The Houston Mortgage Bankers Association held their annual Legends Luncheon in December at Maggiano’s Little Italy. Joe Thompson, HMBA president, opened the sold-out event by introducing the past HMBA presidents in attendance and recognizing retiring board member and past HMBA president, Kitty Gugenheim, whom he said had “raised the bar of service.”
The luncheon honored the influence of women in the mortgage industry, a theme addressed by keynote speaker Paulina McGrath, President and CFO of Republic State Mortgage, VP of Texas Mortgage Bankers Association, and President of the Board of Trustees of the Women’s Fund. In her remarks, McGrath encouraged mortgage industry women to follow their passion, always do their best, give back to the community, and commit to help and mentor younger women. “I am where I am today because I love learning and have been surrounded by opportunities to learn from others,” she stated. “My leadership success stems from loving what I do, and giving back makes me the happiest.”
McGrath called on women in the audience to speak about their experiences in the industry and share advice. Among those who spoke were and Gugenheim, Senior Account Manager - Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation and past TMBA chair; Stacy London, Regional Manager, Homeowners Financial Group; Becky McDermott, Senior Account Manager - southern Texas at Radian Guaranty and first woman president of HMBA; and Barbara Sparks, Senior VP/Director of Underwriting at Envoy Mortgage, all of whom reinforced McGrath’s belief that voluntarism and mentoring younger women strengthen the mortgage industry.
Thompson adjourned the meeting, encouraging everyone to “do everything you can to amaze people.”