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SitusAMC Power Pro: Kevin Downes

Name: Kevin Downes

Title: Personnel Manager

Office: Portland, Oregon (Remote)

Day-to-Day: I’m a personnel manager in the legacy services division. I lead a staff of about 90 full- and part-time employees who work to support our loan production team. My group reviews loans for compliance with state and federal regulations for clients looking to purchase large volumes in the secondary mortgage market.

Leading a Large Team: It’s really about organization and balance. I try to schedule my day in a way that gives me time to regularly connect with my team to address any questions, comments or concerns they may have. In addition to these ad-hoc check-ins, I make sure to schedule at least one face-to-face call with each team member every month. It’s a chance for us to discuss general performance, as well as areas of opportunity for growth and professional development.

Home Is: Portland, Oregon. I grew up in a small town about an hour north of Manhattan. I spent a few years in Boston for college, then moved back to New York for a while. During the pandemic, my wife, who’s from a little town south of Portland, wanted to move back to her home state, so my family made the move out here. We live in a small neighborhood, with 13 houses total, so we’ve become really good friends with all of our neighbors and all our kids are close friends.

First Job: I taught middle school American history for several years. During that time, I was also a high school basketball and football coach. About six years in, I left to pursue an opportunity in the mortgage business. That’s how I ended up on this career path and I have enjoyed every moment of it since.

Making a Difference: I volunteer as a court-appointed special advocate (CASA), which allows me to be a voice for kids in the foster care system. It was something my wife and I had always talked about, but we made the leap when we found out that one of our good friends had been a CASA for several years. She ended up sharing her experience with us and when we were ready, we reached out directly to start the process. We went through an intensive, six-week training course to get certified before receiving our first case.

Being a CASA requires, at minimum, a two-year commitment. You’re supporting a system that is, oftentimes, under-resourced and that can be challenging. Despite those obstacles, I’ve found that it has been incredibly rewarding to be able to help kids gain access to the services and support that they need to find permanent and safe homes.

Personal Motto: Be present. Nowadays, it’s easy to have a conversation with someone who’s distracted or focused on their phone or the next thing they must do. To try to combat that, I make it a point to always try to stay in the moment. I find that it helps people feel more valued. So, whether I’m with colleagues, family or friends, I try to always give everyone my undivided attention

Getting Away: My wife and I love to travel. One of our favorite places to visit is North Captiva Island in Southwest Florida. We also visit New York often to see my family. Massachusetts is another popular vacation spot for us. My wife and I went to school in Boston, so we have some close friends that live there. For relaxation, we also love Mexico and the Caribbean.

Dream Vacation Spot: Greece is somewhere that I haven't visited yet, but I’d love to go. Fiji and the Maldives are also on my bucket list, for sure.