One of my favorite assignments at HousingWire is reading through nominations for our various award programs. It's an opportunity to "meet" people in the industry who truly inspire me with their accomplishments and vision. The Women of Influence awards are especially powerful, because it's the award where we recognize not only achievements but impact — in companies and in communities.

Consider some of our winners from last year:

  • Deborah Jenkins, SVP of multifamily, head of underwriting and credit at Freddie Mac. Jenkins manages the underwriting and credit approvals for all debt investments for the multifamily division of Freddie Mac, overseeing more than $100 billion in loans over the last four years, resulting in zero credit losses to Freddie Mac. She is also a member of the National Multi-Family Housing Council board of directors, the Urban Land Institute, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council. 
  • Tawn Kelley, president of Taylor Morrison Home Funding and Mortgage Funding Direct Ventures. Kelley started Mortgage Funding Direct in 2001 with three employees in Maitland, Florida, and today has grown that number to 185 people nationally. She created a free service called Able Ready Own that has helped more than 500 families improve their finance qualification.
  • Cheryl Feltgen, EVP and chief risk officer at Arch Mortgage Insurance. Feltgen has been instrumental in developing Arch MI's enterprise risk management system, including a risk appetite framework and implementing a key risk indicator program. She also helped launch Arch Mortgage Guaranty in 2015, developing the company's underwriting guidelines and portfolio risk parameters.
  • Val Scott, EVP of technology at Clear Capital. Scott leads a team of developers, project managers, information management and information technology engineers and architects, data scientists and statisticians, which successfully implemented a customized version of the company's valuation review product. and released a proprietary methodology for comparable selection and ranking.

These women are just four of the 40 we recognized last year, representing a broad cross-section of our industry. Our list included CEOs and CFOs, but also legal officers, sales directors and those in charge of business development. They work in lending, servicing, real estate and investing, but they all have one thing in common: excellence.

Our 2016 nomination period closes tonight at midnight central time, so be sure to nominate the women you know who are doing incredible things in our industry. We can't wait to meet them!