The Siebert Williams Shank Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Siebert Williams Shank & Co., LLC (SWS), the nation’s top-ranked minority- and women-owned investment banking firm, with offices throughout Texas, is donating $100,000 to the relief effort to help those impacted by the devastating winter storm.
The firm, with offices in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin, is contributing $25,000 to charitable organizations in each city, as millions of Texans struggle to recover from the effects of the widespread power outages; days without heat; difficulty accessing food, water, and fuel; and damaged or destroyed homes. More than 8 million Texans were under a boil-water advisory this week, and over 100,000 still have no water at all.
As an investment banking firm with deep ties to state and local government, as well as to major corporations that employ thousands in Texas, SWS has helped finance clean water projects, build new schools, new parks, and modernize transportation systems, among many other major infrastructure initiatives.
SWS Vice Chair and equity partner Henry Cisneros is the former mayor of San Antonio and former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
“The destruction caused by the recent storm not only dealt a severe blow to Texas’ physical infrastructure, but it also took a heartbreaking toll on millions of people, cutting them off from food, water, warmth and, in many cases, critical medical care in the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic,” said Mr. Cisneros, who lives and works in San Antonio. “Sadly, some of our fellow Texans lost their lives. Now we must do everything we can to help those in need immediately, and then make sure we learn important lessons about improving our infrastructure so that we can avoid these kinds of disasters in the future.”
“As a firm, we share a close bond with the people of Texas and have been working successfully with people and organizations across multiple sectors, in government and business, for many years,” said SWS CEO and co-founder Suzanne Shank. “When I saw the suffering caused by the storm, I thought of my many friends in Texas and the millions of others who were facing life-threatening conditions. We started the Siebert Williams Shank Foundation so that we can help the communities where we have always lived and worked. It is our hope that we can do our small part to improve the lives of those who have been so terribly impacted.”
“I was born and raised in Texas, where I still live today, and the devastation caused by this storm is one of the worst disasters we have endured,” said Keith Richard, SWS Senior Managing Director and Head of Texas. “As I watched friends and neighbors struggling through this enormous challenge, I knew it was so important that our firm do everything we can to help the residents of our state recover and put their lives back together. We will continue to do our part to help ensure that the state rebuilds in a way that will protect us as much as possible from future crises.”
The Foundation is contributing $25,000 each to the Dallas Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund, which is sponsored by the Dallas Foundation; the Houston Harris County Winter Storm Relief Fund, which is administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation and United Way of Greater Houston; the Let’s Help SA emergency fund, spearheaded by the Morgan’s Wonderland Inclusion Foundation; and the Austin Community Foundation.
All these organizations are on the ground, working with local community partners to help provide food, shelter, home repairs, social services, educational support, transportation, and other critical needs to those impacted by the storm.