Women in Secured Finance Profiles
THE SECURED LENDER | APRIL 2022 | VOL.78 ISSUE 3 | Excerpt below | Download the entire issue here
Fast Pay Partners, an SLR Business Credit Company
Danielle Baldaro is a senior vice president and oversees portfolio management of SLR Business Credit’s Fast Pay digital media finance division. She manages a team of portfolio managers and oversees the digital media portfolio of accounts. Danielle has been in factoring and asset-based lending for over 20 years. She started out as a jr. account executive at Transaction Funding while completing her Bachelor of Science in business administration and management at Cal State University, Los Angeles where she graduated cum laude. She then went to work at Continental Business Credit in the operations area. Danielle joined Fast Pay in 2012 as one of its first employees. She moved up from account executive to running the Operations group. A few years later, she laid the framework for and founded the Portfolio Management team and has been running that department for the last six years. She was instrumental in developing all policies and procedures at Fast Pay. Danielle balances customer expectations while always maintaining credit quality. A native of Southern California, Danielle lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two boys, and their dog, Olive.
What advice would you offer to women just starting out in the industry?
The first thing I would say is try to combat the “imposter syndrome” feelings, if you have them. Remind yourself that you are talented, and you deserve to be here even though this industry has been historically male dominated, which, by the way, is evolving as we speak. I’d also encourage women to ask questions and jump into new challenges. See challenges as areas to grow and learn. If you are fortunate to have a mentor, absorb as much as you can because that experience and what you gain from it is so incredibly valuable. Seek out training programs that interest you and speak to your manager about attending those programs. Don’t shy away from being uniquely you and always, always, always advocate for yourself!
What role has mentoring played in your career?
I am so fortunate that I had an amazing female mentor early on in my career. I will never forget how she took me under her wing, and I am forever grateful for that experience. She taught me so much about not only the field and the role but also about how I wanted to show up every day and interact with people from bosses to clients and coworkers. It didn’t matter what kind of day she was having; she was always kind and had a smile on her face and you felt this ray of sunshine around her. It made the biggest difference in everyone’s day. She made such a lasting impact, and I will cherish that forever. I hope I’ve been able to offer a sliver of that to those I’ve mentored throughout the years and hope to continue doing so throughout my journey.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I really enjoy the team collaboration efforts because we have such an interestingly creative team, and it is fun to pick each other’s brains and problem solve. We have a solid group, and we challenge each other regularly, but we also crack the occasional joke to keep things lighthearted. I am thankful to be surrounded by such talented, creative, and funny people! I also really enjoy watching and taking part in the growth of our borrowers.
Any secrets to balancing your work/personal time?
There’s absolutely no secret or magic for this and I don’t think anyone truly gets this balance right all the time. For me, I try my best to be where my feet are. When I am at work, I am firing at all cylinders, and I try not to miss a beat. When I am home, my focus shifts to my family. I am a wife and a mom of two busy little boys (that keep me on my toes!), and I want to be as present as possible when I am with them. That’s not to say I don’t check work email in the evenings but I really try to wrap up as much of the work stuff as I can during the day so I can have that special family time at the end of the day. I give work my all but want to enjoy life outside of work too so there needs to be time to unplug. When we travel or have family time, I really try to disconnect and embrace that time.
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