Pace: Banking a Chance to Solve Problems
Danielle Pace started working when she was 14, making toast for breakfast customers at a restaurant. “Yes, just toast,” she said. After high school, she followed the family business and managed the operations of one of her parents’ restaurants. Needing a change of scenery, however, she decided to pursue a career in the financial services industry, where she enjoys helping people find solutions to problems.
Today, Pace is vice president, director of retail banking and consumer lending at Clear Lake Bank & Trust. “My proudest career accomplishments include life-long relationships I’ve developed with some of my customers because I was able to help them meet a need,” she said.
How did you get into banking as a career?
If you had asked me in high school what I wanted to do with my life, banking would NOT have been on the list. I come from the food service industry where my parents owned several restaurants in the North Iowa area. After running one of the restaurants on my own, I loved the business side but working for family was hard. I needed a change of scenery, so I started out as an entry-level teller for a local community credit union. As the saying goes, the rest is history! That was almost 15 years ago now, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Prior to your current role, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had, and what lesson did it teach you that you still use today?
My very first job when I was 14 years old was making toast in a small restaurant. My sole job was to make toast (yes, just toast) for the breakfast orders coming in, and if I had the time, helped clear tables and wash dishes. In hindsight, it taught me the importance of every single role that makes a business run smoothly, no matter how menial the job might seem.
What is your best elevator pitch for why banking is a great career?
I love banking because it isn’t just about numbers. It’s about people helping people. It’s helping someone find a solution to their problem, whether that’s needing a place to save their money, buying their first (or third) car, buying a home, starting a new business, or just setting some goals so they can do one of those things. My proudest career accomplishments include life-long relationships I’ve developed with some of my customers because I was able to help them meet a need.
How does getting involved with the Iowa Bankers Association help you and your bank?
Being involved in the IBA has connected me to such an incredible network of professionals who are facing the same issues I’m facing day in and day out. My favorite events are those that I can meet other banking professionals around the state that I can connect with and bounce ideas off of — long after the events are over.
When you’re not at work, what do you like to do most?
If I’m not working, you can almost certainly find me chasing around my two kids, ages 5 and 7. We love to be outside — biking, nature walking, kayaking, fishing or just checking out a new playground. When I do get some alone time, I love to read fictional thrillers (Stephen King is my fave!), play piano or craft.
What is a quote or guiding principle you live by?
It’s a song from a great early 90’s hair band, Tesla — “It’s not what you got, it’s what you give.” The line says it all.