The local business banking team at Elevations provides a consultative approach to help you realize long-term success for your business. Get to know one of our newest team members, Naomi Perez, in this Q&A.
How long have you been at Elevations?
I joined Elevations in January 2019. Currently, I work out of Longmont and serve business members from Longmont to Greeley.
Why did you get into business banking?
I started as a teller in college, and I enjoyed the relationship building component of my job. I had never really worked at a job like that coming from a retail background. I quickly moved into a personal banker role because it allowed me to deepen my relationships with my customers by helping them achieve their financial goals. I would say that I truly found my place when I started working with business owners and eventually moved into business banking full time. I really enjoy my conversations with business owners about their goals and how, as a financial institution, we can play a huge role in helping them achieve those goals.
What did you do before joining Elevations?
The prior role I had was at the largest family-controlled bank in the U.S., primarily a business and commercial bank. My duties were to develop new business and manage existing relationships. I was also at Wells Fargo before that doing business banking. I’ve been in business banking pretty much my whole banking career, which has now been going on about ten years.
What made you want to transition to Elevations?
The main thing that made me consider Elevations is that I was getting tired of the “big bank” sales culture. I think trillion-dollar banks lose the customer focus and it becomes very numbers-driven somewhere along the way. I feel that Elevations is a better fit for the way I do business; it’s people-oriented. Our members’ interest comes first, not the “bottom line.” I enjoy being out in my community, representing a brand that supports my community.
How would you define your role?
I think my role is a nice blend of being a consultant and an educator. I’m an educator because I have to educate people on business finance and banking. I’m a consultant because when I meet with business owners, it’s more of a consultation I’m having with them. I take the time to get to know these business owners as people: What are the things that keep them up at night, and how can I help alleviate that? I help them see things from a different perspective and also help them understand that there are solutions out there for their business needs. I am there as a guide to help them make the right decision.
What do you think sets Elevations apart from other financial institutions?
We don’t just say we are community-focused, we prove it by taking radical action. You can see it in our sponsorships, financial education seminars, volunteer work and in the service-oriented culture of our institution. I think this is what sets us apart.
Why do you like business banking?
For me working with business owners is the best. Business owners are very brave and courageous people because they have an idea, and they turn it into real life without a lot of attachment to the outcome. Many people who work 9-5s do it for security. Business owners, on the other hand, take huge leaps of faith to earn income in different ways. I love the entrepreneurial spirit.
What’s your favorite local nonprofit?
I’m on the committee with the I Have A Dream Foundation of Boulder County, and that’s my favorite, hands down. I feel like that nonprofit kind of found me. I randomly met one of the Foundation’s volunteer directors at an event in Boulder just through talking with her about life. She encouraged me to come volunteer with them. I went to one of their meetings and learned more about their mission. I knew I had to volunteer with them. It’s my way of giving back because, in my life, I feel like I was one of those kids who needed a mentor that understood my struggles and helped overcome them.
Do you have any advice to business owners selecting a financial institution?
Don’t look for a financial institution. Instead, find a person you like working with that you trust. If you find someone who is good to work with and a great institution is backing them, then it’s a win-win situation.
Now that you know more about Naomi Perez, get in contact with her at 303.443.4672 x 1406 or email.