Women’s Mortgage Network – The Story Begins…
Empowering A New Generation of Female Mortgage Professionals, Laura Brandao and the Associated Independent Mortgage Experts unite to create a new community of powerful women sales professionals, read their inspiring foundational story here in the pages of WWVMag.
Women With Vision On the Road
Women With Vision went on the road to Chicago, IL in early March to hold its first market area Dinner Lecture!
Spotlight on Women With Vision 2019 Award Winners
It is our pleasure and honor in this issue of WWVMag to refocus the spotlight on women’s professional development and accomplishments.
Spotlight on WWV Student: Tricia Parker
It gives me extreme pleasure to shed light on the behind-the-scenes power of executive leader Tricia Parker!
Recommended Reading: Books, Books, and More!
Words are powerful change agents that help us transcend to a place where learning and dreaming can occur…
Written by: Christine Beckwith
The strength of our female communities in the mortgage and banking industry has been growing in recent years, both in numbers and participation. As a female professional having lived and survived in the mortgage finance space for over 30 years, I have watched teary-eyed as these communities emerge and thrive, each bringing more power and confidence to up-and-coming female professionals. Lending our voices to their careers, we have carved a new path and cemented a new future that will help women get the attention we have long deserved.
As a member of many professional communities, like mPower led by Marcia Davies, COO of MBA Direction, and Women in the Housing and Real Estate Ecosystem led by CEO Desiree Patno, I get a bird’s eye view into how each community creates an environment of growth, inclusion, and recognition. My own business school and women’s coaching division, Women With Vision, lends its voice to the community and adds a tactical support system to the power of these advocacy groups.
The message was poignantly clear as each woman held up a sign representing a single word that powerfully articulated an emotion of strength and beauty in themselves. Voices were heard. Words were spoken, shared, and discussed. Power was felt and unleashed.
Suffice it to say, the more the merrier in this realm! Out of the shadows in the past six months, the group I highlight today has risen: Women’s Mortgage Network (WMN). The network was created to provide a needed voice, under the direction of the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME). WMN sprang from the mind and heart of Laura Brandao (President of AFR Wholesale) and is managed by AIME senior leader, Katie Sweeney (EVP of Strategy), and her team. The combined efforts of these women have conceptualized the vision and future of this incredibly powerful group. The women at AIME support the vitality and integrity of this new women’s leadership group and the entire independent mortgage broker channel.
Over the past year, I have watched AIME—with the inclusion of their first female executive, Katie Sweeney—take the association to new heights. Katie has added a clear sense of branding and camaraderie that compliments the already powerful organization. She has simply made the entire trade association more polished.
I asked Katie about WMN and she said, “There was a need for a female affinity group in the channel, and Laura Brandao was a champion for it from the start. I am so happy to watch it grow and offer group members a place to find common ground with each other.”
A Vision Becomes Reality
I have had the pleasure of watching Laura speaking on stage in recent years. She is a powerhouse, full of high energy and most importantly, purpose. I have been in the audience of at least six events where she spoke and have shared the podium with Laura on stage on numerous occasions. She is a standout amongst her counterparts, male and female. Laura has proven repeatedly that she can hold her own. She is an experienced, confident, and integral part of our industry who, with WMN, has the platform to show up and help us change the trajectory of our profession by listening to her advice, experiences, and teaching.
A story is told about a time, a few years back, when Laura saw the innate value of an event hosted by women and for women. She requested to sponsor the AIME Women’s Affinity Group, an event to be held the evening before the AIME Fuse National Conference in 2018. The event proved to be the start of a powerful movement in the mortgage industry; one in which women shared, supported, and succeeded amongst their female colleagues.
The group continued to grow over the course of the following year and in 2019, AFR Wholesale again requested to sponsor a women-focused event. This time it was a panel discussion featuring female brokers. The energy, enthusiasm, and authenticity that stemmed from that event made one thing clear to Laura Brandao—that there was a true void in the industry. Women wanted and needed a network of support, education, and mentorship where they could express their challenges and triumphs to other women in the industry. On the plane ride home, Laura excitedly developed the plan for the Women’s Mortgage Network. As soon as she returned home, she called up Anthony Casa, chairman of AIME, explained her idea, and with his whole-hearted support, began building a strategy and call-to-action that would bring this vision to life.
An Event Both Remarkable and Memorable
With many thanks to the ladies on the AIME team for coordinating the event, AIME’s Inaugural WMN event was held on March 4, 2020, in Irvine, CA, the day before the AIME Activate regional conference. Fifty women were hand-selected by AIME to attend and thus invited to become the leaders and mentors of the network moving forward. The event featured a full day’s agenda packed with speakers, panel discussions, and interactive marketing tasks.
