Embrace Employee Spotlight: Gianna Polcari and Kevin Col
There’s a lot to love about Embrace Home Loans, but one of our strongest assets has always been our employees. We have teammates who have been with us for 10, 20, even 30+ years. And we’ve also been hiring new employees at a furious pace recently — new employees that many of us haven’t met yet as we continue to work remotely during the pandemic.
In this Employee Spotlight, we’ll be featuring two Embrace teammates — one new employee, and one employee who has already been with us for a while. Each will give different perspectives on the Embrace experience and a little more personal info so you’ll be able to get to know them better.
Want to nominate someone to feature in a future spotlight? Email Mary Mack at [email protected]
KEVIN COL, Retail Processor
What is your official title and what do you do at Embrace?
I’m a Retail Processor at Embrace. I assist loan officers and underwriters with evaluating risk factors and obtaining needed conditions — all of which are necessary to help our borrowers get loans for their new/existing homes.
What made you want to work at Embrace?
My very first phone call with Dawn — she gave me such a great impression of what it was like to work for Embrace. I felt comfortable and very much at ease, which was different from any other interview I have done.
How has it been starting a new job during COVID? And just working for Embrace in general?
Like all new opportunities, it’s been tough and there has been an adjustment period. I also haven’t been able to personally meet any of my co-workers which has been challenging. Regardless of that, I’ve always felt comfortable asking my team questions, no matter how big or small. They’ve really helped me out a lot through this process and I am thankful for them.
What did you do for a living before you came to Embrace?
I was a Set Up Assistant and then Processor for American Financial Resources.
We’d love to get to know you better! Tell us about yourself.
I was born in Queens, NY but moved to New Jersey at a young age, so I consider myself a proud NJ resident. I currently live at the “Jersey Shore,” but my lifestyle is the total opposite of what the TV show depicted.
I went to school at Union County College and studied Criminal Justice. I’m a huge sports fan and my favorite teams are the Houston Rockets, Boston Red Sox, and Liverpool FC.
GIANNA POLCARI, Hiring & Onboarding Success Manager
What is your official job title and what do you do at Embrace?
I’m the Hiring & Onboarding Success Manager. I supervise the overall onboarding and hiring processes for all new teammates that come on board at Embrace!
From requisition creation to a new hire’s first day, my team and I focus on preparing onboarding for new hires in hopes that their first day and first week on the job revolve more around getting to know their manager, peers, and completing training courses without having to fill out tedious paperwork.
The onboarding process at Embrace is always changing and involves many departments. We have weekly, interdepartmental meetings to discuss ways to improve our process and make it more effective for both the new teammate and the manager. In addition to onboarding, I work on recruiting initiatives from the HR side and work with my team to staff for most of our operational positions at Embrace. My team and I are also involved in various virtual career fairs with local colleges. More recently, I have been sending out offer letters to candidates and have been a part of onboarding the Sutherland team as well!
How long have you worked for Embrace?
In April of this year I will hit my four-year milestone at Embrace!
What made you want to work at Embrace?
When I was first interviewing out of college, I actually researched all of the best places to work in RI because I am originally from MA and was not familiar with the local companies. About six months before I started working at Embrace, I had an interview with Anna Kulesh in our Accounting department and was amazed at what Embrace had to offer. Even though I did not get selected for that position, I was so happy that I was able to have that opportunity!
Fast forward a few months, the temp agency I was working with mentioned they had a position in HR at Embrace that was opening up. I was ecstatic that I was able to have another chance to potentially work at Embrace! After I was selected for the temp position, a few months later, I was offered to stay as an official employee! I am so grateful for that opportunity and I have gained so much experience since then!
What’s one of your favorite Embrace memories?
This is a tough one! Even though I have only been here about four years, I have so many fond memories! I would say my most favorite memories are those spent volunteering and with the children of our Embrace employees during our annual “Bring your Child to Work Day” extravaganza! I participated in this program several times and it is always my favorite day of the year. I love getting to know the children of our employees and also teach them about what we do here and what we value. The last few years we created an opportunity for the kids to put together their own lemonade stands, make their own lemonade, and sell it to Embrace employees! This activity has been both fun and a great learning experience for everyone involved! It is so heartwarming to see the kids get so excited when their family members come by to try their own lemonade creations! I hope we are able to run this program again this year!
How has it been working from home for most of this year? Has Embrace made it easier for you in any way?
I only worked remotely for the first two months when COVID started. In mid-May, I started working from the office at least three or four days a week. Even though it was a whirlwind when COVID first began, our IS Team went above and beyond and rolled out Microsoft Teams to everyone which was a huge undertaking. We used Microsoft Teams on a daily basis and it was extremely helpful during those first few months especially when training Lauren Keathley, our Hiring Specialist, who started the day we all went remote!
We’d love to get to know you a little better! Tell us about yourself.
I currently live in Newport, RI. I ended up here because I graduated from Roger Williams University in 2016 and loved the area! I am originally from Merrimac, MA which is a tiny town near Newburyport, MA on the north shore. I am an only child, but have always wanted siblings!
When I was two years old, I started learning how to ski at Attitash Mountain in NH. My Dad put me in all the ski programs each year and eventually I got on the Attitash Race Team. In high school, I went on to be a member of the Mount Washington Valley Ski Team.
In my spare time, I have been taking classes to obtain a Graduate degree in Human Resource Management from Southern New Hampshire University. I enjoy learning new things, working out, participating in outdoor activities, and spending time with family and friends. I always am open to trying new things and going on adventures to new places in the New England area!