A Millennial who is Confident & Ambitious
When Rebecca Howell Foote was 5 years old, she received her first paycheck for sweeping the floors of her parents’ Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealership, setting in motion a continuation of her family’s strong work ethic that would someday aid in the success that Foote Capital Mortgage Company enjoys today.
Born and raised in Carlisle, Foote said she enjoys life in a small town and so she decided to stay in Carlisle after graduation and her marriage to husband Shaun in 2005. She and her husband opened Foote Capital Mortgage Company in the fall of 2006, but Foote admits that while in college, she never gave the mortgage industry a second thought.
“I have a business degree and I knew I would do something in sales,” she said, “but mortgages never crossed my mind.”
She actually met her husband while they worked together in the mortgage department of a local bank, and they decided not long after their marriage to open their own company because “we wanted to have an independent mortgage company where we and our employees would not be pressured to do something in the company’s best interest that was not in our client’s best interest.”
Foote Capital, since its inception, has been recognized as a “Best of Carlisle – Mortgage Lender” for seven years in a row, from 2008 till 2014. The business continues to grow, having recently undergone a significant change from mortgage broker to one of the few locally owned and independently operated mortgage bankers.
“As a mortgage banker, we brought the back-office functions that other lenders had been performing for us in-house and are now closing loans with our own money instead of that of another lender,” Foote said. “At the end of the day, my husband and I fully intend … to remain independent so that we may continue to look clients in the eyes and know we are doing what is in their best interest.”
The best part of her day, Foote said, is waking at 6 a.m. and seeing her son’s big smile when she wakes him up. But that’s just the beginning. Throughout her busy day, she meets with clients, speaks with clients on the phone, takes incoming calls from consumers wanting to be clients, and manages the day-to-day business.
“Sometimes I must meet with clients well into the evening as well … but family is very important to me, so I have learned to work hard at work so I may enjoy my family time,” she said.
The mortgage industry is a small world, Foote explained, and therefore, it seems like everybody knows everybody else—which isn’t a bad thing. As a people person who enjoys getting out and meeting others, she also appreciates the camaraderie felt among her fellow professionals in the industry.
“It’s very common for loan officers at other companies to refer their clients to us when their company simply does not have the proper loan options for a particular client,” she said.
She and her husband also work hard to have a good relationship with their staff, building a team that works well together but that can also enjoy some fun together. The right mix is important.
“We have recently turned away loan officers wanting to work for us simply because it was not a good fit for the team,” Foote said.
She also said that as an employer, she is a big believer in showing appreciation for a job well done and providing opportunities for her staff to enjoy family time.
“It’s not always about money; it’s about creating an enjoyable work environment and giving your employees flexibility with their families,” Foote explained.
Foote is considered by society to be a millennial, a term that she said has had many different definitions over the years, but one that she personally takes as a compliment because even on days when she feels old, she knows that she is still young in the workplace arena.
When she first entered the business world after college, though, she does admit that she felt as if she had to prove herself because of her youth.
“It’s amazing now that we’ve had our business for nearly nine years, though, how people’s perceptions have changed,” she said. “Too often our generation is looked at as a bunch of self-centered know-it-alls … but not all of us are like that. I just want to work hard, make my own way, and give back to the community I live in.”
An avid volunteer and proponent of community involvement, Foote explained the simple reason for that strong belief in giving back.
“One never knows when one’s own circumstances could take a swift turn for the worse,” she said. “I am a firm believer in helping others, because you never know when you may need their help in return.”
To that end, Foote participates in several volunteering opportunities, including a seat on the board of her son’s daycare, Little Lights Learning Center. She was also the co-chairperson of the 2012-2013 annual campaign for the United Way of Carlisle & Cumberland County, raising $1.4 million for the 28 United Way agencies in Cumberland County.
“I have been extremely involved with the Salvation Army in Carlisle and am currently the chairperson of its advisory board,” she said. “The Salvation Army is an organization very near and dear to my heart.”
Foote was also a 2010-2011 Leadership Cumberland Fellow and an intern on the board for Carlisle C.A.R.E.S., a local homeless shelter. As a business, Foote Capital donates regularly to local nonprofits, which is a big part of their strong belief in the importance of supporting the community in which they live and work.
Although there are days when she feels she can’t possibly take on one more project or accept another volunteering opportunity, Foote likes to reflect on her personal motto, which states: “If you’re going to doubt something, doubt your limits.”
“I work better when I am busy,” Foote said. “I enjoy educating my clients about mortgages and helping them decide what is in their best interest. If you do right by others, they and others they know will keep coming back. That’s what business is about—the relationships that last a lifetime.” BW