First American Title Hosts Its First Ever ‘Women In Title’ Event

June 15, 2017

First American Title Insurance Company recently gathered some of the top women in the title industry for a two-day event designed to foster discussions on the opportunities and challenges in the title industry as well as the growing influence of women in the industry. Forty women leaders representing some of the largest title companies in the nation joined senior executives from First American Title's Agency Division and parent company, First American Financial Company, at the company's home office in Santa Ana, Calif.

“Empowering women is part of First American's DNA, as nearly 70 percent of our employees are women, so hosting the 'Women in Title' felt like a natural way to connect the women making an impact in the industry with some of our senior executives and prominent women leaders,” said Evan Zanic, president of First American Title's Agency Division. “The response has been overwhelmingly positive and we're looking forward to hosting the event again next year.”

The event's two-day schedule featured a mix of panel discussions and presentations on the most pressing issues in the title industry and business. Presentations on fraud, cyber security, changing regulations for employers and best practices in talent management, and marketing for growth were led by the women spearheading corporate initiatives at First American, including Michele Green, who oversees fraud prevention initiatives for First American Title's Agency Division; Shabnam Jalakian, who leads cyber security efforts for First American as the company's chief information security officer; Michelle Glonek, vice president of human resources at First American; and Sandra Bell, vice president of corporate marketing and communications at First American. Other guest speakers included Cornelia Horner, the chief operating officer of the American Land Title Association; and Susan E. Packard, the co-founder of Scripps Networks Interactive and former chief operating officer at HGTV.

“The influence of women in the title industry has grown tremendously over the last 10-20 years, but that growth has not been without challenges. The women participating in this event have overcome those challenges in unique ways, so it has been inspiring to connect and learn how these women from across the country have accomplished so much,” said Camille Brannon, managing partner with Campbell & Brannon. “Women share a unique bond and want to help other women be successful, so I'm excited to hear how the participants use the insight from this event to accelerate their careers and professional growth.”

The concept for the Women in Title event, which was the first of its kind hosted by First American Title, originated from a focus group discussion attended by Paula Cross, an Ohio-based sales representative within First American Title's Agency Division.

“As I made the drive from Cleveland to Grand Rapids to attend the focus group, I kept thinking about the successful women I know in the title industry that in many ways paved the way for the success of women today,” said Cross, who also attended the Women in Title event. “Connecting these women and providing a forum to discuss solutions to common problems seemed like an untapped opportunity, so I pitched it at the focus group and subsequently to management. Now, less than a year later, the enthusiastic response from the participants has validated the concept and underscores the momentum women have in the title industry.”

First American Title's parent company, First American Financial Corporation, was honored as one of the Best Workplaces for Women by Fortune magazine in 2016 in recognition for the company's efforts to create a culture that empowers women.

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