Santa Rosa External Real Estate Sales Manager Nick Clay wins North Bay Forty Under 40 award

Nick Clay

Age: 34

External real estate sales manager, Redwood Credit Union

3033 Cleveland Ave., #100, Santa Rosa 95403


Read other profiles of this year's winners.

Responsibilities with your company: Oversee, support and lead RCU's external mortgage lending team in the eight counties RCU serves. This includes our team of external loan officers and processors throughout Sonoma, Napa, Lake, Mendocino, Marin, Contra Costa, Solano and San Francisco counties. Other duties include recruiting, operational support and community engagement.

In 25 words or less, how do you exemplify the spirit of being a top Forty under 40 professional?

I have a true passion for helping others succeed! This means helping our members, my staff and our communities achieve their financial goals and dreams!

Years with company: 15

Length of time in current position: 4 Months

Number of companywide employees: 715

Number who report to you: 8

Greatest professional accomplishment: This moment came during my prior role as the Fourth Street branch manager in Santa Rosa. We opened our doors immediately to our members following the 2017 and 2019 fires.

Specifically, in 2017 we were able to serve our members right away, many having just lost their homes 24 hours prior and had nothing but the clothes on their backs.

We provided them crucial services such as cash, debit and credit card replacements on the spot, and reassurance we were there for them. We hugged our members, held their hands and listened to their stories. Those moments leading our team will always be among the greatest accomplishments of my career.

Greatest professional challenge: Balancing full-time work and school was quite the challenge in my 20s, especially once I went into management. It took 9 years, but I completed my college degrees through SRJC and Sonoma State.

Best advice received: “Work very hard to make sure bad things don't happen, but when they do, you'll be judged on how you recover. It's about how you respond,“ --Brett Martinez

Single most important event in your professional life in the last 12 months: Promoting into my current role as the external real estate sales manager in Mortgage Lending, bridging my branch member service background with external lending.

What steps is your company taking to sustain your organization and morale in the current economy?

Consistent communication - RCU constantly warrants questions and feedback from both members and staff. The organization listens for needs, strategizes proactively and offers impeccable solutions to better the financial wellbeing of our members and employees…The organization does a fantastic job engaging and supporting staff, celebrating the wins, all while providing a fun and meaningful work life balance.

Next professional goal: To fully develop and expand our External Mortgage Lending team in the eight counties we serve. The communities we serve deserve the best products and services out there; it's my mission to ensure our team is able to reach and assist those families so they may reach their financial goals and dreams.

Education: Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA Bachelor of Science degree, business administration, custom concentration in management, finance, marketing and organizational leadership; Santa Rosa Junior College, Santa Rosa, Associates of Arts degree: Dean's List, General Education Studies

Hometown: Windsor

Community/nonprofit activities: Board member, CHOP's Teen Club of Santa Rosa; ambassador, Santa Rosa Metro Chamber

Mentor/admired businessperson: Brett Martinez, president and CEO of Redwood Credit Union. Brett is an incredible leader, not only within our organization but in the communities we serve. He pushes staff for excellence, represents the best interest of the cooperative and has mentored many throughout the North Bay. He's always been a tremendous supporter of my career growth at RCU.

What is your most disliked industry buzzword?

Maybe millennial? I don't care about it much either way because I technically am one, but there can be negative connotation when it's not warranted.

Typical day at the office: The location of the office itself isn't always the same. I spend time between our Santa Rosa and Napa corporate offices, as well as the various branches and communities we serve. A typical day involves huddling with staff, strategizing needs and priorities of the day, and of course, taking action. No day is ever the same though, a large reason why I love working with this team, our members and our organization.

Best place to work outside of your office: Home!

Hobbies: My wife and I love to travel, especially to new places and warm beaches! We love time with family, music and concerts, great food and amazing wine. We spend a lot of time at home with our animals (chickens, horses) as they're by far our biggest “hobby” these days!

What you wanted to be when you grew up: Pediatrician. Which is interesting because when I found out at a young age how much more schooling would be needed, I changed my mind. I ended up in college for 9 years anyway so maybe the med school idea wasn't a bad idea after all!

#1 thing you want to accomplish by the time you turn 40: Have both my wife and my student loans paid off!

First job: My first two jobs came in tandem. Throughout high school I did janitorial work with a friend's company and was a Barista at Johnny's Java.

Social media you most use: 50/50 Facebook & Twitter

Favorite book: “The Leadership Challenge”

Favorite movie: “Christmas Vacation”

Favorite App: ESPN

Favorite after-work drink: That's a toss-up: If it's a beer kind of day, HenHouse IPA for sure. If it's a wine kind of day, Kokomo Zin.

Last vacation: Puerto Vallarta with my beautiful wife Summer and my in-laws Steve and Laura. Such a blast!

What does your mom or dad brag most about you?

They're just really proud of my hard work and dedication to seeing things through, really since my high school years. And if they're talking to anyone about me, they're definitely talking about my wife and together what we've been able to accomplish over the years.

Nick Clay

Age: 34

External real estate sales manager, Redwood Credit Union

3033 Cleveland Ave., #100, Santa Rosa 95403


Read other profiles of this year's winners.

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