Director Spotlight: J.C. Key
By Bobby Pedersen (MSB ’21)
With John Conner (J.C.) Key at the helm as the new Director of the Client Services Team (CST), the department hit the ground running this semester. Improved payment platforms, restructured client interaction processes, and revitalized department goals have created new and increased responsibilities for the team, not to mention training an entire cohort of new hires. Nonetheless, I was able to sit down with J.C. to discuss his vision for the coming semester, and the exciting activities currently being undertaken by his team.
Although Director for only two months, J.C. already has his eyes towards the coming weeks and months. First, he has set a personal goal of ensuring movement along the loan pipeline, and ensuring that the process doesn’t intimidate potential clients. J.C. hopes to establish more trust between his Loan Officers and their respective clients, assuring that every client has a chance to receive a decision on the status of their loan from the Monitoring Department. With the assistance of motivated Client Services new hires, he sees this as a real opportunity for organizational growth. Additionally, J.C. hopes to help his new hires become engaged and knowledgeable members of the greater organization – a goal already seeing progress. On a personal note, J.C. also hopes to use his tenure as Director to better understand the continuity that HMFI has enjoyed for the past decade. Passing knowledge down the generations of Loan Officers is vital for the department’s success – a system he hopes to continue with this semester’s team.
The role of Director has already taught J.C. greatly about leadership, his team, and the greater HMFI organization. With his new position, J.C. has been able to help his new hires become adjusted to the department’s work, and train them on successful client interactions. Most importantly, J.C. notes, he has been able to watch them grow over the past several weeks, as they take on more independent work and client outreach. Further, J.C.’s new role has allowed him to “take a step back” and see how the parts of HMFI work together to deliver its final product. Seeing how the individual departments harmonize and complement one another has given him a new respect for the work being done by HMFI and hope for its future.
Speaking with J.C. also shed light on the current happenings within the Client Services Team. Simply stated, this semester will be one of great transition, as the team implements new payment platforms and client interaction processes. Both Stripe and Plaid software systems are being implemented to facilitate our disbursement and repayment processes. This involves new training for the entire team, to better guide clients through the pipeline process. Further, an overhauled website has changed the way in which clients repay current loans, learn about our services, and apply for new loans. These two challenges change the means by which the team serves clients, and is a major department adjustment. In addition, J.C. is in the process of improving the standard for client interaction. J.C. is instituting changes that assure Loan Officers are committed to clients beginning with their application and continuing after repayment, so we may better understand the businesses we work with and promote returning clients. This continued interaction will help clients better understand our loan process and increase our organizational output.
As a current Crossover in the Client Services Team, in which I spend time in both the Marketing and CST Departments, the vision shared and strategies being implemented by J.C. are genuinely exciting. Seeing the work he puts in to ensure the team is properly trained makes me hopeful not only for the department’s future, but the future of the organization as a whole. After approving the loan of our newest client, Sharod, and working towards disbursing a new loan currently being evaluated in our underwriting process, the team has a tangible motivation. The Client Services Team is a pivotal part of our pipeline process and greater organization, and J.C.’s current work is improving its efficacy.
Bobby Pedersen is a sophomore at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, and outside of HMFI, he enjoys mentoring and tutoring students in literacy skills throughout the District of Columbia through DC Reads. Originally from New York City, NY, Bobby is a huge dog person and politics junkie. Bobby is also an inaugural member of HMFI’s Crossovers Program, in which he spends time immersing in both HMFI’s Marketing and Client Services Team Departments.