Featured in Authority Magazine on August 13, 2019Pamela Stross, CEO of TruClarity. With more than 35 years of combined experience as a senior executive in the financial services industry and as a small business owner, Pam is the Chief Executive Officer of TruClarity. With her strong operational, administrative, and project management background, Pam brings a unique combination of skills to the TruClarity team. As past Chief Administration Officer for a Florida-based financial institution, she navigated the daily operations, including adherence to strict regulatory requirements while ensuring an unparalleled level of customer service company wide. Pam earned a B.S. in finance from the University of South Florida.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the Banking/Finance field?
“When I was in high school, my dad said ‘you can have a car or I’ll pay for you to go to college’. I was very bored in high school, so I said ‘I’ll take the car’. So, obviously, when I got out of high school, I needed to find a job until I was ready to start college. My best friend and I took 2–3 days and went to downtown Tampa and, for whatever reason, went from bank to bank, with no experience, no resume, no real skills. My typing skills were beyond atrocious as well, but we put in our applications everywhere. There was a gentleman I met with in Human Resources at First Florida Bank, which at the time was one of the largest banks in the state. He saw something in me, this 18 year old kid with no skills, and he got me an interview in one of the support departments in the bank. I started at an entry level position and everything kind of took off from there. I felt like it was meant to be; I really enjoyed what I did. I enjoyed the people I worked with, got my degree, and never looked back.”
Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occurred to you in your career so far?
“I have had a pretty interesting career and I’ve held many positions within the industry, but probably the thing that stands out to me the most, and comes back to me on a regular basis, was my very first interview in the industry. At that time, there were no women in the C suite of the financial industry. This was in the mid 70s, so there were a small number of females in management positions, but those were more or less in the operations and administrative divisions of the bank. I was an 18-year-old kid so as I sat there in the interview, I was really nervous. I had no idea how to answer interview questions, and the manager, who was a female, said to me ‘what are your goals?’ And I said, ‘I’d like to find a position where I can grow professionally and attend college at night. And her response to me was, ‘then this is probably not the position for you as I do not intend to go anywhere so opportunity growth is not a part of it. You will never go anywhere in this department if I’m not going anywhere.’ Which as I look back at those times in Banking, that was the female mindset. I really needed a job, so I took the position. At 21 years old, I was managing that department and my career continued to grow after that. I always felt like I really needed to prove myself. So now when I interview someone, that original interview comes to my mind. When I listen to somebody’s goals, my mantra is, ‘water seeks its own level, and I hope someday you’re sitting in my chair.’”