Great leaders are inspiring, lead the way to success, and empower others to grow and thrive. With a spirit to help build a strong foundation, Suzanne Hamilton excels with influential strategies at ERIEBANK.
Building the stage for success in real estate
While in high school, Suzanne contemplated a career in accounting and finance imagining the world would always have money, she could help others, and make a difference. She went on to obtain her bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Business Administration/Finance from Otterbein University. Soon after, she graduated with a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in Finance and Marketing from The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business.
She has worked in national, regional, and local banks where she has managed multi-million dollar portfolios. Suzanne attributes her strong work ethic and determination to the culture of an organization and the people who work with her. This makes her role as Senior Vice President, Commercial Real Estate, at ERIEBANK the perfect fit.
Suzanne said, “After entering the banking field, my mentor recommended giving real estate finance a whirl. I fell in love with it. So, yes, I am exactly where I hoped I would be in my career.”
Journey with ERIEBANK
ERIEBANK started in 2007 in Erie, Pennsylvania providing a return to the personalized banking of old. From there, the Bank continued to grow throughout western Pennsylvania before expanding into the Ohio market in 2016. Expansion continued in 2017 into Ashtabula County and then to Cleveland proper the following year. Regional President, Wesley Gillespie, began hiring an experienced lending team, that included Suzanne, for the Cleveland office.
Suzanne has loved the journey with the organization, that has provided her the freedom to strive for the best while providing customized financial solutions to her customers. Suzanne said, “With this Bank, I can provide large CRE loans with the charm of a community bank and compete very well.”
She firmly believes that a good mentor can positively impact the personal and professional course of anybody’s life. She further noted, “Find a mentor – don’t wait for one to find you. Have someone(s) that will listen and guide you on your journey. Then, when it’s your turn, be a mentor.”
Life as Senior Vice President of Commercial Real Estate at ERIEBANK
Suzanne’s education and experience have positively contributed to her interactions with customers and preparing the best solutions for their needs fuels her motivation.
“As a lender, I spend a lot of time with clients and am involved with projects. My role is similar with each, but the projects change, so it’s always interesting. I have developed long-term customer relationships, and I enjoy those interactions. It is my goal to provide those solutions in a meaningful and timely way to my clients.”
She provides lending for investment properties that can exceed tens of millions of dollars and include financing solutions to investors for ground-up construction, construction/renovations, tax-credit projects, investment, and 1031x deals for all property types.
Suzanne goes on to add, “My three best qualities are strong relationship development/management skills, being a good listener, and time management. These qualities have helped me to network hear the needs of others, and manage my days to include work, family, and a high level of volunteerism.”
Maintaining a balance between professional and personal life
For Suzanne, work-life balance means being satisfied with all parts of your life at least most of the time. She said, “Sometimes you need to draw a line in the sand and know that tomorrow brings more time for that “thing” at work or wherever. I try not to take work home, except to respond to emails, if possible. Taking care of myself is important – working out, eating right, and getting enough sleep.”
In her role, she must manage multiple projects and tasks with finesse. Her determination and passion constantly drive her to improve and motivate her team.
She loves to spend time with her loved ones and invest her time in volunteer and leadership activities. She adds, “I try to work out 3-4 days/week, and my evenings/weekends are mostly spent volunteering and with my family.”
Upcoming plans for future
Suzanne firmly believes that the sky is the limit and there is always more to achieve. She adds, “I mean, world peace (let alone domestic peace) hasn’t yet occurred! I am very content with what I have achieved. I feel that I provide solutions to customers, deliver success to my organization, and I absolutely enjoy what I do for a living. That and my family (furry ones too!) are what keep me motivated. These are also short- and long-term successes, so there is gratification with each relationship. Being appreciated and valued, which I am, provides a lot of fuel to work hard.”