November 15, 2018
Coleman Movers and Shakers — Coleman 2018 SBA Woman Lender of the Year — Brooke Marks
Brooke Marks is President and CEO of Sunshine State Economic Development Corporation based in Clearwater, Florida. She is the first woman and youngest chief executive in the company’s history.
SEDCO is the successor from the merger of two 30-year established CDCs — Gulfcoast Business Finance and Tampa EDC.
When Brooke started with the company in 2016, SEDCO was the 69th CDC in the country with 17 loans approved for $10,590,000. In 2017, after a year of having Brooke as a Business Development Officer, SEDCO was the 48th CDC in the country with 32 loans approved at $27,831,000.
Today, SEDCO is the 38th CDC in the country with 32 loans approved at $23,142,000 as of July 2018.
From her nomination submission:
Brooke is hard working, passionate, and truly cares about her employees. She continuously demonstrates this daily as she always puts her employees first making sure they are doing well in both their personal and work lives. Brooke is also a huge advocate for the small business owner.
While we are in the business of 504 loans, Brooke always makes sure that is the best option for the borrower. One way that Brooke helps small business owners is by offering them internal SEDCO loans to help the borrower receive affordable financing that is not eligible through the 504 loan program.
Brooke is also charitable in the community and hands backpacks full of supplies to the homeless in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida with her family during the holidays. Brooke Marks is not just a President/CEO she is a leader, a role model, and a friend.
A statement from a staff member:
I was hired as a credit analyst for Sunshine State Economic Development Corporation in August of 2016.
I was a twenty three-year-old, Psychology Major and knew nothing about the banking or finance industry or how to be a credit analyst, but I was very eager and willing to learn. Now I have been working as a credit analyst for SEDCO for just over two years. In that time frame I have received over 30 SBA authorizations and become an important part of our company.
Brooke Marks is one of the reasons why I have been successful.
From day one Brooke took me under her wing and was constantly teaching me everything she could. I would sit in with her on calls and work deals with her and she would break everything down to the basics so I could understand and learn the process of the 504 program and the finance industry.
I also learned from Brooke how to present myself. Brooke is calm under pressure and has tremendous character. She has taught me that production and success are important, but how you carry yourself and act during your production and success is even more important.
I have learned a lot from Brooke and I have a lot of pride in calling her a mentor and my boss.