Employee Spotlight: Payton Adams

Employee Spotlight: Payton Adams

Have you ever met someone that inspired you to live your life to the fullest? That’s exactly what it’s like to meet Payton Adams. Payton is a multitalented individual who gives his all to any assignment given to him. He firmly believes that anything is possible, the sky is the limit and life is what you make of it. We had a great time talking with Payton for our September Employee Spotlight and we hope that reading this will inspire you to shoot for the stars!

What is your title?

Assistant Vice President, IT Business Analyst

Can you provide a basic overview of your job responsibilities?

I administrate our business intelligence software, which is currently Power BI. 

In addition, I design all the reporting around our business processes in order to improve overall awareness and efficiency. This involves creating, maintaining and attaining company goals and managing our productivity as an organization. I’ve designed the majority of the reporting we use today, including everything from compliance, quality control, sales and executive management. 

In addition, when there are issues with our data platform, I will investigate, troubleshoot and repair them, as well as field any requests for changes or improvements. 

How long have you been with TowneBank Mortgage?

I’ve been with Towne for 10 years.

How did you get started at Towne?

I started off as a Temp in the Investor Suspense Department. When we sold our loans to a secondary investor and the file was incomplete or contained an error, the investor would return the file back to us and suspend it until we fixed the problem. Eventually, we found there was a need for some reporting to be created around this because it was starting to cost us money.

My first year of working, we were allowed to go into the building whenever we wanted. I would go in on the weekends to work on this new reporting project. The project ended up being over 500 pages long and allowed us to create an investor suspense report card. Our CEO at the time, Jackie Amato, who has since retired, always had an open door policy. I placed the 500+ page report on her desk and when she figured out I did it, she asked if I was interested in administrative software.

After that, I handled all the end of month and investor suspense reporting and rebuilt our quality control process. I enjoyed sitting with each department and finding out ways to improve their efficiency. I was able to determine which tasks took time away from our employees that I could program our computers to do. That position really put me in contact with every department in the mortgage company.

Did you have prior exposure to the mortgage industry?

When I lived in Kennesaw, Georgia, I was a loan officer and also did processing at a small mortgage company for about 5-6 years. I did pretty well. I even won a TV at a sales rally!

That company dissolved and I ended up moving to Louisiana shortly after to care for my elderly Aunt. In an interesting turn of events, I found myself becoming a photographer with Portrait Innovations. Portrait Innovations was one of the first national one-hour photo studios. The location I managed in Baton Rouge was the third busiest one in the country. In my 6 years there, I did over 5,000 photography sessions!

What did you study in school?

I received a degree in Business Administration and Marketing from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia… but I thought I was going to be a superstar. I cut an R&B demo and wrote music for Killer Mike on both his albums! My dad even has a platinum plaque hanging in his house for work I did on Chamillionaire’s first album.

What is the best part of your job?

It changes over time.

When I first started working, I would have to say the people. I really enjoyed seeing everyone that I worked with. You do feel like a family. It’s a big company, but Towne does a good job making you feel included and involved.
I’m really grateful to Towne in a lot of ways – they’ve allowed me to do a lot of things. I’ve never had an experience where I wasn’t encouraged to think as big, or as broad, as I could.  If I was able to express what I was thinking, management was receptive to it and gave me an opportunity to put something in front of them. You can’t really beat that.

Currently, my favorite thing is the fact that I know what I’m doing. I don’t have to ask as many questions and there’s not as much anxiety regarding, “am I doing this right?”. 

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

A lot of my job is hurry up and wait, especially when I’m waiting for something to download or render. If I know it’s going to take 10-15 minutes, then I can do 2-3 other things in that time. ADHD is real and it’s a killer! Sometimes in the middle of the night, I have a EUREKA moment on how to solve an issue and I love that I’m able to get up and go to my computer right then to fix it.

Before COVID hit, I had a weekend job as a bartender which gave me that social, emotional and mental balance I was missing from a job that’s not necessarily customer-facing. Since I don’t do that anymore, about 7 years ago I challenged myself to make clothes. I ordered a sewing machine and turned part of my home into a sewing studio. I made clothes for myself at first. I like prints, patterns, ethnic-inspired things. A lot of the programming I learned in my job helped me to build my clothing brand’s website. [You can check out Payton’s custom clothing and apparel line, Payton Made That, at www.paytonmadethat.com.]

I also recently adopted a 10-week old jack russell terrier and shih tzu mix named Rufus which has been keeping me busy. He is really breaking me in with crate training!

Do you have a hidden talent?

If I told you, then it wouldn’t be hidden! 

Let’s see… I am a very good cook. I am the only person in my family who still knows how to make my mother’s caramel cake that she made every year for my birthday. Caramel takes an hour to make, so that’s probably why. 

I’m the cafeteria lady all the sudden, everyone in my family comes to me to eat now.

What is the first item on your bucket list?

I’ve always wanted to go to Egypt, Italy and Australia. I also would really love to do a full-on fashion video of all my custom clothes, because they’re all so strange, but in the best way. I think that would give me the ability to visually express myself and make an impact on events going on in the world today. 

But you know… I really stopped putting pressure on myself for personal accomplishments about 15 years ago. You find that as you evolve, your goals change and you change. When you’re young, you think of all the things you want to do. All of the sudden, you’re old and it’s like… what are you waiting on? Are you waiting on money? You may never have that. You have to find ways to do things that are in your heart, mind and spirit. I think you’ll be happier for it and your energy brighter.