Thomas Gamache is the senior vice president of strategic growth at Evolve Bank & Trust’s Mortgage Division and has over thirty years of experience in the industry. It is his responsibility to assist in both strategic initiatives and the growth of the company by overseeing the recruiting, onboarding, and sales efforts of Evolve’s new loan production offices as they expand across the United States.
How did you get started in your career?
I graduated from college in 1987, and I didn’t even know what the mortgage business was. I had a friend who became a loan officer and loved it, and he told me all about it. So, I applied for a job as a loan officer and found out that I loved it, too. It wasn’t long before I became a top producer and went on to become a manager at NorWest Mortgage. Wells Fargo was eventually bought by NorWest, although the company retained the Wells Fargo name and brand, and I progressed to a divisional manager. I later held national sales leadership roles at Bank of America, MetLife Home Loans, Guaranteed Rate Mortgage, and Citizens Bank, and now, Evolve Bank & Trust.
What made you decide to stay in the mortgage business?
I was lucky enough to have great mentors early on who taught me from the ground up and who had me focus on each individual customer. They helped me to understand that what makes people successful in this business is not making money but helping people get into homes. My specialty early on was first-time home buyers. Many of them were struggling and getting to work with them and helping them to make their dreams of home ownership come true was very fulfilling.
What valuable lessons did you learn during your early years in the industry?
I worked with NorWest and Wells Fargo for almost seventeen years, and what separated that company at that time was their leadership. They focused on hiring smart people, setting a strong vision for the future, working on problem solving, and finding opportunities. It takes all these aspects to become a great leader. Learning these traits helped me to progress further in my own leadership roles, such as becoming the national head of sales production.
What kinds of people have you worked with along your journey, and how have they influenced you?
I have worked with real estate agents, builders, and loan officers, and I have learned that one trait is consistent with accomplished salespeople in all three of those industries. They never look at a client like a transaction; expert salespeople want to build a long-term relationship and to personally know all of their clients- not only to sell the current house but to sell all future houses for the client and for that client’s family members.
Two exemplary examples of salespeople who give customers priority over everything else are Regis Lavoie and Kim Sylva. Regis is the owner of Summer Street Builders in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts. He is still faithfully serving his customers with the same level of care twenty years after opening his business. If something needs to be replaced, you can call him, and he will ensure it gets done, and that it gets done quickly.
Kim is the owner of Kim Sylva Real Estate in Acushnet, Massachusetts. She creates long-term sustainable relationships with customers by building so much trust that clients not only use her again, but they also refer others to use her business as well.
What brought you to Evolve Bank & Trust?
Wells Fargo had an entrepreneurial spirit, and I learned a lot from my experience and different roles there, but what is really cool about Evolve is that it was built under the same concepts. The president of the mortgage arm, Lance Lemoine, and Scott Stafford, CEO of the Bank, which has other entrepreneurial business divisions, including Payment Processing, SBA, Physicians Capital, and Litigation Trust, utilized the same philosophy of hiring great people and setting a strong vision for the future. However, they are going a step further by building a culture where they hire great people and then allow them to run their business.
Evolve has everything any company could ask for, so I definitely see it as a recipe for success. There are also areas where Evolve has very attractive opportunities to grow its Loan Production Offices, and I am looking forward to positioning Evolve to expand into new markets an accelerate growth.
What sets Evolve Bank & Trust apart from other institutions?
At Evolve, we say that our name speaks for itself. We evolve every day by taking advantage of opportunities other banks are reluctant to explore and by challenging one another to find new solutions to everyday problems. Overall, Evolve has a well-balanced business model; it is led by very smart people; and it has a “can do” culture. My teammates have my back, and it’s an amazing place to work!
What are your favorite quotes or mottos?
I have always been a positive person, so I always say, “There are no problems, only opportunities.” Another of my favorite quotes is one of the ten laws of leadership according to The Law of the Lid by John Maxwell. He writes that if you settle for people who are threes, you will only attract the ones or twos, but if you wait and hire the fours and fives, you will attract better people. In other words, never settle!
Describe your life outside of work.
I am fortunate to have an incredible support system. I have been married for thirty years to my lovely wife, and we have four children together- three boys and one girl. Not only do I have an amazing family, but I also have a lot of great friends.
SVP, Strategic Growth Mortgage Division
Evolve Bank & Trust Headquarters