2023 HW Vanguard: Cristy Ward

Cristy Ward

Cristy Ward, chief strategy officer at Mortgage Connect, is an influential mortgage executive who has worked with most top-20 lenders in her career, developing thoughtful strategies and bringing innovative solutions to the mortgage market, including the industry’s first enhanced closing model — a model which many top lenders adopted into their operational process. Ward understands firsthand the challenges facing women climbing the ladder in this male-dominated field. Her experience inspired her to establish Women Empowering Women Financial Services (WEWFS), a nonprofit that provides a place for peer-to-peer collaboration and support for women in the mortgage industry. Ward is acutely focused on the need for transparency and options for consumers in closing costs associated with closing a home loan. Ward is passionate about reducing barriers to homeownership for low- to moderate-income borrowers who should not be burdened with excessive closing costs. In the last year, Ward has worked directly with government-sponsored entities and leading lenders to bring attention to this issue and instigate conversations about solutions that would bring greater efficiencies to the closing process. She has made it a personal mission to usher more women into the leadership ranks of the mortgage world. WEWFS strives to expand the boardroom so there are more women at the table, create an atmosphere of diversity and inclusion, and establish the building blocks for future generations of women to be empowered in the workplace. Thanks to the support WEWFS provides, 15% of the organization’s 100-plus executive leadership members have taken on entrepreneurial roles within the mortgage space.

What has been your secret to success?

Honesty and transparency. Leading with these two qualities has enabled me to earn the trust of clients. Trust is such a big part of success; when clients trust you, hurdles get removed and you work together to make things better. When employees trust you, you can move mountains for your customers. Integrity in the moment of choice is important, no matter who you are serving.


Cristy Ward


Chief Strategy Officer

Company Name:

Mortgage Connect

3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

Log In

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Please