Marilyn Richardson started with Mason-McDuffie Mortgage Corp. as the receptionist. Intrigued by the mortgage business, she accepted each opportunity to change positions within the company, among sales, processing, collections and management, and as she did Richardson worked her way to the top.
In 1979, Richardson’s hard work paid off and she became the first female partner; the company had to change the location of the partners’ meeting because, at the time, the spot in San Francisco didn’t allow females. She went on to become one of the first female CEOs of a U.S. Top 100 mortgage company and now oversees the operations of the company, including finance, capital markets, administration and operations, from underwriting to post closing. Building up the next era of leadership is critical to her. “Something that’s very important to me is to leave the opportunities here for the newer generations because I was lucky enough to have those opportunities with Mason-McDuffie,” Richardson said in a recent company video. In 2020 Richardson led the company, in business for more than 130 years, to a record year in sales, recruiting and retention. Great leaders lift their team up to be better than they are, a spirit that Richardson embodies. “You’re not a success by yourself; it’s the ability to build a team and move forward as a group,” she said.