2017 HW Vanguard: Crystal Sumner

Head of Legal at Blend

Crystal Sumner leads the legal team at Blend, a Silicon Valley technology company transforming the more than $40 trillion consumer lending industry through partnerships with some of the largest, most complex lending organizations. In her role, Sumner is responsible for leading day-to-day legal affairs for the company, including risk management, commercial contracts, corporate governance and intellectual property, among other areas. sumner

Her streamlined risk management program and contract services processes have helped Blend’s customer base grow by about 350% over the last year, and the company now works with lending organizations that control 25% of the total U.S. mortgage market. Her comprehensive processes are now an integral component to departments across the company. Additionally, her work has most notably been underscored by Blend’s successful contract negotiations with two of the top five banks in the country – Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank – in addition to leading nonbank lender Movement Mortgage.  

As a result of her legal guidance, Blend has had the opportunity to work closely with industry regulators and governing bodies, while steadily working to establish Blend as a role model for best practices within the highly regulated financial services space. 

Prior to joining Blend, Sumner was a “Founders Club” member of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Channeling her experiences, she adroitly shifted her role from regulating the consumer finance marketplace to working closely with compliance and product teams to help guide Blend’s technology. 

What has been your secret to success?

“As a first-generation college graduate, I learned early on that success is not found, but created. My work has been largely defined by pushing boundaries that were not yet established and thus carving my own path.”


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