Although she has a passion for numbers, what fills Connie Basco's heart is the human element of banking and the difference she makes in her community.
How did you find the path to your career?
When I was 14, I started working with my mom in the Loan Operations/Collections department at the small community bank where she worked. They needed help in the department, but they were unable to hire new permanent employees as the bank was going through a merger; however, they were able to hire me as a temporary employee. I worked full-time during the summers and a little after school. When I finished school, the banking industry felt like a natural place to me.
What do you love about your job?
Numbers have always been my thing; I always excelled in math as a kid. I think of my job as putting together a puzzle where I take different pieces and figure out how to put them together to find the best solution.
The part that really made me love what I do came when I attended the closing of one of the first loans I processed. It had been a challenging loan-- then I had the opportunity to meet the people and see how excited they were to be buying their dream home. They were SO happy, so thankful, and so appreciative of all we had done to help them throughout their home buying process. It touched me and made me feel like I was doing something good.
Tell us about your current position.
I work with the commercial lenders to help get the right loan for our business customers needs, whether that’s to acquire an office building, purchase new equipment or provide an operating line of credit to help with their cash flow. We are here to help them grow their business.
What motivates you?
My family. A lot of people say they live to work and that's their life... I work to live. I have three kids, and everything I do is for them. I put a lot of pride, time, and effort into my job and I do it to set a good example for my kids, teaching them good work ethic, the value of hard work, and what it means to look out for others. When the PPP program rolled out, there were several of us working 12 hour days, 6 and 7 days a week because we wanted to do whatever we could to support customers during the pandemic. My family was very supportive; they picked up my slack around the house, my husband cooked dinner every night, and my kids would come in my office to give me hugs throughout the day, which gave me the boost I needed to keep going. My family understood that what we were doing at the bank was helping so many people in our community - not just our customers, but it was helping our customers’ employees and their families too.
Do you have any success stories to share?
This past year I headed up our PPP department at the bank. The pandemic created a hardship for our customers, many of which had to close their business and furlough their employees. One of our customers owns a restaurant in Mooresville, a very small mom-and-pop place. They were impacted very hard when they had to shut down their restaurant. Even when they were able to reopen, things were so tight they stopped paying themselves, and withdrew money from personal savings and retirement accounts just to keep doors open and employees paid. I worked with her to get their first PPP loan last year, through getting the loan forgiven, to getting her a second draw PPP loan this year. She emailed me to say how appreciative, and that our help is what kept their business alive. I think there is a trickle-down effect that comes with this—we helped our customers keep their businesses open, which helped their employees keep their jobs, and that helps provide for their families, which in turn helps our community as a whole.
When you're not at work, what lights you up?
I dance in ballroom competitions. I took up ballroom dancing about four years ago when my husband and I were looking for something to do on date nights. I was one of the girls who dreamt about learning to dance like Baby in Dirty Dancing. My husband surprised me by scheduling our first lesson at a dance studio, and I fell in love. Now, there is no other place that I feel more like myself than I do when I am on the dance floor.
Do you have a dance specialty?
The West Coast Swing is probably my best dance. My favorite dance is whichever one I’m dancing at the time. I love them all, so with each one, I think “ah, this one is my favorite!”
Where might people find you involved in the community?
I have had the opportunity to be involved in several Habitat for Humanity builds in the area. I really enjoyed being part of the first all-women build in Johnson County. My team started the framing of the house--and by the end of the day, we had built the actual walls of the house. I was able to work alongside the homeowner, and learn about everything she had to go through to get that home for her and her two little girls. It was so rewarding to see what a bunch of women could build on their own. After the house was complete, it was awesome to see the smiles on the faces of the family when they walked into their new home.