In our Employee Spotlight series, we celebrate the remarkable professionals contributing to our success. This edition shines the spotlight on Suzanne Mistretta, Director of our Modeling and Analytics team. Join us for an exploration into Suzanne’s impactful role at Oakleaf and her life outside the office.
Q: How long have you been with Oakleaf and what is your title?
A: I’ve been with Oakleaf for almost two years. I was hired as a director on the Modeling and Analytics team to manage the staff and assist litigation support work.
Q: Describe what your role entails.
A: While I started out on the Modeling and Analytics team, my responsibilities have evolved over time into cultivating external relationship opportunities and developing new product offerings to expand Oakleaf’s presence in capital markets and other mortgage sector business lines.
Q: Can you tell us about your professional background and what led you to Oakleaf?
A: Before joining Oakleaf, I managed teams at FitchRatings’ RMBS group. A former colleague referred me to Oakleaf, which matched my expertise and allowed me to leverage my knowledge in RMBS.
Q: What inspired you to join Oakleaf, and how has your journey been so far?
A: Oakleaf’s entrepreneurial culture and agility attracted me. I saw an opportunity to leverage our expertise and develop new business opportunities.
Q: Can you describe a project you are currently working on and what excites you about it?
A: I’m leading the development of Oakleaf’s AI strategy and product offerings, focusing on leveraging our extensive data and expertise in the field. The exciting part is the opportunity to employ AI and Large Language Models (LLMs) to innovate in the residential mortgage industry. It’s a chance to create a significant impact with this emerging technology.
Q: What has been the most challenging project you’ve worked on here, and how did you overcome those challenges?
A: The work I’ve encountered so far has been executable given my long history in mortgage credit/analysis. The biggest challenge to date has been educating the mortgage participants on Oakleaf’s capabilities beyond its litigation support and talent acquisition business lines.
Q: What’s a significant learning experience you’ve had while working at Oakleaf?
A: Billable hours
Q: How do you collaborate with other team members, and what do you enjoy most about working with your team?
A: I work closely with our business development team to align our AI capabilities and products with market needs in the mortgage sector.
Q: What are your future career goals, and how is Oakleaf supporting you in achieving them?
A: My goal is to establish Oakleaf as a leader in mortgage consultative services with extensive AI capabilities.
Q: How do you maintain a work-life balance, and what activities do you enjoy outside of work?
A: I prioritize exercise, reading, and spending time with friends and family.
Q: What aspect of our company culture do you appreciate the most?
A: Its entrepreneurial culture.
Q: What’s something most colleagues don’t know about you?
A: I have an identical twin.
Q: If you weren’t working in this industry, what alternative career path might you have pursued?
Q: What’s something you’ve learned about yourself through your work experiences?
A: I’ve discovered my ability to build businesses and develop products.
Q: What three words would you use to describe Oakleaf?
A: Smart, kind, and genuine.
Q: What would you say to someone considering a career with Oakleaf?
A: It’s a great opportunity to learn and develop new skill sets.
Q: Where is your hometown?
A: Weehawken, NJ
Q: What’s your favorite book, movie, or TV show?
A: Too many books/movies to mention, but I enjoyed ‘The Office’ immensely, especially during the pandemic when I started learning to knit. It’s laugh-out-loud funny.
Q: What’s the most adventurous or exciting thing you’ve ever done?
A: Moving to Florida and then returning to New Jersey was quite an adventure.
Q: Do you have any pets? What kind and name?
A: I have a 9-month-old golden retriever, Calvin, who technically belongs to my son, but I’m trying to keep him for myself!
Stay tuned for more spotlights on the people who make Oakleaf a great place to work!
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