MReport September 2019

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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38 | TH E M R EP O RT Karen Abram SVP, PENNYMAC LOAN SERVICES Karen Abram said, no matter where you come from, culture is the key element that brings people together. According to Abram, it's a matter of connecting one's personal values with those of the organization, and when employees' values align with the company's, "there's a natural connection." "I help to bridge that connection by influencing those day-to-day behaviors that support and align with our company's core values," Abram continued. "Through implementing various culture events, recognition programs, and employee-engagement activities, our employees have embraced what our culture stands for—accountable, reliable, and ethical behavior." Abram hosts monthly executive meetings not only to discuss culture- related events, but also to review their organization's performance, which is measured through a quarterly culture governance scorecard that highlights employee-engagement metrics. She also credits the success of the cultural efforts to her team that she says has "as much creativity and passion" for wanting to make PennyMac a great place to work for. The most important lesson she has learned is that the people she works with are her family. "Your job should feel like home," she said. Sarah Batangan COO, FIRST GUARANTY MORTGAGE CORPORATION Sarah Batangan told MReport that the implementation of bold strategies and investing in other people have helped her raise the bar throughout her career, and at First Guaranty Mortgage Corporation (FGMC). She added that positive outcomes have come from improving customer experience and impacting the bottom line. "By taking advantage of technology, community, and partnership opportunities, I have reduced operational costs by over 50% at FGMC and 40-50% in previous positions," she said. "I have also led a marketing team to design and carry out a successful digital strategy that has lowered our lead generation costs and strengthened our brand impact." She said one of the most important lessons learned during her career is to stay true to who you are. "If I didn't have a strong sense of identity that I have carried with me over the last 30 years, I would not be in the position I am in today. I have consistently made choices that align with my values and set expectations that pushed me and my teams to reach greatness by focusing on integrity. With the power of authenticity," she said, "the possibilities are endless." The CULTURAL LEADER Award Honoring industry leaders who have successfully fostered forward-thinking company cultures and workplaces through corporate strategies and initiatives that have led to tangible, positive outcomes for colleagues company- wide and beyond (minimum 10 years' consecutive industry experience). Finalists An MReport Issue Featuring Five Star Conference's Keystone Awards Finalists

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