Women Worth Watching 2015
Niki Curci Scott
This SunTrust EVP Not Only Helps People Own Homes, She Helps Build Homes Too
Niki Curci Scott joined SunTrust in 2004, after working at other top national mortgage lenders for almost 15 years. She served as region and division manager before being named to her current national sales leadership role.
The best career advice she ever received, which defines her management style and client focus is this: “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Her philosophy and commitment to her clients guided Niki’s sales channel to produce more than $8 billion in volume in 2014, and helped more than 30,000 individuals and families realize the dream of home ownership.
As the daughter of a single mother, Niki understands that things are not always easy–for anyone. She loves the feeling of accomplishment and success that comes with putting people in homes. Says Niki, “That’s especially true when a potential borrower has challenging circumstances and we’re able to help them.”
“Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
Leading a sales team through the recent financial crisis and the dramatic change in the housing finance industry was one of the most difficult career challenges she has faced. Helping that team navigate and understand those changes, and adapt to the “new and evolving normal,” is one of her most meaningful achievements.
Niki is active in the community, including her work with Making Strides/American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and Habitat for Humanity. She earned a BS Mass Communications from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond and an Executive MBA from Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Education: Executive MBA, Queens University; BS Mass Communications, Virginia Commonwealth University
First Job: Teller/Savings Officer at Investors Savings and Loan Association, Richmond VA
What I’m Reading: “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg
The most important quality a woman leader should have is…
The career advice I’d give my former self:
Get an accountability partner! How you think you are perceived, and how you actually come across to others may be very different.
Words I live by:
Nothing good comes from responding to an email after 9pm. I am usually tired, and what I type may not come across in the way in which I intended. The issues will still be there in the morning and many times things look better in the light of day.
The one thing I would do differently in my career, knowing what I know now, is…
…I would not wait until I thought I knew everything about my business before aspiring to higher-level positions. I will never have all the answers, so now I work hard to surround myself with other people that can help me be successful.
When I really need to focus on a project, I…
…leverage my team for their thoughts, opinions and knowledge on the topic.
My biggest career leap (and what I learned from it) was…
…being promoted from Divisional Sales Manager to National Retail Sales Manager. I learned to focus on the big picture while still paying attention to the important details. I also learned that my workload and emails would never be caught up again.
Being a woman in my profession has been…
…extremely rewarding. There are not many female leaders above Senior Vice President in mortgage banking so if a woman has the desire to excel in her career there are many opportunities.
I’ve learned that failure is…
…inevitable, in some form or fashion, and it is how I recover that is important.
I maintain a healthy personal life by…
…making sure that I spend a certain amount of time doing things that I really enjoy. I crave physical activity so playing tennis and working out are my go-to activities.
I knew my present career was what I wanted to do when…
…a client sent me a picture of her family in their new home. She thanked me for making her dreams of homeownership come true. I was so touched by my client’s note that “Making homebuyers’ dreams come true” became my tagline.