Jane E. McNamara
"PNC understands our business, and their values align with ours here in Michigan. We appreciate their support and their commitment to doing the right thing."
Help When Consumers Need it Most
At a time when a staggering number of Americans are plagued by debt, Jane McNamara leads an organization dedicated to easing their burden. GreenPath Debt Solutions is a government-approved nonprofit organization providing consumers with financial education, housing and bankruptcy counseling, and individualized programs for repaying debt. The company employs 600, operates 60 full-time branches and delivers licensed services nationwide.
"Only our interpersonal relationships affect us more strongly than our finances do," says Jane, Greenpath's president and CEO since 1997. "So by helping individuals and families regain control of their finances, Greenpath creates stability in their lives and also in the community."
Jane has been with Greenpath for 30 years, first as a financial counselor and then as director of education. She taught business leaders and others within the credit industry why consumers run into financial difficulties, how to recognize the signs of financial distress and what they can do to help. As GreenPath began to expand aggressively in 1988, Jane was named vice president and COO.
She shares, "Having viewed the organization from several vantage points, I realized we could become more effective by flattening our structure - removing layers that might be holding us back from providing consumers with the most direct, personal service. When I became CEO, I replaced the COO position with a leadership team. I didn't want a layer between myself and the front line."
Technology and Passion Fuel Results
Having grown revenues dramatically since taking the reins - from $8.9 million in 1996 to $45.5 million in 2010 - Jane attributes Greenpath's success to its team approach, the knowledge and expertise of its employees, and its commitment to continuous improvements. Jane is a steadfast advocate for optimizing processes through technological tools. She insists on technological excellence from her bank as well.
"Each month, consumers send us checks to pay their bills for them. The volume is tremendous. Last year, we handled $250 million on behalf of our clients," Jane explains. "PNC offers us state-of-the-art technology to process those checks, electronically transfer the funds and issue paper checks when needed."
PNC is also financing a 125,000-square-foot building, now under construction, which is intended to house as many as 600 GreenPath employees. "PNC understands our business, and their values align with ours here in Michigan. We appreciate their support and their commitment to doing the right thing," says Jane.
Jane remains as passionate as ever about helping consumers with their finances. "I was depositing my weekly allowance into a college savings account before I started kindergarten," laughs Jane, whose grandfather was the president of a small community bank in Michigan. "I understood the value of financial stability then, and I strive to help others see the value in it today."