Program Manager, IT/Operations Examination
“My years at FCA have been very rewarding. I have no complaints—FCA has done a tremendous job in helping me achieve my career goals.
“I came to FCA in 1988 from a very small town in North Carolina where I was a branch manager of a Farm Credit System association. Although the townspeople were very welcoming, the town itself was so small and remote that the nearest night life was 50 miles away.
“From the time I was a young boy, I had always dreamed of living in a city with major sports teams, so when I interviewed with an FCA employee who invited me to join the new Denver field office, I jumped at the chance. I had never been west of West Virginia, and here I was packing everything I owned—my TV, basketball, golf clubs, and clothes—into my 1981 Mazda RX-7 and heading to the Mile High City. What a great opportunity!
“And that was just the beginning. I have since had so many opportunities at FCA. I became a commissioned examiner in 1992 and two years later entered a program to become a certified information technology [IT] specialist.
“IT examiners evaluate IT controls and risks at banks, associations, and service providers. In 1997 I took the international CISA [certified information systems auditor] test and passed. FCA then certified me to be an IT specialist. I spent several years examining larger System institutions in various roles, such as asset lead examiner, IT lead examiner, and examiner in charge.
“Then a two-year rotational assignment came up in FCA’s Office of Regulatory Policy in McLean, Virginia. I saw it as an opportunity to broaden my experience and get involved in policy development. For a year I continued to work in the Denver office while traveling to McLean every month. Another opportunity opened up in the Office of Examination to manage the IT/Operations Examination program. I applied for and got the job.
“As the new program manager, I oversee examinations of System institutions for their operational risk and risks arising from the use of IT. These activities reflect FCA’s new emphasis on a risk-based approach—dedicating its resources to the greatest areas of risk and managing them appropriately with a national perspective. My team members are from all the field offices, not just Denver.
“The Office of Examination is realigning its activities into three functional areas: credit, finance, and operations, which includes IT. Whereas commissioning might have been considered the end of an examiner’s training in the past, now it is just the beginning. Commissioned examiners have the opportunity to focus on and receive further training in one or two of these functional areas to stake out a specialized career path.
“That approach, combined with the fact that large numbers of examiners are expected to retire from FCA in the next few years, is leading to more opportunities in the field offices than ever before. It is very positive for the Office of Examination to set this direction.
“You can pretty much go exactly where you want to go in this organization. I like to be involved in projects and assignments, and FCA has provided me with the opportunity to be fully engaged in something beyond just my own job. I’ve had tremendous training here, and there are more opportunities than ever for new examiners, too.
- Patrick Fairchild, examiner, Bloomington
- Jennifer Thompson, examiner, Dallas
- Kevin McAdoo, associate examiner, level 3, McLean
- Sarah Kreger, retired certified IT specialist, McLean
- Michael Anderson, program manager, IT/Operations Examination, Denver
- Robert Coleman, Director, Office of Examination, and FCA Chief Examiner, McLean