On the final day of the 2022 Five Star Conference and Expo, Five Star hosted its 11th Annual Women in Housing Leadership Awards, recognizing the achievements of businesswomen whose contributions have impacted the housing and mortgage servicing industry.
Hosted by a360inc, and co-hosted by Auction.com and ServiceLink, the Women in Housing Leadership Awards served as a closing celebration, recognizing 25 women across five categories in the mortgage profession forging the way for future women in housing with The Rising Star Executive Award, The Trailblazer Award, The Corporate Social Responsibility Award, The Authentic Leader Award, and The Laurie A. Maggiano Legacy Award.
Recognizing young women leaders who, while still early in their careers, have demonstrated an outstanding capability to lead and drive progress, finalists for this year’s The Rising Star Executive Award included Rosa Arriaga, VP Loan Administration for Mr. Cooper; Joette Bonin, VP for Fay Servicing, LLC; Leah Goldmintz, VP of Capital Markets for CoreVest Finance; Kate Mossop, VP & Portfolio Product Owner, Single-Family Servicing Products and Offerings for Freddie Mac; and Lauren Shea, Chief Credit Officer for Temple View Capital. This year's Rising Star Executive Award recipient was Freddie Mac’s Kate Mossop.
The Trailblazer Award honors women leaders who have broken barriers, and served as a catalyst for change within their organizations. Finalists for this year’s Trailblazer Award included Jaime Burgess, VP of Default Servicing for Mr. Cooper; Kimberly Hare, President of Fay Servicing, LLC; Sherri Higuera, SVP of Servicing Technology for The Money Source; Kelly MacDonald, SVP, Director of Late-Stage Default for M&T Bank; and Cecelia Raine, VP, Servicing Strategy & Integration for Freddie Mac. This year, Five Star honored Cecelia Raine of Freddie Mac with the 2022 Trailblazer Award.
Five Star’s Corporate Social Responsibility Award recognizes women executives who are driving charitable initiatives and helping the industry make a positive difference. This year’s Corporate Social Responsibility Awards finalists included Darcy Chapman, VP of Strategic Partnerships for Auction.com; Tamara Gifford, Director of Community & External Relations for Ocwen; Toniqua Green, VP of Corporate Social Responsibility for Mr. Cooper Group; Dana Stephenson, Consumer Direct Onboarding Manager for Caliber Home Loans, Inc.; and Carrie Tackett, Director of Business Development for Safeguard Properties. During the Women in Housing Luncheon, Darcy Chapman of Auction.com was named 2022 Corporate Social Responsibility Award winner.
Nominees for Five Star’s Authentic Leader Award demonstrated exemplary leadership, serving as both a business leader and a role model for their colleagues, and having earned the admiration and respect of their peers in the process. This year’s finalists included Shayna Arrington, Chief Compliance Officer with The Money Source; Jennifer Corcoran, SVP of National Operations for Caliber Home Loans; Mieke de Boer, SVP, Mortgage Default Fulfillment for Truist; Tess Siwa, SVP of Operations for Constructive Capital; and Judith Tribble, SVP, Chief Compliance Officer for Lakeview Loan Servicing. This year, the 2022 Authentic Leader Award went to Judith Tribble of Lakeview.
Five Star’s Laurie A. Maggiano Legacy Award recognizes women whose accomplishments have left an indelible impact on the industry, and positively influenced homeownership within the past year. All nominees must have had a minimum of 20 years of consecutive industry experience. Finalists for this year’s award included Christina Harrington, President and Co-Founder of Usherpa; Melissa Kozicki, Director of Compliance for Mortgage Cadence; Miriam Moore, President of Default Services for ServiceLink; Dawn Svedberg, VP, Head of Fintech Product Sales for Tavant; and Sandra Thompson, Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). FHFA Director Sandra Thompson was named the 2022 Laurie A. Maggiano Legacy Award winner.
Also as part of the Women in Housing Leadership Awards Luncheon, Five Star hosted the President of Ginnie Mae, Alanna McCargo, as this year’s Awards Luncheon Keynote Speaker. Sworn in as Ginnie Mae's 18th President in December 2021, McCargo began her work with the Biden-Harris Administration as a Presidential Appointee in the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) as Senior Advisor for Housing Finance for Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. Her career in housing finance spans decades, and has centrally focused on how America's housing finance system can equitably and affordably serve the capital and credit needs of all households.
The Keynote was followed by the “Inside the She-Suite” discussion, featuring the industry’s top C-level female executives addressing today’s struggles and triumphs of breaking through the glass ceiling and into the corner office. Moderated by Ed Delgado, AMP, Managing Director for Mortgage Policy Advisors and Chairman of Five Star Global, panelists included Ali Haralson, President of Auction.com; Miriam Moore, Division President, Default Services, ServiceLink; Ann Thorn, Head of Home Loan Servicing for Wells Fargo; and Cheryl Travis-Johnson, COO/EVP for VRM Mortgage Services.
Addressing Moore first, Delgado asked about her path to becoming Division President of Default Servicing due a career in law first.
“It wasn’t really a direct path, but I worked for a firm whose largest client was Fidelity Title, so I was recruited by the client to be in-house counsel. I enjoyed doing that but I realized quickly that my passion was to be on the business side. So I took a position with commercial title division at Fidelity and later was tapped to come in and business plan to develop an integrated default servicing operation bringing together a lot of products and services under one umbrella. I feel that my legal background was a great background to have in this business. Now when I need the legal department and they push back, I have a bit of leverage over them.”
Moving along, Delgado asked Thorn, “Is there an opportunity for women to identify other young women in this business to be their ‘champion.’ in terms of mentorship”
“I think that there is absolute way to do that, and hopefully many women are already champions, but it’s interesting you asked that because I was thinking back and this is the first time during my career at Wells Fargo—over 30 years—that I have reported to a woman. I have met some exceptional leaders in my career, but it is different to report to a woman rather than a man, and I have found the last year very fascinating to do that.”
Answering the same question, Haralson said, “I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the obstacles before me. I try to focus on what I’m going to do next. I have two girls, I’m a working mother and trying to balance everything that you have—trying to spend time with your kids and be present for your employees. I have to care as much about my own family as I do with my work family, I think we really need to be focused on how to mentor women more effectively.”
Travis-Johnson was then asked a question on what men could do to open up doors and channels for women in the industry.
“First of all, I hold women and men accountable for success in the workplace. What happens is a lack of a succession plan that excludes women is the first mistake, so by the time they get into middle management, they leave and take a senior outside position because of that succession plan. That’s the most important thing we can do, so that when these opportunities become available...women can have consistent equal opportunity, so getting to those levels happen more often.”