by Michelle House, Featured Ambassador
, Bank 34 Mortgage Center
| Sep 20, 2017
Before I joined GSBA, everyone thought I was a straight white dude. Yes, you see I am a transgender woman, they just didn’t know. I had come out publicly only two months prior, and, while my employer was generally accepting, it didn’t go over well with my realtors or with some of my co-workers.
I had heard of the GSBA, so I decided to check the organization out. I learned more about the OutLeads group and joined right away, which became a huge help in replacing some of the business I had lost. I also found a great group of accepting people who now have become my friends. Within a year, GSBA had voted me in as the President of the Wallingford OutLeads Group, and our leads to members have been growing ever since.
At the same time that I was serving as OutLeads President, I decided to join the GSBA Ambassadors team. Since I was already going to at least one networking event a month anyway, it just made sense! I love connecting with and being a connector of people. I have a passion for helping others, which includes helping them with business or getting into their dream home—whether it's their first home or just a move.
I got into the real estate business in 1997 as a realtor in the Phoenix/Scottsdale Area. Being involved with listing and selling homes, investment real estate, investment seminars, setting up REIT’s, and property development gave me an outlet for my creative streak. I even spent some time working as a loan officer before moving back to Washington in 2009.
In 2010, I returned to mortgage lending as a loan officer because I had a big passion for helping people with one of their biggest financial transactions—their homes! I joined Bank 34 Mortgage Center
, because they have been a community bank for almost a century and because they focus on providing clients with excellent, personalized service. I have, to date, been able to help people with home mortgages in 49 out of 50 states, and I have been so impressed that customers have recruited me knowing full well that I am a transwoman. Being a rarity in the financial sector, I tend to push perception everywhere, as I am often the first transwoman that people in the business have met. I work with an excellent team, including Chhoeun Chhean, my loan partner who provides great customer service, and Bethany Borger, our processor who is a star at moving loans forward quickly. With the additional help of our Area Manager, Michael Ronchetti, I feel that I am supported 100%!
Lastly, a little about me. I am an animal lover. I love to hike, fish, and also spend time at the beach. I love the diversity of our outdoors here in the PNW. If you would like to learn more, please feel free to reach out to me. Let’s get coffee, or, if you see me at an event, say hi... I would love to meet you!