Wesley A. Brown's day job is helping banks, but his volunteer side gig is a bit rockier.
The managing director of St. Charles Capital, an investment bank in Denver, moonlights as a field-active member of the Alpine Rescue Team, an elite squad that travels into the mountains to rescue folks.
On Sept. 13, Brown was a member of a 10-person team dispatched to Salina, Colo., a small village in the Rocky Mountains about nine miles west of Boulder to look for people stranded by the floods that the National Weather Service described as "biblical."
The roads were washed out and the route was covered with water, Brown says, so the mission was on foot, with team members carrying whatever equipment they would need.
The team located four people who needed help, two of them elderly, but they were trapped on the other side of a small creek that had swelled to dangerous levels. The Alpine team set up a high line over the water to transport the four people to safety in a metal basket along with three dogs and a canary.
If the trip sounds more dangerous than being a bank reliant on the construction industry circa 2008, don't fret Brown is prepared for this kind of thing. The team has six trainings a month and responds to roughly 100 missions a year. He has been a member of the Alpine group for six years.
"This gives me a chance to do something very tangible to help others," Brown says. "The rewards are enormous. Besides, I love mountaineering."
He added that the banking industry is filled with people who serve in similar roles in their community.
"Bankers are often active servants of the community," Brown says. "Every town has a banker who is also a volunteer."
When Brown isn't helping people stuck in the mountains, he is making deals. St. Charles has been involved in more than half of all M&A transactions in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming in the last decade where the parties engaged an investment bank.
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