Homeport Board of Directors Spotlight: Paula A. Hughes

Paula A. Hughes

Paula A. Hughes

Paula A. Hughes is Vice President and Chief Credit Officer of Nationwide Bank, a subsidiary of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.  She is a member of the Bank’s executive leadership team and oversees the Bank’s Credit and Lending functions across Retail. Mortgage, Commercial and Small Business lines of business.

Ms. Hughes’ banking career spans over 25 years. Prior to joining Nationwide Bank in March 2016, Ms. Hughes has served in several financial services and banking roles and most recently was Bank Executive at State Farm Bank, a subsidiary of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. Prior to State Farm, she was the Consumer Lending and Small Business Executive for First Citizens Bank and Trust of South Carolina, a position she held since March 2012.  From 2004 to 2012, she was an executive at SunTrust Banks in Atlanta, GA, where she has held various Consumer, Private Wealth and Commercial Lending business leadership roles, and ultimately held the position of Consumer Chief Credit Officer for the Retail. Mortgage and Indirect channels before joining First Citizens. She was the Director of Client Services at Connecture which provided risk modeling and underwriting for financial institutions. She began her career with Accenture (Anderson Consulting) in the Financial Services North America practice where her clients spanned across Canada, US and Mexico.

Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, she, her husband, Scott, and rescue feral cat and retired Field Trial Labrador Retriever resided in Atlanta, Georgia before moving to Columbus in 2016. An avid and competitive golfer, she enjoys both time on the practice range and on the course as any opportunity to relax and spend time with her husband. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Finance from Kent State University and a Master’s of Science in Computer Science from Ball State University.

Why are you passionate about the Homeport mission?

Homeport’s mission is very personal to me. My husband and I have always wanted to have a family but faced a number of unfortunate and tragic circumstances. As a result, my “time” is a gift I can share with others and give back to the community for families who are struggling.  Having lived in a number of locations throughout the country, I have witnessed the inconsistency in providing affordable housing and community services at the local level which is so very essential as the cornerstone to build heathy and vibrant communities

What would you tell a friend who was considering getting involved with Homeport as a donor or volunteer?

Homeport is a well-rounded organization that believes in not only the financial aspects to affordable housing, but provides an array of services, including financial education, training and wellbeing that are designed to promote and sustain families across Central Ohio. There are numerous ways to become involved, and each have a direct impact to personally share in the challenges and successes with families in our local communities.

What do you feel is the most critical aspect of affordable housing in Columbus and Central Ohio?

Affordable housing is key to our communities’ vitality, economic growth and development. Housing provides a sense of permanence and commitment, which builds families, neighborhoods and communities. However, housing is just one component, and to be truly transformative we must consider the diverse and unique needs of our families who are struggling in order for them to thrive and prosper.  The ability to offer an array of supporting services in addition to housing is necessary to sustain our mission of growth and commitment to our communities.