CREW Austin is pleased to highlight Member of the Month: Kathleen Bruning, Business Lending Development Officer for RBFCU, Business Lending

November 9, 2021
Written by: CREW Austin

Kathleen has spent 20+ years as a mortgage banker, but took a break from that and owned a small boutique wine distributor specializing in the Finger Lakes region. She lives with her husband, Walt, their 3 dogs and 2 cats, and their college kids when they come home. She aspires in her current role to help small businesses owners secure financing for their commercial real estate needs. Her favorite quote is by Steve Prefontaine, “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”

We asked Kathleen the following questions, and she graciously replied so that we can all get to know her better:

1.    Briefly, can you explain something that is really complicated, but you know well:   Secondary mortgage guidelines are ever changing, and can be complicated for some situations.  I have a wealth of experience and knowledge in knowing how to get self-employed borrowers and/or marginal credit borrowers through the maze of rules to become homeowners.  

2.    Describe a mistake you made in your career that you really learned from: Mistakes are often the result of lack of effective communication.  Set the expectation, and say exactly what you mean.  Eliminate uncertainties with clear, concise communication.    

3.    What do you want to do when you grow up?: When I grow up, I would love to purchase a historical, antebellum-style house and operate as a B and B.  In addition to house guests, I would also operate as a venue for weddings, and celebrations.  

4.    What is one professional accomplishment that you are most proud of?:  I’ve had immense pleasure in helping families realize the American dream of home ownership.  Many of whom were told they did not qualify to purchase a home.  Persistence, trust, and knowledge proved differently for many who I worked with while a LO.  

5.    What could be described as your “Five Minutes of Fame?”:  I am most proud of time spent serving as an army wife, and supporting army families while stationed in TX, GA, MI, and DC.  

6.    Describe a time when you were faced with doing something you didn’t know how to do – how did you handle it:  Taking a business from idea to fruition when I establish a LLC for my wine distributorship, and importing estate-bottled wine from NY to TX.  The business required me to learn the TABC regulations in order to become TABC licensed.  As well as learn LTL freight, climate controlled storage practices, and supply-chain management.  I have extensive experience cold calling, so gaining access to retailers was the fun piece of the business.  

7.    What are your hobbies? Most recently, I have enjoyed purchasing and decorating small residential properties to operate as an airbnb.  Also anything outside, especially cruising on our waverunners.  My all-time favorite past time is doing anything with my kids!  

8.    If money and time were no object, how would you spend your days? Well, if I money were no object, I would purchase a smorgasbord of professional sports teams so to have year-round games to attend.  Also, I would incorporate the professional teams into local channels to provide enrichment opportunities for communities.  

9.    What is one of your 2021 Goals: For fun, I do a Crossfit WOD after work.  My goal for 2021 is to be able to do pull-ups.  While I’ve improved, I’m not there yet.  Once the pull-up is mastered, I will work on kippings.