Staff Spotlight: Caliber Business Development Lead Sarah Leach.
Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Caliber Business Development Lead Sarah Leach joined the team in 2021. This quick lyric memorizer, encouraging supermom, and art festival enthusiast sat down with Caliber Culture Manager, Kate Forster, to talk about her career in business development for financial services and fintech companies. Read on to learn more about Caliber Business Development Lead Sarah Leach in this Staff Spotlight interview.
Kate: What is your favorite nickname and how did you get it?
Sarah: Most people who shorten my name will call me Sare, but some of my closest friends from high school call me Sass, Sassy, or Sassy T. (My maiden name is Townsend.) I’m honestly not sure how it originated, other than that my friend Shelley decided it should be my nickname.
Kate: Where do you consider “home”? What is special about it?
Sarah: Tennessee is definitely home. I was born and raised in Nashville, and my parents still live in the same house I grew up in, so I have strong roots there. However, I live in Memphis now, and my roots run deep here, too. My mom grew up in Memphis, and we frequently visited my grandparents here, as it is just a three-hour drive from Nashville. My older sister chose Rhodes College in Memphis for her college education, and I followed her here. After moving around quite a bit after college, my now husband drew me back to Memphis in 2015. My two girls were born here. When I was in college, I never would have considered Memphis as the place I wanted to settle down, but the city has changed tremendously for the better since then thanks to dedicated and visionary people and companies; we love it and have a great deal of pride in our city.
Kate: What non-work activities inspire you?
Sarah: If I had a free day to myself without a care in the world, I would take a yoga class, go hiking, and read some inspirational piece of fiction while drinking fancy coffee at a local coffee house I’ve never tried. However, I have two children under the age of five, so a more realistic view of non-work activities that inspire me include taking my girls to an art festival, a museum, or a new area of town to explore. I am inspired by watching my girls expand their view of the world and discover new things.
Kate: If you had to include one ingredient in every meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Sarah: Probably cheese.
Kate: What’s your favorite movie and/or book?
Sarah: I do not read or watch anything twice if the choice is up to me. Since I’m deep in mom-mode right now and cannot avoid watching or reading something 12-47 times, I will tolerate rewatching Frozen and Encanto with my kids; both emphasize the importance of family and of being true to yourself, which are messages I want my girls to internalize. For books, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho really impacted me in high school. As an adult, I’ve loved Untamed by Glennon Doyle and The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte – both are about creating a life you love and that fulfills you.
Kate: What’s something your colleagues don’t know about you?
Sarah: My greatest talent is quickly learning the words to songs. I can sing most of the words for all popular songs (and some pretty obscure ones!) from the 1950’s up through the 2000-somethings. I don’t pretend to be in the know about current music, however.
Kate: When you think about your time at Caliber, what career accomplishment or milestone makes you feel most proud?
Sarah: For a bit over a year, I built out Caliber’s marketing team to ensure we had the people and pieces in place to increase brand awareness amongst target audiences. Recently, I have moved into a business development role and look forward to building out the processes we need to continue to attract new clients and grow as a business. It was a cool moment for me when I raised my hand to say I want to go deeper into business development and our CEO said let’s do this. It is fulfilling to work at a company where senior leadership truly cares about all team members’ professional growth and job satisfaction.
Kate: Name one thing that amazes you about fintech or innovation in financial services.
Sarah: Fintech is solving for a slew of societal and individual financial challenges—from industry pain-points to socioeconomic inequities. It is exciting to work at a company that amplifies the work of some pretty amazing people and companies driving innovation in the finance space. How cool is it that I can use my professional talents to play a small part in this market shift!
Kate: What’s your favorite thing about working at Caliber?
Sarah: We have really nailed the remote company culture thing. At a time when so many companies have struggled with going remote or hybrid or mandating a return-to-office policy, Caliber has leaned into the advantages of a fully-remote workplace and, simultaneously, intentionally cultivated a values-based culture. Caliber is a place I love to work with colleagues I trust, value, and enjoy – even though that “place” is technically me at my house. I always feel connected to my teams thanks to our investments in technology and company culture.