Women of Influence 2016
HousingWire recognizes the most influential women in housing
Janis Smith believes the long-term ideals of the housing movement are best served by the collaborative efforts of varied participants. For over three decades, she has professionally communicated in strong support of the U.S. mortgage banking and housing finance industry, affordable housing, sustainable homeownership, community development and housing policy. Moreover, Smith freely devotes her own resources, talent, time, and financial, to organizations and initiatives that move the nation’s housing economy forward.
Smith is a stalwart in the field of housing and mortgage industry communications, and she is known for navigating organizations through rough terrain with a keen emphasis on bringing true stories to light in a clear and compelling way. Now in her fifth year as MERSCORP Holding’s first communications officer, Smith has been instrumental in shaping a new image and changing the tone of the conversation about the company and its role in the mortgage finance industry as the parent of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, and operator of the MERS System.
Smith maintained focus and steadily communicated about MERS’ strengths, its importance to the housing economy and the company’s potential as provider of e-commerce solutions for a changing housing industry, modern homebuyers and a new economy. In the past year, the MERSCORP Holdings Communications team, under Janis’ leadership, has revamped corporate websites; developed new public information materials, messaging and marketing images and organized events.
Smith began working as a housing communicator at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston in the early 1980s and then held several positions with financial regulatory agencies, establishing a reputation for bringing diverse constituents together by effectively communicating on issues related to Community Reinvestment Act reform, affordable housing and community development.