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Cafecito con Rafael Olazagasti

Tuesday, October 17, 2017   (0 Comments)
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Rafael Olazagasti, District Manager at Wells Fargo


Rafael Olazagasti is currently the District Manager of the Greater Central Maryland market. “Raf”, as he is known by many, joined Wells Fargo in 2007 as a Financial Specialist, became a successful licensed banker and later served as a manager in several Maryland branches. While working for the bank, Raf earned his MBA from the University of Baltimore and completed several in-house development programs to build his skills and help him prepare for the role of District Manager.  In his time with the bank, he’s had the opportunity to participate in various councils and committees: Mid-Atlantic Diversity & Inclusion Council, Maryland Service Council and the Mid-Atlantic Accelerated Leader Program, to name a few.

Raf also values his obligation to the surrounding community, where he has spent the last three years on the Community Relations Council for the Woodland Job Corps in Laurel. He was also recently named as the Chair of the Latin Connection Team Member Network’s Maryland chapter.

Raf is an avid Ravens and Orioles fan. When not at work, Raf enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, golfing and cooking. He resides in Eldersburg, MD with his wife, Katie, and their four kids: Maddie, Owen and identical twins, Jaynie and Allie.


What is the focus of Wells Fargo?

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial financial services through more than 8,600 locations, 13,000 ATMs, online (, and mobile devices.

Why did you decide to join Wells Fargo?

I joined Wachovia Bank nearly 10 years ago and stayed on during the Wachovia/Wells Fargo conversion, which occurred in 2008. My primary reason for getting into financial services was because I wanted to help people and I always had an eye for personal finance. At a very young age, I found myself wanting to learn more and more about money and how to save – even taking time during my senior year in high school to do an internship at a financial services institution. I opened up an IRA when I was 18 years old and hand-selected the mutual fund I invested in. I have my parents to thank for helping me to learn about the importance of saving early.

What impact has being a member of the MDHCC had on you and your company?

I’ve been getting more involved with the Chamber recently and I can say that I’ve been impacted very positively. In a short period of time, I’ve made some great connections and we’re partnering closely with some of the other members to support financial literacy presentations and joint events. I’m excited for what’s to come!


If you had to go back and do it again…would you? What would you change?

Without a doubt I would do it again, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve learned a lot about myself in all of the changes that Wells Fargo and the financial services industry has gone through. It’s made me a better person for my team members and for my family and friends.

What business and leadership advice can you give our members?


My leadership philosophy has always been focused on three key areas:

  • Be kind: Treat others how you want to be treated – always with respect. For those that come around and don’t believe in the same mantra, kill them with kindness.
  • Always look for opportunities to learn and take personal responsibility: We all make mistakes, but our ability to self-assess and realize that we’ve made them (and the power to then make positive change) is a critical leadership skill that can’t be compensated for in other ways. You’re not always going to have someone over your shoulder telling you what you did wrong, so it’s on us to reflect and make self-improvements.
  • Don’t ever underestimate your power as a leader: You don’t need to be in a position of power or stature to consider yourself a leader. You lead in how you conduct yourself every day and in every personal interaction. We all have the ability to impact others positively by our words and actions.

What inspires you?

Personal development – for myself and, most importantly, for my team members. Nothing is more fulfilling for me than helping someone realize their career aspirations.

Bachata, Merengue or Salsa?


What is your favorite Spanish Word?

My team members make fun of me all the time for saying “Ay bendito!” Haha…

Café…con leche y azúcar or black?

Con leche y azúcar.

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