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Cover Story


Kelsey Rauchut Going All Out for AnnieMac Home Mortgage

In each issue of this magazine, we introduce women leaders who hold and share a strong vision for the future of our industry. Kelsey is a visionary who executes. She passionately shares her vision to help herself and others pave a path to their greatest selves.

The Spotlight Shines Brightly


2020 is by far, hands down, the true test of all leaders. I have always said it’s easy to be a leader during the good times, but what about when crap hits the fan?

Coaches ConnXion

GET ON TARGET: Set Genius Goals for 2021

New Year’s resolutions are nice but rarely achieved. Goal setting is a better choice. SMART goals are much more effective than ordinary goals. Big rocks are very cool, but TARGET goals are genius! Let me start with my story.

Celebrating Women Leaders


An Interview with Nicole Peraino

…one day Nicole stumbled upon a LinkedIn message from AIME looking for exactly what she had been doing over the course of the last few years. This was her chance to take her schooling and experience and bring it to the mortgage world. As she considered the potential for this job, Nicole remembers thinking, “Is it possible to have a full-time video and creative role in the mortgage industry?” The answer she found to be, “Yes!”

Lifestyle! Home, Fashion, Food, and Fun


Refreshing winter images and healthy lifestyle tips for the new year.

The V-Factor Column

Vision, Vitality, and Velocity: The V-Factor

Resolute in Your Vision

Turning resolutions into achievements begins with vision: the ability to see our path and our goals clearly. Vision drives our imagination which fuels inspiration and implementation. Why is it implementation often peters off to inaction? Action feeds our vision, our goals, our dreams, and enables us to achieve our aspirations.

The Power of Teamwork!

Speculating Success in the New Year

Where will we be in 2021?

Grow Your Vision
Vision Partners in Success

IN THIS ISSUE from the Editor in Chief

It is a brand new year! What a whirlwind it’s been reaching this moment. Our original plan called for us to be launching our first issues about now. Instead, we are introducing our second volume and expect a full 6 issues for the Women With Vision Magazine to publish in 2021. Thanks to all who have come together, both readers, subscribers, editorial staff, and my co-workers at 20/20 Vision for Success Coaching.

We’re starting strong, featuring a masterful business development professional on the cover and bringing feature stories about industry pros and regular features offering a range of articles focused on the professional and personal interests of our readers.

In 2021, we are introducing our concept of Story Marketing and are accepting advertising to better serve our readers. Reach out to myself or our publisher, Christine Beckwith, for details about advertising and story marketing opportunities.

We are also introducing a new feature, Meet the Pros, to profile industry-leading companies who are making it happen. And much more, so subscribe and keep reading, please.

We remain committed to developing new writers and new features and keeping these digital pages fresh and compelling.

Happy reading, all!

IN THIS ISSUE from the Publisher

From the Publisher: Christine Beckwith

A New Year promises us much hope. With a vaccination looming and predictions of another robust mortgage year, the always present sense of renewal offered at the time of the New Year is refreshing. Two thousand twenty one offers us more than hope. It offers us the prospect of continued success and personal safety against COVID-19.

In this edition you will find an incredibly inspiring cover story article about what a focus on business development can bring to a business. You will also find a gift of deep business tactics as we share the video of our annual business planning event, What’s the Big Deal. Check out all the articles and be sure to subscribe to both magazines so you do not miss future editions.

We wish you a Happy New Year ahead and we welcome you to reach out to our firm whenever you need our support.

Happy New Year!

20/20 Vision for Success Coaching

KINGDOM COME: Kelsey Rauchut Going All Out for AnnieMac Home Mortgage

Written by: Candy (CaZ) Zulkosky

In each issue of this magazine, we introduce women leaders who hold and share a strong vision for the future of our industry. The ability to communicate her strong vision is a key qualification we look for when selecting who to profile. Kelsey Rauchut is such a woman. She has twice received the Women With Vision Award, is a President’s Club winner, and focuses every day on presenting, preserving, and promoting the corporate vision of her employer, AnnieMac Home Mortgage.

Kelsey is a visionary who executes. She passionately shares her vision to help herself and others pave a path to their greatest selves.

Not long after graduating college, Kelsey joined AnnieMac where her strengths were quickly recognized, as was her commitment to learning everything about the mortgage business. She counts herself fortunate to be part of the AnnieMac nucleus and for having worn many hats throughout the organization. In 2016, she moved into a leadership role as the national business development manager and growth coach.

The role and the company have proven to be a great fit. Kelsey’s natural ability to make genuine connections to the job is recognized and valued as a strength she employs every day. She believes one of her greatest successes came with the decision to be true to her faith in business and personal relationships. Kelsey looks for the good and finds simplistic beauty all around. Learning, asking questions, and being willing to show the vulnerable, human side while making real ties to real people is how she chooses to live her life. Keeping her own dreams and vision alive is what allows her to bring the same vision to others.

This is evident in her comments about the company she promotes, “AnnieMac’s top priority, and mine, is to always serve others. We bring on highly productive mortgage producers filled with good character, rife with genuine intentions, and holders of hungry hearts to serve our national communities. I am a gatekeeper of AnnieMac. It is part of my task to protect the energy and culture we’ve worked hard to create. Mortgage is a flight or fight industry and I have front row seating to ensure our producers are here because it is their passion. We constantly help them hit new levels of growth.”

Certainly, AnnieMac President Joe Panebianco agrees. When we sat down to talk with Kelsey, he expanded on the vision he sees so clearly:

“COVID-19 has accelerated, in some cases by as much as five to ten years, the adoption and broad acceptance of technologies to streamline the home buying and mortgage origination process. The most obvious example of the former is the percentage of buyers who purchased homes through virtual tours and limited access to desired properties. This was almost unimaginable 12 months ago.

