What advice would you offer to women just starting out in the industry?
I believe that women really need to
connect with and support each other.
Having a rewarding and demanding
career can be challenging, considering
all of the other roles that women play
with regard to having children and
managing their households. Surrounding yourself with other like-minded
women can make all of the difference
in obtaining personal and professional
satisfaction. It does not matter who
these women are, whether they are
experienced superiors or your support
staff, we can all help each other to
obtain the same goals of success.
What do you know now that you wish you
knew in the beginning of your career?
As an attorney, I wish that I had placed
more of an emphasis on gaining the
knowledge and experience of the
financial industry during college and
while in law school. If I had known
is dominated by men, we should be
focusing on bringing more women in
and supporting them so they want to
stay and women will need to play an
important part of that by the way we
treat each other.
What do you think the industry could
do to attract and retain the best and
the brightest today?
In order to retain the best and brightest women, we need to be able to
offer a flexible work environment
and give them the ability to manage
their own time. We are fortunate that
innovations in technology allow us to
basically work at any time and from
anywhere. At Utica Leaseco, we have
flexible schedules and sometimes
keep odd hours in order to accommodate our customers and brokers.
This allows us to meet demands and
respond quickly as possible. Whether
it is early in the morning or late at
night, women are more than capable
of meeting deadlines and getting the
work done to close transactions efficiently.
that this was the industry I was going
to end up in, I would have taken different classes in law school and chosen a
different undergrad major.
What kind of role has mentoring and/
or sponsorship played in your career?
My first mentor was an attorney that I
met when I had just begun law school.
She was much more experienced than
me and, during her career, had come
face-to-face with how horrible women
were to other women. She saw firsthand how women would go out of
their way to sabotage other women in
order to get ahead professionally. One
of the most important lessons that
she worked to teach me as I was beginning my career was the importance
of supporting each other and lifting
other women up, instead of pulling
them down. I am grateful to have
found these same qualities in Ryann
Whitmore, who is now my mentor and
colleague at Utica Leaseco. She has
encountered the same type of negativity from other women and we have the
same goals and outlook in supporting
each other. We feel that this helps us
to be incredibly efficient and happy
and to provide excellent service to
our customers. In an industry that
enate LaCroix, in-house counsel at Utica Leaseco, is an expert
on Uniform Commercial Code and in conducting due diligence
for asset-based financing transactions secured by real-estate,
machinery, and current assets. LaCroix is the most senior mem-
ber of the Utica Leaseco legal staff with eight years and over 200
transactions worth of experience. LaCroix’s duties include, but are not limited
to : corresponding with secured creditors to procure subordination and payoff
letters, filing UCC financing statement, and walking each customer carefully
through Utica’s due diligence process, all in order to thoroughly assess prospective clients and properly secure all collateral involved in each transaction. LaCroix’s experience and awareness when it comes to due diligence allows Utica
Leaseco to deftly maneuver through the many pitfalls associated with hard-asset lending . Renate is the mother of three and is actively involved in charity,
specifically Kids Kicking Cancer and Sparky Anderson‘s CATCH.