Meet Camille Phillips! Camille is a banking industry veteran who has worked in both small and large financial institutions, regulators, and private consulting. She currently works as the SVP/Risk Officer at Today’s Bank and serves as a member of Teslar Software’s Board of Directors.
Tell us a little bit about how you became a Board member.
That answer requires a bit of a journey to get to. Before Teslar Software was founded, I worked alongside Joe Ehrhardt (CEO and founder of Teslar Software) at a community bank in Northwest Arkansas. As the head of development, Joe was tasked with writing code to help the bank manage exceptions within the loan portfolio. We came together because my department was a beneficiary of Joe’s work. He made our lives a lot easier with that solution.
We eventually both moved on to other ventures, but we continued to cross paths as the years passed. At one point, I even worked for Teslar Software to help build out the client base and expand the solution. Due to that long time connection I’ve had with Joe, when asked if I would be interested in joining the Board, I said I would be honored to join and continue to be a part of the Teslar story.
Let’s talk about why you invest your time serving on the Board.
As a community banker, I’ve seen firsthand how a well-designed, targeted financial solution can positively impact community banking. Knowing the commitment it takes, my connection to Joe and Teslar were vital to my decision to invest my time as a board member.
Joe and the Teslar team have a true commitment and passion for community banking. It’s great to be a part of a company that has shared goals and objectives with my industry. I know what some Fintechs, Teslar particularly, can mean for community banking and helping them be a more responsive and more competitive financial institution.
Lastly, it’s very professionally satisfying to serve on a board with like-minded individuals that bring great conversation and have great industry depth, experience, and diversity. I learn something every time we have a board meeting and there’s always great conversation around the table.
What do you think Teslar can accomplish in this industry?
The primary currency that bankers trade on with their customers is trust. Ensuring depositor trust is our highest and best calling as bankers because it makes you a reliable banking partner. Given Joe’s personal nature and his banking background, he understands this well and has built it into the foundation of Teslar Software. It’s even the company’s top core value.
Bankers trust Teslar to keep their customers’ information secure, provide them the tools they need to manage their banks more efficiently, to add value to the bottom line, and they trust Teslar Software’s expertise. We need trust and support in times of crisis such as PPP, but banks also follow a business cycle and an economic cycle and we need partners we can trust will be with us through that cycle. To me, the biggest accomplishment is to achieve and maintain industry trust and to become a trusted industry partner, and I think that’s something Teslar Software achieves every day.
How can our solution help community banking now and in the future?
With Teslar there really are a lot of benefits. There are micro benefits, where bankers can go in and see information on a transaction level. Lenders can go in and quickly see where they are in their portfolio-- what’s coming up for maturity, any needed exceptions, status in their deal pipeline, construction projects—and the same for the deposit side. These micro benefits all add to the bank’s bottom line.
And then you’ve also got macro benefits. In just a quick view, executive management and the board of directors can understand what the yield of your portfolio is, see your trend lines, and see what’s actually happening bank-wide.
Providing the kind of technology that instantly gets the information you need in a way that you can easily digest is something banks are looking for in this increasingly competitive environment. Something to give them an edge of responsiveness, making them more competitive and ultimately improving their bottom line.
What do you think our company is doing to create positive improvements in the banking community?
Teslar Software has proven to be a very responsive banking partner. I think the ability to anticipate needs and be nimble enough to react to change in real time is a difference-maker for community banks. During PPP, banks have been charged with moving liquidity out into the small business market. Teslar Software anticipated the industry was going to come under that pressure and responded to those needs in real time.
Teslar Software has a history of doing this. During the Great Recession when banks were working through a lot of problem credit and assets, they created the Criticized Assets module to help manage that sector. When bankers asked for an easier way for customers to submit documents, Teslar Software created Teslar Unite—a portal that allows customers to securely upload documents from the bank’s website.
Ultimately, Teslar makes better banks. And I think it’s due to their responsiveness paired with really good technology and an understanding of the long-term view of banking.
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