Five Star honors industry leaders at Women in Housing event
On Tuesday, Five Star once again hosted its annual Women in Housing Leadership Awards, recognizing the extraordinary achievements of outstanding businesswomen whose contributions will continue to impact the housing and mortgage services industry for years to come. to come.
The event opened with welcoming remarks from the President of Five Star Global, Ed Delgado, who recalled the female mentors who had inspired and influenced him during his career. After Ed’s opening keynote, the event moved to a new segment for 2021, a panel discussion including:
- Debbie Garcia-Gratacos, President, DEVAL Servicing
- Marcia Griffin, President and CEO, HomeFree USA
- Ali Haralson, President, Auction.com
- Jocelyn Martin-Leano, President, Services Division, Rushmore Loan Management Services
- Miriam Moore, Division President, Default Services, ServiceLink
Martin-Leano shared with the audience some of the barriers women face, based on her personal experience.
“I’ll use myself as an example, sometimes we don’t claim our accomplishments,” she said. “Here’s a simple example I’m trying to learn: someone will say to me, ‘Jocelyn, you did a great job,’ and I’ll say, ‘well, a lot of us did’ or ‘this wasn’t that difficult after all. ‘ So one thing I’m learning at this late stage is to say ‘thank you’ and stop there. “
Panelists answered questions about work-life balance, questioned whether it was even appropriate to ask such a question of a woman, and whether society gave men the same kind of scrutiny.
“When you reach a certain level in your career, you make sacrifices for the things you want,” Haralson said. “I pursued a career and my husband stayed home with the kids and picked up the house when we moved, and the same thing happens in a reverse role. If you have a good partnership, it works. back and forth. I don’t think it’s a woman’s work-life balance, it’s a family, as a unit. “
Griffin told the crowd, “When it comes to balance, it’s really wonderful to be among women who are doing powerful things and running powerful companies, driving the industry forward. I think there is a sensitivity that women bring to the work environment that is absolutely critical… we have a role to play. “
“I have a very rigid morning schedule,” Garcia-Gratacos said. “A lot has to do with organization and determination – I wake up, I pray, I exercise, and it starts at 4 or 5 in the morning. Because what I won’t do is hang out with my kids when I get home. To do these things, I have to take time for these things. But it’s no different, men do the same.
After the panel, Ed took to the stage to begin the presentation of the Women in Housing Awards. This year’s Women in Housing Award recipients included:
1) Rising Star Executive: Theresa Dumais, Vice-President of Government and Industrial Relations, Freddie Mac
What she told Five Star about her appointment: “It is an incredible honor to be a Rising Star Executive finalist for the 2021 Five Star Institute Women in Housing Awards. As one of Freddie Mac’s youngest executives, I bring my policy expertise, my passion for providing safe and affordable housing in every corner of the market and a unique perspective to help inform the important work that we do here at the company. As a Hispanic woman, I know how essential it is to help women and minorities take leadership positions in the financial services industry. I have made this an important issue throughout my work both at Freddie Mac and as a volunteer co-chair of the Professional Development Committee and a member of the Board of Directors of Women in Housing & Finance. We are a stronger housing finance system when our collective leadership reflects the diverse and unique perspectives of our common communities. I am grateful for the leadership of the Five Star Institute in enhancing the successes of women leaders in our industry! “
2) Excellence in leadership: Ramie Word, Senior Vice President of Customer Service and Customer Delivery, Mr. Cooper
What she told Five Star about her appointment: “I am honored to be nominated in this category because mentoring has been close to my heart throughout my career with Mr. Cooper. I have had so many meaningful leaders who helped me develop my own leadership style and took me further than I thought possible. It was important for me to pass this experience on to our future leaders. It is so essential to have a safe space and a sounding board for our emerging female leadership. I want to lead by example towards a more diverse and fairer culture within our industry. I feel responsible as a woman leader to ensure that I support our future executives. From a selfish point of view, it is extremely satisfying to see so many “mentees” that I have spent time with on their own path to success and rise to the challenge.
3) Excellence in leadership: Sandra Jarish, President, Interview, Planet Home Lending, LLC
What she told Five Star about her appointment: “While I am proud to receive this award, the credit really goes to my exceptional Planet service team. Together, we tackled issues related to COVID-19, such as forbearance and providing employees with what they need to work from home safely. As a team, we opened our new service center in Dallas, implemented a securitized mortgage early buyback program, and implemented improved technology to serve our private clients. My team makes me a better leader as we work together to make Planet’s service second to none. Being nominated for an award in the Women in Housing Excellence category in the Leadership category is not only an honor, but it allows me to set an example for other women in our business and paves the way for success and achievement. ‘personal achievement.
4) Champion of diversity and inclusion: Sophie Kim, Senior Vice President, People and Culture, CIVIC Financial Services
What she told Five Star about her appointment: “Both of my parents left a war-torn country to come to America. Because of all the things they have endured, as a first generation immigrant, I have a deep commitment to succeed in creating opportunities for others like the one that has been offered to me. I try to convey this to everyone at CIVIC. Everyone has their own story, and everyone has the right to be in a workplace where they have the space and freedom to do their best. So with the thousands of stories at CIVIC, I want everyone’s time here to be worth it. We want everyone to feel like they can be themselves, not a cookie-cutter perception of what a credit professional is. We embrace the unique stories of all of our team members and encourage them to share them. By getting their best version of themselves to blend in with all the different people, it will take CIVIC further, together. That said, the notions of diversity and inclusion are essential to the success of CIVIC. This recognition by Women in Housing gives me hope that this perspective will spread throughout our industry, and to be named a Champion of Diversity and Inclusion would be an absolute honor. “
5) Laurie G. Maggiano Senior Manager of the Year: Ali Haralson, President, Auction.com
What she told Five Star about her appointment: “I am honored to be nominated for the coveted Laurie Maggiano Executive of the Year Award. Laurie was an industry icon, a force for good and believed in making a difference in the lives of others. The past 18 months have tested my guts and determination while responding to change. At the onset of the pandemic, we created our Community Stabilization Commitment to help protect homeowners and occupants in distress. We also continued to refine our platform and strategy to deliver better results that help stabilize neighborhoods by getting properties back to market faster. The benefits of our pre-foreclosure market validator program include foreclosure prevention, transparency that allows equal access for buyers, graceful exit for borrowers, better execution for sellers, and neighborhood stabilization. Launched in June 2020, the IDEA Council has created numerous educational events focused on a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Since becoming the first female president of Auction.com, I have intensified the company’s focus on innovative solutions to achieve better results for buyers, owners, communities and employees. My competitive motivation will allow me to continue to push for positive change for our business, industry and communities, striving to stabilize neighborhoods and create a future of affordable housing.