WESTY 2023 Honoree: Banking Exec Finds New Ways to Balance Work with Charity

Tangela Richter, an executive vice president at Wells Fargo, is on the board of God’s Love We Deliver and the Dance Theater of Harlem.

| 05 May 2023 | 01:20

When asked how she balances her job, family and volunteering, Tangela Richter said, “I question sometimes why I take on another organization, it might be too much, and sometimes it is hard finding my balance,” said the Upper West Sider. “But I think, ultimately, I’m doing things that I love, so you make it work ... It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.”

Richter joined Wells Fargo, where she serves as deputy general counsel and corporate secretary, in January 2021. As deputy general counsel, she and her team support the company in a variety of legal enterprise function areas and oversee things like privacy, data, security and technology. She also serves as their public secretary, where she supports the board of directors.

Prior to that, she worked at American Express for four years, which is how she first got involved with God’s Love We Deliver. Based in SoHo, the organization cooks and delivers medically tailored meals to the sick. It began in 1985, during the AIDS epidemic, after its founder Ganga Stone delivered food to a man dying from the disease. “She was just walking around and delivering food to people who were suffering from HIV,” Richter, who serves on its board, explained. “And I think one day, somebody said to her something like, ‘Oh, you’re bringing God’s love.’”

A native of Miami, Florida, Richter felt the environment she grew up in was not diverse, so chose Howard University because she “wanted a different experience. “I loved attending a historically black university,” she said.

When her daughter started grade school, Richter, who graduated from Harvard Law School, began devoting more time to nonprofit organizations. During the pandemic, she joined the board of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, whose mission, she said, “is to bring dance to an African American community and provide an outlet for the arts.”

She had been invited as a guest to its gala, which piqued her interest in getting involved. “I said, ‘I would love to bring the experience that I’ve had at God’s Love to Dance Theatre because I want to help take the organization to the next level,’” she explained. Although she was never a dancer herself, she has always had a love for art. “Dance envy is what I call it,” she said. “Meaning I never danced and always wished that I could.”

Although she’s lived in NoMad and on the Upper East Side, she said her now-Upper West Side neighborhood “feels like home.”

“It’s interesting because before I moved to New York, I didn’t know where we should live,” she explained. “And there’s an online test that you could take to figure out what part of New York you belong in and when I took the test, it said Upper West Side.”

The only reason she didn’t move there at first is because her daughter was accepted at The Spence School on the Upper East Side. “So notwithstanding that survey, that’s where I had to live,” she said.

As for her future plans, she said, “I just want to keep on giving back to the universe and just see what happens.”