Wells Fargo was supposed to be a temporary stop on my museum journey as I bounced back from being laid off at Please Touch Museum. Instead, my seven year tenure there was an invaluable learning experience that broadened my marketing and branding expertise and sharpened my management skills. Working for such a large corporation has enhanced my fluency in working through bureaucracy, enabled me to adapt quickly to constant change, and helped me perfect my ability to work through significant obstacles.
My Wells Fargo tenure began as the Curator for the Wells Fargo History Museum in Philadelphia in March of 2014. In a matter of days, my immediate supervisor left the position and I was left scrambling to figure out how to run a museum I had been at for less than two weeks. My first task was changing our presentation. Before my arrival, the museum's main form of content delivery was a lecture-based tour. I quickly replaced that model with hands-on interactive experiences and inquiry-based learning methods to more fully engage our visitors in the brand and its heritage.
Assistant Vice President, Heritage Marketing and Museums
Much like my experience at Elfreth's Alley, my work was recognized within months and I was in charge of the museum. Leaning heavily on my experience at the Alley, I focused on building relationships that would help me build an audience. I divided my energy between cultivating relationships with internal stakeholders and neighborhood partners, growing my network for the benefit of the mission. With a marketing budget of $3000, I increased our annual attendance by 78% through specifically targeted philanthropical efforts designed to attract relevant audiences. One such sponsorship was through the Philadelphia National History Day event to reach history teachers and students in the region to encourage growth in our school group bookings. A second went toward a tabling opportunity at Elfreth's Alley's two annual open house events to reach the audience of history lovers I had already built for that organization - a combination of older, affluent visitors and a younger, socially active crowd to bring in new potential clientele for the bank as well as a group with a significant social media following. I divided the rest of those funds with smaller sponsorships at a variety of local museum-based organizations to introduce our corporate heritage site to the cultural community.
Beyond my successes in marketing, I was also able to hone my skills as a museum educator through a combination of programs, events, and exhibits. I gave Philadelphians a reason to stop in by curating an exhibit about MAC Machines and installing it so that it could be seen from the street. I built educational programs around the learning through play philosophy I grew to love at Please Touch Museum. I opened the museum as a free event space for nonprofits to alleviate the stress of planning fundraisers and further deepen our connection to the community. These events enabled me to share our story with a variety of guests who normally would not have visited the museum. I also used those museum education skills to turn my focus inward, engaging employees across the company in our content through an internal social media platform. This effort played a significant role in boosting morale as we weathered countless scandals.
Patrick was a fantastic leader. He provided many opportunities for his staff to further their career and to grow their skills in the museum field. Patrick makes his staff feel like they are valued. He is an asset to the Philadelphia museum community!
Tarra Raspanti, Wells Fargo
Verb. 1) Pertaining to the behavior of being a Wittwer. 2) Doing odd things that only Wittwers would do. 3) Catchall phrase for the thoughts and actions of Patrick Wittwer.