Whether she’s busy helping clients or busy supporting See SPOTLIGHT, Page A7 her children, Kathleen Garcia is always on the go. (Curtis Michaels Photo)
If it weren’t [auth] for family, Kathleen Garcia would probably feel as if she were twisting in the wind.
It was her grandmother who inspired her life’s direction professionally, and it’s her children who keep her passionately focused and successful in a happy life.
“I knew I wanted to be in the mortgage business since I was a little kid,” Garcia said, “and watched my grandmother sell real estate.
“I grew up here from high school. I was in Texas before that. We lived with my great-aunt, who was more of a grandmother to me. She was really big in the real estate world. She sold ranches. She made a ton of money and that was good for her, but mostly she had that passion and that desire. As a kid, you don’t really see the money things. I saw the passion, and I saw where she was going with it and the amount of real estate that she was able to own. One day, I hope to step into her shoes, those are big shoes to fill.”
Falling in love at a young age kept her moving toward her passion.
“I graduated from Roswell High in 1999,” Garcia said. “I went to college for a very short time. I had met my first husband in high school, and we had two wonderful children together. We divorced and and I’ve remarried with another beautiful child. My children are my life. They are absolutely everything to me, so I didn’t finish college and I knew I wanted to be in the mortgage business. I’d like to think that my mortgage loan officer’s license was a lot harder than any master’s thesis paper I could write.”
She’s been in the mortgage business most of her working life.
“I love my job,” Garcia said. “I’ve been in the mortgage business for about 15 years. Started out in Pioneer Bank in mortgage loan servicing. I then worked for Prime Source Mortgage for a little over eight years. I took a little break to go to the Chamber of Commerce. I decided my passion was in mortgages. I opened my own branch, New Penn Financial, and then I came back to work with Kurt (Gass) again at Michigan Mutual.”
She tried a different direction briefly, working for the Roswell Chamber of Commerce.
“The reason I interviewed at the chamber,” Garcia said, “at that time it was still under Dorrie Faubus-McCarty. She’s such a wonderful person. She took me under her wing. She’s like a second mom to me. She was explaining to me how wonderful it is to be around all the people. I’m such a people person. I love people. I really enjoyed working there, getting to know everybody in town. … My husband makes fun of me that I could talk to a brick wall.”
While the work at the chamber was exciting, it only reinforced her desire to be in the mortgage business.
“I really enjoyed working at the chamber,” Garcia said. “I really enjoyed getting to know everybody and being involved with all the different activities around town, but that made my calling for mortgages even stronger because I was doing really great things with the chamber and with the people, but I wasn’t seeing their dreams come true really.
“People would talk about their mortgages, or they’d ask questions about their mortgages, and it just drew me in even closer that I really wanted to be back in the mortgage department.”
Some things the chamber just couldn’t give Garcia, she found.
“I want to see people get into their homes. I will work with anybody to fix credit, to fix a file if there’s a problem. I’ll work through it. I’m not just going to send you away. I really appreciate referrals.
“When they come in the door, most of the customers I work with are just scared about the whole process. When I can sit down with a borrower and help them understand the process, then it becomes exciting.”
While Garcia loves her work, she does it to make the life she gives her children better.
“Whenever I am not at work, I am with my children,” Garcia said. “I’m involved with their schools, Gateway Christian School and All Saints Catholic School. I’m on the PTO board there for All Saints Catholic School. I help them run many programs. They’re wonderful. They have the best principal ever this year. They’re awesome.”
She loves supporting her children in their extracurricular activities, but has had to back away from many social activities for a while.
“My son is involved in football, so we do a lot of activities there with football,” Garcia said. “I am involved in Sunrise Rotary; we meet Tuesday mornings at Cerritos. I have been involved many years with the friends of the Roswell Zoo, with the historical society. I’ve done many boards throughout. This year I’m reeling it back in and trying to ramp up business and kids.
“I try to attend a lot of different things. I attended Leadership Roswell in 2004. I do attend the Young Professionals and try to be involved where I can.”
Features reporter Curtis M. Michaels can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.