An example for the latter is Digital Closings (e-closings). States and investors fast tracked this technology during the initial months of COVID. It is a process (especially for certain states) which would not have become a reality in a non-COVID world. It is an example of human ingenuity and adaptability at its finest.

Having said that, some things are still so ingrained (after millions of years of evolution) inside human DNA that can’t be digitized. Trust, acceptance, and relationships are integral to human survival. These qualities, the option for human contact, becomes even more important as technology overtakes even more aspects of our life. Those who believe you can shortcut your way to relationships, be forewarned.”

Kelsey agrees saying, “We are creating mega producers. Even more important, we release top performers from the chains of the business and create space for self-discovery and time with their families. As an industry, we are on a technology journey. Technology cannot replace human interaction. However, we can use technology to cast a wider net and improve the lives we touch.”

The mortgage industry is a lucrative business offering, for many, virtually unlimited earnings ceilings. This is not a secret. Kelsey is proud of the role she plays in taking hard workers off their hamster wheels and setting them on a scalable path.

She is a big believer in emotional intelligence and encourages learning and using proven techniques to open minds and hearts. By studying the behaviors and best practices of the superstars in the industry, it quickly becomes clear it’s not superpowers they possess, rather smart work habits that win the day. Kelsey believes people do business with people, not companies. When we are authentically and genuinely ourselves, the right people are drawn by the positive energy and strong foundation laid by self-belief.

Kelsey is on a journey to find balance and inner peace. On a personal note, she hopes to be the same kind of amazing mother she credits her own mother with being and to “experience and live my moments and follow God’s purpose.” For now, she is happy being a Toy Poodle mommy, a sister, a daughter, and a fiance. As the eldest of three siblings, she counts on family as her center. Just for fun, she enjoys writing guided meditations, learning Portuguese, giving time in missionary work, being physically active with boxing, cycling, and Tabata, and she admits to a secret passion for interior design.

“My mother,” Kelsey says, “was a stay-at-home super mom! She’s my best friend and the most selfless person I know. Because of her, my faith was developed at a young age and I quickly learned the power in mindset, the law of attraction, and how God moves in our lives. One of my biggest whys is to give back to my family, just as they have given the world to me.”

Kelsey credits Gercino Soares, her partner in love, with providing a solid life anchor. Their shared passions for personal development and assisting others along the trail to success translate into a foundation built on shared ambition, loyalty, and love. He is Kelsey’s biggest fan. As a Real estate investor and business owner, he understands the demands of this business. “The opportunity to build the AnnieMac Kingdom with the man of my dreams,” Kelsey shares, “ has matched every vision I’ve ever had for myself and a future partner. God willing, we tie the knot in May of 2022 and continue our happy ever after!”

On the business side, Kelsey defers to the boss she greatly admires, Joe Panebianco, who had this to say when asked about the importance of goals in business:

“The common answer when asked about goals for a business is to say something like, ‘To create shareholder value by providing the best experience possible for our borrowers and referral partners,’ or some comparably familiar CEO quote. While this is a noble and important statement, I’d challenge your readership to educate themselves on and to consider the benefits of the Conscious Capitalism movement. This philosophy is best demonstrated by the classic debate (easily available on YouTube and well worth the watch) between Whole Foods founder John Mackey and the great economist Milton Friedman.

This school of thought states companies who focus their efforts strictly on shareholder value are missing critical stakeholders. As such, the main goal of business is not profit, it is the consideration of all your stakeholders which include but are not limited to your employees, your business partners, your clients, and all of society.

This is not a new concept; in fact, 2,000 years ago the stoics understood this well. Its benefit is best exemplified in Marcus Aurelius’ long lost sentiment, ‘What is not good for the hive is no good for the bee.’

The direct and indirect benefits of this approach, when accurately measured and given the proper values, are far superior to the profit-at-all-cost approach.”

As we continued discussing AnnieMac and the industry, Panebianco continued, offering these words of advice:

“This might bring a smile to your face. I recall watching Mike Tyson in an interview being asked about how an opponent might best plan for a fight with him. The memorable response this elicited from the former and possibly best heavy weight champion ever was this: ‘Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.’ The mortgage industry is a near perfect analogue of boxing. You prepare, you go in with a plan, you think you’re going to do X, Y or Z, and then the market, your competitors, the industry, the Fed, and Mother Nature all have the ability to punch you in the mouth. You plan of course, but those plans need to include what you do when the inevitable punch hits you square in the jaw. This dimension of business planning, what I call the pre-mortem, is what distinguishes the winners from the losers in this business and in this life.”

Clearly words to live by in both business and life and advice worth taking. Kelsey’s advice centers taking action to achieve the success you desire. She shares these three tips with our readers:

  1. Happiness is the real rich, health is the real wealth, kindness is the real cool, and peace of mind is the real bag.
  2. Listen to your intuition. Inner peace is the key to your success. Practice prayer or meditation near personal development books, they hold energy.
  3. Give yourself grace. Perfection doesn’t exist, and besides, the climb makes the view much better from the top.

“I will act now…” is a quote from Og Mandino. His words awaken my spirit! Action kills all anxiety, doubt, and fear. I have a passion for the unknown. Every unopened door leads to a new path. This quote reminds me of how blessed I am, and how we are all able to build the kingdom existing in our wildest dreams. Those who receive it are the ones who believe it, “This is the time, this is the place, I am the person.”

