Changes at First American Title Insurance Company
October 15, 2008
SANTA ANA, Calif., - First American Title Insurance Company announced today that Maria Y. Valentin has been promoted to vice president for the Strategic Markets western region as part of the company's plan to integrate the division into its core operating divisions nationwide. In this expanded role, Valentin will oversee development of the company's multicultural marketing strategies for California, Nevada, Arizona, and Hawaii.
Valentin, who is based in Carmel, Calif., joined the company as diversity marketing manager in 2003 and was promoted to diversity marketing director for the greater San Francisco area in 2005. Her primary responsibilities have included consumer-focused outreach and educational events, specialized programs for real estate professionals and the hiring and training of key First American staff to better service ethnically diverse areas. She also played a key role in the launch of First American Asians' Club, a first-of-its-kind Internet destination dedicated to real estate professionals serving the Asian community.
"The face of homeownership continues to evolve and First American is committed to providing real estate professionals with title and escrow related products and services to help them better understand the issues facing minority homebuyers," said Valentin.
A sought-after speaker and recognized expert on the multicultural real estate market, Valentin has also developed courses to help First American's employees better understand the needs of ethnically diverse homebuyers. These courses include cultural competency training, as well as a program that familiarizes bilingual staff members with Spanish real estate and title vocabulary that may not be part of their everyday language.
"The multicultural real estate market is growing rapidly, particularly in California, Arizona, and Nevada.," explained Curt A. Caspersen, executive vice president for the southwest division. "Under Maria's leadership, First American is positioned to meet the market demand stemming from this growing sector."
Valentin worked as a licensed real estate broker in Southern California from 1996 to 2000. She is actively involved in a number of professional organizations, including the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, Asian Real Estate Association of America, Women's Council of Realtors(R) and the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors' Equal Opportunities Committee. Additionally, she is an active volunteer with Hospice of Monterey County and Community Hospital of Monterey, St. Joseph's Hospital and the American Red Cross.
In addition, First American promoted Jessica S. Verduzco to vice president for the Strategic Markets eastern region as part of the company's plan to integrate the division into its core operating divisions nationwide.
In her new role, Verduzco is responsible for executing First American's regional strategies to increase the company's market share within the rapidly growing Asian American, Hispanic, African American and new immigrant markets.
Verduzco, who joined First American in 2005, previously served as the company's Strategic Markets director for the state of Texas. With professional affiliations that include the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and the Asian American Real Estate Association, her primary focus has been developing strategic relationships with real estate professionals, lenders, community development corporations, and local and state municipalities. As First American continues to strengthen and integrate its Strategic Markets function throughout the country, Verduzco will also oversee the regional roll out of Strategic Markets University, the company's proprietary training and certification program which enhances multicultural competence among its sales force and escrow officers.
"Integrating the Strategic Markets Division into our core operations allows us to better address the issues facing minority homebuyers in our region," Verduzco explained. "By providing educational tools, and demographic insights for real estate professionals, we can help them more effectively meet the needs of this diverse market."
Prior to joining First American, Verduzco worked as a management consultant and Houston sales manager with Gap International, where she was responsible for developing new business opportunities and launching an international market-entry strategy. Her background also includes serving as a contract specialist with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration-Johnson Space Center in Houston, an account executive with Los Angeles-based Ad Americas and as a member of the Houston Texans game staff.
Verduzco, who holds bachelor's degrees in marketing and sociology from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Houston-Clear Lake, was recently honored as a Young Hispanic Corporate Achiever by the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility. The organization recognizes young Hispanic executives from Fortune 500 companies for their leadership qualities, industry expertise, education, employment experiences and commitment to their communities.
Based in Houston, Verduzco is also a member of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs and the Notre Dame Club of Houston.
Source: First American Corporation