Magazine article The RMA Journal

Profile: Pat Sandlin Leads the Charge in a Credit Department and Is a Credit to Her Chapter

Magazine article The RMA Journal

Profile: Pat Sandlin Leads the Charge in a Credit Department and Is a Credit to Her Chapter

Article excerpt

Patricia Sandlin runs the busy credit department at Compass Bank, based in Birmingham, Alabama. Her responsibilities at the $25-billion regional bank range from financial analysis to monthly portfolio reporting. Despite the many changes that have occurred in commercial banking in the past five years, it's "status quo" for Sandlin and her analysts.

"Sure, technology has changed how we do business," she says. "It certainly has been a boon for us because we're now more productive. Our bank has moved into different markets in the past five to eight years. In the credit department, we're seeing more complex credits and new industries we need to learn about. This presents an education challenge that we're meeting with continuing education courses and a tremendous amount of research." The chapter uses several of the RMA mentor programs and accounting guides and references in its continuing education efforts. "We also rely on eMentor to learn more about the background and issues related to more specialized industries," she says.

"However, the credit basics never change. When you get down to it, we still rely on creative, intelligent human analysis in our loan decisions, and that's something that's ever present."

Sandlin has applied her expertise to the credit department at Compass Bank for the past 19 years and has been involved with RMA's Southern Chapter for 13 years. She rotated through the chairs and served as Birmingham chairman in 1996 (when Birmingham was known as a group). She also served on the Southern Chapter's board for several years and was chapter president.

Sandlin is a dynamic leader for this chapter, and she is supported by an active board of directors. In addition to the number of programs the chapter runs each year, this year the Southern Chapter, working with the Mid-South and Florida chapters and with the assistance of the New Orleans Chapter, reinstated the Southeast Regional Conference. …

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