Kelsey believes in repeatedly pushing through the walls of resistance to act and make it a habit, as essential to life as breathing.

“I will act now. I will act now. I will act now. Henceforth, I will repeat these words each hour, each day, every day, until the words become as much a habit as my breathing, and the action which follows becomes as instinctive as the blinking of my eyelids. With these words I can condition my mind to perform every action necessary for my success. I will act now. I will repeat these words again and again and again. I will walk where failures fear to walk. I will work when failures seek rest. I will act now for now is all I have. Tomorrow is the day reserved for the labor of the lazy. I am not lazy. Tomorrow is the day when the failure will succeed. I am not a failure. I will act now. Success will not wait. If I delay, success will become wed to another and lost to me forever. This is the time. This is the place. I am the person.” Og Mandino

About the Author: Candy Zulkosky

Candy (CaZ) Zulkosky, known as the Writer Success Coach, wears many professional hats all gained through experience as a professional writer, editor, coach, marketer, educator, and entrepreneur.

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Written by: Grant LaViale

2020 was by far, hands down, the true test of all leaders.

I have always said it’s easy to be a leader during the good times, but what about when crap hits the fan? Like, let’s say, a worldwide pandemic. How do we lead during a time when people are forced to be isolated not knowing when things can or will go back to normal?

When COVID-19 hit, I asked myself this question, “Grant, how do you wish to be remembered when it’s all said and done?” Now months have passed, and I find myself considering how well I’ve performed as a leader. Did I step up, adapt to the situation, and possess strength for both my team and my family? Was I able to change or transform in response to people acting irrationally? Did I show more empathy and love and truly listen to what people around me were saying?

I am proud to say, “Yes!” I gave it my all. I turned negatives into positives and refused to allow toxic people to change my value structure.

Don’t get me wrong, this was not easy, and I had many difficult days like everyone else. The key for me though, was I acknowledged when I was having a difficult day, and I allowed myself to say it’s OK and yes, I am normal. I allowed myself to say to my team “I’m sorry, today I am having a difficult day.” This ensured they understood why my mood might be off for the moment. It wasn’t them; it was me.

2020 has taught me I am stronger and better than I even imagined. I was pushed by my coaches and stretched outside of my comfort zone to start writing articles and newsletters for the first time. Having one approved to be published in a magazine was an all-time first for me. And now, my confidence is growing even more. I was asked to be on the cover of The Vision, one of 2020 Vision for Success’s online magazines, which was the ultimate honor and pleasure, although I almost declined due to a major core value of mine which is being humble.

I was forced to constantly question myself on what I can do better. I have learned a true leader needs to adapt. I realized in 2020 that yes, I needed to be a leader, coach, mentor and therapist all in one! It has made me a better person both professionally as well as personally.

December thirty-first is a big deal for me and I always celebrate it to welcome the New Year. If someone would have said to me last December thirty-first, “Grant, in three months there will be a global pandemic, and you will actually move your family AND deal with other family issues,” I would have thought they had one too many drinks. I welcome 2021 with the same hope as in previous years. I hope to add value to the people around me, no matter the situation and know I go into this New Year as a better, more grateful individual who realizes God has his own plans for me.

I salute the leaders, regardless of their industry, for their willingness to be a servant leader who leads their teams with passion and grit, even when things may look dark.

About the Author: Grant LaViale

Originally born and raised in New York, moved from Northern California to Santa Barbara to attend UCSB and never left. Married and the father of three children has taught me many things. In my free time, I enjoy going to the gym in the early morning, going to the movies with my wife and family, and golfing with clients and friends.

I truly enjoy what I do and believe it’s the people and leadership that separates us and strengthens us, based on my experience in both the Mortgage and Banking Industry. It’s important to have a positive work culture and support structure in place, especially during difficult periods. I am committed to ensuring our clients and referral partners have only the best experience and advice possible.

I am a Non-Producing Area Manager working with Sales Managers and Loan Advisers for the Central Coast and Desert Communities who live by Integrity and Sincerity.

GET ON TARGET: Set Genius Goals for 2021

Written by: Executive Coach, Ray Befus

New Year’s resolutions are nice but rarely achieved. Goal setting is a better choice. SMART goals are much more effective than ordinary goals. Big rocks are very cool, but TARGET goals are genius! Let me start with my story.

I think a high school teacher might have been the first poor soul to persuade me to start forming personal goals and reaching for them. But who needs goals in college and graduate school? Teachers created my goals for me. Fortunately, I grew up with a strong work ethic so I spent most of my early career working harder than most of my peers and feeling good about my achievements. I wasn’t clear about my dreams though, and I wasn’t reaching for them in any systematic manner. I thought of goal setting sort of like a hobby I might get around to someday. I had no clue goals are the ladders we climb so dreams come true. I settled for other people’s vision of my success and worked extraordinarily hard to achieve it.

This did not change until I reached the top of that ladder and started feeling disoriented.

I didn’t feel the thrill of someone who had arrived. I was sure I should be thankful, but I wasn’t. I wasn’t where I had hoped to be. I felt cheated. I realized one day I had no one to blame. Upon the recommendation of a friend, I engaged an executive coach. His first step was to help me sort out my emotions and beliefs, uncover my blind spots, and come to grips with my limitless possibilities. And then, to launch me into an unprecedented future (no exaggeration), he introduced me to TARGET goal setting.

Before engaging with my coach, I had been muddled about what to do for several years. After setting a TARGET goal and going to work, within 90 days I was on the move again and created the turnaround experience that had eluded me for years.

