Rocky Fong goes to great heights for the Seattle community

May 01, 2019

The U.S. Banker is a regular fixture of the nonprofit scene.

Rocky Fong is willing to go to great heights for his community.

“Rappelling down Rainier Tower was definitely a highlight of my time on the U.S. Bank Seattle Development Network,” said Fong. He participated in the derring-do to support the Special Olympics. His Development Network (DN) chapter’s success, fueled by his passion and leadership skills, led them to earn a top company honor, Chapter of the Year, in 2014. 

“One thing that stands out about Rocky has always been his level of participation,” said Stefanie Rodriguez-Rivera, who now serves president of the chapter. “It demonstrates his dedication and passion around community involvement.”

“I saw a deeper need in Seattle for employees to connect with, serve and celebrate our Asian community,” said Fong. With his experience on the DN, an understanding of the business case behind diversity and inclusion, and personal alignment with U.S. Bank’s core value of drawing strength from diversity, he led the effort to found the Seattle Asian Heritage Business Resource Group and became the chapter president when it launched in 2018. 

Despite its rookie tenure, the BRG chapter has already made a strong impact in the community and among employees with events like the company’s first community volunteer event in the Chinatown International District at Danny Woo Garden, a “Crazy Rich Asians” employee movie screening event, and collaboration with other BRGs to help employees learn about what they offer and how to join. 

Since 2008 when he joined the company, Rocky has made it his mission at U.S. Bank to connect employees to the community – and importantly, to one another. His day job as vice president and Community Reinvestment Act project analyst and his volunteer leadership role as Seattle Asian Heritage BRG president are just two of the several hats he wears at U.S. Bank and around Seattle. 

“My parents instilled in me a deep sense of community as I grew up in Hong Kong,” says Rocky. “Service has been part of what I do since… middle school.” When he was 12, he joined the International Red Cross. In August 1997, he moved to the United States, began volunteering at the King County Library in high school in Seattle, stayed active at the University of Washington in student leadership roles, and only increased that momentum as he began his career. 

“Employees appreciate and benefit from the efforts,” says Rocky. “They feel a real sense of belonging to U.S. Bank.” The events and partnerships forged by the BRG also deepen a sense of belonging to the community.

Rocky is an avid supporter of the Wing Luke Museum, which applies a unique, nationally recognized approach in leveraging direct input from everyday community members who curate exhibits that celebrate their stories. U.S. Bank recently made a new $5,000 donation to support the Wing Luke’s Teensway workshops, in addition to existing grant funding.  

“Rocky’s excitement about our partnership is palpable,” Julie Salathe, grant and donation director for Wing Luke, says with a laugh. “During our summer JamFest event last year, Rocky led 15 U.S. Bank volunteers carrying signs around the area, inviting neighbors to join us for food and music, calling out, ‘Come on over to King Street!’ We’re looking forward to welcoming them back soon.” 

No matter where you are in the Seattle community, you might run into Rocky. In addition to his work with U.S. Bank BRGs and Wing Luke Museum, he served as treasurer of the board of the Chinatown International District Business Improvement Area from 2006-2012. He’s also served as treasurer of the board of the Chinese Information Service Center since 2008, where he assists new immigrants find their roots within the community via employment services, ESL and cultural navigation programs, translation services, after-school programs, and much more. Rocky is also an active supporter of the Hong Kong Association of Washington and a board member of the American Red Cross of the Northwest Region since 2016. 

Rocky points to the supportive framework and people at U.S. Bank as a source of support for all this activity. “U.S. Bank supports giving back and volunteering,” says Rocky, “I can’t stress enough how generous and giving our employees are. Our volunteer efforts help all these wonderful non-profit and community organizations accomplish all they do on a daily basis. That is the very foundation of why I keep volunteering, and will continue to do so in the years to come. I am honored to be part of the U.S. Bank family, and look forward to continuing to make a difference, regardless if the effort is big or small.”