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2015 HW Vanguard Award winners

HousingWire recognizes 27 executives leading the housing economy

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Leadership is forged during times of crisis — something the housing economy has seen plenty of since 2008. The mortgage industry weathered the Great Recession and has come out on the other side as the housing market continues to normalize.

All of the sectors of the housing economy now — real estate, lending, servicing and investing — are navigating unchartered territory. The challenges are new and the processes scrutinized as never before.

Against that backdrop, we at HousingWire thought it was appropriate to recognize the tremendous leadership within the mortgage space with our first annual HW Vanguard Awards. Companies in our business couldn’t have survived the crisis, or formed in this brave new world, without serious leadership.

The kind of leadership that utilizes cutting-edge technology but doesn’t lose sight of the very real people involved. The kind that isn’t afraid to change, but relies on timeless values like putting the customer first, acting honorably and giving back.

With the HW Vanguard Awards, HousingWire is recognizing that kind of leader. This year’s list of 27 executives really is extraordinary. These are successful people who have accomplished some pretty impressive things.

Consider Stanley Middleman, who has led Freedom Mortgage through four acquisitions in the last 18 months and grown its employee base by 86%.

Or Black Knight’s Tom Sanzone, who led the company through a successful initial public offering in May, netting a total of $479.3 million in proceeds and seeing its stock surge more than 40% from the IPO price.

But the success of these leaders is not just measured by earnings reports or stock prices.

These leaders have inspired others through their passion, innovation and perseverance. They come from diverse backgrounds, and may run established companies or start-ups, but share one common trait: an unmistakable impact on the industry at large.

Our other award programs recognize important segments of the industry, but this award cuts across every demographic to present a comprehensive list of industry professionals and business leaders whose influence is felt throughout their organizations, their communities and the whole housing economy.

HousingWire is proud to recognize the outstanding achievements of these Vanguard winners. See for yourself what makes them so compelling.

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