Mischelle Weaver

President

Guardian Mortgage, a division of Sunflower Bank, N.A.

 

Denver, CO

Founded: 1965

Industry: Mortgage

In Autumn of 2020, Mischelle Weaver will be celebrating 40 years in the mortgage business, and she has every reason to celebrate.

 

Beginning her career in the mortgage industry as a receptionist at age 18, Weaver decided she would not be content to pigeonhole herself into just an entry level position.

 

“Any time there was a job opening at the company, I applied for it regardless of whether I had any experience in that department,” Weaver said.

 

At age 24, Weavers’ work earned her a promotion to processing manager, supervising a team of 60.

 

“There was just one problem,” Weaver said. “The company had a rule that no one under the age of 25 could be in a leadership position at this level.”

 

Weaver refused to be satisfied with that rule and eventually her reputation for doing great work won out over the bureaucracy. As a result, she was given special permission to take the managerial role. By age 30 she was a national operations manager, managing a team of 250.

 

Weaver, now the president of Guardian Mortgage, a division of Sunflower Bank, N.A., has proven that by constantly opening herself to change and challenging herself to leave her safety zone she has been able to work in virtually “every seat” in the building. Her perseverance paid off. Weaver joined Guardian Mortgage in January 2017 as senior vice president of strategic initiatives before quickly becoming president in September 2017.  Her appointment as president recognized her ability to prioritize and execute the company's vision, her deep mortgage industry experience, and her significant leadership contributions during Guardian's merger with Sunflower Bank that was finalized in June 2017.

 

She explained, “Guardian is our trade name; however, we are all Sunflower Bank.  Working for a bank that was founded in 1892, a bank that has weathered many financial and economic storms and continued to grow into a thriving institution is a privilege. In the last 2 ½ years since the merger, we have completely restructured our Line of Business to be more efficient, effective, nimble and profitable. Restructure creates change and for many people it can breed uncertainty; retention can be a challenge.” She added, “Retaining our people was a key priority.”

 

Weaver anticipates increasing her team and production by no less than 25-30% each year in the next five years.

 

“We believe we have an incredibly compelling organization which supports an environment for people to join and thrive. We spend time in our weekly leadership meetings building our ‘leadership muscles’,” she said.

 

Weaver connects and relates to her employees at every level and understands the mechanics of each department because she has literally been there.  She persevered and advanced from teenage receptionist to mortgage company president–a feat usually reserved for the imaginations of Hollywood.

 

“Sometimes I just like working away from the limelight,” Weaver said. “Every once in a while, it’s nice to be part of an anonymous team instead of being the president.

 

For her relentless career pursuits and commitment to the mortgage industry for 40 years, Mischelle has earned a spot as a Titan 100.

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“We believe we have an incredibly compelling organization which supports an environment for people to join and thrive. We spend time in our weekly leadership meetings building our ‘leadership muscles’".

Mischelle Weaver was an innovator long before she realized it.  As a teen, she saw the fun her older brothers were having off-road racing in the desert and thought, “I want to do that, too!”  She filled out her application and sent it in for approval.  When a racing club officer called to say, “Sorry, but girls aren’t allowed,” she informed him that she had read the rule book from start to finish and that there was no mention of gender.  He chuckled and reluctantly let her in just to “try it.”  She raced for 7 years as one of the first female racers within SCORE International—teaching herself how to weld and fix mechanical problems on her own as well as getting her own major corporate sponsorship.  At times her car would flip but she landed upright, pressed the pedal to the floor and kept going, sometimes driving for over 20 hours at a stretch.  Although many club members gave pushback at having a female in their ranks, she never let up… and eventually became president of the chapter. 

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