From Facilities Manager to PPP Leader
The following is an article from The Commercial Record.
As facilities and vendor manager for Guilford Savings Bank, Victoria Magin would typically spend her time paying bills, working on budgets and taking care of the bank’s buildings – everything from landscaping to light bulbs. Not long after back office staff began working at home because of the pandemic, some of Magin’s facilities responsibilities were limited. She heard that her supervisor, David Finnerty, was working with Chief Lending Officer, Lyle Fulton, to prepare for the upcoming Paycheck Protection Program. Magin reached out and offered to help. She soon found herself as one of two team leaders for the PPP project, along with Kathy Duncan, a reverse mortgage specialist. Together, the two teams processed more than 400 PPP loans for over $40 million. Magin continues to work on the PPP, while also helping the retail bank’s six offices slowly reopen. She joined Guilford Savings Bank 15 years ago as a receptionist for the in-house investment firm, later moving to the retail bank team before becoming the facilities and vendor manager.
Q: Why did you offer to get involved with the Paycheck Protection Program?
A: I heard about the program and that it was going to go from zero to 1,000 miles an hour overnight. So, I reached out to [David Finnerty] and said, “Hey, listen. If you need me, I’m here, uitilize me.” He and I work really well together. I’ve worked on many projects with him that had nothing to do with my job. He just pulled me in. I love the experience. It’s a great learning tool for me as a team player.
Q: Did anything from your role with facilities and vendors help you with the program?
A: Not specifically the role that I’m in now, but I was in retail, and I actually still have my license to do mortgages. I understood what the documents meant and how to read them, so I was able to bring that knowledge in. That did help me a lot because you’re looking at tax returns and payroll reports. I was able to read through that more easily and calculate the validations.
Q: How did the teams respond to the rush of PPP applications?
A: I think that we did a great job because we’re a smaller mutual bank with not a lot of people that work with us. I think we processed more applications in those first few weeks than we do over a full year. We took it and we ran with it. We had some late nights, but we were OK with that. I think it’s great that we came together as a team, from people who had no lending experience to people who deal with commercial lending all the time, all of just to come together to be able to say, “We’re all kind of at ground zero, let’s see what’s going on, and just run with it.” I’m really proud of us as a team. Also, our customers were amazing. If we needed something from them, we’d go back and forth, and they were just very accommodating. It just made the process a lot easier.
Q: What was it like for you working from home?
A: A lot of us in the back office have laptops, so we had the ability to work from home when we needed to, but it wasn’t something that we did like we are now. I’m a very social person, a very outgoing person. So for me, it was hard because I missed seeing everyone’s faces and talking to people from face to face. I also have a son who just finished first grade, so he was doing distance learning from home. That was tough too – because my husband was out working – being home with my son trying to juggle school and work.
Q: Will you be involved with the PPP forgiveness phase?
A: Yes, Kathy and I are also team leads again on this whole process. We’ve been through a few webinars. This is brand new to us, so now we have to learn about this whole other process, how the forgiveness piece is going to come into play and what’s required from our customers to be able to say, “Yes, your loan is forgiven.”
Q: Did you use automated tools?
A: For the first round, we did not, and that was part of our issue trying to get our feet on the floor. We were doing everything basically via email and that was tough. For the second round, we used a company called Lendio. A customer was able to put in their application and upload all of their documents right into that portal, and we just pulled them down. Whatever we needed additionally from them, we would just email them. So that tool helped us a lot. We are using another piece of software for the forgiveness piece also.
Q: Did you continue your role as facilities and vendor manager while leading the PPP Team?
A: Oh yes, I still had to pay all the bills, I still had to do my facilities role. The beginning was the hardest for me, because I’m learning this new thing like everybody else, but I still have to make sure that I pay the bills, and still have to make sure that everything is done on my end.
The retail bank had people working in our branches. We would meet almost daily, sending out emails to branches on a weekly basis, asking them, “How are you doing? What do you need? What are you short on?” That constant touchpoint was just to make sure that everybody’s OK, and they have what they need.
It was a little stressful at the beginning, but I knew that this project was really to help our customers and the small businesses out there that really need it. At the end of the day, it was worth it for me because we’re helping people, and that’s what we all love to do.
Magin’s Five Favorite Scuba Diving Destinations
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- Tulum, Mexico
- Little Cayman
- John, U.S. Virgin Islands