Let me say it again, TARGET goal setting is genius. You can think of a TARGET goal as your dream or vision dressed in sweat-stained work clothes.

From my perspective, this single goal-setting system includes all the fuel we need to push past challenges, overcome threats, and take hold of a future worth living. Once you take hold of a TARGET goal, it won’t let you go! Your TARGET goal won’t just guide your daily activity; it will shape who you become.

TARGET is an acronym so let me walk you through the six distinctives. Several will be familiar; a few may be new. The combination is catalytic.

T stands for term. How much time will you need to accomplish your goal? What is the date for completion; the deadline? A goal without a finish line is just a wish.

A stands for attainable. Is your goal big enough to be risky and to inspire you to give your best effort? Great goals inspire us to become the best we can be! They scare us a little and excite us a lot. But great goals aren’t impossible. Ask yourself, “Is my goal really possible?” You don’t want to sabotage your effort by setting actions impossible to achieve. If you’re in doubt, you might want to ask a trusted friend for a second opinion.

R calls us to take responsibility. This is big! Are you ready to own your goal? Is it a “have to” or a “get to,” an obligation you feel forced to take on or an opportunity you are excited to seize? When you write out your TARGET goal and begin sharing it with others, you’re going to use the heart-felt declaration, “I choose” or “I will,” not “I really should” or “I have to.”  The words I will or I choose communicate you have freely chosen this goal as your own and are entirely committed to achieving it. Our words convey our belief systems and one of the reasons we do not follow through on our resolutions or complete our goals is a failure to take full responsibility for our choices, our time, our dreams, and our vision. People who adopt a victim mindset never reach their goals. Never.

G is for gusto. The word gusto describes “vigorous enjoyment.” Think of a party you’d give anything to attend. A party celebrating you! The room is filled with family, friends, co-workers, and gusto: big smiles, laughter, tears of joy, inspiring stories, crazy celebration for someone deeply loved and admired! 

Gusto is the gasoline empowering women and men, like me and you, to reach inspiring goals. From my perspective, I notice many well-meaning people launch into goals with gas tanks close to empty. This is to say many goals do not include a compelling emotional why. Why should I put in the hard work? Why should I make sacrifices? Why should I give this everything I’ve got?

Emotional engagement is the fuel we need for accomplishing great goals. So, the G in a TARGET goal prompts us to imagine a finish-line moment that deeply stirs our emotions. How deep? So deep simply imagining the moment can bring a tear to your eye or a shudder from deep within. Gusto calls us to drill down into our dreams or longings, deep enough to tap into personal passion.

Two generations ago, in his classic book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill wrote, “There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.” Underline those words, “…a burning desire to possess it.” That’s your gusto!

More recently, when writing his own book, Slight Edge, Jeff Olson echoed Napoleon Hill as he wrote, “Burning is not a comfortable thing.” “Wanting hurts.” “That pain of wanting, the burning desire to possess what you lack, is one of the greatest allies you have. It is a force you can harness to create whatever you want in your life.” “You can palpably feel your dreams…tugging at your present circumstances….”

When people like us start but don’t finish, try but don’t achieve, two ingredients frequently missing are the R and the G in TARGET goal setting: Responsibility and Gusto.

The E in TARGET stands for exact. You’re going to craft your goal statement with specific, measurable markers or milestones. Instead of expressing an undefined desire you’re going to be very specific. We often state nebulous desires, such as “I want to lose weight” or “I want to make more money.” Instead, be exact saying, “I choose to release 25 pounds by July 1st because…” or “I choose to earn an additional $25,000 on top of my present income by December 31st because….” As an old football coach once observed, “The trouble with a goal that isn’t exact is that you can run up and down the field all season long and never score.”

T stands for tactics. Right from the start, you are going to identify three or four strategic activities you are going to use to pursue your goal. Some tactics may be most effective in sequence. Other tactics may serve you well the entire duration of your journey. Effective tactics are vital, but they aren’t sacred. So be prepared to adjust or change your tactics whenever they begin to lose their effectiveness in moving you toward your finish line.

So, what does a complete TARGET Goal look like? If you were an agricultural salesman in Nebraska this might be the way you would write out your TARGET goal.


By December 31, 2021, I will achieve $1.8 million in agricultural sales: $600K of fertilizer by the end of April, $600K of fungicide and growth regulator by the end of June, and $600K of lime, herbicide, and other products by December 31st. To accomplish this goal, I will:


  1. Update and analyze soil samples of all my customers by February 24th.
  2. Write up fertilizer blend recommendations based on soil samples by March 8th.
  3. Make appointments with all my customers to present recommendations by March 10th.
  4. Apply first round of dry fertilizer by March 30th.
  5. Apply second round of liquid fertilizer by April 30th. 


Because I want to experience the thrill setting a new sales benchmark for myself and my career, strengthening a company I really love, enjoy increased income through commissions and bonuses, and see the smile on my wife’s face (and tears) when I tell her it’s time to begin drawing up the plans for the house of her dreams.

Do you think this fellow, not so different than you, has a great chance of reaching his goal? Yes, I do!

If you want help stepping into the discipline of TARGET goal setting, ask a coach for help. There are additional in-between-the-lines insights to support your success. Let’s give Andrew Carnegie the final word on creating our own TARGET for 2021: “If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.”

About the Author: Ray Befus

Ray Befus has spent his entire career in leadership development. He’s folded this lifetime of experience into his coaching enterprise—HIGHPOINT Training and Coaching. He is a member of the International Coaching Federation and now serves as one of 20/20 Vision for Success’ adjunct coaches. In his own work, he continues to provide executive coaching for professionals, business leaders, and their teams both nationally and internationally—helping clients overcome self-doubt, reclaim their best selves, and rise to their next level. Ray lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he enjoys life with his wife Carol, four married children and thirteen grandchildren. When he’s not coaching and training, he enjoys motorcycling, playing guitar, and camping.


