Name: Valerie Wells
Title(s): “Coordinator of Chaos” (Fred’s title for Valerie on her first business card), Production Manager, Loan Processing Supervisor
Years at Rain City: 5
Can you describe what you do at Rain City Capital?
I’m worried that describing all the things I do might take up a whole page. I’ll just say that Fred used to call me “the octopus,” because I had a hand in everything.
How or why did you apply to work at Rain City?
A mutual friend worked in the same suite as Fred. They talked about how Fred needed someone to run his office and she thought of me. This was just two weeks after I’d moved back to Washington from Arizona!
So you were employee #1 at Rain City Capital. How does that make you feel?
Seeing where we’re at now, knowing I was the first employee, I feel pretty proud knowing I helped get the company to where it is today.
What is your favorite part about working at Rain City?
The people and how much fun we have! I haven’t had too many jobs where people are so comfortable around each other. Other corporate jobs just don’t have that kind of atmosphere.
So if you were stranded on a desert island with two of your Rain City coworkers, who would you choose?
Lisa Schellhas and Mariellen Johnson. The friendship I have with them both is great!
Do you have a special talent?
Fred also calls me the “steel trap,” because once I hear something I always remember it. I’ll remember deals and borrowers from years ago, much to everyone’s amazement.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Jigsaw puzzles. I love jigsaw puzzles! I like the fun ones that are a collage of something, like candy bars or Coca-Cola memorabilia. Also, if I was living on my own, I’d have a whole shelf of Nora Roberts books and stay up way too late reading them.
What advice would you give yourself ten years ago?
Pay your bills on time. Have good credit. Wish my parents had taught me that!
What’s your pet peeve?
People ignoring a problem instead stepping up to fix it.
Do you have any tips for a good work/life balance?
Personally, what I’ve learned (because I was guilty of this), is that just because I see an email come through on my phone while I’m at home, I don’t have to answer it. Because when that becomes a habit, people will expect you to answer every time. So, unless it’s an urgent matter, I don’t answer emails from my phone at night anymore.
Name three ways people would describe you?
Loyal. Laid-back. Caring.
Where’s your favorite place to be?
If I want to get away from things, I love to take a bath and read a book. When I’m reading, all my troubles go away.
If you were to win a high school year book award right now, what would it be?
I was always kind of the mom to my friends in high school. The Mother Hen!
What are the top 3 highlights of your life?
Easy. I have three children, so having each one of them. And they’re all unique in their own way!
What was it like when you first started at Rain City Capital?
If you can imagine, I was very quiet. Fred jokes that I didn’t speak for the first six months. I tell him that’s just because I was taking it all in, listening to Fred, learning the business. Even though I’d worked in the accounting department of a title company, there was a lot of learning needed for how our business works.
It was just the two of us in a small room at first, with adjoining desks, every single day, all day, for about eight months until we moved into a bigger space and hired employees number #2 and #3.
I feel like it hasn’t been five years, but seeing how much we’ve grown since then, it’s pretty amazing.
What is your most memorable moment at Rain City?
There are so many times that come to mind where we were all laughing so hard ( I’ve been brought to tears by laughter on many occasions!), whether it is during our Monday morning meetings or just something that happened throughout the day.
Fred Rea, Founder of Rain City Capital, had this to say about Valerie:
Often referred to in the office as my “interpreter,” Valerie is an invaluable part of our team. Her dedicated hard work, positive attitude, and fierce desire to help everyone in need make Valerie an irreplaceable member of the Rain City family. Rain City wouldn’t be what it is today without her!