One speaker at the event was thought leader and author of Gender Physics, Betty-Ann Heggie. Laura connected with Betty-Ann when she appeared as a guest on Laura’s podcast, Positively Charged. It occurred to Laura then that Betty-Ann would be perfect to speak at the Women’s Mortgage Network event! And she was right. Speaking at the event, Betty-Ann and Laura discussed the subject of gender dynamics and explored the presence of both masculine and feminine energies inside every one of us, and how to freely express our best selves in any situation
During this event, a bond formed through commonalities in women’s everyday battles to run their businesses, earn respect as female business owners and stake their claim in an industry that is predominantly male. This bond was felt and seen by all involved with their newly formed group. Women also found community in their shared experience of having ‘walked the walk’ for years. The day gave way to shared stories and confidential collaboration to create a unity of 50 women leaders pledging that their voices would be heard, that their organization would recognize them, and help them elevate their own voice, advocacy, and community. The message was poignantly clear as each woman held up a sign that represented a single word that powerfully articulated an emotion of strength and beauty in themselves. Voices were heard. Words were spoken, shared, and discussed. Power was felt and unleashed.
…it’s no surprise to find wonderfully powerful women there; leaders without titles, queens without crowns, putting food on their tables, raising children and running their day-to-day businesses…
The Women’s Mortgage Network embarked on a journey that day that many female professionals can only hope to be a part of; one of self-development, self-discovery, and sought-after self-growth. The unity of these 50 women is the foundation for what could become one of the largest groups of professional women in our space. A network to change the lives of professionals who join them. Women eager to be stronger as a community than any individual can be. They will rely on each other to find their foothold in a forever challenged –and challenging – industry of mortgage finance.
The makeup of this group is diverse and powerful. The greatest minority in our field exists in the sales trenches, so it’s no surprise to find wonderfully powerful women there; leaders without titles, queens without crowns, putting food on their tables, raising children and running their day-to-day businesses, all while bringing tremendous power to the AIME community.
In addition to Laura Brandao, two of AIME’s brokers are the recipients of the prestigious Women With Vision Annual Award, named amongst 50 of the giant female leaders across the country. Both brokers and owners of their own companies, Lisa Lund and Michelle Dugan represent incredible strength to their peers. Having received their awards in person in Tampa last September, these women stepped on stage with some of the biggest executive leaders in the industry to accept the honor of the award. They were surprised by AIME’s president, Marc Summers, who came from behind the stage to walk out and give them their award, showing the commitment of the AIME organization in its quest to help and honor those who serve their communities so well.
As this article hits the airwaves, the women of the newly established Women’s Mortgage Network are out there fighting to hold their own, their business impacted by the Coronavirus global pandemic. They are showing up every day for their families, for their employees, and to make home-buying a reality for their clients.
A Challenge for the Future
Their diligent leader, Chairman Anthony Casa, continues to lend this association his keen insight and direction. As an outsider looking in, and after two years riding along as a journalist and now partner, I can tell you that the members of this organization are loyal. This business channel has a clear purpose and story to tell, and they are telling it each and every day. Despite the hard-hitting impact of the current market volatility, they are rallying and unified and I have no doubt that they will remain united until they ultimately come out on the other side. This trade organization represents members in government lobbying against unfair regulation that stands to hurt the consumer. Once coined the channel that had done the most harm to the industry and falsely blamed for lack of regulation, independent mortgage brokers have emerged in the last decade under the direction of AIME to be a true partner with tremendous power to lend to our quest for consumer excellence. And, in an incredible turn of events, we see them shoulder to shoulder with their competition; the prior state of division set aside for the cause. They are for the first time in history being brought to the table to share their voices in a fight for correction of federal aid that has left the mortgage industry reeling: the impact of mortgage forbearance.
As the months roll on, we all have a battle ahead to regain control and grow market share. We can count on this trade organization to bring that fight in every way they can. We should expect to see more of the Women’s Mortgage Network in meaningful ways. I can’t wait to come back and update everyone on the work that they are doing.
I challenge our mortgage industry to embrace the women of this group and bring them to the broader stages and tables of the industry. Include them in the future of our unified cause and drive for more female professionals. Give them the respect they deserve for being some of the most incredible and strong professionals of our time.
