Embrace Employee Spotlight: Julie Chipman and Kate Rasmussen

Embrace Employee Spotlight: Susie Dame and John Bouakhasith

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 this year — 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 each week — 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]

KATE RASMUSSEN, Regional Executive Assistant

What is your official title and what do you do at Embrace?

Regional Executive Assistant. I provide administrative support to Paul Laprade and the Northeast Retail Sales Team.

What made you want to work at Embrace?

Embrace has a great reputation for being a fantastic company to work for, as well as being a very family-friendly employer. While this is always appealing in a prospective job, as someone navigating parenting in a pandemic, it is something that became even more important to me this year.

How has it been starting a new job during COVID? And just working for Embrace in general?

Starting a new job during COVID has certainly been different, but it has also been a highlight in an otherwise extremely challenging time. I am incredibly grateful to be working at Embrace and have been super impressed with the warm welcome this company has given me. I have received substantial support from my boss, team and Embrace overall. Everyone has been so kind and I feel like people really mean it when they say they are available if I have any questions. The culture at Embrace has made forging new work relationships during COVID — something I assumed would be difficult, if not impossible — an impressive reality.

What did you do for a living before you came to Embrace?

I was previously employed as an HR and Executive Assistant at a forensic accounting firm.

We’d love to get to know you better! Tell us about yourself.

I grew up in Newport and Portsmouth RI and graduated from Portsmouth High School way back when in the late 1900s. I studied theatre at Rhode Island College for a few years before taking a one-way Bonanza bus to New York City where I lived for over 20 years. I ultimately graduated from SUNY Empire State with a degree in Performing Arts and also completed an Improv Comedy training program at The Upright Citizens Theatre, where I used to perform.

I play guitar, some piano, and am a trained vocalist and sang in a touring band for many years. I am a passionate music fan, and even though my affinity for Yacht Rock becomes slightly less ironic with each passing year, no one will ever take my K-Tel records from me. I love trivia, Mexican food, game shows, karaoke, and a good rom-com.

Like all good Rhode Islanders, I couldn’t stay away forever and currently reside in Bristol, RI with my husband, Eric, and our 9-year-old son, Rex. I share a home office with our beloved 15-year-old dog, Little Business.


JULIE CHIPMAN, Director of Talent Development

What is your official job title and what do you do at Embrace?

As the Director of Talent Development, I am focused on unlocking human capital through structures that allow employees to connect and learn in meaningful ways.

How long have you worked for Embrace?

February of 2021 will mark my fifth year anniversary.

What made you want to work at Embrace?

Dennis’ vision to provide people with tools and experiences that help improve their own lives and the lives of their families and communities made me want to work at Embrace.

What’s one of your favorite Embrace memories?

One of my favorite memories is when I went through the coaching program at Embrace and was able to learn and connect with so many different people throughout the organization. It’s been amazing to see how much we have all grown since then.

How has it been working from home for most of this year? Has Embrace made it easier for you in any way?

I love it!  Working remotely has made the company more inclusive, especially for those already working in branch and remote offices.  Microsoft Teams has helped with keeping the connection among employees collaborating together and leaders are now more intentional about the connections they create among their teammates. 

We’d love to get to know you better! Tell us about yourself.

Prior to joining Embrace Home Loans in 2016, I served as the Executive Director of Champion Development at the Young Presidents’ Organization, where I was responsible for recruiting, educating, recognizing, and retaining the 10,000+ member volunteers. My earlier career focused on developing and delivering executive education programs at the Harvard Business School which was born out of my passion for event planning. 

I graduated from Northeastern University with a B.S. in Communication Studies. I am curious about compassion, mindfulness, storytelling, co-active coaching, and the importance of reflection in the learning process. I reside on the South Shore of Massachusetts in a multi-gen home. I spent my young life trying to get out of this small town and ended up purchasing the house I grew up in. Sometimes, right back from where you started from is right where you belong. I value family, love, adventure, connection, beauty, and joy.  I love discovering new places and making new friends — two things I’m definitely missing right now during the pandemic.  I find fulfillment in gardening, hiking, painting, dance-offs, and riding bikes with my son.

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By Mary Mack / January 6th, 2021 / Categories: , / Tags:

Mary Mack

Mary is the Copywriter/Content Manager at Embrace Home Loans. She loves taking complicated subjects/ideas and making them easier to understand (and enjoyable to read about). Is there a topic you'd love to see covered in this blog? Email Mary at [email protected] to let her know!