What advice would you offer to women
just starting out in the industry?
Always put your best foot forward. You
should work hard, but work smart. I was
told early in my career, be the first one in
and the last to leave—“the boss will see
your efforts.” Now that I am in the senior
position, I can tell you that is a valid sug-
gestion. Good and bad work efforts do
not go unnoticed. You should always be
prepared, setting goals with a planned
strategy. Stay true to yourself and your
morals. “A good work ethic” will always
prevail. I have a Douglas Adams quote in
my email signature: “To give real service,
you must add something which cannot
be bought or measured with money and
that is sincerity and integrity.”
Don’t be shy about “touting” your
value and strengths as they relate to
your particular position as well as the
value you add to the organization. Don’t
“go it alone”. Try and seek advice or a
trusted mentor to help see you through
all of the above.
What do you think the industry could
do to attract and retain the best and
the brightest today?
To attract the best and the brightest,
industry and company leaders need to
reach out to local colleges and universities’ Master program directors.
Educating the university or college on
the possibilities of a “career path” in
this industry that, in turn, would be
presented to the students would be
a great place to start. There are many
instances, when speaking to this group
of Millennials, I have heard them say,
“I had no idea of this possibility of a
career in this industry.” Once they are
hired, this generation, known to CFA as
YoPros or Millennials, like it done “their
way”. They cherish time and scheduling.
Recognizing that setting goals for this
group while letting them set their own
schedule will be a winning combination.
There are a plethora of studies and suggestions related to this group. YoPros
are a driving force with great ideas and
energy. Upper management has a new
challenge, in a positive way, to welcome
Millennials in the workplace and give
them a valid position while offering the
older generation, who are not exiting
the workforce as quickly as they had
done in past years, a place to work.
What do you know now that you wish
you knew in the beginning of your
I wish I knew that it’s okay to step out
of your comfort zone. In doing so, with
confidence, the possibilities of success
are endless. It is also acceptable to be
afraid, just don’t let it hold you back.
Use caution mixed with confidence and
optimism as a formula for attaining
whatever goal you set for yourself.
What kind of role has mentoring and/
or sponsorship played in your career?
Mentoring the “newbies”, as we endearingly called new business development candidates, ultimately has either
validated my own processes or let me
“see myself” in action to tweak any
deficiencies, and sometimes has even
given me the kick in the pants to keep
up the pace. In addition to mentoring or
sponsoring, I feel it is important to offer
your time as a volunteer to a charity
or an organization bigger than yourself. Volunteering your time and effort
offers you the ability to expand your
horizons beyond the workplace. There
is an extra underlying benefit, as there
are wonderful business relationships
that have evolved while volunteering.
There are many positive studies supporting the human need and fulfillment
attained as a volunteer.
Denise A. Albanese
Cost Reduction Solutions
enise A. Albanese, owner of Cost Reduction Solutions, a national
due diligence firm, assumes the role of business development for the
company. Prior to joining the commercial finance industry, Denise led a
major account team in the office equipment solutions industry for a $5.2
billion publicly held company. Denise has helped grow Cost Reduc-
tion Solutions’ customer base by more than 75% in the past 10 years and helped CRS
service more than 180 unique customers and commercial lenders.
Denise is active in the lending community, as the acting Chairman of CFA’s New Jersey Chapter. Denise served as CFA’s New Jersey Chapter President in 2016, as well
as a committee member on the first ever “ 40 Under 40” recognition ceremony for the
Commercial Finance Association. Denise is a dedicated mentor for young professionals, actively encouraging networking growth, opportunities and promotions within
the company and industry for the “Next-Gen/“YoPros.” In 2015, Denise founded a not
for profit 501C3, Paulie & Pals, which offers financial assistance to families who have
children affected by autism. Denise has two children and is the proud grandmother
of two granddaughters.