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SitusAMC Power Pro: Lee Anne Whalen

Name: Lee Anne Whalen

Title: Portfolio Management Professional 

Office: Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, fully remote

Day-to-Day: Loan administration, coordinating construction loans and managing construction portfolios; managing and supporting a team of eight.

First Gig: Age 17, Taco Bell, Pennsylvania.

“My parents made it clear that in order to get my driver’s license, I’d have to have my own job to pay for car insurance and gas. It wasn’t too bad of a job, but I definitely smelled like a taco. Honestly, to this day, I have a hard time eating Taco Bell, because that’s all we ate while we worked.”

Career Mentor: Eleanor Remolde, boss at Republic First Bank, Philadelphia

“I was hired in the mid to late ‘90s to handle loan administration. My boss Eleanor introduced me to my current passion, construction lending, and helped transition my career into construction loan administration. She taught me all the ins and outs, how to handle different situations, and got me to where I am now. I thrive on construction loans – they’re all so different – and she’s the one who put me on that path.”

“The best piece of advice she ever gave me was, ‘you can’t change people, you can only change the way you see people.’ I always pass that along because it’s true in work and life!”

Lessons Learned: Making mistakes is an important part of the process – if you’re not making mistakes, you’re not learning anything new.

Career Surprises: Leaving behind her dream of becoming a teacher.

“I had always wanted to be a teacher. Younger me would be shocked to find out that I am not a teacher! I went to college for teaching and hated it, mostly because of the politics involved with the school systems. So I had to find something new, and my mother had been in banking her whole life – that’s how I ended up being a bank teller right out of college. I do think managing a team still puts me in a teacher role, and that feels right.”

Advice for Younger Self: Keep plowing through with what you want to do, knowing that things can change and trust that you’ll figure out a way to adapt to that change.

“Things do happen for a reason, though you might not understand why at the time. And there’s a reason why your path pivots - to where you need to be, not where you think you want to be. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade… but you can freeze it and use it in the future when you’re ready. I think that’s the teacher in me coming out, finding the positive.”

Dream Travel Destination: Australia.

“Going to Australia has always been a dream of mine. Not for any reason in particular – though I do love koala bears – I’ve just always wanted to go. I’d also love to visit Africa and go on safari, but I don’t deal with bugs that well and I need air conditioning… so Australia it is!”


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