Skip Navigation

Congrats Melvin “Mel” Washington, JA’s 50th Golden Achievement Honoree


Mel accepting his award

Image caption: Mel accepting his award

Melvin “Mel” Washington embodies the values and character that Junior Achievement of Western PA (JA) promotes. As a decorated businessman, an advocate for financial literacy and a longtime JA board member and supporter, Mel was a natural choice for JA’s prestigious 50th Golden Achievement Award.  

Each year at the annual golf outing at Laurel Valley Golf Club, JA honors an individual with the Golden Achievement Award, an award given to distinguished business and community members for their dedication to the development and growth of our region. Mel was selected for his dedication to JA, his impressive banking career and commitment to educating the next generation of leaders and readying them for financial and career success. 

"We like to refer to certain people as ‘fixtures in our lives,’ a term that relates to how consistent, giving and reliable a person is,” said Kathryn Klaber, JA Chair of the Board of Directors. “That’s the endearing term that comes to mind when I think of Mel and his role with JA.” 

Currently serving as Chief Audit Officer & CRA Officer for TriState Capital Bank, Mel has always been a staunch advocate for financial literacy. His passion was first encouraged by his mother, who worked as an accountant at PNC Bank for 44 years. This love for finance developed even deeper when he attended Duquesne University, where he graduated with a bachelor's in business administration and accounting. 

Throughout his thirty-year career, Mel has amassed an impressive resume that includes positions at the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and, today, TriState Capital Bank. As Mel conquered professional goals and milestones, he also developed a passion for educating and sharing his love for financial literacy with the younger generation. 

Image caption: Mel and 18 Under Eighteen honoree Jason Garland

Mel’s position on JA’s Board of Directors allows him to reach students and make them aware of the importance, knowledge and benefits of financial literacy, awareness and freedom. In addition to dedicating his time to volunteering both in-classroom and at JA BizTown®, Mel also mentors students like 2023 18 Under Eighteen honoree Jason Garland who introduced him at the Laurel Valley Golf Invitational, where Mel received his award. 

"Mr. Washington encouraged me to know that there are people everywhere who will be willing to step in and support me as I tackle my journey through life,” said Jason Garland in his speech. “I hope to one day reach that point myself, but right now, Mr. Washington is that person for so many young individuals, including myself.” 

Mel hopes his accomplishments and dedication to JA will not only inspire the younger generation to succeed, but also inspire other adults to volunteer their time and talents with the organization. 

In his Golden Achievement Award acceptance speech, he discussed the importance of the metaphorical village it takes to raise a child – a term that originates from an African proverb and conveys the message that it takes many people to supply a safe and healthy environment for children to develop, flourish and achieve their hopes and dreams. He listed family, friends, teachers, and organizations as key points of support for children and brought to attention the fact that, unfortunately, these systems are struggling in today’s society and economy.  

“Today, organizations like JA are struggling for every dollar, and they need our support now more than ever,” Mel said. “I want to encourage you to give in whatever way you can – your time, your resources, even just a moment – anything that you can do to help mentor these kids and prepare them for future success.” 

Select a button below to see how you or your organization can get involved with Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania, Inc..

Donate Volunteer Request A Program

Any questions? Contact us!

We use cookies to provide you a personalized experience. How we do this is by analyzing user behavior on our site and sharing data with our advertising and analytics partners. You consent to our cookie policy if you continue to use this website.

I understand