An Interview with Nicole Peraino

This month I had the pleasure of interviewing Nicole Peraino, creative director of the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME). Nicole graduated college with a degree in television, film, and journalism. At the time it was called new media, it was a minor, and it was the start of social media marketing. The online video class taught HTML/CSS and how to embed video into websites. She and her classmates produced a blog, learned how to build websites, and discovered what captivates an audience. At the time, this was a new avenue of marketing and it was gaining popularity fast.

Nicole always wanted to work in TV, and she was thrilled when she landed a job at a local Fox affiliate airing on Fox 5 in New York City and Fox 29 in Philadelphia. She started as a camera operator and learned to do graphic design and video editing. Every night they produced a live show called Chasing News, which taught her how to work in a fast-paced environment. Her team came in every day to gather the stories and send the reporters out to cover them. Guests would also come into the studio in Trenton, NJ.

Nicole was able to use her creativity in this role. Even though Chasing News was affiliated under the Fox local stations, her team enjoyed the freedom of running their own production company. They operated outside the rules normally governing a typical nightly news show. Their reporters were in the real world with GoPros and cell phones catching everyday life.

Over the course of three years Nicole moved through a variety of different roles, often moving between roles on the same day. Most days she was on set with the other camera operators, behind the scenes as assistant editor, and sometimes she would go produce the story herself. It was a full circle of experience. She could be in front of the camera and editing the video all in the same story. This was a great way to expand her knowledge base and gain invaluable experience. The show was low budget and when the ratings dropped, it was decided to put the cameras on tripods, thus eliminating her job, and she was laid off.

After Chasing News, Nicole went back to freelancing doing weddings and similar work until she went to work for a gentleman who had his own production company in Howell, NJ. They would go into NYC for big galas where she would film the event, interview people there, and produce a final video. She continued to hone her skills doing more camera work and editing videos for large events. Unfortunately, the media world has its ups and downs and the same thing happened with this position; he did not have the budget to keep her on staff.

Then one day Nicole stumbled upon a LinkedIn message from AIME looking for exactly what she had been doing over the course of the last few years.

Nicole was excited! She felt this was her chance to take her schooling and experience and bring it to the mortgage world. Nicole would have the opportunity to design her own production studio and have a say in how to create and distribute fresh content while having a stable, full-time position.

As she considered the potential for this job, Nicole remembers thinking, “Is it possible to have a full-time video and creative role in the mortgage industry?” The answer she found to be, “Yes!”

She started at AIME March 2018 as a novice to the mortgage community and eager to meld her video world with the need for mortgage to embrace the communication tools offered by film. It did not take long for her curiosity to kick in. As she heard mortgage terms like LTV, DTI, and FHA, her questions quickly followed, and she immersed herself in learning a new industry.

Nicole had recently purchased her first home and remembered feeling confused and concerned over the process. She saw this as her chance to help mortgage professionals connect with their borrowers and their referral partners through video and media in a fun and simplistic way.

Two weeks after she started, she became part of the team planning AIME’s first regional event in Orange County, California. At this point Nicole did not have a full understanding of AIME’s mission. She was told to bring all the camera equipment she had and was tasked with filming the entire event. She was instructed to take pictures and videos of everything, and they would post it on every social media platform.

Nicole understood what everything meant, having learned how to cover big events when she was going to New York City filming galas. Her past experiences had been preparing her for this day. She packed up all the equipment, stepped onto the plane, and showed up at the hotel in California ready to work.

This was the first time she met Mark Summers, the president of AIME. At this point she had no idea what goes into putting on a mortgage conference. She had attended other conferences, but she had never worked behind the scenes of an event. She will never forget AIME’s first event, because of the way the team came together.

Nicole was running around with three different cameras trying to capture everything she could while watching the presenters, panel discussions, and keynotes. It was a great way for her to gain a full understanding of AIME’s overall mission. This was the first time independent mortgage brokers came together in this way to collaborate, support, and grow together.

I also must mention this is the event where Nicole and I met. I remember her giving me advice on how to properly sit on a stool on stage in a dress. I immediately knew I was in the presence of an expert, and I have shared her instructions with many ladies in our industry.

When Nicole returned to the office, AIME made the decision to grow her team and she was promoted to creative director. This opportunity pushed the envelope of her comfort zone as Nicole found herself interviewing graphic designers and building a full creative team. The momentum built quickly. She learned about mortgages while following the AIME team like a paparazzi taking pictures of meetings with realtors and lender partners.

Nicole appreciates the first-hand view of the relationship between mortgage brokers and real estate agents this opportunity has provided for her. A natural curiosity and desire to learn led her to increased engagement and made her better at everything in her career. When she shoots video or takes a still photograph, she feels she can take the best shot because she understands the people she is capturing.

I agree with Nicole. Personally, I believe creativity starts with curiosity and when you combine empathy and a connection, the care you feel about those being featured on film is evident. This connection is the difference between being a technician and an artist. It is apparent in the result how you care about your team and your partners enough to show them in their best light. I think women have an abundance of these qualities. It comes naturally and there were times in my career when I was pushed out of my comfort zone but staying true to my curiosity allowed me to flourish.

