Assistant Vice President, Commercial Portfolio Loan Officer, Farmington Bank; Age 37
Candace Pereira maintains a true work-life balance while continually setting new goals. The single mother of Hailey, 8, has always enjoyed being busy, and worked her way up the stepping stones of the banking world.
She began work as a teller almost two decades ago and earned an associate’s degree from Springfield Technical Community College in 2001. But at age 25, her love for learning and desire to advance in her career led Pereira back to school, and she graduated from the UMass Isenberg School of Management in 2007.
Two and a half years ago, when mentor Mike Moriarty at United Bank moved to Farmington Bank, she moved with him. But a month after she started her new job, her brother, Bob Driscoll, was involved in a serious motorcycle accident.
He spent a month in intensive care, and when he was released, she moved him into her home. It required ongoing remodeling and adjustments, but they have always been close and share the same friends.
Pereira said Farmington Bank’s attitude of “family first” helped her to achieve a realistic work-life balance. She took over her brother’s finances and learned to structure her day so she can fit everything in that is meaningful.
That includes her role as board member and treasurer of the Gray House in Springfield. “They serve the working poor who don’t qualify for services,” she said of the organization, adding that she brings her daughter to help out at its food pantry so she learns the value of community service.
“It only takes a few people to make something happen,” she told BusinessWest. “Once you begin volunteering, it has a snowball effect because you see how much it does for others.”
Pereira is a member of the grant committee at the Farmington Bank Community Foundation and board member of the East Longmeadow Educational Endowment Fund. She is active in several chambers of commerce and young professional societies, where she has assisted with fund-raising.
She also has a number of professional certifications and enjoys helping business owners achieve their goals with the help of bank loans.
But she schedules everything down to the hour on her Outlook calendar to ensure she has time to spend with family. “You need to be grateful for it,” she said, “because you may not get another chance.”