Cheryl Brown started at Guardian Mortgage Company in 1982 as a loan processor in the original Grand Blanc, Mich., office. Thirty four years later, Brown is the senior vice president, head of operations at the company. What a wonderful success story, one that also tells us just how dedicated Guardian Mortgage employees are to the company. You just don’t hear of long-term, ladder-climbing employees anymore, and this is a welcome message!
But that’s not the only reason we’re singling out Cheryl Brown as our Guardian Angel of the month. We also want to praise Brown’s adaptability in the ever-changing regulatory landscape of the real estate business, and her focus on customer satisfaction.
Learn more about Brown and her journey after the jump!
CandysDirt.com: Hi, Cheryl! Nice to meet you. We hear congratulations are in order … you were just added to the Executive Management team over at Guardian Mortgage Company!
Cheryl Brown: Thank you! I was named SVP Head of Operations last August with a focus on meeting the needs of our growing company and the ever-changing regulatory environment. Most recently I was added to the leadership team to help bring that expertise to the conversation.
CD: It sounds like a well-deserved promotion. After all, you’ve been there since 1982, right?
CB: That’s right. I’ve seen several hairstyles and fashion trends come and go since I joined Guardian as a loan processor.
CD: What kept you around all that time? 34 years is a long time!
CB: I have never stopped learning new things. I have held several positions within the company — everything from originations to credit underwriting — and each role has helped me understand how our industry works as a whole. There was always room for growth. I love what I do and enjoy mentoring others.
CD: I’m sure you’ve seen the industry — as well as Guardian — change a lot since you started. Can you delve into that a little bit? How has the industry evolved over the past few decades?
CB: Some of the industry changes have been challenging, even though they are necessary for forward progression. In the last 34 years, we’ve changed to a paperless environment, seen additional compliance, and of course, the implementation of TRID. Some of these changes are obvious, as technology changes at lightning pace and we do our best to keep up, others have to do with protecting the customers and the industry overall.
CD: What about Guardian? How has the company evolved over those years?
CB: Guardian has certainly grown since I started from the number of colleagues to the number of locations. Our footprint is certainly much more far reaching. Ensuring that we have our “compliance house in order” has certainly been something that is always given priority. Our customers have remained our No. 1 focus through it all — that is the core of who we are and our values are what enable us to continue to do what we do every day.
CD: Let’s go back to the beginning of your career. You started in the original office, out in Grand Blanc, Mich. What brought you here to Texas?
CB: I was making more and more frequent trips to our Texas office and my husband had retired. We purchased a second home in the Frisco area so he would be able to travel with me. As the company grew, I felt that I needed to be where I could contribute more. My second home became my primary residence.
CD: What was that transition like? How do you like it here in Texas versus Michigan?
CB: The transition was actually easy. The weather is so much more pleasurable here than it can be in Michigan. The winters are long and the summers are short there. I actually don’t mind the summer heat here. There are a lot more things to do and see.
CD: Your sister still works in the Grand Blanc office, right? Do you ever get back to the old stomping grounds to visit? How much has it all changed?
CB: She does — as a loan processor and does a fantastic job. Actually, all of my family is in Michigan. I have two sons there and I do get homesick every once in awhile. I go back there every three or four months, and during the holidays. I still have a home there very near to our office in Grand Blanc. The office there has many new faces and is bursting at the seams. We also have a new office in the Troy, Mich., area.
CD: Well, thanks for catching up with us, Cheryl! Best of luck in your new position.