Over the years, women have been making significant strides in the finance sector, breaking through gender barriers, and achieving leadership positions. Today, women are leading the way in the finance sector, with many serving as CEOs, CFOs, and other high-level executive roles. These women are bringing diverse perspectives, innovative ideas, and fresh approaches to the industry, and their contributions are helping to shape the future of finance.
Nichole Foster is a highly experienced account executive with a passion for providing exceptional service and communication to her customers. With over 23 years of wholesale mortgage experience, Nichole has built a solid reputation as a go-to point of reference for her broker partners and their clients.
Nichole’s expertise spans across various loan products, including FHA, CalHFA, VA, Conventional, Jumbo, and more. As the main point of contact for her customers, Nichole is committed to assisting them with product parameters, pipeline management, and answering any questions they may have regarding underwriting, pricing, and loan closing.
Nichole’s dedication to excellence has not gone unnoticed. She has received several awards and recognition throughout her career, including the Top Wholesale Account Executive Award from HSBC/D1 for five consecutive years from 2003 to 2007.
Nichole also received the Rising Star Award from Household Finance in 2007 and has been a President’s Club Winner for Stearns Lending, LLC for five years straight from 2014 to 2018. In addition, Nichole was recognized with the Circle of Excellence Award from HomePoint Financial for three consecutive years, from 2019 to 2021. Kindlending 2022 Presidents Club
The interview with Nichole highlighted how her extensive knowledge, expertise, and unwavering dedication to excellence, making her an indispensable resource for any Broker Partner and their clients.
Brief us about your career path as a staunch woman leader up until your current position. What were the challenges that you had to overcome to scale your progress?
At a young age, I had seen a lot because of a very troubled childhood. Living in motels, stealing food, leaving me with self-doubt throughout my adulthood.
During my career, I learned I had to OUTWORK MY SELF-DOUBT. I had to prove to myself every day what I was truly made of. Helping as many people as possible get home became a personal challenge for me. I would say that self-doubt was the most challenging for me throughout my journey. Occasionally, it still is. I am not ashamed of it—it has helped me get to where I am today.
Tell us more about your present company and its mission and vision.
At age 25, after working as a loan officer for 10 months, Glenn Stearns formed his own mortgage company, Stearns Lending LLC, in 1989. In 2015, Glenn sold Stearns Lending and embarked on a multi-year sabbatical with his family. Returning in 2019, Glenn starred in a reality show, Undercover Billionaire, on the Discovery Channel. The goal was to anonymously build a business valued at $1 million in 90 days, which led to the creation of Underdog BBQ in Erie, PA.
Following the show, Glenn went back to his roots in mortgage banking and visualized the next evolution in wholesale mortgage lending. Focused on building a company around its people, who were seasoned veterans in the industry with a passion for helping others – Kind Lending.
What methodologies do you implement that contribute to new growth opportunities?
My strength is that I trained myself to have an impeccable work ethic. In the words of Will Smith, “I will die on the treadmill because you will not outrun me,” I demanded that my personal work ethic stay in a state of constant growth; it’s not about my competition outside of me; it’s me against me.
Please share your learning of the business world.
As soon as I became pregnant at 18, motherhood became very important to me. It didn’t take me long to realize that my little girl was my world. I was in the medical field at the time and learned fast that it wasn’t for me. Then, I learned about the mortgage industry and discovered I could help people buy homes! Since I was introduced to this venture by a family member at the age of 22, I have been dedicated to it ever since. I love building relationships, so it was easy for me to follow this career path.
What values do you incorporate to enhance the work culture of your company?
Kind Lending is not opposed to variable hours to best serve the employee and customer base alike. Additionally, Kind embraces hybrid and remote work situations where appropriate. I’m never opposed to flexibility in work hours or remote working, as this promotes a healthy team environment and work situation for all. The way I look at it, it’s more coverage around the clock.
What, according to you, could be the next significant change in your sector? How are you preparing for the change?
No one ever knows what’s next in this crazy business, just that we are here and ready for the curveballs that life throws!
Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run, and what are your future goals for your company?
My goal is to continue creating and nurturing relationships, listening to people, growing and mentoring those on my path, and most importantly, overcoming my own self-doubt. The by-product of all of that is that I demolish my competition along the way. So, it’s simple, but never easy.
What advice would you give to the next generation of women leaders willing to venture into the modern business arena?
Ride the waves, serve people, create connections, and most importantly, outwork yourself in times of doubt and most of all BE KIND!