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Associate Spotlight – Meleah Suksi

Meleah Suksi, Loan Specialty Manager

What has your professional development journey been like? My journey of growth has been a work in progress for many years. I have had a couple of employers who have encouraged me to grow. They recognized my skills and allowed me to be myself. In addition, they helped me work on my weaknesses by critiquing me and providing me with more experience and exposure in different areas.

What do you think is the most essential skill that a successful professional needs to have? Listening to others is an essential skill. It can help build the foundation of a relationship.  People like to be heard, and if we listen, we may just hear the real reason someone is upset, what they are looking for in a resolution, or if they just want to be heard. On the flip side, we may learn something new, open our minds to other perspectives, or become able to predict problems before they start.

What have been some of the most important lessons you’ve learned throughout your career? I have learned that change is going to happen with or without you. Embracing change can bring faster acceptance, allow me to be open-minded, and, at times, teach me a lot about the topic at hand. I have also learned that you may not have all the information behind the decision, but the people making it typically thought long and hard, weighed the pros and cons, and did not come to a conclusion lightly.

How do you like to structure your day? I like waking up early to enjoy the quiet morning while drinking coffee. At work, I want to start my day with tasks that may be time-consuming and demand focus while my mind is fresh and clear. This makes me feel a sense of accomplishment as the rest of my day may not go as planned.

Describe an exciting hobby or pastime that you have. During the winter months, my husband and I like ice fishing; when summer comes around, we enjoy camping and taking motorcycle rides. Motorcycle rides have been our long-time favorite, and we don’t get out as much as we want to anymore. We have gone on several long road trips with other family members. Our favorite trip was when we lived in Colorado. We drove through New Mexico, cut across to Tombstone, Arizona, and up to Sedona, Arizona, and cut across back to New Mexico. From there, we headed back home to Colorado. The trip took us a week, and we experienced all sorts of weather. It was cold and rained for the first few days, then the temperature reached 100 degrees driving through the desert, and as we approached Colorado Springs, we ran into a snowstorm. The snow was coming down so fast, wet, and heavy, and it didn’t take long before the bike and riders were covered in ice. Luckily, we have family living in Colorado Springs, so we could park the bikes in the garage and warm up a bit before we drove the rest of the way home.

What is the best thing that’s happened to you this year? This year has been pretty quiet so far, with nothing of great excitement happening, but we are looking forward to planning our trip to Ireland with close friends in the spring of next year.

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