David DeNooyer

David DeNooyer, Spencer’s Commercial Real Estate’s Vice President and Team Leader, has enjoyed an almost 50-year career in the finance industry. Next month, he is set to retire. Dave has dedicated many decades of his life to both banking and fatherhood. As we prepare to celebrate Father’s Day, we sat down with Dave for a chat on career, life lessons, fatherhood and balancing it all.

How did you get into banking?
In 1969, I graduated from Newark College of Engineering with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and started working as a Mechanical Engineer with a company in San Diego, CA designing aircraft – like the DC 10 and the F 111 fighter-bomber. My fiancé joined me in CA soon after and we got married a short time later. I soon realized I would be bored and professionally unhappy if I continued to be an engineer, as I couldn’t see myself designing aircrafts for the rest of my professional life. I started working nights on my Finance MBA and networking. In 1973, I took a position at a small mortgage company, knowing if I was going to be in finance I needed to be at the center of the industry and that means working for a bank, and the rest is history! I’ve worked for a number of banks, throughout my career, in commercial real estate finance.

How long have you worked at Spencer and have you enjoyed it?
I began my career at Spencer in 2013 and have enjoyed my years here tremendously. I have been extremely lucky to have great colleagues here both in the CRE team and other divisions. I have always admired the bank since I was a young boy as my Uncle Orrie had been President of Spencer and always spoke very highly of it.

What career advice would you offer someone?
I would say to pick a career in something they enjoy, find a company that values them, find a mentor, seek advice, ask questions, treat people with respect, do your best and don’t sweat it – whatever ‘it’ is.

Is there a motto that you have followed throughout your career?
I was a boy scout and their scout motto pretty much sums it up – “Be Prepared”.

What has been the biggest change you have seen in the finance industry?
The current digital innovation has really transformed the way we bank and the entire industry. Those in the industry will also tell you that one of the most drastic changes came after 9/11, which led to the passing of the P.A.T.R.I.O.T Act. The law has anti-money laundering obligations that came about due to the terrorist financing activities that occurred. It completely changed the way banks were regulated.

This weekend we celebrate Father’s Day. Did you find it challenging being a young father while building a career?
I did at times find it very challenging. It takes discipline to juggle both career and fatherhood. You don’t want to miss important events. I remember once I was going to miss something important because of work obligations and an old boss reminded me of my job responsibilities but then also of my responsibilities to my family. He said if I didn’t make time for them, he would fire me and then I would definitely have enough time to show up for my children. The point was very clear for me as a young man and a father – get your priorities straight and make time for your family. You don’t have to neglect one to be good at the other. Its advice I’ve always followed, throughout my life, and make sure my team does as well.

What are some of the ways you went on to prioritize your family?
One way I’ve done this is by trying to spend some quality time each summer down the shore with them, away from work, in Sea Girt, NJ. We still do this. Our children come down with their families, which is always lots of fun. The best part is spending time with our six grandchildren – including two sets of twins!

Next month you are set to retire, what’s next in this new chapter?
My wife and I have booked a cruise to Bermuda to celebrate our 50th anniversary. I plan on traveling more with her and spending more quality time with my grandchildren. I also love reading and plan on catching up on some good adventure novels!

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