NorthMarq Capital Commercial Insurance Supervisor Nicole Malaske’s knowledge of a wide array of lender portfolios makes her a pivotal resource and problem solver not only within the Insurance department, but also across Servicing and Production and for our external customers. She oversees the team responsible for monitoring insurance compliance post-closing in the Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Ginnie Mae, and select Life Company portfolios, and she recently celebrated her 10-year anniversary with the company. Commercial insurance was not her first calling in life, however.
Nicole spent a majority of her adolescence in Crystal Lake, Illinois (in the Chicago metropolitan area) with her parents and older sister but returned to her birthplace—St. Paul, Minnesota—to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from the University of St. Thomas. Nicole’s inspiration to pursue a career in social work came from her mother, who instilled the importance of giving back to the community. She says, “My mom had the most influence on my career choice. Growing up, she spent a lot of time volunteering at our church. Her heart and giving spirit inspired me to focus on social work.” Nicole worked in a hospital as a social worker during college and transitioned to a nursing home following graduation. After the birth of her first child, she spent some time at home, redirected her career focus, and took a position with a residential mortgage company.
Nicole arrived at NorthMarq in April 2007, at the downturn of the residential market and after receiving a positive referral from a friend at the company. During her tenure, she has held just about every position within the department: Commercial Insurance Specialist, Team Lead, Analyst II and III and now Supervisor.
Managing a wide variety of insurance portfolios can be a challenge, but Nicole handles each situation tactfully and focuses on solving problems. Nicole’s supervisor, Senior Manager Jason Lenz, explained, “Nicole is the go-to person for many of our borrower and lender customers. The fact that she deeply cares about people and helping others comes through right away when speaking with her. They know she strives to serve them in the best way possible, and she works diligently to find the best solution possible in any situation.”
What really makes Nicole stand out stems from the same values and attributes that initially aligned Nicole with the social work field—her unique combination of humility, humor and dedication to the well-being and development of others. When asked what she enjoys most about her current position, Nicole said, “Working closely with others on their career goals and leadership development.” Commercial Insurance Analyst Stephanie Hawkey observed of Nicole, “She genuinely cares about each and every person on her team, is an extremely hard worker, and leads her team by example.” Lenz added, “Nicole makes coming to work and being part of the department fun. She loves to laugh, and I know if I can hear her laughing down the hall that it is going to be a great day. Her positive demeanor and outlook on life are contagious.” Specific adjectives that describe Nicole? “Dependable, hardworking, avid learner, relational, loyal, coach, and mentor,” Lenz replied.
Because of her passion for helping others, over the years Nicole has been instrumental in several strategies at the leadership level. These strategies have included improving training and clarifying career development paths. One of her most notable accomplishments in this arena has been the opportunity to leverage her skills as co-advisor to the Servicing Council. As an advisor to the Council, she has been able to work closely with many of NorthMarq’s current and future leaders on various projects and leadership development opportunities. This role has allowed her to provide guidance to these promising employees as they pursue their own passions on their career paths.
Outside of work, much of Nicole’s time is dedicated to her family. Nicole and her husband, Josh, have been together for 16 years. Although they both hail from the same alma mater, Nicole and Josh met after college through a mutual friend. Their three kids, Mia (13), Jacob (10), and Ella (7), keep Nicole’s evening and weekend calendar full with activities—volleyball, hockey, soccer, ballet, skateboarding, cooking, baking and singing to name a few.
While this industry may not have been Nicole’s first career choice, we’re grateful she joined the NorthMarq team 10 years ago and continues to bring her special combination of people skills to a difficult job every day.