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Sandra Jarish Wins of the Excellence in Leadership Award

At the 2021 Five Star Conference in Dallas, the Five Star Institute honored the industry’s women who are making a difference, and leaving their mark on their colleagues and peers at the Women in Housing Leadership Awards Luncheon. As we have in year’s past, MReport is taking the chance to shine a spotlight on these professionals.

The Excellence in Leadership Award—which recognizes women who have demonstrated exemplary leadership for their organizations and teams—was won this year by Sandra Jarish, President of Servicing for Planet Home Lending LLC.

Jarish has been with Planet Home Lending from its beginnings in 2007. Under her watch, the company became one of the first mortgage firms to win full Ginnie Mae issuer-approval based on its track record as a servicer. Prior to Planet Home Lending, Jarish was VP of Servicing at Mortgage Lenders Network, USA.

What others are saying …
“Sandra Jarish, an ardent advocate of women in the mortgage industry for 30 years, is described by her colleagues as an incomparable leader and teammate. Jarish cultivates a collaborative work environment that encourages loyalty and commitment from her team. Currently, nearly 40% of servicing employees have been with Planet more than five years. The past year confirmed Jarish’s excellence as a leader; she opened a servicing center in the Dallas Metroplex while tackling a COVID-19 response, including modifying workflows, implementing new technology, and shifting personnel to ensure employees were safe, losses were limited, and forbearance borrowers’ needs were met."

What does this nomination mean to you and what makes you a good pick for this category?
Jarish: While I’m proud to receive this award, the credit really goes to my exceptional Planet servicing team. Together, we tackled COVID- 19-related issues like forbearance and getting employees what they needed to work from home safely. As a team, we opened our new Dallas servicing center, implemented an early buyout program for securitized mortgages, and put in place enhanced technology to serve our private clients. My team makes me a better leader as we work together to make Planet's servicing second to none. Being nominated for an award in the Women in Housing’s Excellence in the Leadership category is not only an honor but it allows me to set an example for other women in our business and provides a path forward to success and personal achievement.

What are your proudest career achievements thus far?
Jarish: Leading a team that grew Planet Home Lending during one the most challenging periods we’ve faced as an industry is my proudest career achievement. We opened a servicing center in Dallas, assisted tens of thousands of customers whose finances were affected by the pandemic, and launched a revolutionary asset monetization engine for our private clients. And we did it while we more than doubled the portfolio from $22 billion in mid-year 2020 to $45 billion a year later.

Are there any women who have served as career mentors for you, and what did you learn from them?
Jarish: People often think that mentors must be people above them on the corporate ladder, but I think mentors are found at all levels both professionally and personally. The women who have mentored me the most on a professional level have been women not only on my team for years and sometimes decades, but also my female colleagues here at Planet that I have worked with over the past 10+ years. As a team, we have learned that hard work and diligence reap great rewards and we have met multiple business challenges and achieved great results. Through partnership and collaboration, we can accomplish our goals, however difficult. They have taught me the value of working across multiple channels to build initiatives. Together, we’ve built an eco-system of products and services that deliver synergistic value to clients served by the Planet family of companies.

On a personal level, although not a business executive or even a career woman, my most important mentor has been my mom. She taught me the basic traits that have allowed me to be successful: a strong work ethic, honesty, dependability, confidence, and most importantly, to be driven and a strong professional woman.

What is the most critical piece of advice you would give to women beginning their career in this industry?
Jarish: Find a company where everyone is included and treated with respect. Planet Financial Group CEO and President Michael Dubeck values, listens to and promotes employees based on merit, not gender. He supported my diverse team as we built the platform, processes, and technology to grow the servicing and sub-servicing portfolios. Opportunities exist with companies that value diversity and inclusion. If your company isn’t one of them, come join my team.

About Author: Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.
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