It was a sunny and extremely humid Thursday morning. Of course, that’s almost standard for Dallas, and it wasn’t going to prevent these three women from showing up to the magazine cover shoot with an energy and excitement that couldn’t be stopped. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I’d say this cover is worth so much more than that. These three Women of Influence not only carry the grace and lessons of those who have gone before them, but they’re leaving a priceless legacy for the next generation of leaders. Rebecca McDonald, chief product officer at Rocket Mortgage, Pam Perry, Single-Family vice president of Equitable Housing at Freddie Mac, and Hilary Saunders, co-founder and chief broker officer at Side, are all featured on the cover and were named to HousingWire’s 2021 Women of Influence. I had the honor of sitting down with them to learn more about the projects they’re passionate about, how they’re making a difference and what advice they’d share with those in the industry.
Here is the interview with Rebecca McDonald, chief product officer at Rocket Mortgage.
Brena Nath: First off, congrats on being named a 2021 Women of Influence. If you were standing on a stage giving an acceptance speech, who would you want to thank for helping you get where you are today?
Rebecca McDonald: Well, thank you very much, it is quite an honor. I definitely would first start with my family. My husband is my rock and has been with me on this entire journey and is such a great support system. My kids, I learn from them every single day, they constantly keep me on my toes, and I really appreciate it. My mother, who is one tough lady and defied a lot of odds, and really set the stage for being a person of integrity and hard work. And of course, my siblings, I come from a big family, and they’re very supportive of me as well.
When I think about my mentors, there are three people that really stand out and were really important, although there have been hundreds of people that I could say right now from the organization. I definitely want to highlight Shawn Krause. She’s one of the first mentors I had when I first started out. And she was the person that without even batting an eyelash presented possibilities to me for things that I might do, that I never even would have considered. Bill Emerson just gave me so much opportunity to grow and fail and then succeed and really was an incredible mentor, support and challenger for me. Lastly, I would say Linglong He. A little bit later in my career, she really came in and helped me refine and fine-tune my leadership and individual contributor expertise as well.