Root Capital is pleased to welcome two new additions to our global leadership team: Amy Mullen, Chief Development Officer, and Steve Nocka, Chief Lending Officer. We recently sat down with both of them to learn more about their backgrounds and what drew them to the work of Root Capital. First off, meet our new Chief Lending Officer, Steve Nocka…
Steve joins us from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where, as Managing Director from 2011 to 2018, he was responsible for risk, operations, and revenue management for the global trade and supply chain business, working with a global team across nine offices. In his more than 25 years at Bank of America and its predecessor firms, Steve served in diverse leadership roles. From 1992 to 2007, he focused on nonprofit lending and played a central role in building out a national practice around the education and religious sectors. He then moved to London to act as co-head of a mid-cap corporate lending team, and subsequently Head of Corporate Credit for Bank of America’s corporate and investment bank in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa from 2008 to 2011.
As Root Capital’s new Chief Lending Officer, Steve will oversee our lending strategy and support our regional teams in providing stellar credit services to our client agricultural businesses. Please join us in welcoming Steve Nocka to our global team!
What drew you to Root Capital?
While I've spent most of my career in banking, the clients I’ve served have primarily been mission-driven organizations or entities working in developing markets, both with regard to geography and industry concentration. When I layer on top of that the types of roles that I've been involved in, all have been client-focused and centered around relationship management, credit and risk, and general management. This opportunity with Root Capital involves all of these aspects, and much more. Having the chance to bring my experiences and skills to a place like Root Capital, with its pioneering and industry-leading reputation, was too great an opportunity for me to pass up. I’m truly excited to work with a great team of committed professionals in wonderful and wild places around the world, and to be part of an effort to improve the lives of individuals and communities where there is great need.
What unique skills or perspectives do you bring to the table?
First, I bring the skills and experiences developed over a long career in banking, including relationship management, and credit and risk management. I've also been fortunate in my career to work across many client segments and geographies, from small, mission-driven charter schools in Dorchester, MA to large commodity firms exporting soy beans from Brazil to China. I've had the opportunity to work with colleagues around the world, and to gain valuable experience in how to manage and motivate teams and be sensitive to cultural differences. On the more practical side of things, I've learned to successfully navigate pretty much every airport in the world, which is a skill that should not be understated!
What are you most excited to work on?
While it’s still early days for me, I really think that the best part of joining Root Capital is the opportunity to make a difference—for our clients, our teams, and the organization as a whole. While Root Capital's success has opened the door in its markets for other providers of capital, its focus on clients with minimal or no access to the broader capital market presents unique challenges. I’m excited to work with our teams to structure creative solutions, while at the same time managing what are very real and significant risks—both credit and political. There’s a steep learning curve—grounding myself in mission, people, processes, and our clients—but I’m eager to embrace this challenge.
What else should we know about you?
I love to travel and always eat and drink what is local. Here at home in New England, I love to ski, both downhill and cross-country, and climb mountains, especially in the winter—the colder and icier, the better! My reading tastes are eclectic. I read lots of non-fiction, primarily non-US history, but also seem to get through lots of Scandinavian crime mystery books. And finally, I'm a dog person. I have a very spoiled, Puerto Rican rescue dog named Mia, who lives a life of luxury.