MReport September 2019

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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TH E M R EP O RT | 39 Deborah Garcia- Gratacos PRESIDENT AND CEO, DEVAL LLC The housing sector is filled with challenges and problems, but Deborah Garcia-Gratacos told MReport that policy and government funding presents many opportunities to tackle these challenges with the goal of improving the lives of many. "This is the motivational foundation of our firm: to continue improving the quality of life of beneficiaries and their living conditions," she said. Garcia-Gratacos believes that it is critical that companies look for innovative ways to think ahead as to how the company can continue improving living conditions and quality of life. Key to that vision of progress is a commitment to maintaining a diverse workforce that represents a wide range of experience and backgrounds, factors that will allow a company to better understand and approach the needs of homeowners. "In the end, housing is not about real estate; it is about people," she said. When confronted with difficulties or discouraging moments throughout her career, Garcia-Gratacos said the best approach to move forward is "remembering your goals, dreams, and motivations, which refocuses your efforts towards the path you want to go and the matter at hand." Sally Elizabeth Garrison MANAGING MEMBER, THE MORTGAGE LAW FIRM For Sally Garrison, the most important goal is being of service to her colleagues. She said there is "no greater compli- ment" than having peers ask for her help and "it is in those collaborative moments that you set the tone for your work envi- ronment and build your office culture." "There are moments when I can see little ways in which a colleague has internalized something I taught them, and at the same time, I have also gained insight. I still find that to be one of the most rewarding ex- periences," Garrison said. "Nothing beats the feeling of helping others grow. At the end of the day, we are all on the same team. When they shine, we all shine." Garrison added that she helps foster a forward-thinking company by study- ing and practice. She reads articles and watches lectures on corporate culture and motivation, and then tries to incorporate the insights she takes away from this ma- terial into her daily life. Garrison said that you "have to live the lessons" and be au- thentic to resonate with people. "I am also the beneficiary of exceptional mentorship. I am so grateful to the professionals in this industry who have taken the time to teach me and to push me forward." Garrison said some of her most impor- tant career lessons include being kind to everyone you meet, accepting that there is more than one way to be right, and learning that "vulnerability takes courage." Tammy Chree Wells VP, CITIGROUP Tammy Chree Wells said that her career over the past two decades has prepared her for current role at Citigroup. From her growth and evolution in her career, she has been able to take the skills she's learned to maintain healthy professional relationships in an evolving environment of increased regulatory standards. Of those skills, the most important, Wells said, are mutual respect and self-confidence. Self-confidence, she describes is knowing the value in the work you deliver. Consequently self- confidence has led her to embark on a new pursuit personally, as she now mentors young professional women to do the same. Wells also helps to build women's self-esteem by helping them to discover their true strengths, voice and purpose. Having worked in many positions in my career, each have afforded me the opportunity to be introduced to new people, embrace many cultures, appreciate diversity, and welcome new ways of thinking." Wells said, "I've learned to be assertive and fearless in my professional and personal life. I encourage women to challenge the status quo by taking risks and never be afraid to believe they deserve and should want RESPECT."

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