moved to Hillcrest. Minick has vivid memories of visiting Penn Branch as a little girl. First Union Bank occupied the space of her current branch, and “there was a Hot Shoppes that we would get some delicious meals,” Minick said.
Her family later moved to Maryland to be closer to their mother’s workplace. Minick attended middle school and graduated from Springbrook High School in Montgomery County. During her senior year, the family returned to the house in Hillcrest, which had been purchased by Minick’s maternal grandfather.
After graduating high school, Minick attended a historically Black college, Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina. There, she “studied marketing, because in my mind I was going to have my own marketing firm,” Minick said. Instead, she took a detour.
Cosmology to Banking
In college, Minick supported herself doing makeup and selling cosmetics. She worked with Mac Cosmetics and interned with the Charlotte Business Incubator and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. After graduating in 2002 with a concentration in marketing and management, she joined Nordstrom as a buyer, later moving to management.
At Nordstrom, Minick was responsible for staffing, compiling statistical data, monitoring sales associates and writing and executing business plans. This combination of skills and experience landed Minick a job with Wells Fargo in 2009. The bank provides insurance, investments and mortgage, consumer and commercial finance through its approximately 4,600 national branches, 28 of which are located in the District. After working initially in Shaw, she moved to the Penn Branch in 2014.
“I’m proud of the many relationships I have built here at Penn Branch and earlier at Shaw where I worked with a lot of business owners. I had clients who were doctors and lawyers who were savvy in their specialties but not regarding their business and banking. I advised one doctor to acquire a bookkeeper that really helped her business grow,” Minick insisted.
Andre Jackson, a local contractor, said of Minick, “I come in to cash my checks … She is always friendly and welcoming.”
“Typically,” said Minick, “the customer at Penn Branch has been there for years and may be seeking financial advice on retirement or how to invest for children or grandchildren.”
Minick herself lives not too far away in Ward 8.
Minick shares her Shipley Terrace townhome with Michael, her husband of 16 years, and their three boys and a girl. The eldest attends Morgan State University. The youngest is a student at Randle Highlands, conveniently down the street from Penn Branch.
Shipley Terrace borders Prince George’s County, Maryland. The community has a mixture of townhomes and large single-family homes.
“Shipley Terrace is different from Hillcrest. My son [Quentin] is very involved with the Boys & Girls Club while my daughter [Chloe] has gotten heavily into ballet. When we lived in Hillcrest, I knew some of my neighbors but living here in Ward 8 is much more of a community involvement,” said Minick.
Drawing on her own experience, Minick firmly believes in the value of homeownership. At her job, Minick works hard to help her customers finance their first house.
Helping Others to Home Ownership
At Wells Fargo, Minick often counsels first-time homebuyers, steering them through the paperwork. She helps them combine $10,000 downpayment grants with other forms of financial assistance, such as loans from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Housing Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP).
Readers can visit Minick at her branch or call (202) 637-2518 for assistance with home purchase or help with financial planning. “You can’t be shy. You must be curious to help people,” said Minick.