~ by Trevor Phipps ~
Park State Bank & Trust in Woodland Park has promoted Kathryn Perry, who became a familiar face during the coronavirus epidemic outburst, as their new Vice-President (VP) of Lending.
Perry has been with the bank since April when she came on board to spearhead the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) that the Small Business Administration offered for relief from COVID-19 regulations.
After working with a number of local businesses on helping them with loans to keep their employees paid, one of the bank’s loan officers went to work for another company. This opened up a loan officer position at Park State Bank & Trust, a position well-suited to Kathryn Perry’s talents.
Perry’s newly acquired position of VP of lending means that she is now in charge of their lending department’s support staff of seven; sports a full portfolio of lending clients as a loan officer, and manages the PPP program.
A Return to A Familiar Industry
Perry has been in the area for nearly two decades and is not new to the banking industry. In the 1980sand 1990s, Perry worked in various assets of the banking world when she was employed by the Resolution Trust Corporation and CitiBank. Perry has been most recently known across the community as the CEO of the local non-profit CHOICES, the pregnancy and parenting centers in Woodland Park and Cripple Creek.
Perry said that she never intended on going back into the world of banking, but when the coronavirus pandemic struck that situation changed. With her husband Tony Perry serving as the bank president, she admitted she has been intimately involved with the institution for quite some time, so there is a family aspect to her new role.
Kathryn Perry was first hired as a contract worker strictly to help the bank with the extra workload the PPP loans created for the bank.
“The reality is that had the bank used one of its existing loan officers to spearhead the PPP project, it would have fundamentally been a risk for the bank,” Perry said. “Even though all of the loan officers were working from home during that period, all of the loan officers needed to stay focused on their existing portfolios and continuing to build new business. We couldn’t afford to just shut down the lending function of the bank and focus entirely on COVID. So, all of the existing loan officers stayed focused on their loan portfolios and making new loans for businesses that were active. And bringing me in to focus on the PPP did not take away from any of the bank’s existing functions. So, just really unusual circumstances came up when I came in strictly for the PPP, but as the summer wore on, there became a need and I had the skill set to fulfill it.”
Perry said that in the early stages of the pandemic, bank officials were not sure if offering businesses, the PPP loans would be something that the small community bank could handle. But after restrictions kept businesses closed and operating at low levels, the bank decided that offering the PPP loans was something they had to do.
Once the institution started offering the pay check relief loans, they reviewed more than 400 applications in a short time period. “We made about 215 loans in a two- month period, just topping out slightly above five million dollars,” Perry explained. “Which for a bank our size, it is about five percent of our asset value and it was about a hundred percent of our available capital. So, the board got behind the program and they were supportive from start to finish. The most exciting statistic out of all that was that it was 1,051 jobs that were protected at least temporarily by the PPP.”
Perry also said that on top of her other duties, she will also be available to help businesses when the second round of the coronavirus relief package gets approved. Perry will continue to manage everything related to coronavirus relief as well as her duties as VP of lending.
“Whether you are a local small business, or just one of our local residents, if you are in need of business give me a call,” Perry said. “I’m here and we are open for business.”