President and CFO
Republic State Mortgage Co.
Many would say that an executive-level career in
the financial services industry is becoming more
difficult. What energizes you to continue to stay
the course every day?
First and foremost, providing for my family and
providing for my ‘family’ within Republic. I’ve been with
the company since 1999, and I feel a strong sense
of responsibility for all of the loyal folks who have
contributed to its success. I also feel there is a need
within our industry to rebuild the reputation of what
the industry does. In the past, the industry was well-
regarded and known for doing good, but, along the
way, the industry’s reputation became tainted due to
the actions of the bad apples. We still provide a much-
needed service to help people realize the American
dream and add quality to their lives. To me, it is very
important that we, as an industry, get back on positive
terms with the public about what we do.
What are the three things you think about if you
awaken at 3 a.m.?
What keeps me from falling back to sleep, when I
awaken during the night, is usually some problem that
is unresolved. Typically, it is some issue at work that
we are still working on, but, have not completed or
for which we have not found the best solution. Or it
might be a problem that one of my children is facing. Fortunately, whatever the problem happens to be
gets resolved or changes. The issue today won’t be the
issue next week. Either way, I don't lose a lot of sleep
and sometimes work out details or ideas about solutions if I awaken during the night.
What was your first job, and, what was your first
job in financial services if that is different?
My first legitimate work experience was scooping
ice cream at Swenson’s when I was in high school. In
between college and graduate school, I did some work
with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, D.C. I am bilingual, and I had the opportunity
to work in a department where I used my language
skills. I became fascinated with that type of work, and,
ultimately, it inspired me to pursue a master’s degree
in International Affairs at George Washington University. While my career path ultimately changed, I still
learned valuable skills along the way.
Education and role opportunities are important
factors to success as are mentor relationships.
Have you had mentors, and, if so, how have
those relationships contributed to your journey?
There have been several mentors in my life. The
first that comes to mind is my father. He came from a
modest background and really made the most of the
resources he had. He and my mother provided me
with a lot of opportunities in my life; he taught me the