STRATEGY & GROWTH
Nick appears in the Top 100
People in Finance Magazine
While financial gain is the primary motivation for most professionals, Nick Suwanvichit lives to challenge the status quo. Instead of chasing money, he joins organizations geared toward culture, talent, and drive—helping them grow into large enterprises that deliver high performance and impactful contributions. Nick’s unique background, spanning more than two decades, encompasses leadership, business development, technology, retail, and finance. He earned multiple top performance awards as a senior business leader at Apple, Inc., and led one of the highest-producing areas as regional director at T-Mobile. Today, Nick serves as senior vice president of business strategy and growth at Premier Lending, Inc., a national mortgage company based in Charlotte, NC. Since he took on the role in August 2020, Premier’s year-over-year volume has increased by 52% with growth in new markets, including AZ, NC, NV, OR, WA, and UT. We recently had the opportunity to speak with Nick, who shared more about his career journey as well as his current endeavors at Premier.
Since you have such diverse work experience, let’s begin with your professional background. How did you get your start?
After college, I was hired by T-Mobile as their 167th employee. I started out as the company’s first national account manager, and we grew the initial account base from 5,000 active lines of service to over 20,000 within 36 months. Over the next 12 years, I worked my way up the ranks and eventually became the youngest regional sales director in T-Mobile history. I was a regional sales director for two and a half years at T-Mobile before my family was relocated to Milwaukee, WI. It was there that I received an opportunity to become a senior business leader for Apple.
What were some of the specific responsibilities you held within your role at Apple?
Over the years, my role entailed many things: I ran and led business managers, worked with companies on integrating Apple solutions and technologies, and helped them find ways to improve their businesses. My customers ranged from big names like MGM to supermarket chains, restaurants, cities, and municipalities. In the beginning, I ran the Midwest market, including Chicago, which became one of the top performing markets in the world. Then, Apple moved me to NY to grow that market. Unfortunately, a two-bedroom, one-bath residence wasn’t the right fit for our five-person family, so we relocated to Las Vegas when that market opened up.
What events led to your decision to leave Apple and join the mortgage industry?
Apple decided to eliminate the business leader role, laying off 70 employees worldwide. However, the company encouraged me to apply for another position as a senior business development manager. I ended up getting the job—being in charge of 17 sales teams across the nation—but my eyes were opened to the mortgage industry during the process. So, when one of my friends at a national mortgage company offered to bring me on, I accepted.
How long did you remain in the mortgage sector, and what did you gain from the experience?
I worked as a corporate vice president of strategy for two and a half years. I received great mentorship and learned a lot about the industry as well. We served over 70 branches, which allowed me to connect with amazing people all around the country whom I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to meet. I also met some of my closest friends during that time, and the community was immensely supportive.
That brings us to your current position. What inspired your transition into finance?
I decided to retire from the mortgage industry to launch a COVID test company and became entranced by the economic trends in finance. Based upon the trajectory I’d seen within the mortgage sector; I anticipated the re-fi boom as well as the exorbitant business opportunities it would bring. My personal background also heavily influenced my decision. I’m a first-generation Asian-American whose father was a gas station attendant and whose mother was a seamstress. When my parents bought their first home, I had to translate everything throughout the biggest investment of their lives. So, even though I’m not a lender myself—I focus on the company’s growth and trajectory—it’s gratifying to be part of a company that brings home ownership to other minorities throughout the U.S.
Once people learned you’d left the mortgage industry, you received a lot of recruiting calls to join other companies. What made Premier your ultimate choice?
Some of the key attributes I looked for were culture, stability, liquidity, and the strategic direction the company was taking. From a cultural standpoint, I also care about how a company serves its customers and treats its employees. That’s why I chose Premier—it offers all those key elements. Premier is unique because staff members sit with clients, take them through a business model, and make plans as a team. We are also aggressive in rates, refined in operations, and serve all types of people with products such as FHA loans, and VA loans for first-time home buyers.
How does your previous work experience tie into your current role at Premier?
At both T-Mobile and Apple, I focused on business strategy, customer engagement, building relationships, and creating a comfortable and enriching environment that encourages future growth and development. All of these areas tie into my work at Premier.
What aspects of your job have you found most rewarding?
I receive a lot of referrals, and people frequently call to ask questions. This has been very eye-opening for me as I’ve been able to change people’s lives by placing them in better situations. It’s a big responsibility, but something I’m proud of.
How do you spend your time outside of work?
I enjoy spending time with my family and giving back to the community as well. I’m a current member of the Miss Asian North America Organization (MANAO), and I volunteer for the Steve Aoki Charitable Fund as well as for a Muscular Dystrophy organization. Whether on the job or in my free time, I look for opportunities to help others. As Maya Angelou once wrote, “I've learned that people will forget what you said; people will forget what you did; but people will never forget how you made them feel.” My mission is to make everyone around me feel comfortable and valued.
Senior Vice President of Business Strategy and Growth
Premier Lending, Inc.