Board of Directors Spotlight: Tom Calahan, Partners Bank

Allow us to introduce Business Development Officer, Tom Calahan, from Partners Bank. Tom recently became a Board Member of the Mission Viejo Chamber of Commerce this past July. Michael Ashley of Ink Wordsmiths conducted the following  interview with Tom to learn more about him and his business.

Ink Wordsmiths: Why do you do what you do?

Tom Calahan: Nobody in my family was an expert in finances and I got into the financial services industry seven years ago to initially help them, but then grew to what I am today, working with multi-million dollar businesses and helping them with their finances.

Ink Wordsmiths: Can you tell us a story of a customer you recently helped?

Tom Calahan: I would prefer not to reference any specific clients for privacy concerns. However, here is a brief summary of a recent success story. I was able to unlock $750 K this week to a local business owner by reviewing their financial statements. I noticed we could save them several thousand dollars on their business’ building loan and inject more cash into the business as opposed to them paying interest to a bank.

Ink Wordsmiths: What’s the best part of your job?

Tom Calahan: Every day is something different. I work with a variety of businesses and business owners on multiple issues and financial products and am constantly behind a whiteboard drawing up solutions.

Ink Wordsmiths: What’s something surprising or unusual about your business people don’t know?

Tom Calahan: I work on a team. In sales it is typically cut-throat with every person out for themselves; but where I work I can bounce ideas off my team on a weekly basis. We all work together to create unique solutions to solve our clients’ needs.

Ink Wordsmiths: What kinds of customers are you looking for and how can others help refer you business?

Tom Calahan: I am looking for real estate-backed loans with a minimum past 3 years’ positive cash flow. Our typical lending parameters are: $500,000 to $6,000,000. Additionally, we are seeking someone looking for a banking relationship, not just a transaction.

Ink Wordsmiths: What problems does your business solve?

Tom Calahan: We solve a lot of problems. Many banks have an approval box that either works or doesn’t work for their clients. Instead, we devise structures and solutions for our clients, allowing us to lend and unlock cash flow to many real estate investors and local entrepreneurs.

Ink Wordsmiths: How did you get into your line of work?

Tom Calahan: I was recruited about four years ago to leave my practice in financial services and finally took the hook back in 2014 to leave and join banking and am so happy I made the change.

Ink Wordsmiths: What is your expertise? (What makes you so good at what you do?)

Tom Calahan: I listen to people and take every opportunity to help them. My expertise is sitting down with a business owner and understanding their pain points. Additionally, I assist in dreaming up new solutions, providing paths for how we can accomplish their goals and grow their businesses. 

Ink Wordsmiths: What advice can you offer other businesses?

Tom Calahan: Take your time and talk with professionals. Not all banks and bankers are the same. Yes, all banks offer the same products, however, not all banks possess the same criteria for loan approval. I would say before you just bank with the institution closest to your business, do some research and sit down with a team of professionals to decide what is best for your company. Partners Bank might not be the cheapest organization, nor have the most locations, but we are definitely an asset to your payroll, and can assist in growing your business, as opposed to just holding onto your money.

Ink Wordsmiths: What is your business philosophy?

Tom Calahan: The easiest way to answer this would be to offer the slogan our team continually strives to follow: “We look for great relationships, not great transactions.”

For more information about Tom’s community-based business bank in Mission Viejo,  visit: or drop him a line @

For more information about Ink Wordsmiths, visit:

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