“I am proud of the special relationships I’ve developed through the Brokers Are Better (BAB) group. As my team grew, we became better and better with identifying and delivering our content, as well as improving our design and production quality. When I was free lancing I was working at a lower level, my boss made the decisions, and I had to follow his vision. With AIME I entered a whole new world because AIME did not have a creative background. They were mortgage people counting on me to deliver the creativity. Therefore, I was able to drive the vision.”

Nicole has learned valuable lessons in her time with AIME, beyond the experience she brought to the job. She would like to share her top lessons:

  1. Speak the same language with your team and your audience. This is in everything, whether it’s mortgages or media. When you do not speak the same language then you do not communicate effectively. Simplify whenever possible. For example, I have become a personality within the broker community by providing information in a comedic way. I have become relatable and non-threatening by being fun. I create an environment where people are being entertained and informed at the same time. One of my greatest skills is an ability to communicate my message to different audiences. That is a true gift.
  2. Do not take yourself too seriously. People have been telling me all my life not to change, keep smiling, and keep being happy. I have always kept the child-like wonder, asked lots of questions, and never lost my curiosity. I have filled my home with sayings and positive words that encourage me when I have times of insecurity or anxiety. I also put a strong focus on gratitude. Everything I have done has led to this point in time, teaching me lessons along the way I need to grow and flourish.
  3. Embrace your gifts and share them with the world. I started to realize I had a gift of embracing life and spreading joy. I believe everyone has natural gifts they work hard to unlock. Everyone has talents and gifts, but often we have a thick layer of fear. Ignore the little voice when it says, “Oh, I don’t want to show my real self because I might be rejected.” We need to let go of our inhibitions and fall naturally into place instead of making ourselves something we are not.
  4. Be your true self. It wasn’t until recently I realized I’m at my best when I lean into my true self. I used to hate not being taken seriously. I resented being underestimated or considered naïve because of my facial expressions or how I laugh at life. Now I understand it starts with loving yourself and I am proud to share I love who I am and no one is ever going to change me.

Nicole is a woman striving every day to grow and learn. She embraces life with joy and vigor. And it is with a glad heart I share Nicole’s recent news. She is moving from AIME to accept a new challenge as the business-to-business marketing team lead for U-Mortgage where her primary focus will be on real estate agent partnerships. Congratulations, Nicole, as you use the skills mastered at AIME for your next chapter.

About the Author: Laura Brandao

Laura is the driving force that has catapulted AFR Wholesale to the top of Manufactured Home and Renovation lending in the USA. She has seamlessly rolled out new products based on market demand, including VA renovation, USDA repair escrow, and One-Time Close construction to permanent loans for FHA, VA, and USDA. Laura’s hands-on approach also propels AFR to remain on the cutting edge of technology with mobile-friendly applications that cohesively integrate the borrower, realtor, broker, and AFR.

This year, Laura has already been featured as one of The 10 Most Influential Businesswomen to Follow in 2020 and among The 20 Most Successful Businesswomen to Watch, 2020 by Insights Success magazine. Laura was among the 50 Best Women in Business named by NJBIZ in 2019, has been recognized as a HousingWire Women of Influence for the last three years, and named one of Mortgage Banking’s Most Powerful Women by National Mortgage Professional. Laura has also been one of Mortgage Professional America’s Hot 100 Mortgage Professionals in 2017, and an Elite Women of Mortgage in 2014, 2016 and again in 2017.

Laura is also actively engaged with a number of organizations and initiatives including the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts and is one of the founders of AIME’s Women’s Mortgage Network (WMN).


Holidays, stress, post-holidays, even more stress. Who has time to take care of themself? You do! Jenny Mason’s V-Factor column in this issue of WWV Mag talks about the importance of resolve in creating a rewarding life. I propose we apply the same principles she outlines and resolve to create (or improve) a healthy lifestyle.

What exactly is a healthy lifestyle?

Truly, it is a little different for each person. Overall, think of the phrase healthy lifestyle as a definition, or maybe a description and certainly a plan of how you should live if you want to experience a vibrant, active life with a healthy body and healthy mind.

Creating a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to include drastic changes. Gradual, small changes to diet and activity habits make amazing inroads and can have a big impact.

What does a healthy lifestyle look like?

The obvious, expected response describes behaviors to avoid known causes of poor health or illness. A healthy person avoids smoke, their own and second hand, maintains a healthy weight, and eats a variety of foods including plenty of fruits, vegetables, and fiber. Exercise is a given and necessary for both health and life. We are meant to move.

It is some of the other behaviors and elements of daily life I’d like to focus on. In creating a healthy lifestyle, it is important to consider stress management, both quantity and quality of sleep, quantity of alcohol ingestion and partying, and the level of activity maintained. A healthy person manages stress, receives good quality sleep each night, doesn’t drink too much, and doesn’t sit too much. The healthy person basically does everything in moderation all the time.

When I look at the list and think about the world we live in, I wonder how anyone is healthy. Pandemic aside, our society and technology create challenges to health even as it improves longevity. The daily level of stress in our lives is higher for us than it was for ancestors. We hope you will take a few minutes to enjoy the pictures in this feature and reflect on the calm and peaceful (albeit cold) nature of the winter scape and people enjoying themselves.

There’s more good news, too! You don’t have to change everything at the same time. The trick to healthy living is small changes, adding a step or two each day to build new habits. It can be the smallest step. Say you add fruit to your cereal instead of sugar. Swap out the third cup of coffee with an extra glass of water. Say no to the seconds at the dinner table. Set a timer to alert you to stand up from your desk every 45 minutes throughout the day. Moving more is perhaps the most significant behavior you can adopt or add.

