MReport October 2018

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22 | TH E M R EP O RT KEYSTONE AWARD RECIPIENTS THE LEADERSHIP IN DIVERSITY & INCLUSION AWARD RECIPIENT THE LAURIE A. MAGGIANO LEGACY AWARD RECIPIENT S usan Somersille Johnson, this year's recipient of the inaugural Keystone Award for Leadership in Diversity & Inclusion believes that coming from a different industry provides a compelling op- portunity to challenge conventional thinking. "It means creating a cul- ture that values diverse thinking, embraces opinions that challenge the status quo, and encourages people to think of their job and business in fundamentally different ways," she told MReport. "There is value in the cumulative wisdom of varied backgrounds, experiences, and talents, and tapping into it is what fuels innovation." A graduate of Harvard and Wharton, Johnson spent the bulk of her career at some of the world's most prominent tech companies before taking on the mantle of EVP and CMO at SunTrust. "One of the most valuable lessons I learned from the tech industry is that every industry and organization can be disrupted, so there is a need for constant innovation," she said. "Ever-changing trends and technol - ogy—big data, AI, blockchain, e-commerce, etc.—are upending how we approach customers and clients. This provides us with a compelling opportunity to challenge conventional thinking, regardless of industry." At SunTrust, Johnson is leading the charge in driving innovation and change. Sharing some of the D&I best practices at the bank, she said, "From employee engagement through teammate networks to our recruitment strategies, diversity is an important factor and a key topic of conversation for all senior executives. In addition to having informed and committed leadership, diversity is reinforced through learning op - portunities made available to teammates throughout the organization." She believes that the Keystones' recognition of this often undervalued business driver is immensely important. "It is an incredible honor to have been named the inaugural Keystone Leadership in Diversity & Inclusion Award recipient and to have been included among a slate of highly ac - complished, talented and skilled trendsetters in the housing industry," she said. "It is wonderful that you and Five Star Institute have embarked on this journey to recognize diversity and inclusion as an important pillar in our industry." The finalists for this award category also included Mary Mbiya, VP, Diversity & Inclusion Program Manager, Flagstar Bank; Lola Oyewole, Director, Human Resources and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Ocwen Financial Corporation; Trina Scott, VP, Diversity & Inclusion, Quicken Loans Family of Companies; and Karyn Twaronite, Partner, EY Global Diversity & Inclusiveness Officer. The Leadership in Diversity & Inclusion Award celebrates those who have successfully broken barriers and helped lead the charge in develop - ing diverse workplace cultures and fostering inclusive and welcoming environments for people of every color, creed, and gender to prosper and achieve over adversity. T he Laurie A. Maggiano Legacy Award, which was named in honor of the late industry icon whose distinguished career left an indelible impact on housing. The Laurie A. Maggiano Legacy Award recognizes women who have powerfully influenced the industry and homeownership nationwide. The Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Marcia Davies took home the inaugural edition of this award. As COO, Davies is responsible for ensuring cross-organizational align - ment and facilitating the implementation of strategic initiatives for the MBA. Previously, Davies spent 21 years at Freddie Mac before serving as Senior Advisor to the Federal Housing Commissioner at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. "We all know how dedicated Laurie was to this industry and the families that we serve," Davies told MReport. "I am honored to be part of a day where we get to honor Laurie and the work that she did." The other Laurie A. Maggiano Legacy Award finalists included Dana Dillard, EVP, Corporate Social Responsibility, Mr. Cooper; Jocelyn Martin-Leano, President, Servicing Division, Rushmore Loan Management Services; Sharron P.A. Levine, Director, Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, Federal Housing Finance Agency; and Caroline Reaves, CEO, Mortgage Contracting Services. Over the course of her career, Davies has seen the industry hit both highs and lows, from the storms of the 2008 financial crisis to the cur - rent booming economy and historically low foreclosures. "As a girl who grew up on a farm in New Jersey, a career in mortgage finance was not something I laid in bed and dreamed about. It just kind of happened," Davies said. She left Freddie Mac in 2005, having gained extensive expe - rience in both the origination and servicing sides of the industry. She joined HUD in 2009, as the country and the industry were both dealing with the ongoing fallout of the housing crisis. "We were trying to figure out how to stop the bleeding because so much was happen - ing," Davies said. "It was interesting to see the perspectives of a regulator and what they thought about our business practices and how you treat borrowers who are going into foreclosure. It was invaluable." When asked what advice she has for women beginning a career in the industry, Davies explains that she has had reason to consider this question before—her daughter has been in the industry for seven years now. "The advice I gave my daughter is the advice I would give any young woman coming into the industry," Davies said. "There are many op - portunities and there is a lot to learn. You have to produce results and make sure your voice is heard. This next generation coming into our industry is going to be dynamic. We are an aging industry. Many of the senior leaders are going to be retiring, and that will create opportunities for younger professionals, women, to take those leadership spots and rock it. They're going to do great." SUSAN SOMERSILLE JOHNSON EVP AND CMO, SUNTRUST MARCIA DAVIES COO, MORTGAGE BANKERS ASSOCIATION

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