Here is the complete list of Women With Vision award winners for 2019. Please join us in again congratulating these wonderful professionals! Each woman who won this award was invited to an acceptance ceremony at the Vision Summit in Tampa, Florida on September 25th, 2019. Thirty-four women were awarded in person and all 50 plus award winners received a trophy and gift, in addition to a feature article in the Mortgage Women Magazine, a feature in the Vision Unleashed blog, and now this Spotlight Feature in the inaugural WWV Mag, our brand new Women With Vision e-magazine.
MBS Highway, Business Development National Director
Arch Mortgage Insurance, Senior VP, National Field Sales
Culture Estate & Hard Money Project, Manager & Brand Ambassador
First Option Mortgage, VP of Human Resources
National MI, VP of Marketing and Product Development
Freedom Mortgage Corp., SrVP, CCO, and Regulatory Counsel
Wintrust Mortgage, Area Manager
Courtney Keating Chakarun
Roostify, Chief Marketing Officer
Partner Engineering and Science, Inc., Principal
Atlantic Home Loans, Senior Mortgage Consultant
PrimeLending, EVP National Operations
PrimeLending, SVP Marketing
Symmetry Blockchain Advisors, Inc., CEO & Founder
Envoy Mortgage Ltd., EVP, Chief Operating Officer
Unison, Chief Marketing Officer
Get Credit Healthy, CEO
Taylor Morrison Home Funding, President
QuestSoft, Vice President, Compliance
Fidelity Bank/Right By You Mortgage, Director of Mortgage, SrVP
Computershare Loan Services, Senior VP – Head of Compliance
Lund Mortgage Team, Owner
Mortgage Assets Management LLC, President
CMC Funding, Vice President
NewRez LLC, Senior Vice President, Correspondent Lending
FormFree, Board Member
City Wide Realty Inc.
TD Bank, SVP, Technology Retail Product Customer Acquisition
MBA Chief Operating Officer – Founder of mPower
Co-Founder Next Mortgage Events
MS Lending, LLC, Owner/Mortgage Broker
Associate Worx / America’s Real Estate University, Co Founder President Associate Worx & AreU
Planet Home Lending, Senior VP Operations and Ops Support
Embrace Home Loans, Chief Marketing Officer
Home Point Financial, Chief Financial Officer
National Mortgage Insurance – NMI, Business Development Manager
Clarifire, President & CEO
MVP Co-Founder, Head of Aggregation & Structured Finance and Co Founder, Managing Partner Strategic Venture Partners
First Option Mortgage, Regional Production Manager
Walker & Dunlop, Vice President
NAWRB-Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem, CEO
Simply WOW Agency, Founder
Jen Du Plessis
Kinetic Spark, Jen Du Plessis LLC, CEO
Mint Mortgage, Senior Loan Originator
FULL CIRCLE SOLUTIONS, Founder/CEO
AnnieMac, National Business Development Manager
Guaranteed Rate, VP of Secondary Marketing
Credit Plus, Inc., Vice President of Corporate Sales
Ana Maria Sanin
PRMG, Business Development National Director
Corey Tess Trujillo
Synergy Maven, LLC, Chief Maven
United Wholesale Mortgage, COO and Chief Risk Officer
Total Expert, Chief Customer Officer
Suha Beidas Zehl
Guidance Residential, LLC, Chief Information Officer
Want to know more about these amazing women? Check out the original Vision Unleased blog post to download the entire list with biographical details.
The Incredible Woman Behind the CreditGuy Power!
It gives me extreme pleasure to shed light on the behind-the-scenes power of executive leader Tricia Parker, COO & CFO of My CreditGuy Restoration Company. I met Tricia on the social waves and we quickly grew into a mentor coach relationship; one which I would argue could easily be her coaching me. She comes to coaching bearing every characteristic an excellent leader should possess.
It is an easy choice for me to put this new spotlight on Tricia. She is the most deserving and unassuming soul you could ever meet. I envy her quiet resolve. She exemplifies strength while guiding and directing her company operations in the shadows. She owns and loves her role in holding down the fort for her company, providing a foundation fortified by her contributions and commitment.
As a mother of two beautiful girls and the wife of CEO Sam Parker, Tricia spends her days maintaining the front gates of MCGR. She is the company’s onboarding specialist and supports both company and clients. Realtors and Loan Officers refer clients to MCGR once they have determined the client cannot proceed without credit repair assistance. Tricia takes the ball and runs with it from there, gathering and applying the support of many in her operation. She is the gatekeeper of client experience, saying, “I understand well how vital it is to ensure that the first impression and experience of our clients and consumers is delivered to a platinum standard.”