Benefits of Physical Activity

Yeah! It’s the first of the year. A great time to join a gym and start on your fabulous exercise plan, right? Work with a personal trainer and commit! Commit! Commit! Right? I’m curious; how do you think your plan is working for you? If you are like most of us, not so great. You know you need to exercise, but there are many excuses not to do it. You’re too busy, you don’t know where to start, you’re not motivated, or you’re afraid you’ll injure yourself. Maybe you think exercise must be hard or it isn’t good enough. You fill in the blank. And when your great plan falls through, remember this simple thought:

Moderate activities, simply daily life activities like chores, gardening, and walking make a difference. Slow and steady wins the race.

Whatever definition you have about what exercise is or isn’t, the bottom line is exercise is movement. Whether it’s walking around the block or running a marathon, movement is exercise and every time you move more than you normally do, it counts.

The great thing about moving is a few minutes a day has lasting benefits which you may not even be aware of. Increasing your movement:

  • Enhance self-esteem.
  • Helps maintain flexibility as you age.
  • Improves joint stability.
  • Improves memory in elderly people.
  • Improves mood and reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • Increases and improves range of motion.
  • Maintains bone mass.
  • Prevents osteoporosis and fractures.
  • Reduces stress.
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

How to Increase Physical Activity

Are you familiar with Yoda? One of my favorite sayings from the character is, “Do or do not. There is no try.” I cannot tell you how to increase your physical activity. I can tell you it comes down to simply moving. Do or do not. Start the process by adding a little more activity to your life. If you’re not ready for a structured program, start small.

In addition to exercise, these tips may be helpful:

  • Reduce Screen Time; replace with an activity.
  • Take Fun Walks.
  • Increase Daily Steps.
  • Do Some Chores.
  • Make a list of all the physical activities you do on a typical day and look for places to inject movement or activity.

We are creatures of habit and as such resist change. Adapting to change and creating a habit is easier when it doesn’t require you to overhaul your entire life. Choose one thing and work on the one thing every day and let the rest of your life and habits stay the same. You may be surprised how those small changes really can make a difference.


Written by Jenny Mason

It’s the time of year when we talk about personal and professional resolutions, goals, and things we want to change and accomplish. In the beginning, looking ahead with fresh hope for the coming year, we are energetic and filled with intention. How often have you (make that we) lost our good intentions within a short time? This is a sad truth for most of us, and one easily changed.

Turning resolutions into achievements begins with vision: the ability to see our path and our goals clearly. Vision drives our imagination which fuels inspiration and implementation. Why is it implementation often peters off to inaction? Action feeds our vision, our goals, our dreams, and enables us to achieve our aspirations.

At this time of the year, you may join the millions who make resolutions. Let’s take a moment to look at the word resolution. It’s often thrown around loosely in passing and not fully understood. At the core of the word is resolute, to make your resolutions come to pass, you must be resolute.

Resolve to set your intentions. Resolve to clarify your vision. Be resolute in acting.

Last year at this time, I knew I wasn’t living out my purpose. I knew myself to be blessed and happy to, seemingly, have it all. I have a wonderful, healthy family who love me to the Tetons and back. I’m healthy, growing stronger mentally, physically, and spiritually every day. Yet, I recognized something was missing. I asked myself, “What do you love to do?” In discovering the answer to this deceptively simple question, I decided to step out of my comfort zone into the blustery air, set my goals, and create a plan.

Early in 2020, about the time most New Year’s Resolutions devolve, I was contemplating my business life, not feeling fulfilled, and struggling with my plan. I decided to reach out to a friend who arranged for a conversation with the regional leader of a company I wanted to work for. It was a great meeting, but no positions were available. Two nights later I had a dream of me working alongside the company’s CEO, walking in dirt fields planting and harvesting, enjoying people’s smiles, and hearing echoes of rejoicing.

This had never happened to me before. I felt certain I was supposed to join this company. Over the next months, I reached out, knocking consistently, with no doors opening. The rewards weren’t instantaneous. Every day, no matter how I felt, I put myself out into the world, pushing against my doubts and fears, keeping the vision and the destination, clearly in view.

One morning I woke up with the word RESOLUTE stuck in my head. I got up and wrote it down and placed it on my vision board next to my desk. I continued to reach out to the company for months with barely a glimmer of hope. Then, in month nine, I knocked again and the door opened to exactly where I was supposed to be. It’s a beautiful thing when your passion and career come together.

Being resolute begins with understanding your why. When driven by purpose we have more success, personally and professionally. What drives your vision? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? How would the world be bettered by your purpose?

What sets your soul on fire? The more purpose the greater the fire. When our lives line up with our core beliefs, being resolute and continuing to act upon our values allows us to experience much more than a life of success; it will be a life of significance. Who must you fearlessly become and what must you fearlessly do to accomplish your vision?

The good news is no matter how far off track, how old you are, or how stuck you feel, it’s not too late to map out your purpose and fulfill it. Keep your destination firmly in mind. Define your path and when you stray off course, anchor yourself in resoluteness and perseverance.

My word for 2021 is RESOLUTE. If you make a resolution, be resolute and unwavering about your vision, your goals, and your aspirations. Act. Be resolute and stoke your fires continually. Here’s to a year of being resolute!

About the Author: Jenny Mason

Jenny Mason is a woman of faith, married to her soulmate and best friend for almost 30 years and is the mother of three amazing kids. She has maintained a successful sales career for over 30 years, even though her college career was dedicated to athletic coaching.

Jenny has been a competitive athlete for most of her life and holds a deep passion in helping people overcome limiting beliefs and learn to live life more abundantly –  physically, mentally, and spiritually. This last year she furthered her education in coaching by becoming certified as a health, life, and wellness coach as well as a Corrective Exercise Specialist.

