Lisa Trombley has had a whirlwind 2010 thus far. For one, she’s famous in these pages for her accomplished writing—she took home first place in last year’s poetry contest and then, this fall, took third in Fiction 59. In May the graduate of both Paradise High and Chico State completed her master’s degree from Chico State in English. Most recently, the writer has shown her skills elsewhere, in her day job as a commercial loan officer at US Bank, where she won her second Pinnacle Award for excellence in her field.
How did it feel to win the Pinnacle Award?
It was a total surprise to me. I was focused on finishing my master’s at Chico State and wasn’t really focused on that. I was trying to do my thesis all at the same time. It was kind of wild.
What is a relationship manager?
That is my official title, a relationship manager. Basically what I do is write commercial loans, but also what I do is handle business deposit accounts, treasury management, there is more to it than just commercial lending. But when you say relationship manager people go ‘What, are you a counselor?’ It is kind of a funky title so I always try and explain that.
How did you manage a full-time job while getting your master’s?
And having kids. My husband would say I’m nuts. It sounds really strange, but the two efforts are really complementary for me. The type of work I do is very analytical, and like most bankers this is the last career I ever envisioned myself doing. I started out as a teller in college while finishing my undergrad work and just fell into a really great company and I enjoyed the stability and the customers. But I also like that creative aspect I get with writing. The two of those came together when my mother-in-law was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I had always taken some courses for fun, but when that happened she said, ‘You know, if there is anything you ever wanted to do and you’re not going to regret it in six months, you need to do it.’ That really compelled me to finish it.
What do you hope to do next with your writing?
I think that I am interested in expanding into short stories; I am involved in a couple of writing groups here in town. I am going to continue with the poetry too. I will probably submit some into larger publications to see if it will get out there.