Celebrating Pride Month: Meet Patrick Wong
Patrick Wong translates Treasury Prime’s fintech and banking as a service (BaaS) expertise into social-friendly content and educational materials. He brings a wide-ranging creative background to his work, which includes a career as a journalist, and past roles managing social media for Silicon Valley startups in spaces ranging from foodtech to car insurance. Patrick is a skilled writer, photographer and videographer, as well as an avid foodie. His food writing and photography have appeared in outlets including Vice, Eater, and Bon Appetit. He also has an entrepreneurial streak: As a side project while freelancing and running his own multimedia content business, he ran a milkshake pop-up in San Francisco. Curiosity and a love of storytelling animate Patrick’s work, and he looks forward to building Treasury Prime’s community, where customers and bank partners can learn and grow alongside each other.
You have a lot of creative work in your background. What drives your passion?
As far as what drives my passion, I think it really comes down to storytelling. I love telling stories and I think what brought me into the marketing world is that I still have the opportunity to tell stories, strategically. It’s a lot of fun to be able to do something I love while seeing my work have a material impact on a business.
My approach is holistic. As most of my work is digital, I consider not only the words I write but how the message can be communicated in a way that’s engaging for someone seeing my work on a website or while they’re buried in their phones. This is where my skills in photography and video also come in. I enjoy the challenge of thinking about the work from the audience’s perspective, and using my broader skill set to create something that holds their attention.
You’ve done a lot of work around food: Writing, photography, even running your own milkshake pop-up. Can you talk a little more about how you fell into culinary life?
I’ve always loved food. My family taught me to love and to be grateful for food as my parents and grandparents grew up with very little. I remember waking up to make breakfast with my grandma before going to school, the elaborate meals my mother would make, my dad bringing home a ridiculous amount of dim sum for lunch, and enjoying meals at my older sisters’ restaurant. The restaurant served Asian fusion comfort food; they sold it a few years back.
I fell into working in food pretty randomly. I had been editor for a food and travel magazine in college and decided to freelance for local food publications in the Bay Area as a side hustle. When a college friend moved to the Bay Area to start a food tech company, I joined as their first hire and from that network continued to work in other food industry companies.
Ahead of the pandemic, I was also running a milkshake pop-up called THICK in a rented kitchen in San Francisco’s Mission district. I hope to resume operation when the world is a bit back to normal.
Your experience is definitely eclectic. What brought you to Treasury Prime?
I was looking for a new challenge. I spent a long time working with foodtech and fitness technology companies. The world of banking and finance drew me in because it deals with something so central to nearly everyone’s daily life: The movement of money.
As a B2B company, Treasury Prime also deals with another area where I feel a connection, which is entrepreneurship. I’ve been an entrepreneur myself, having run my own freelance multimedia company for seven years and with the milkshake pop-up I ran in SF.
Entrepreneurship is not an easy journey. I saw this first hand with my father who owned and ran his own business up until last year. A lot of sacrifice and anxiety is built into a founder's journey, and so I think doing it on my own for a while has also given me a lot more empathy for founders and entrepreneurs and what they go through on a daily basis. I feel like I can relate to Treasury Prime’s clients on that level.
Maybe one of the biggest reasons I joined Treasury Prime, though, is the people. Throughout the interview process I was blown away by just how clearly people seemed to love working here. I feel fortunate to have joined such a smart, dynamic, and kind team that is working on fixing really big issues in American banking and finance.
June is Pride month. Can you talk about what queer identity and the LGBTQ+ community mean to you?
As a queer guy, I’ve always had a complicated relationship with that part of my identity. I think a lot of people in the LGBTQIA+ community can identify with that.
Being a child of Chinese immigrants, there was a lot of reconciling I had to do as a kid. Sometimes it felt like the world inside my home was completely different than what it was outside of it. I think adding confusion over sexuality, attraction, etc — and how that meshed with my Chinese heritage — just made things even harder.
I don’t think I really embraced the queer community until recently. I had a hard time really being myself freely despite living in liberal cities. I feared what people would think, how I would be judged. I’m glad now to have a growing group of friends in the LGBT community. Having people around you who can identify with what you’re going through is immensely important.
It’s taken many years to really accept and understand who I am, but I think I’m at a point in my life now where I feel pretty secure and feel well-equipped to continue growing and learning about myself.
My biggest piece of advice for others who might be learning about or even struggling with their queer identity is to simply give yourself time and grace. There is no timeline. Take the time you need and find the support you need to get through what you’re getting through and do things according to your own clock. No one gets to tell you what you have to do.
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