Ask Cara Williams what’s the one thing she’d take to a desert island, and you won’t be surprised to learn she’s packed a boat.While others are struggling to keep their head above water, Cara has already sized up the situation, weighed the risks, and come up with a plan that safely gets everyone to higher ground.
As it turns out, Cara’s found herself on that proverbial desert island a few times over the years. And every time, she not only survived, but thrived. Starting with carefully assembling the right teams for the challenge, she has turned around underperforming programs and built successful initiatives from scratch. Her superpower is blocking out the noise and clutter – both physical and mental – to zero in on problems and solve underlying issues. In her own words, “I tend to run toward fires.”
Cara’s nearly 20-year career in financial services started as a front-line bank teller. She found her niche in risk and compliance, advancing to executive roles with Fortune 100 companies. Cara recently joined Spinnaker to lead our Regulatory Compliance and Risk Management practice, bringing her detail-oriented DNA that extends way beyond dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.
As regulators place greater demands on banks to execute flawlessly and serve customers fairly and consistently, Cara’s hands-on leadership helps clients build a culture that aims for top performance, because engaging employees is the first step in minimizing enterprise risks and enhancing a company’s reputation. From there, she can help an organization implement comprehensive governance controls, monitoring and reporting aimed at preventing issues, while also crafting smart plans for fixing things quickly when something goes wrong.
Off the clock, Cara’s busy chasing after her three energetic boys – and honing her music-trivia expertise, which was on full display during this year’s EntreLeadership conference. Still she keeps a running “to do” list, always thinking of innovative ways to solve the latest challenge.
Motivating music? I like many genres, and – much to my kids’ dismay – I love to sing along
Hidden talent: Memorizing numbers
I admire people who: Are humble and kind
Brand crush: Vineyard Vines – which is what I’m likely wearing if not in business attire
I collect: Pictures of Uga, the University of Georgia mascot. My office is filled with them. I take college football very seriously!
If I were assigned a role on a boat, I’d be a: Bosun (aka the Deck Boss)
Podcast ringing in your ears: Missing in Alaska
In your downtime, what are you most likely to be doing? What downtime?
Most useful app: Target
What gets you out of bed each morning? My alarm clock
Late last month, I had the pleasure of attending and facilitating a couple of on-demand panels for the American Banking Association’s (ABA’s) first-ever Risk and Compliance Virtual Conference.
Customer Channels & Operations Management, Business Analytics & Data Management, Risk Management & Regulatory Compliance 4 minute read
The fact that Paul Blodgett’s first job revolved around numbers might have been a sign that he was destined to end up as a finance powerhouse. Back then, he was trying to keep his clients from hitting triple digits, as that was a huge success for a caddy at the local golf club (when he wasn’t running his paper route). These days, Blodgett is comfortable with corporate budgets totaling millions of dollars.
Operational Efficiency 1 minute read
In the financial services industry – particularly in the risk space – continuing education and certification are essential for staying abreast of changes and demonstrating expertise. Chris Lucas, a director in our Risk Management and Compliance practice, places equal weight on cultivating expertise in his personal pursuits. More specifically, he’s got the paperwork to prove he’s a certified BBQ judge, able to discern nuances in flavor profiles and how different woods add unique smoke layers to food. The fact that he earned his first paycheck by herding pigs at a livestock auction makes his ascent to BBQ critic a logical progression.
Change Management, Risk Management & Compliance, Human Capital 2 minute read
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