Tricia also wears other hats, including Human Resources and oversight of the Sales team. The combined hard work, effort, and vision she and husband and CEO Sam Parker provide for their company is generating continued growth. Their presence in our industry now and into the future is an incredibly important role.
My CreditGuy Restoration was born on Jan 15, 2015. When asked to describe how it is to work with her husband, she poignantly explained,
“Sam and I have a balanced relationship. Sam’s a perpetual entrepreneur and I am a realist. The balance between us creates a dynamic team that is always evolving our product and doing it in a way that is manageable for our staff. Sam and I rarely disagree on the direction of the company. The yin and yang is evident across the board in MCGR. We have made Sam the face of My Credit Guy. I am behind the scenes. But Sam always says I am the heartbeat.”
An observer can easily see that this works for them. Like many couples who share a passion for their business, they understand the highest and best use of their roles and implementing that understanding serves their company extremely well.
As a coach, the passion Tricia feels for her work is evident to me in every word she speaks during our private, one-on-one sessions. Tricia has a hard work ethic and dedication for her work. She is driven from an incredibly purpose-filled place saying,
“I absolutely love that I get to decide every single day what brings me closer to my goals AND even more importantly I get to act on them. I love that I get to create my dream life. Certainly, much like the rest of society, I am constantly trying to figure out the work-life balance. I love to work, and I love spending time with my family, so I consciously block time for each. I know that some consider it cheesy, but I love that I help people. I never for one day take it for granted that the clients I am talking to are working to get homes for their families. It gives me goosebumps when I see the pictures of smiling folks on the front doorstep of their new home. And I am overjoyed when they send me a picture of the color they painted their sons’ room because, for the first time, they got to choose a paint color.”
So, what happens when the lights go off at My CreditGuy? When she is not homebound due to pandemic restrictions, her private life revolves around spending time with her family, golfing, reading, and traveling. She has a love for the beaches and calls them her happy place.
Husband and business partner Sam Parker had this to say about Tricia,
“My Credit Guy is not a single person and it’s definitely not a man. My Credit Guy is run by strong women. The undisputed leader of our operations is Tricia. She brings the perfect combination of work ethic, vision, kindness, and leadership. She has made being her 50/50 partner in MCGR a true pleasure!”
Written by: Christine Beckwith
Reach out and connect with Tricia and her company on Social media, or find their services at www.mycreditguy.com to see first-hand their incredible work helping consumers and professionals in our space find answers for people who might otherwise face unscalable roadblocks in their process.
- Be concise and clear with what you need out of your staff. Taking on everything yourself is going to drown you. You must delegate and do so in a clear manner.
- Find time to celebrate the wins. It is easy to set a goal and hit it and just continue on. Wins must be celebrated or else burn-out will happen.
- Be kind. This is not to be confused with being soft. Kindness is the ability to be considerate, friendly, and warm. Kindness requires a lot of strength.
Mortgage X Podcast
2019 Women With Vision award winners join Christine Beckwith and Jason Frazier to discuss the state of affairs in the industry.
Laura Brandao, Elizabeth Karwowski, Lisa Lund, Molly Dowdy, Michelle Dugan, Leora Ruzin, and Kelsey Rauchut look back on 2019 and share their perspectives, advice, and, of course, their VISION for 2020.
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 www.vonkdigital.com
20/20 Vision For Success Coaching
The words 20/20 Vision for Success are not in the name of this company by accident. 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 that, as coaching progresses, you and the 20/20 team behind you remain focused on the vision for success.
Spotlight on Events: June 17
Mark Your Calendar for June 17! It’s a virtual happening…a Sneak Peek into the upcoming Fall event, Media Masters Workshop.
Words are powerful change agents that help us transcend to a place where learning and dreaming can occur. Today we spotlight three books in which Christine Beckwith takes her readers on a journey to a better life using her own life and business lessons.
In Wise Eyes: See Your Way to Success, Beckwith tells her life story in a style that is real and raw, but brutally honest. Wise Eyes is a handbook for professionals wanting to walk a direct path to incredible success.
Clear Boundaries: Every Business Woman’s Essential Safety Guide was born out of the shared experiences of Beckwith and co-author Jessica Peterson. Both are women professionals who have for many years traveled across the country for business. Sadly both have firsthand knowledge of how dangerous it can be for a woman. In this book, the authors draw from their own experiences and call upon experts to present real, actionable, and practical advice to prepare anyone to avoid and survive what could be a dangerous scenario.