Jenny is one of the many incredible Executive Coaches at 20/20 VSC.

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Written by Christine Beckwith

While much of the country, world in truth, has suffered a business drought brought on by the pandemic, the mortgage and real estate industry has experienced quite the opposite. Think back to March 2020 when the boat shook hard, we were definitely on alert. We were surrounded by unprecedented news: we must work from home, interest rates were volatile, and forbearance flood gates opening at the onset of COVID-19 forced unemployment. Every mortgage professional in our field was suddenly uncertain of 2020 and what it would bring, never mind the human fears we all possessed and still feel in a world surrounded by illness, death, and despair.

Fast forward to December and a bit of brow wiping in relief. For the majority in our business, we made the transition with little-to-no effect on the business. In fact, the mortgage industry has experienced record-breaking volumes due to Americans seeking financial support in the form of refinances for various financial solutions. Homebuying continued at a pace remaining so steadfast inventory continues to be unable to keep up with the millennial buying pool. By all measures, the mortgage industry has demand and that has left us, as investors of real estate and providers of mortgage finance, in a lucrative position.

Where will we be in 2021?

Here at 20/20 Vision for Success (VSC), we have left nothing to chance in providing our students and followers with the answers to this question. Recently, we were lucky to assemble an incredibly experienced group of leaders whose knowledge and experience we gave to our audience. This intense virtual workshop was designed to allow our students and any person interested in business building a look at all facets of their 2021 business. The annual event was labeled What’s the Big Deal? The speaker lineup was spectacular:

  • Sales Strategy by Christine Beckwith president of 20/20 Vision for Success Coaching
  • Marketing Strategy by Jason Frazier chief of strategy for EPM Mortgage
  • Economic Strategy by Barry Habib CEO of MBS Highway
  • Execution Strategy by Laura Brandao president of AFR Mortgage
  • Competitive Strategy by Mike Kortas CEO of NEXA Mortgage

Without giving away what you will learn in listening to this amazing planning event, I will tell you it is hope and excitement for the year ahead, as well as solid, practical advice. Take a listen for yourself and experience the edge only 20/20 VSC students receive.

You’re invited to be our guest and please watch the highly acclaimed 2021 Planning Event sponsored and brought to you by 20/20 Vision for Success Coaching. Send us a note about your takeaway after listening, or post about it and tag us.

WBD Speakers
About the Author: Christine Beckwith

Christine “Buffy” Beckwith is an Award-Winning Executive Sales Leader who has spent the past 30 years in the Mortgage finance industry. Her life and career are filled with a progression of success stories that reach all the way back to her childhood. A Best Selling and Award-Winning Author, Christine branched out in 2018 to begin her dream job as the Founder and President of 20/20 Vision for Success Coaching & Consulting. After breaking glass ceilings in the Mortgage & Banking Industry, Christine now is a columnist for professional magazines and is a special correspondent anchoring the news and interviewing experts in her industry. She is an advocate for women, dedicating a complete division in her own company to the cause and communities she touches at a vast level.

Christine spends her days on the national speaking circuit, lecturing on topics focused on sharing her expertise in finance while highlighting her personal stories of inspiration and motivation to deliver both tactical and practical advice. Breaking mainstream in 2019 Christine has appeared on huge stages to speak, kicking off the year at the Miami Garden Stadium with Gary Vaynerchuk Agent2021 as the Real Estate Expert Panel Moderator. Among her many speaking engagements recently, she has spoken at the Anaheim Convention center in Los Angeles, The Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City, NJ and for multiple prestigious organizations and media companies.

Christine will tell you that writing, teaching, and speaking are at the core of who she is, and her legacy work with a commitment of making a difference in the lives of professionals and youth everywhere.

Christine is a mother, a girlfriend, a daughter, a sister & an aunt, a homemaker, and a lover of laughter, good health, home & heritage. She calls herself a happy human.

Mortgage X Podcast

On this episode Matthew Boyce of Garden State Home Loans, joins Christine and Frazier to have a no BS talk about what MLOs are leaving on the table. Matthew talks about how MLOs are sacrificing relationships for the low hanging fruit and ignoring one of their most important assets, which is their customer database.

About Mortgage X

Christine Beckwith of 20/20 Vision for Success Coaching and Jason Frazier of Mortgage X Creative bring you the Mortgage X Podcast. Guests range from visionaries working hard to evolve our industry to meet the needs of the modern consumer to the industry’s biggest producers, advocates, legends, thought leaders, partners, and lenders.

Coaching is about building a foundation for results and knowing how to step into action based on that foundation. Turning vision into reality requires trust that the bedrock beneath the vision is sound. Coaching with 20/20 Vision begins by building and strengthening your foundation and ensures you remain focused on the vision for success.


Vonk Digital, an industry leader in website and marketing tools for mortgage originators across America, is a proud sponsor and hosting partner of Women With Vision Magazine.

To learn how Vonk Digital can help you leverage the “New Way” to build your brand, authority & credibility with our website platform and tools visit us at

Win or Learn—The Naked Truth presents the collective power of leading ladies, 14 of the highest-ranking women executives in the banking industry, who have moved the needle in the banking industry to break glass ceilings and run multibillion-dollar companies.

From the helms of their respective companies, these leaders, teachers, and sisters are bonded by a collective journey carved out of un-broken ground. Filled with moving words written by women who trudged paths in silence for decades, the purposeful release of these powerful stories will charge and change a generation to come.

For information on these and other events contact us at

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