As published in The Secured Lender
Volume 73, Issue 6, Pages 14 – 92
CFA 40 Under 40 Award Profiles
Two years ago, the Commercial Finance Association announced it was looking for the best and brightest in our industry. The CFA 40 Under 40 Awards program was introduced to honor the achievements of young commercial finance professionals and service providers from across the industry. The Awards Celebration took place at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, with over 350 attendees. The 40 Under 40 Awards celebration has quickly become the fall event in New York for this industry.
The CFA 40 Under 40 Awards celebrate the achievements of young professionals in the commercial finance industry – the movers and shakers who exemplify true excellence in their careers and who bring a strong voice and commitment to the industry at large. On the following pages, we invite you to get to know the industry’s future leaders.
Assistant Vice President
North Mill Capital LLC
Karen Marino has a vast range of experience in the asset-based lending industry. Currently, she is an account executive for North Mill Capital, LLC. She began her career as a collateral analyst at Business Alliance Capital Corp., while in college, and advancing to senior field examiner at Santander Bank, despite management and ownership changes. She was recruited by North Mill Capital, LLC. In her current role as an account executive she handles the day-to-day financial needs of the customers in her portfolio, as well as ensures that the risk of exposure is continuously evaluated and mitigated. She is a graduate of Rutgers University; she is currently a member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the CFA and involved with different young professionals committees. Karen’s volunteer work includes community outreach and volunteering time at a local resource center that provides safe houses, resources, and life skills for people who have been involved in or affected by domestic violence.
What is the best professional advice you have been given and how have you implemented it?
The best professional advice I’ve had the benefit of receiving is to know that everyone has something to offer, therefore always find a way to learn from every situation and person. When I began my career in commercial finance I was in college, and naturally a “know-it-all”. Ted Kompa, the CEO of Business Alliance Capital Corp, told me that, in order to become the smartest person in the room, you had to start by not thinking you are the smartest person in the room, but instead to “learn from those around me.” I have learned and grown so much since then and I would not be where I am today if I didn’t take that solid piece of advice.
How would you define what a good leader is, and what can you do to reflect those characteristics as you progress in your career?
I would say that a good leader always leads by example and shows compassion. Actions speak much louder than words, and I believe that, if a person has strong integrity and remains consistent, others will follow in their footsteps. I also believe that to be effective as a leader, you must be approachable. When people feel that they can come to you and share their thoughts, opinions, and feelings, they will work harder to meet the standards that have been set. It’s a much healthier, happier and, thereby, more efficient and productive environment. This is a standard that I believe in and live by professionally and personally.
How do you think the commercial finance industry can attract more young professionals?
There are many ways to get the next generation of commercial finance professionals, but the most direct way is to find great talent at entry-level positions, invest and encourage their development. When I started in the commercial finance industry, I was in college working on a bachelor degree in nursing. I took a part time job as a collateral analyst and it opened my eyes to the world of commercial finance. I had great mentors who saw my potential and took the time to teach and inspire me to love this industry. I truly believe that the next generation of professionals are closer than we think and we all have to keep our eyes open.
This year’s event will take place at The Pierre New York Hotel on September 20th with Rob Frohwein, Co-founder of Kabbage, as the keynote speaker. In addition to the 40 award winners, Steven Gold, President & CEO of Allied Financial, will be presented with the CFA Leadership Award.
North Mill Capital mentions:
Letter from Jeff Goldrich
Licia Jacques – Event Committee
Karen Marino – Biography