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The year 2022 marks 20 successful, award-winning years in the competitive mortgage industry for Neena Vlamis, Owner and CEO of A and N Mortgage Services. Under Neena's leadership, A and N has developed from a handful of employees 20 years ago to almost 100. The company has a fantastic culture and employee camaraderie where everyone is encouraged to contribute, grow, and strengthen their skill sets. Being a female leader in the competitive mortgage industry has taught Neena several valuable insights. “It always helps to have other female leaders in your corner," she said. "Simply to talk about issues and realize you’re not alone. Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions and learn. Once you are up and running, pull someone else up! Grow the people around you and teach one another.”
Neena says, “Up until 1975, a woman couldn’t even sign a lease on a car or get a credit card without a male co-signer.” And here she is, with a billion-dollar book of business and a successful mortgage company across thirteen states and growing.
A and N Mortgage Services is an established, respected mortgage company based in Chicago, IL. As a mortgage banker, A and N offers a wealth of different loan programs and have access to over thirty banks, credit unions, mortgage insurance companies, products, programs, and niche products to fit an array of homeowners’ needs. A and N can provide Jumbo loans up to five million in-house and is also a direct lender, which means the company’s loan process, from application to funding, is all under one roof from start to end. Neena is proud that the centralized mortgage process and strength in investor relationships allow the company's referral partners to have peace of mind with every transaction. These investor relationships have lasted over a decade, earning A and N a reputation of trust as an industry leader.
For clients, A and N provides a tightly bound and solid staff that eases the potentially stressful and often overwhelming storm of the mortgage process. For its industry partners, A and N is a company with answers, support, and transparency. For its sales staff, A and N is a place where they can learn, take risks, and build their business with the best pricing and products.
“Security and trust are very important to me. Those elements are key to a strong foundation. We get to help people get into homes they can be proud of, and that is an incredible feeling,” says Neena.
Neena attributes her entrepreneurial spirit in part to her parents. While growing up, Neena's mother worked in the mortgage industry, and her father was a refugee from India who taught her early on that building wealth is a gift. Her father also made it clear that it requires hard work and dedication. In junior high school, Neena helped her dad manage rental properties. It wasn't always how she wanted to spend her weekends, but she is very grateful in retrospect. Neena said that her father showed considerable trust in her by giving her this responsibility. She highlights that trust builds confident leaders.
Neena believes that leadership doesn't stop with her. She wants to continue fostering more leader within A and N. Neena is creating a leadership track program to ensure its employees have even more ownership and autonomy within the company. A and N’s current management team is ninety percent female, and almost half of the company’s Loan Officers identify as female. Whether working with a first-time homebuyer or someone needing a jumbo loan for a vacation property, Neena encourages her team not just to make a living but aspire to make a difference. She has a passion for working with clients and helping them to expand and strengthen their home loan portfolios. She and her team can also work with clients coming to the U.S. with visas and help teach them about specific home loan products. She says that part of being a successful female business owner is setting yourself up to succeed.
Neena believes that a pessimistic mindset will not give you a positive life, so she doesn’t dwell on negativity but moves forward when encountering sexism or racism, blatant or microaggressions. “You figure it out. You face a challenge head-on and always come out stronger for it.”
A and N is proud to work with the motto, ‘With our loans, you’re not alone,’ and the company’s employees take this to heart. A and N is not a company looking to make deals; rather, they are working to build relationships. “Buying a home is very personal, intimate, and can feel overwhelming.” She underlines that A and N has created a team of dedicated, talented people who will help homeowners through the entire process. Neena says that the company is proud that they have an impressive number of repeat clients and more than one thousand five-star reviews.
Neena aims to expand A and N’s reach by increasing the company’s state licensing and recruitment practices and is opening a new branch in Michigan. The company collaborates with other industry leaders on exciting outreach programs. Neena insists that emerging leaders should strive to be better today than they were yesterday, but they should be kind, personable, and respectful in doing so. “I believe in supporting a strong Chicago. My newest outreach program is to support women in buying multi-unit buildings. Currently, the market is male-dominated in this arena. My goal is to educate females on how to reach financial freedom. We have also worked with various charities and non-profits, including Habitat for Humanity Chicago.”
Neena advises her entire team to learn and grow continually. She has told them many times that instead of looking at a situation with a “have to” mindset, try to take a step back and think of it as “it is a privilege”. It will change how they approach the business and will keep them in a positive mindset. She said she has loved every minute of the last 20 years of A and N’s journey and is looking forward to the next. She wants to remind other leaders to have a little fun because they all deserve to enjoy what they do!
THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT. This is not a commitment to lend. Offer of credit subject to credit approval. A and N Mortgage Services, Inc. 1945 N. Elston Ave. Chicago, IL 60642 p: 773.305.LOAN (5626) ANmtg.com NMLS No. 19291 For licensing information and for Texas consumers to file a complaint, go to: https://www.anmtg.com/licensing/ (Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System https://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/) Neena Vlamis NMLS No. 37370 Kiki Troulos NMLS No. 222118 Heather Chymka NMLS No. 876227 Brad Beyer NMLS No. 2031080 Maria Willging Kennedy NMLS No. 204056 Scott Marshall NMLS No. 226264 Ryan Pierce NMLS No. 1041686 Hernan Campuzano NMLS No. 686531