Rochelle Gorey is an inspiring FinTech leader who was recognized as one of the 2022 Inspiring Fintech Females by NYC Fintech Women. She is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at SpringFour, transitioning from an entire career in affordable housing and community revitalization, creating lending programs between banks and nonprofits, and working towards policy change. Rochelle decided to build SpringFour when there was not an easy and efficient way to direct people 'who could not pay their mortgage' to nonprofits and other resources that could help them. Today, SpringFour connects individuals with more than 22,000 financial assistance resources in 20 categories, making a difference for consumers and the banks that provide these services.
Most of Rochelle's life has been an intrapreneur and entrepreneur creating change and transforming people's lives with research, policy, and innovation at local organizations nationwide. At SpringFour, she transitioned from creating change from the inside to creating change from the outside in finhealth, while remaining true to core values and business model - "we never charge consumers for financial health resources — and we never will", says Rochelle, with the goal of eliminating financial hardship stigma and treating people with empathy and respect.
SpringFour is mission-driven and purposeful, and Rochelle leads and inspires her team of changemakers with authenticity everyday in growing the company — to be better and do better. Growing up in a low-income household and relying on outside assistance such as food stamps and financial aid to attend college personally drove Rochelle to remove the stigma associated with financial hardship.
Rochelle and her team strive every day to change the way that the financial services industry interacts with people who cannot pay their bills or have poor financial health. By enabling access to local resources and assistance with new collections and repayment strategies, SpringFour is helping people to get back on track with their payments and keep their homes and cars, thus showing the industry that we can create impact while building a successful and profitable company. Behind every single referral that SpringFour makes on behalf of their clients, there is a person — someone who now knows that help is available and that their bank wants to see them through this hard time. SpringFour has led the way in making financial health a necessary component of the fintech ecosystem.
More on Rochelle
Where you currently live: Suburbs of Chicago
Favorite part of your day: Sipping my coffee in the morning while preparing for the day ahead and reading the New York Times
Hometown: Grand Haven, MI
Favorite hobby: Traveling to new places
Media inspiration: Kelly Corrigan Wonders podcast, with many facets of life and interviews of inspiring people once-a-week, I always learn something. For example, Thanks for being here: featuring reader submissions of most important, poignant memories.
What's the best job decision you ever made? What's the worst job decision you ever made?
I accepted my first job out of college because of the people who worked there — and it set me on my career path. You cannot underestimate how important it is to work with people who you respect and admire, and at an organization whose mission you believe in. I gained opportunities and experience I would not have gotten anywhere else. My worst decision was when I stayed at the beach instead of showing up to my waitressing shift at a tourist spot and got fired, but I learned a lot from that experience.
Can you tell us about a time someone encouraged you to try a task or take on a project you didn’t think that you would know how to do/or be good at?
I actually did not start out as the CEO of SpringFour, and I gladly deferred that role to my Co-Founder. It wasn’t until three years later that I had the opportunity to take it on, and I was terrified. At the time, I much preferred to be in the background. Taking on the role of CEO forced me to get comfortable with the things that used to scare me. I tapped into my passion and, in doing so, became the CEO I wanted to be and am today.
Do you have any productivity hacks? What keeps you motivated? How do you maintain a work/life balance?
If I work out in the morning, I find that I’m much more energized and productive. And coffee helps, too! For SpringFour, growth means that more people are receiving the help they need and deserve, and that we are motivated to move the needle in FinTech on how the world treats people who experience financial hardship every time we sign a new client. Work/life balance is a myth — all things ebb and flow, and I will always put my family first when needed. I have also instilled in my daughters a great sense of resilience and independence as they know I can’t do everything or be everywhere but I am always available when it matters, and I know that I serve as a positive role model for them and for other women.
8:00 am: Time to review emails while I drink my coffee and check my schedule for the day. I feel excited because we have a big meeting with a sizable client and a great opportunity to expand the existing relationship.
9:00 am: Squeeze in a quick workout at home.
9:30 am: Quick connect with a team member on pricing strategy for a client renewal.
10:00 am: Quick connect to discuss contract edits provided by a client.
1:00 pm: Meeting with the executive team to begin planning an in-person all-team meeting later this spring.
2:00 pm: Meeting with an outside vendor to quickly discuss a service we use.
2:30 pm: Review proposal and other client materials going out to a client, and review a vendor compliance request from a new client.
3:30 pm: Have a quick chat with my daughter when she gets home from school, talk about our evening plans — she has some, I don’t.
4:00 pm: It’s nice out so I take my dog for a walk to get some sunshine and take a break from working.
4:45 pm: I review the emails that have come in, and get some more work done before quitting for the day at 6:00 pm. It’s only Wednesday, and I am fairly exhausted from my week and look forward to ordering takeout and hanging out with my family. Later, I FaceTime with my daughter who is away at college.