Stephen Haak

Name: Stephen Haak, 43, of Marmora, Upper Township

Education: Rutgers University; master's degree in international business from University of Miami

Family: Married to Barbra, with children J.D., 9, and Molly, 7

Company: Colonial Bank, of Vineland

Position: Vice president of special assets

Phone: 856-205-0058

Colonial Bank is celebrating its 100th year in business. We're a full-service community bank with nine branches in Cumberland and Gloucester counties.

I was hired to create, and I currently manage, the bank's special assets department.

That's basically work out loans, troubled loans and foreclosure loans in the worst-case scenario. In the best case, I work with borrowers to try to ease their financial burden through refinances or a loan medication or other debt restructure.

I'm fortunate to work with senior management and colleagues who are incredibly supportive, because this can be tedious and emotional at times. You're dealing with people who are enduring financial hardships in your community.

My ultimate goal is to protect the bank's capital and shareholder value. We're publicly traded, so at the end of the day, that's the most important component of what I do.

Getting loans effectively paid is the most challenging part of my work, and ensuring the regulators that the bank is looking out for its borrower base and showing that we understand the implications of having to charge off bad loans, which we don't want to do but have to do sometimes.

Entry: My banking career started in 1996. I just finished an internship after graduate school and didn't like the insurance business, so I relocated to Seattle and was recruited by a bank there. After a couple of years, I was back in New Jersey and met my wife, who is from Linwood, and came full circle back to here.

I've been in commercial community banking since 2004, first at Ocean City Home Bank and then at Cape Bank.

About me: I enjoy playing golf and love spending time with my family. A lot of my free time is spent taking my children to the beach and park, and we just planted our first garden this year. I grew up on a farm.

Business editor Kevin Post

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