DARTMOUTH ORIGINALS – MEET WADE
Wade Beck says his motto is “I help people achieve their dreams.” He lives by those words every day in his work as Senior Manager, Business Services at East Coast Credit Union in Dartmouth. Beck has been in the role for four years and now manages a team of eight people who run the commercial loans program for Eastern Nova Scotia.
“People matter to us. We love to help small businesses get started and expand and grow.”
Beck has worked in the financial industry for more than 35 years. He started his career in a traditional bank after graduating from Saint Mary’s University in 1984, then quickly rose through the ranks. Beck says he genuinely loves supporting entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. His noticed a change in his job satisfaction when the banking industry shifted to using computer programs to adjudicate loan applications.
“That was very frustrating because there were a lot of times when I wanted to make a loan to a person, and the computer would say declined or I wanted to decline it and the computer would say approved.”
In 2005, Beck decided he was ready for a change. He left the chartered banks and went to work for the Bayview Credit Union in Saint John N.B. He says it was the best decision he ever made.
“It’s been a breath of fresh air ever since It’s just fantastic because at a credit union, people really do matter. In fact, they drive everything that we do.”
Beck worked in New Brunswick for several years, then got promoted to executive positions in British Columbia, then Alberta. He says he loved his work, but he was missing the scenery and the people he left behind in Nova Scotia. Beck is originally from Cole Harbour and his wife grew up on Chappell Street in Dartmouth. Four years ago, they decided to move back home.
“I had been away from HRM since 1991. So it was quite shocking when I came back and saw the revitalization of downtown Dartmouth!”
Beck and his wife were immediately smitten with the “buzz” of downtown. They were the first people to move into the Lotus Point building on Ochterloney Street. Beck says he loves the proximity to restaurants, parks, and his office.
“I can walk to work in two minutes and twenty seconds.”
Walking is important to Beck. He keeps running shoes in his office and gets out for at least one hour per day. His commitment to walking helped him recently lose 65 pounds in about nine months.
“It’s as much about mental health as it is physical health. I am a bit of a workaholic so for me it’s a way to get out and have some quiet time to think.”
Beck is one of the newest members of the board of directors of the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission. He says he was invited to join last June and immediately jumped at the opportunity.
“The board is focused on the same things that I’m focused on: supporting small businesses and supporting entrepreneurs, revitalizing the downtown core. They’re passionate about all the same things I’m passionate about.”
While community is a driving force in Beck’s life, he says his favourite people are his own family members. One of the reasons he moved to Dartmouth was to be close to his parents, who are in their eighties. One of his sons also lives nearby, while the other two stayed out West. His only grandchild, lives in British Columbia, whom he hasn’t seen in two years due to COVID.
“Nadia and I are tight! She’s ten years old now and I can’t wait to see her again. We’re hoping she can come out and join us for several weeks next summer.”
Beck says seeing his granddaughter is the number one item on his bucket list. Number two is to work alongside his team to support as many entrepreneurs as possible and create as many jobs in the community as possible.
“I love what I do so much. I don’t really have any aspirations to do a whole lot different. I set big goals for myself, then work really, really, hard to achieve them.”
Photo by James Arthur MacLean Photography