Paula Lay: Why I am working at Core Bank

Core Bank: So Much More than a Bank

By Paula Lay, SBA Senior Servicing Specialist, Core Bank

Last September I was contemplating my career. After working a year as a credit analyst at a wonderful $40 million bank in my home town, I was restless. I craved professional development. I wanted to learn more, and although I did not know what “more” was, I did know that complacency is the career killer. So I resigned.

I got a call from Michael de Knight. Michael is a business broker that I met when underwriting one of his client’s loans. He wanted to see if I would be interested in doing some temporary work as an SBA underwriter with a great group of people. I thought a temporary gig would be the perfect situation while I decided my next step. And it couldn’t hurt to get more SBA experience. I sent him my resume.

I met Jason Moxness for coffee. I knew I wanted to work for him within the first ten minutes for this one reason: when I asked him why he was in SBA lending, he said he liked helping small businesses succeed. He didn’t say anything about the profit side of lending, which I’d expected. In fact, he never mentioned it once. Instead, he spoke about the obstacles small businesses faced. My first day at Core Bank was November 8th, 2017.

Core Bank’s Kansas City branch has a top notch staff; all experts in SBA lending from relationship managers to underwriters to closers. Their commitment to keeping their expertise up to date was evident in the numerous seminars, webinars, emails, and ad-hoc meetings that took place. I cannot stress enough how impressed I was with so much training. I quickly discovered that continuing education and professional development is a Core value. (See what I did there?)

They use their expertise and combined 240 years of experience to help their clients navigate the SBA lending process. The SBA process can seem quite daunting to a small business owner or people with dreams of becoming one.

At a recent team meeting, the sole focus was on streamlining our processes to create a better client experience. The meeting was an “all hands on deck” kind of meeting, and it consumed at least half of a day. The commitment to helping small businesses be successful was more than a tag-line, it was real.

So in January, Jason and Gita Smith, the branch Senior Administrative Officer, offered me a permanent position, and of course I said yes. Since then, I’ve been given new responsibilities. I’ve had to learn another aspect of SBA lending, servicing. I am immersed in the world of SBA; learning all I can as quickly as I can.

I now have a singular focus – to become an expert in SBA lending, like everyone else I work with. I’m no longer restless. My professional development is supported by Core Bank and is charted by me. And a bonus that I didn’t expect is that I get to help people fulfill their dreams of owning their own business. That’s pretty cool.