A speech delivered by PrimeLending Founder Roseanna McGill launching a five-year vision of the company.
It wasn’t long ago that I had an idea, a personal vision.
It wasn’t long ago. Truthfully, 1986 feels like yesterday. That’s when I started a mortgage company known as PrimeLending. Well, it wasn’t actually “known” at all. Choosing a name for the business is easy; making a name for the business is more challenging. No one had heard of PrimeLending. There was no reputation to sell. We had no history to base our performance on. It was a brand new business. It was a brand new start. It was the beginning.
It wasn’t long ago that PrimeLending didn’t have much. We didn’t have a name. We didn’t have a reputation. We didn’t have a lot of loans. We had no history or high rankings as a leading mortgage lender. We didn’t even have a fax machine, the internet, or e-mail. There were no big funds to market, advertise or wine and dine our partners or clients. What you saw was what you got, and there wasn’t much to see.
It wasn’t long ago that all we had was a small, 1,500 square foot office with one receptionist, two offices and a conference room. We had old and used reception furniture. We had meager beginnings. But, we also had creativity and the uncanny ability to stretch a dime into a dollar. Making the most of what we had was not only a motto, but a way of life. We had determination. The business is what we knew. And, there was no room for failure in those early days. The office was too small to allow failure any space in there. We only knew one direction to go, and that was up.
And, we had each other. If you look over old photos from the days at the beginning—which you won’t be able to do because they are safely hidden—you’ll see familiar faces. Diane Clark. Nancy Ensign. These are the First Ladies of PrimeLending. They know this business, and they know this company. The success that we enjoy today is largely in part due to the hours of hard work that they contributed early on. Then, in the early years, other familiar faces joined the family, people like Laurie Nutgrass, Jody Nyquist, Sharon McCormick, Kristi Harris, Joy Dobbs, Debbie Allemang, and Travis Crim. The faces and names that seem and sound so familiar are for good reason… They have given years to PrimeLending. Through tough markets and tough times of their own, they have demonstrated their loyalty, and we all have benefited from it.
It wasn’t long ago that a good year was $196 million in volume. And, it was in 1994, we added our first branch office in Park Cities. It wasn’t long ago that everything and everyone was new. Friends were strangers.
It wasn’t long ago that I learned that you never know. A person just never really knows. You never know which way the market is going to turn from day to day. You never know which partner is going to help you build a strong client base. You never know which loan officer is going to succeed and which one might not. And, you never know for sure where life is going to take you. You can plan. You can calculate. You can put all the pieces in place, but ultimately, you never know what is going to happen. And, that is wonderful.
Not knowing is what makes life worth living. And, not knowing the success that we would have is partly what makes today so great. I knew that PrimeLending would succeed. There was, like I said, no other way to go. What I didn’t know was the level to which we would succeed. It was high, but this type of success is a joy. And now, 2.2 Billion in production! Ranked the 3rd Residential Mortgage Lender by Dallas Business Journal for two years in a row! And, having such talent, capable and driven people working so hard for PrimeLending! It is incredible to see!
PrimeLending is on the map, and moving right along. We are definitely going places as a company. However, I’m not… I’m not going places. I’m not going anywhere. I’ve recently extended my contract with PlainsCapital Corporation to stay on as President of PrimeLending for a year, as defined by the contract. At this point, at the end of that term, I don’t foresee any changes either. The ride has been too exciting for me to get off now.
It wasn’t long ago that I had a dream of PrimeLending. What I’m seeing today is better than I ever dreamt. And, that makes the thoughts of tomorrow even more exciting.