40 Under 40 The Class of 2011

Michelle Cayo: 34

Loan Review Officer, Country Bank

Michelle Cayo

Michelle Cayo

Michelle Cayo says each of her mornings starts with a rigorous kickboxing workout. “They go about an hour,” she said. “I burn a lot of calories … it puts me in a really positive mood for the day.”
Which is good, because most of her days are long, crammed with challenging, rewarding work as loan review officer at Ware-based Country Bank; community involvement that ranges from service as a committee member for the Professional Women’s Chamber to mentoring of young women at the Mass. Career Development Institute; and a home life that centers around her husband, Ed, and son, Nicholas. And what she likes best is that each day is different — and fulfilling.
At Country Bank, her work centers around analyzing the risk in the institution’s commercial-loan portfolio and ensuring that factors are in place to mitigate the risk. She enjoys the diversity of her work, as well as the learning opportunities.
“I’m always learning something new, and it’s interesting to see what’s going on with the economy,” she said. “You can hear about it on the news, but to be hands-on and see directly what’s going on and how it affects businesses is very interesting. And no two businesses are alike, which makes this work intriguing.”
As for her work in the community, she said she has enjoyed working with others in the Women’s Professional Chamber (formerly the Women’s Partnership) to “ramp up” that organization, as she put it, and develop new and different ways to “empower young, career-oriented women to be leaders.” And she takes great satisfaction from her mentoring of young women, many of whom have seen life throw them some curveballs.
“These are women who would be considered non-traditional,” she explained. “They may have lost a job or been laid off, and now they’re coming back to school to try to get their lives back on track. I tell them that not everything comes easily, and that the most important part is to try hard, because it pays off, and that the trials and tribulations they’re experiencing are only going to make them stronger.”
— George O’Brien

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