Susan Couch, senior vice president and senior client manager for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, is responsible for developing and maintaining business relationships in San Diego, focusing on companies with revenues from $5 million to $50 million. She has also worked on growing and expanding the defense and government contracting industry focus for San Diego. Couch joined Bank of America 24 years ago and her experience allows her to be a comprehensive advisor, enabling her to provide tailored credit and treasury solutions to help meet each client's goals.
She is a graduate of University of Washington Pacific Coast Banking School, Phoenix Community College with an associate degree in banking and finance, and a LEAD San Diego Honor graduate. She serves on the board of Rancho YMCA, PsychArmor Institute and is active with Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) San Diego, National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), La Jolla Country Day School, Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center and Teen Volunteers in Action.
Couch has made countless professional, charitable and volunteer connections throughout the years. Her clients and strategic partners are quick to praise her skills and dedication.
Marjorie Morrison is CEO of PsychArmor Institute, a nonprofit that helps employers understand the psychology of military veterans they hire who have PTSD and other service-related conditions.
"Susan was one of my very first board invitees," Morrison said. "I knew without a doubt that she'd be instrumental in helping us get off the ground. Her community influence, coupled with her ability to effectively network, is absolutely top-notch. She not only uses her connections to introduce us to the top influencers at BofA, but also to executives she knows around San Diego who can benefit from our services. She is currently doing an outstanding job as PsychArmor's board treasurer."
Robin S. Ash, CFO of Sentek Global Inc., a network security consulting firm, also acknowledges Couch's professional and interpersonal skills.
"Sentek and Bank of America have had a banking relationship since 2008," Ash said. "From the beginning, Susan was involved on a personal level, ensuring that Sentek received the highest-quality services, from credit facilities to daily customer care. Susan is extremely well-connected in the banking industry, the defense and government markets, and the overall San Diego community. In the past eight years, she has been influential in connecting Sentek with strategic relationships that have helped us grow in the defense and cyber communities. She works tirelessly and is very active in maintaining and growing her network to the benefit of her clients."
John Wallace, CEO/owner of JW Floor Covering Inc. and Resource Floors Inc., said Couch has been integral in the firms' relationship with Bank of America. "For a company that prides itself on its customer service, it is refreshing to deal with a person who has those same values at heart. She makes promises and delivers every time. We are always confident in the fact that if we need something from Bank of America, no matter how big or small, it takes one phone call to Susan and that request is going to be taken care of. Her professionalism and dependability have helped not only to solidify our relationship with Bank of America, but also to grow our company significantly over the past four years."
Mark Larsen, director of Cask LLC, a San Diego-headquartered technology-business management firm, credits Couch with positioning the business for a strong financial future.
"Susan first talked to us about our business needs a couple of years ago," he said. "At the time, we didn't have any compelling credit needs for additional capital. But about a year ago, we had identified, based on accelerated growth, that we were going to need a better banking partnership. We had been with another bank and it was very difficult to get anything additional out of them, even what we needed to know about how to best position ourselves for growth.
"We started talking to Susan and she was really wonderful with providing the business advisory side of the relationship. She really blew out all the other options and capabilities that anybody else was going to bring to us. We now feel we have all the things in place that are going to help us get from a $30 million business to a $100 million business."
Glenn Arnold, senior managing director of DTZ, a global leader in commercial real estate services for occupiers, tenants and investors, has worked with Couch for 15 years.
"We're a referral source for each other, more like a partner," he said. "She's very thorough and pulls together a very good team. She has many good clients who absolutely love her. She always asks a lot of good questions and is very good about helping my clients with real estate loans. She qualifies them, talks them through the process.
"Susan is a very hard worker and very focused, a high-level performer. She's a really solid, very ethical professional who does what's best for the client. She works for a company that has many competitive products."
Victor Ramsauer, CPA, president and shareholder of Levitzacks Certified Public Accountants, a large San Diego-based firm, shares clients with Couch in the defense contracting space.
"I have had the pleasure of working with Susan for many years," he said. "She is highly regarded in the business community. Susan is dedicated to her clients and their success. She is well-respected and has an excellent background in working with the nuances of the defense contracting industry. She focuses on making connections for her clients, peers, prospects and other professionals. Susan listens to her clients and is willing to go the extra mile for them."
Couch has been the recipient of several awards, including the YWCA Tribute to Women in Industry, one of San Diego's most prestigious business-recognition awards given to women who have made significant contributions to their industries and communities; San Diego Business Journal finalist Women Who Mean Business; plus Bank of America Spirit of Excellence, Leadership, Superstar and Top Gun honors.
She is celebrating 23 years of marriage to her husband, a Financial Advisor, and has two active children. Her son, age 17 attends La Jolla Country Day School and her daughter, 20 is attending University of Alabama. She enjoys bike riding and lives in the Scripps Ranch community of San Diego with her family.
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