By Michele Walters, Vice President SBA Commercial Relationship Manager, Core Bank
Have you ever heard the old adage “Banker’s Hours”? There was a time long, long ago when bankers would work between the hours of 8:00am to 3:00pm. I remember growing up and my mother saying we needed to rush to the bank before 3:00pm. She wanted to get money for shopping, or better yet, a vacation. (Yes, back in the day we took cash out for those types of things.)
I think there are still a few bankers trying to keep that tradition alive, but none of the folks I work with. Case in point… Core Bank’s SBA Credit Manager Bridget Clark (or as I like to call her my personal Underwriter, Counselor, and most importantly Friend).
I met Bridget three and a half years ago. She is someone that I hope to have on my side and fighting for my clients for many, many years to come. Bridget has integrity, she takes initiative, she is detail-oriented, she is diligent, she is courageous, she is honest… the list of great things goes on and on. But what I want to end with is that she challenges herself to be a better person every single day.
Last month I was given the opportunity to witness the results of Bridget’s hard work at the fall NAGGL conference in San Diego, CA. NAGGL is the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders. Given Core Bank’s strong focus on SBA financing, we’re a member of this organization. NAGGL lobbies for, and supports our efforts in, providing funding to small business clients needing the support of government guaranteed programs.
NAGGL is instrumental in providing communication, guidance, advice, and most importantly training. This training ensures that lenders like Core Bank can continue to lend money in our community. And this allows small businesses to continue to grow, hire, buy, and build.
Now let me get back to Bridget.
Last month, Core Bank’s Rock Star Credit Manager was one of 43 in the nation that was awarded the ‘Advanced Lender Diploma’ by NAGGL. Literally less than one person in each state accomplished this. I cannot lie… I was a proud sister sitting in that crowd as her name went up on the screen and she went up to receive her award. In fact, I believe our table may have been the only one that yelled and whistled as she walked up to collect her shiny new glass award.
Her award was the result of three years of hard work and ongoing commitment and training. Many start this program, but few actually finish. And that takes me back to Bridget and her challenge to be a better person every day.
I will never forget the first day I met Bridget. I walked into her office two hours after she started her first day and laid a $5.5 million-dollar deal on her desk and said it had to be in committee the following week. And in true Bridget form, she rolled up her sleeves and tore into the credit analysis. The following week we walked out with approval. It only took one project for me to see how good she really is at her job. Now the rest of the country knows as well!
On behalf of myself and my co-workers at Core Bank, I want to congratulate Bridget on her NAGGL award. Hard work pays off girl… Congratulations Bridget!