Breaking the Cycle is filled with engaging stories wrapped around a theme of power words. Hope. Resilience. Idealism. Strategy. Focus. Drive. Humble. Loyal. Grateful. Dichotomy. Brazen. Persistence. Again written with a co-author, Dr. Wendy L. Wright, this book features insights from life’s tragedies and triumphs and is an invaluable treasure trove of practical, hands-on advice. Jam-packed with easy-to-implement suggestions, you’ll read sage advice from two women whose diverse career paths literally write the book on how to create your version of success!
When Mrs. England, one of my favorite childhood teachers, praised my first efforts at writing fiction, something that just came out of my head without it being an assignment to write about summer vacation, neither she nor I had any idea what she launched with her simple validation in bright red ink on my handwritten story. She allowed me to see, for the first time, a vision of my future as a writer. Fast forward many years (nope, not admitting how many!), and here we are.
Wow. Here we are. A brand new magazine, launching on a National Platform. And I am at the helm as Editor in Chief.
While this magazine is new, the message we are committed to delivering is not. Nor are we new at speaking our minds and being thought leaders around a range of topics important to women in our industry and beyond. This magazine is part of a strategy to build and strengthen the networks women move in every day. Together, we are a power unparalleled with a voice and a vision that cannot be ignored.
In these pages of this issue, you have
- Read about the birth of a powerful new woman’s network, Women’s Mortgage Network, WMN (WoMeN, get it?) that is exactly what women want and need: a network of support, education, and mentorship to share their challenges and triumphs with other women in the industry. This Image was especially moving to me. All those strong leaders validating their own esteem while supporting each other is awesome to see.
- Joined us to revisit the winners of a prestigious 2019 award and congratulate the first recipients of the 2020 Women With Vision award.
- Celebrated an amazing woman whose strength and leadership from behind the face of her business brings joy, success, and satisfaction.
- Reminded of brilliant partners like Vonk Digital and Mortgage X.
- Been introduced to some of the regular features we’ll be bringing, like Recommended Reading and upcoming Events.
We hope you enjoyed each of the features and stories we’ve brought to you in these pages and look forward to hearing from you. We are already working the next issue, which will publish on July 1.
In the meanwhile, please watch for the launch of The Vision, the second of our e-magazines on the first of June. The Vision will have a slightly different focus, one that is focused on profiling our industry and its leaders across the board in a genderless environment.
And yes, I expect you’ve worked it out. We will have an e-magazine for you every month. WWVMag one month and The Vision the next. One of many things you can count on when 20/20 Vision for Success Coaching and its founder, Christine Beckwith are involved in a project, is that it will go for all the gusto. In truth, we are launching a monthly magazine here, and are super-excited about what’s coming up!
Where does it go from here?
This publication will go where you, the readers, take us. We are committed to focusing on the needs and desires of women professionals in our industry, and as old challenges are retired and new ones materialize, we will be front and center to lead the charge.
Join us. Spread the word. Share www.WWVMag.com in your social media. Reach out and congratulate your peers who are honored in these pages. Tag them in your posts #wwwvmag and #2020visionforsuccesscoaching. Write for us! Yes, we do take submissions and look forward to the diversity additional voices will bring to these pages.
I grew up near the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, NH. There’s one stony beach there where I still go in times of crisis or simply to treasure the beauty of the world. In the summer of 2006, I spent as much time there as I could. This was a challenging time for all in our field. I was fresh off the closure of the company I’d spent a decade with. I was nostalgic and still stinging from the hard-wrought fight to save a company that slid into the economic abyss of that dire time in our American history. That summer, I envisioned a world where I would evoke incredible growth across a much larger spectrum of professionals in our industry. I didn’t know that the ideas churning at that time would come to life in 2018, following a dozen years serving at the helm of a different company.
Today I live the life I envisioned in that dream first imagined as the gentle waves lapped the shore. I have conquered incredible bucket list items, like writing my first book (and now three books!) and like running a national coaching and consulting firm that is serving the mortgage, finance, and real estate industry globally. Launching the first of two E-magazines is yet another milestone checked off the bucket list. We hope for our magazines to become a permanent part of the world of journalistic writing. We intend to shine the light of our vision on individuals and professionals in our community, in particular those who are making groundbreaking changes in the landscape of the future of our industry.
Women With Vision E-Magazine is the icing on the proverbial cake of a community of professional women that is poised to grow to heights in our industry never seen before. True to our namesake, the women who will be featured in this magazine hold the vision of our future They will be the innovators, the movers and shakers, the creators, and executors of a world that we have only imagined.
We join forces with established organizations and communities doing incredible work in our space. We dedicate our core culture to curriculum and the guidance that drives through to achieve true business results and advancements for the professionals working with us!
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.