Back in college, Patty Mason was planning on a career in a whole industry, but the glamorous world of mortgage banking soon turned her head. She started with a temp job in Fleet Bank’s home equity division in the mid-1990s.
“It just gave you such a good feeling – someone needed that money to pay for college, or medical bills, or home repair. You really get a sense of accomplishment,” she explained. “I actually started in a call center, and I still say that’s one of the best ways to get your foot in the door in banking – you get such a feel for everything that’s going on, you’re right in the middle of it.” By 2002, she moved to Countrywide, eventually overseeing 45 people as one of their operations managers.
When Countrywide was shut down during the real estate crash, Mason moved into insurance sales for a few years. But she soon found her first love calling her back, when a former colleague mentioned her name for an open position with Rockville Bank.
“I’ve been in mortgage banking since 1981, and I’ve never met a person who stays positive, whatever happens,” said Jeff Lipes, vice president for mortgages at Rockville Bank. “It could be the auditors coming in, and she wouldn’t be upset, she’d just say ‘Well, we’ll figure out a way of dealing with it.’”
That equanimity has made her a steady hand at the tiller when it comes to managing an expanding staff. In her time at Rockville, the bank has expanded its operations from a staff of eight to 25.
“My philosophy is, you walk in with a winning, positive attitude, it’s infections. Folks migrate to a positive environment instead of a negative environment, and that’s what I foster every day here,” Mason said. “Sometime you see people that you work with more than you see your family, so it’s really important that everyone respects each other. Help your neighbor – if you’re done, see if they need any help.”
But she still feels she has a long way to go. “I really want to help [Rockville] become one of the premier mortgage entities in the state of Connecticut,” she said.