Through her work at Old Point Financial Services and the Girl Scouts, Melissa Burroughs, executive vice president and chief lending officer at Old Point National Bank, has learned this:
"The most important thing right now is financial literacy," she said. "That's what we talk about at the bank, at the state level and at the Girl Scouts. We have to do a better job of teaching our current and future generations how to be fiscally savvy."
Burroughs oversees a loan portfolio of $485 million at the bank, where she considers herself a "quasi-owner" who directly oversees a staff of six and indirectly 30 more. Every single loan that gets approved at the bank has her stamp on it.
She graduated from Virginia Wesleyan and got her MBA from Old Dominion University and started her banking career in 1986 at Crestar Bank. She eventually moved to bigger banks such as First Union and Wachovia and then onto SouthTrust Bank, where she spearheaded a small business lending program that lent smaller amounts to smaller businesses in Hampton Roads.
She joined Old Point in 2005.
"At a community bank, I feel like I'm making a difference with my customers every day, and helping their businesses," she said. "I, too, am a quasi-business owner here in the community so I relate more to their issues. We are making payroll, we are keeping the lights on. We don't get orders from Charlotte. When we want something done, we do it right here in Phoebus."
Burroughs sits on a steering committee for the Virginia Bankers Association and works with the Girl Scouts to teach financial literacy to young women. She is also chair of the Girl Scout Council of the Colonial Coast. She also teaches free classes to women about investing and managing their financial future.
In the midst of the recession, Old Point National Bank was one of the few banks in Virginia and the first community bank that participated in the government's American Capital Recovery Loan Plan.
The idea of the loan plan was to make small loans to small businesses, in essence to keep them from going under.
"A lot of the large banks might just say, 'It's not possible," she said. "We didn't perceive it as a profit issue. We perceived it as a customer service issue, a community enhancement issue in the midst of the horrible recession. This was purely a way to help business owners keep their businesses going."nib
- Bill Cresenzo
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