Charles Schwab Honors 2020 Local Heroes for Their Work With Veterans, Mental Illness and Financial Literacy

Rob Bingham, Karen Ranus and Elena Zee recognized for their service to underserved communities

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Continuing its long-standing culture of service and commitment to community, Charles Schwab honored three individuals who have dedicated their lives to helping others achieve a brighter future. Schwab created the Local Heroes program to celebrate individuals who educate, advocate for, and lift up those in need and help build stronger communities.

Schwab is proud to honor the 2020 Local Heroes:

  • Rob Bingham – US Army, Active Duty and Founder, Colorado Veterans Project
    Rob is a combat veteran who currently serves as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army and founded a nonprofit that provides services to people transitioning from active military duty to civilian life.
  • Karen Ranus – Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness (Central Texas)
    Karen is a mom who became an advocate and leader for individuals affected by mental illness after her dream of the perfect family life was shattered by her own daughter’s mental illness.
  • Elena Zee – President and CEO, Arizona Council on Economic Education
    Elena immigrated to the United States from China during the Cultural Revolution and later dedicated her career to establishing financial education in schools.

“I am so inspired by our Local Heroes, individuals who define their lives by what they do for others,” said Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, president of Charles Schwab Foundation. “Their dedication to helping people reach their full potential and providing critical civic services enriches all of society. Our communities are stronger and more resilient because of people like Rob, Karen and Elena.”

Nominated by Schwab employees, Local Hero recipients are honored with a grant of $25,000 to their nonprofit organization, providing support for some of the most vulnerable members of their communities. Schwab also provides support through virtual volunteering and pro bono work, while also helping raise awareness of our Local Heroes and the causes they support.

Schwab will host a virtual event November 10 at 10 a.m. PST with the 2020 Local Heroes. Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz will lead a discussion about the need for continued community and nonprofit support during the pandemic and how nonprofits have adjusted their operations while continuing to engage with their constituents.

The event is open to the public. Register to attend and submit a question.

Local Heroes is part of CommUNITY 2020, Schwab’s new virtual volunteering and giving program. CommUNITY 2020 also included the Pro Bono Challenge, “flash consulting” events that paired local nonprofits with employees to apply their professional skills to help participating organizations solve critical challenges. This year’s virtual event engaged more than 370 employee volunteers in more than 67 skills-based projects in Austin, Texas; Chicago; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Denver; Indianapolis; Orlando, Florida; Phoenix; Richfield, Ohio; San Antonio; San Francisco Bay Area; Tampa, Florida; and Westlake, Texas.

Among the 60+ nonprofits receiving skilled volunteer consulting are Carry the Load, a veterans organization that raises awareness of the sacrifices made by our nation’s heroes and raises funds to provide healing services for our warriors; Centro Community Partners, whose mission is to provide underserved, low-income entrepreneurs with entrepreneurship education, one-on-one business advising, mentorship and access to capital; and DivInc, which bridges the gap between underrepresented entrepreneurs and the resources they need to build profitable, high-growth companies.

Schwab’s Pro Bono Challenge delivered an estimated $600,000 in consulting services in the areas of financial sustainability, crisis communications, technology, and human resources, among others.

For four consecutive years, Charles Schwab has been named an honoree of The Civic 50 by Points of Light, a global nonprofit organization that inspires, equips and mobilizes millions of people to take action that change the world.

Learn more about Schwab’s commitment to the communities where our employees and clients live and work.

About Charles Schwab

At Charles Schwab, we believe in the power of investing to help individuals create a better tomorrow. We have a history of challenging the status quo in our industry, innovating in ways that benefit investors and the advisors and employers who serve them, and championing our clients’ goals with passion and integrity.

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The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE: SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 360 offices and 14.1 million active brokerage accounts, 1.7 million corporate retirement plan participants, 1.5 million banking accounts, and $4.11 trillion in client assets as of June 30, 2020. Through its operating subsidiaries, the company provides a full range of wealth management, securities brokerage, banking, asset management, custody, and financial advisory services to individual investors and independent investment advisors. Its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC,, and affiliates offer a complete range of investment services and products including an extensive selection of mutual funds; financial planning and investment advice; retirement plan and equity compensation plan services; referrals to independent, fee-based investment advisors; and custodial, operational and trading support for independent, fee-based investment advisors through Schwab Advisor Services. Its banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender), provides banking and lending services and products. More information is available at



Stephanie Corns
Charles Schwab
Phone: 415-629-0700

Release Summary

Charles Schwab celebrates local heroes in Austin, Denver and Phoenix with grant and virtual event


Stephanie Corns
Charles Schwab
Phone: 415-629-0700