I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Rockland Trust’s Carol Hamilton for our In Person column. At the risk of sounding biased, Carol is a pretty cool lady – and you’ll surely know this if you ever get to meet her. I first talked to her a couple weeks back when I wrote about a loan she made to Decas Cranberry Sales.
Interviews like Carol’s make me a little bit sad that I’m so limited on word count for the print edition of the In Person, so going forward, I’m going to post occasional “In Person Outtakes” here on the B&T blog. You know, the stuff that didn’t make it into the paper but was still pretty interesting anyway.
During our talk, Carol expressed some surprise that there aren’t more women in commercial banking, telling me…
“I’ll tell you, I think women have a little bit of an advantage. An old customer said to me, the reason he liked doing business with me so much is he thought I mothered him to death. He loved it, but what he meant is that I just take care of things.
So what else do I do differently? In addition to how I do the business, a lot of people think it should be the bank’s preference, but you look at it from both angles and everybody wins. The other part of it is, like Decas, when I didn’t win it all those years, I never go away. I say, “Gee, is there anything I can do?” Saying no doesn’t personally insult me at all. I just shake it off, but I try to stay in touch and say to them, when they need something? Ask me!
I’ll give you one example: If I have customers and they might be doing something unique and they’ve never done it and I know someone who does it? I put them together. I get no commission, I get no consulting fee. I’ve actually put people together where it lead to an acquisition.”
We here at B&T have previously covered the dearth of young people entering commercial lending. That’s certainly something bankers will have to think about as the people like Carol – who were recruited into loan officer development programs right out of school – start looking toward retirement. Maybe bankers should think about the young ladies among their ranks as they scout out the next new talent?
And in the meantime, be sure to check out Carol’s In Person in Monday’s paper!