A change from within can help one transform their life to become unstoppable in their field; that is exactly what resembles Galinda Fleming. She is an unstoppable force known as the Mortgage Woman for her dedication and assisting approach towards her clients.
Galinda is the Senior Loan Specialist at MIDFLORIDA Credit Union, where she oversees the Loan origination, processing, underwriting, and closing departments.
We at Insights Success came across Galinda in our endeavor to find ‘The 10 Most Empowering Women in Mortgage Industry, 2021.’ We got into a conversation to know and understand how Galinda changed her life to become one of the well-known empowered leaders in the mortgage industry?
A Transformative Journey
Galinda says that life is all about change and adapting to those changes personally and professionally. After going through a divorce, she started a new career in the mortgage industry in 1992 as an Office Manager and quickly became a Mortgage Broker by the end of the 1990s.
A head-hunter offered Galinda a position with PHH Mortgage/Cendant, who also owned numerous other companies, including a Real Estate Division that held Coldwell Banker, C21, and ERA Real Estate Companies. Together, it became an in-house mortgage company with a new program called Phone In Move In, and Galinda was one of 12 Account Managers across the United States hired to roll program this out. During her tenure with them, she created the Sales, Marketing, and Motivational Training Department for the Account Managers nationwide and created marketing and training resources called the Power Pak. She traveled the United States and implementing this information in the Account Managers territories, which became her passion, and she learnt a lot about people and herself.
Galinda has read numerous training and motivational books, but the two that stick out the most are Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life, by Spencer Johnson, and FISH: A powerful parable to help you see your life and work in a new way. She was touched by this book when she reviewed it on the plane ride home.
Galinda expresses that the third concept, “be present.” It goes beyond physically being present when talking to someone, and it is about giving your full, undivided attention – actively listening. It seems simple until you try to do it – every time.
As Galinda read this concept and thought about her son, Levi, and what took place when she came home from her trips after picking him up from his dads. She thought to herself, was I “present” in conversation? No, not even close; are you “present” in your conversations with your spouse, your children – do they have your full undivided attention every time? I can’t say every time, but I can say it became better.
Towards The Dawn
Galinda continued her journey through the mortgage industry, and from time to time, she flirted with the idea of working with MIDFLORIDA, but the timing never seemed right. She could never get her foot in the door. She applied for the first auto loan with MIDFLORIDA in the late 70s and had her savings and checking account.
Then 2007 happened, the mortgage industry and world changed. Every industry that dealt with homes was affected by lenders, title, builders, appraisers, inspectors, insurance, everyone in between, and small mom-and-pop businesses. Galinda’s income kept diminishing as it was based on commission. She kept her license active but needed to find additional income. A friend helped Galinda obtain a position as Director of Development with a non-profit called Lighthouse Ministries Inc. It had various programs: a 24/48-month Life Learning Residential Program for Men and Women/children seeking to recover from their addictions, destructive lifestyles, and homelessness due to previous abuse or just bad choices.
During this time, Galinda shared a part of her life that she does not share very often. That is of sexual, physical, mental, and emotional abuse as a small child through grade school and then mental and emotional abuse through adulthood until she ended a toxic relationship with her mother and finally started healing.
Galinda expresses that life is about dealing with change, the ebb and flow caused by others and some caused by yourself, and one must learn adapt, learn from it, ask for help and grow to flourish and help others in this world. She says, “Be Kind! That smile or kind word just might save a life; instead of suicide, they may turn and ask for help!”
Around this time, someone Galinda sent her resume at MIDFLORIDA, and the rest is history.
Conquering COVID Challenges
Galinda expresses that MIDFLORIDA kicked into high gear to work with its IT Department to allow some employees to work. It provided all the necessary equipment; provided protective gear, sanitary supplies, and dividers for those who worked in offices; locations that were directly impacted and had to close employees were relocated to other locations to minimize layoffs.
To thank the employees for continued support through the pandemic, MIDFLORDA gave a $25.00 bonus to the employees and asked it to be spent at local mom-and-pop shops that were having difficult times. Employees, members, and the Community are VERY Important to MIDFLORIDA. Again, their philosophy is excellent personal attention!
What Comes Next?
Galinda states that from the meager beginnings of a shoebox in 1954 to now, MIDFLORIDA has grown to nearly 65 branches, more than 1,200 employees, and assets over $5.7 billion. She hopes that MIDFLORIDA will cover the State of Florida with products and services that rival any local bank in five years while maintaining the credit union philosophy of excellent personal attention.
Bequeathing Budding Entrepreneurs
In her advice for up-and-coming women entrepreneurs, Galinda says, “life may give you lemons, so you make lemonade and proudly serve with a SMILE!” “When dealing with any human being, NEVER lose the personal touch – put the cellphone on vibrate, better yet, turn it off! “Be Present” in the Conversation! You will always win because it is a win-win for everyone involved! And Remember – Always Be Kind Because you can Always Be Kind!” concludes Galinda.
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