Woman for All Seasons
Miami CREW president Marti Mang can tell you about silver linings.
Marti (whom we snapped in her office yesterday) is well-known as SVP of corporate lending at TotalBank, specializing in real estate. But that career began in the most inauspicious circumstances: when her first husband left, and she suddenly found herself a single mom of four with no child support. Those were the days, she recalls, when a woman couldn’t even borrow money on her own signature. Frantically, she called the members of her bowling team, and one of them said, “How would you like to be a bank examiner?” She had no idea what that meant, but jumped in and learned like a sponge—asking what’s a title policy, what’s fee simple, delighted to find her calling. Remarried, she went to Atlanta for the '80s as a chief credit policy officer and head of workouts, had her way paid to get an MBA, then moved to Lakeland to help borrowers recover from a Ponzi scheme.
In ‘91 Marti arrived in Miami, joining TotalBank in ‘96. Today (pictured yesterday with colleague Ramon Rodriquez) she provides creative solutions to borrowers of all asset classes—around 250 personal customers with $150M of loans. Founded 40 years ago with a single branch at 27th and Coral Gables, TotalBank now has $2.6B of assets under management and 19 locations, and last year moved its HQ to three floors and 60k SF in Miami Tower.
It’s appropriate that out their window they see the rapidly developing Brickell City Center. A majority of the bank’s lending activity is in commercial real estate.
This year Marti also keeps busy running Miami's Commercial Real Estate Women. Of the national organization’s 72 chapters, hers is one of the biggest: 250 members, of which 14% are men. She presides over 10 lunches a year at the Four Seasons, each featuring a panel on a timely real estate subject; the next one is Aug. 19 focusing on Coral Gables. Her motto for the group? “Commit to connect,” she says, explaining her view that folks are “starved for one-on-one time” in an age of 140 characters. One way she’s creating conversation: a weekly lunch called “Mondays with Marti,” where she invites five CREW members to sit down with her to talk about interests and goals.
There are many things you don’t know about Marti:
Other language: Latvian. Her parents took the family to Colorado from Latvia when she was young, and raised her in their native language; today she visits relatives in Latvia every three years.
Hobby you wouldn’t expect: Hosting FIU's European women basketball players at her home in Pembroke Pines for last dozen years—and attending lots of FIU games.
What she’s reading: Active in the “Blue Stockings” book club, currently reading a bio of Coco Chanel (pretty good, she says; better than the overly detailed bio of Napoleon Bonaparte they read last month).
Philanthropy: Active with both Lotus House Women’s Shelter and Prison Ministries.
Favorite food: planked Copper River salmon; and all kinds of salads.
Movie: Star Wars.
Music: Everything. Has playlists for eight different decades on her iPod. Random example is something she was listening to yesterday: Les Paul and Mary Ford, representing the '50s (click on the sample above). For the 2000’s, she loves Muse.
Philosophy: “Don’t let myself think my age. Embrace life."