At the beginning of each year, NorthMarq Capital’s Servicing Council identifies strategic goals for the coming year. In 2015, the initiatives identified by the council focused on providing additional training for all Servicing employees and creating opportunities for employees to participate in collaborative activities. Three areas of focus for the council included organizing the first internal conference for Servicing employees, providing more public speaking opportunities, and continuing the small-group conversations that started in 2014. The council had a successful year working on these three initiatives.
Servicing Conference focuses on industry trends
One notable professional development opportunity for Servicing was the Servicing Conference in November. The two-day conference brought together employees from both the Minneapolis and Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, offices as well as Asset Managers from NorthMarq Capital Finance to learn more about industry trends and how NorthMarq Capital’s business operates in response to changes in the commercial real estate finance industry.
Presentations from internal and external speakers included an in-depth look at the partnership between NorthMarq Capital and Freddie Mac, a high-level overview of Fannie Mae and FHA loan programs, an overview of the general economy and real estate economic trends, and a discussion of real estate development and acquisition strategies.
In addition, Bert Libke, SVP/Managing Director – Servicing, presented the Karen Pribnow Award for Excellence in Servicing. The award was created in 2015 and is presented to a member of Servicing who displays honor, competence, commitment, customer service, and excels in other measures outside of the standard duties of the role. The recipient of the first Karen Pribnow Award was Lorraine Gersbach, Senior Vice President – Loan Portfolio Manager. Learn more about this award in the related article.
Marq My Words: Employees speak up
In response to requests from Servicing employees for more opportunities to practice public speaking, the Servicing Council organized “Marq My Words,” modeled on the Toastmasters concept, with help from former Toastmaster Van Vorhis, NorthMarq’s in-house counsel. In addition to welcoming all Servicing employees, the Servicing Council opened the meetings to NorthMarq Capital’s Minneapolis office to allow involvement from other departments. The topics are as varied as the personalities of the participants. Each person selects his or her own subjects, and the speeches provide enlightening insight into hobbies and histories, which has a nice side-benefit of providing a team-building environment at the same time.
Meet & Greets provide informal group discussions
Meet & Greets are small group meetings of about 15 employees spread among all Servicing sub-departments (i.e., Loan Operations, Portfolio Management, Insurance, Investor Reporting & Accounting, and Tax). In the meetings, a member of the Servicing Council directs the conversation in order to discuss industry and/or company trends, pose questions provided by management, and obtain general feedback. The concept for the Meet & Greets was created as a direct result of feedback that employees would like the opportunity to familiarize themselves with colleagues from other sub-departments.
Servicing Council Initiatives for 2016
In 2016 the Servicing Council will engage in a variety of skill- and relationship-building activities, including coordinating small-group training sessions on industry topics for the Servicing department; organizing volunteer team-building events with local organizations; enhancing Council members’ own leadership skills; and informing employees and gathering their feedback about industry trends.
More about the Servicing Council
NorthMarq Capital’s Servicing Council was formed in April 2012 with the idea of creating a voice for the greater body of the Servicing Department. Servicing Council members organize training and team-building opportunities for the Servicing Department, while also learning leadership skills themselves.
The Council is composed of seven employees from various sub-departments of Servicing who have been nominated and selected by management, with each employee sitting on the council for a two-year rotation. Tarrah Mueller, Vice President and Manager – Portfolio Management, founded the council and acts as a standing Advisor. Laura Pierce, Loan Operations Supervisor, was also a council Advisor for the 2015 term, with Nicole Malaske rotating on as a new Advisor for 2016.