Last time in our occasional series of “meet your bankers” interviews we profiled Senior Operations Associate Michael Colombo. This time we’re focusing on Senior Loan Administrator Elena Rocha, who joined New Resource Bank shortly after it opened.
What she does As her title suggests, Elena administers loans—meaning she sees every loan at New Resource through its life cycle from origination to final payoff. She inputs all the data and ensures accurate documentation and accounting. Once a loan is approved, Elena becomes the customer’s go-to person for any questions.
What she likes about it Loan administration is a complex and varied area—it’s a crucial component of risk management for the bank. Elena’s favorite part of the job is the loan documentation side, because it gives her a privileged inside view of entrepreneurship. “Starting with the loan officer’s write-up and the approval process documents,” she says, “I get to follow customers for years as they develop their businesses and reach new milestones.”
How it all started Elena stumbled into banking at the tender age of 19. At the time, she was working at Roundtable Pizza in Alameda, California, her hometown, and every Friday a group of loan officers would come in for lunch. “I got to know them,” Elena says, “and one day, one of them said, ‘Hey, wanna come work for a bank?’ I thought he was kidding.” He wasn’t. Soon she was running credit reports for Alameda First National Bank, her pizza-serving days behind her for good.
Elena’s path to New Resource was equally fortuitous. The bank she worked at had been acquired and her department closed down. She’d just had her youngest son and was planning to take some time off. Then she heard that Cindy Lee, a former colleague and now Elena’s manager, was hiring at New Resource. “A startup focusing on green banking? It sounded too interesting not to explore. I had to give her a call,” Elena says.
Life outside the bank Outnumbered by the men in her life—she has three sons (5, 20 and 23)—Elena jokes that she’s “still the boss.” Her nonworking hours are devoted to her family, and her family is devoted to sports. True to their East Bay roots, they are avid Raiders and A’s supporters. (Elena’s position on the A’s possible move to San Jose? Sad, but resigned.)
Her passions Flip over any New Resource employee’s business card and you’ll see several “passions.” Not surprisingly, given her history, Elena’s are family, willingness to change, and the Oakland Raiders.