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The Wells Fargo employee volunteers at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge.

Wells Fargo's call center in Beaverton has named Tualatin resident Kassandra Brady its Volunteer of the Year for 2017. She volunteers in a variety of ways for the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge in Sherwood.

The award was presented during the call center's annual volunteer recognition luncheon Jan. 16. The call center employs 1,500 people who work in customer service and collections. A committee of employees chose Brady for the honor because of her winning attitude and work with the refuge where she volunteered 40 hours last year.

Brady joined Wells Fargo initially in 2013. She later took a 10-month leave to work for AmeriCorps, a volunteer program that engages adults in public service work, where she worked on a variety of projects on the East Coast.

"The environmental work I did with them was the best. That's what I loved the most," she said.

After returning to Wells Fargo, Brady started volunteering for the refuge last January. Operated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the site is one of only a handful of urban national wildlife refuges in the country. It is home to nearly 200 species of birds, more than 50 species of mammals, 25 species of reptiles and amphibians and a wide variety of insects, fish and plants, according to its web site.

Brady's initial work at the refuge was maintaining its nature trails. She also volunteers there as a "Trail Rover" where she provides advice and information to trail visitors while enforcing safety regulations.

"It is so expansive and it's still growing," she said, adding that the refuge is trying to spread its outreach and teach the community about conservation and nature.

When the refuge started a nature ambassador program, Brady began talking to students and families at schools and libraries about local wildlife. She also set up an education table to share information about the environment with children during a free meal program last summer in Beaverton.

"It's so awesome that Wells Fargo encourages volunteerism. The first time I ever volunteered was while working for Wells Fargo, and it's just continued on," she said.

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