Guild Members Say Yes
Championing Quality Care With Dignity: Meet Oneika Cassanova
Two years ago, Oneika Cassanova was a recent transplant to the Pacific Northwest who had never heard of Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC). She met Friends of Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic Guild co-founders Cynthia Huffman and Micki Flowers when the guild was just forming in 2017. A mutual friend had referred the two women to Cassanova at U.S. Bank. As she answered questions about the guild’s banking needs and learned about OBCC and its mission, she knew she’d found something special.
“Their focus on delivering quality healthcare with dignity to all children aligned with my vision of what I want to do to make the world a better place,” she says. “It was very clear, ‘If you come here, we’re going to treat you with dignity.’ That language drew me in because it spoke to what I hold dear about equitable treatment for all.”
Cassanova immediately joined the guild – and soon afterward happily accepted a request that she serve as its treasurer. She appreciates that guild members share a common cause.
“Everyone comes with their own story and even though we are all different, we are all the same,” she says. Some of the women have become role models for her. “I learn from their journeys and experiences and they have helped me shape some of the decisions I’ve made – when I get to that point in my journey, I want to be like them.”
“The guild’s focus on delivering quality healthcare with dignity to all children aligned with my vision of what I want to do to make the world a better place.”
Cassanova, a vice president in private wealth management at U.S. Bank, is well qualified in her role as treasurer and recently helped the guild fine-tune its giving platform. Intent on streamlining the donation process, she set up Greater Giving Event Suite software before the guild's March fundraiser. This made it easier to give before, during and after the event, which raised nearly $200,000 for OBCC.
Cassanova grew up in Jamaica; after attending college in Virginia she moved to Florida and took a job with Wells Fargo. She was lured to the Pacific Northwest by a cousin who showed off his city on one of those bluest-sky Seattle spring days. The evergreens and mountains reminded her of the lush vegetation and hilly topography of her childhood home, and she was smitten. She misses her family and Jamaican food and looks forward to a visit in June when she plans to feast on her favorite delicacy: oxtail stew.
The sharing culture of her birth country and family traditions of giving back shaped Cassanova’s belief that “to whom much is given, much is expected.”
“I say yes for the voiceless in our community, for people who cannot say yes for themselves – so everyone has the chance to be their best,” she says.