Interview with Candice Hubert, Member of SFNet’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusiveness Committee

December 2, 2021

By Michele Ocejo

Representing Republic Business Credit in the Texas market out of an expanding Houston office, Candice brings more than 18 years of banking and commercial finance experience. Candice joined Republic in 2012, after a long tenure with Chase Bank providing asset-based lending solutions to a multitude of industries. Candice has been able to assist clients in start-up, high-growth, and recoverable distressed situations and values the opportunity to work with industry partners across the United States.   She is a member of the Houston Chapter for the Secured Finance Network, Association for Corporate Growth, and a member of Turnaround Management Association.  In 2018, Candice was a proud recipient of the Secured Finance Network's 40 Under 40 Award and continues to serve as an advocate for SFNet programs by participating in business development panel discussions and has been featured in past SFNet informative articles.   

Please provide a bit of background, including how you got into the industry and your current role.

I started my career in finance right out of high school, as I began working to pay my way through college at a local bank. I joined Chase Bank in 2006, and over a course of 10 years, I was promoted to various banking positions including management and business banking. I enjoyed my tenure in banking and valued the relationships, training, development, and exposure I gained in the Houston market. In 2012, I transitioned out of banking, and decided to join Republic Business Credit to build and grow the Texas market specifically focusing on ABL and factoring solutions. It was grand opportunity for me, and I still believe joining Republic is the best decision I made. When I joined, Republic Business Credit was a privately held, start-up ABL and factoring firm, focused on serving lower-middle market firms in a multitude of industries. I was tasked with building the Texas market, and I was so happy to take on the challenge! It was a challenge as Republic had minimal exposure in Texas. However, at the time, I had been a Houston native for more than 16 years and knew that I could vastly grow the market with the team and support I was afforded. Today, we service over 35 states and have offices in: Texas, California, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. I have been a part of the Republic family for almost a decade and cannot believe how much I have grown, both personally and professionally. I believe what I enjoy the most about being a part of such dynamic team is that I can bring my whole self to work. I have been awarded, recognized, and valued along my journey, and everyone strives to work together to gain the best results. I think the support and professional growth I have gained being a part of an organization like Republic is unique, and for that I am thankful.

Why did you join SFNet’s DEI Committee? 

I joined the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee as the initiatives are deeply important to me. It just seems like the right thing to do at this specific time. We have been faced with so many challenges this past couple of years. The onset of the pandemic made the world stop and pay attention to so many things: health, safety, work-life balance, our elderly family members and even more. However, we weren’t just challenged with a pandemic alone. We now had to evaluate the social climate and recent events that were taking place as it relates to race and equal rights issues. After the events of George Floyd’s passing, I personally spiraled into an array of deep and introspective thoughts about how I was seen in a professional setting and within my own community. I wondered if I was doing enough to assist in educating my friends, professional counterparts and even my co-workers about the many stereotypes that are experienced by people of color. It sparked an internal fire to be a part of the change and I began to collectively work with our chief portfolio manager to develop an internal DEI committee for Republic. Over the past 18 months, I worked tirelessly alongside my co-workers to discuss the narrative of diversity, equity, and inclusion. At points, the conversations were difficult. It was hard revealing and talking about my own story and having dialogue that you don’t typically engage in with your co-workers and professional network. My experience leading DEI initiatives led to feelings of confusion at times. I have questioned if I was saying or doing enough. Transparency and open discussion are oftentimes hard for most people in general, and when you must be a part of those discussions in a deliberate way, one can feel overwhelmed. However, I emphatically believe that our society is in a paradigm shift. More and more organizations are taking diversity, equity, and inclusion seriously. This is not just an initiative, but a chance to invoke cultural and societal change. The SFNet is an organization that educates and brings professionals in the finance and the secured lending space together to not only network, but specifically to educate. I see the DEI committee as a path to educate our counterparts on the many facets of equality. Therefore, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to join the committee that will assist in positive educational change in an organization I respect, and I am looking forward to collaborating with diverse and dynamic committee members!

What do you think the industry can do to increase diversity, equity and inclusiveness? 

I believe the finance industry is invigorated, engaged and highly aware that diversity, equity and inclusion is necessary. I have attended several virtual events over the past 18 months, where DEI initiatives were highlighted as the main discussion. Many financial institutions are allocating dollars and time to build out initiatives to focus on systemic challenges, both internally and externally. I consider this a huge step in the right direction. The finance industry has the opportunity to be bold in intentionally creating opportunities for people to be confident that when they walk into a room, they belong there. We should source diverse talent. We should continue to be a part of the solution by joining organizations that are aligned with creating opportunities for diverse networks. Continuing to have open dialogue with open and engaged listeners creates a natural path to discovery. SFNet’s DEI Committee is diverse, and full of individuals dedicating time to provide a path to more diversity and inclusive initiatives, and I am excited to be a part of the solution.

About the Author

Michele Ocejo
Michele Ocejo is editor-in-chief of The Secured Lender and communications director for SFNet.