Denise McGregor Armbrister is Senior Vice President of Wells Fargo Corporation and Executive Director of the Wells Regional Foundation and the Wells Fargo Regional Community Development Corporation. The Wells Fargo Regional Foundation, created in 1998 with an endowment of $100M, aims to improve the quality of life for children and families living in low-income neighborhoods in sixty-two counties in New Jersey, Delaware and eastern Pennsylvania. The Foundation supports the creation and implementation of comprehensive, resident-driven neighborhood plans in urban, suburban, and rural communities.
Prior to her current appointment at the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation in June of 1999, Ms. Armbrister was Vice President and Manager of Government Underwriting and Portfolio Management for the Northeast Region of Wells Fargo Bank, which encompassed the states of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. In that role she directed all aspects of new lending activities to municipal, state and federal government customers within the region, as well as oversaw the management of the existing loan portfolio.
Ms. Armbrister began her career in banking at Chemical Bank (Chase) in New York in 1977. Upon completing the Management Credit Training Program, she moved through a number of positions within the commercial lending and retail areas of that organization. Before starting her thirty year career at Wells Fargo, Ms. Armbrister took a three-year hiatus from banking and served as Chief of Staff for the President of the University of Pennsylvania. Since arriving at Wells Fargo, Ms. Armbrister has moved through various positions with increasing responsibilities in commercial banking which included managing the provision of financial and non-financial services to the Bank’s Healthcare and Education customers, community development financing activities in the region and the credit services to traditional middle market and small business customers.
A member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Germantown, the Forum of Executive Women, and Links, Inc.-Penn Towne Chapter. Ms. Armbrister is also a life member of the National Black MBA Association. Ms. Armbrister serves on the Board of Trustees of Harcum College, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Forum of Executive Women.
Ms. Armbrister was awarded the 2001 “Salute to Women of Achievement Award” by the March of Dimes and the “Hardest Working Mothers in Southeastern Pennsylvania Award” by the Pennsylvania Partnership for Children in 2002, and in 2003 recognized by the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Pennsylvania with the its “Take the Lead: Cents and Sensibility Award”. In 2003 Ms. Armbrister was also honored as one of the “Best 50 Women in Business” in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In 2005 Ms. Armbrister was recognized with an award as a “Women of Distinction” by the Philadelphia Business Journal, and in 2006 acknowledged by the American Women’s Heritage Society, National Association of University Women, National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Top Ladies of Distinction, and 2000 African American Women, with their “Mover and Shaker Award. Ms. Armbrister was recognized by the Philadelphia Tribune, as a 2014 “Mover & Shaker” of the Delaware Valley region, and recipient of the 2009 “Community Development Champion Award” by the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations. In 2010 she received the Community Service Award by the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation.
Ms. Armbrister holds a BA degree in Mathematics and Psychology from Wellesley College and a MBA in finance and marketing from the University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business. She resides in Philadelphia with her husband, Clarence D. Armbrister and they have five children.