HALL OF FAME 2019 DEBBIE MCPHERSON Senior vice-president, sales and marketing GENWORTH CANADA
Debbie McPherson has more than 30 years of experience and proven success in sales and quality management in the mortgage industry, including 18 years with Genworth Canada. As Genworth’s senior vice-president of sales and marketing, McPherson is responsible for developing and executing sales and marketing strategies that support business growth objectives and drive exceptional customer experience. Over the years, she has built a reputable team of sales and marketing executives, analysts, trainers and regional sales professionals across the country. Her customer focus has resulted in a long history of progressive partnerships focused on adapting to new market realities and seeking innovative solutions. Outside of her position with Genworth, McPherson plays an active role in many industry organizations, including MPC and CREA. In October 2018, she was inducted into the Canadian Mortgage Hall of Fame. She is also an active volunteer for the United Way, Habitat for Humanity and Home Suite Hope.
KYRA WONG Vice-president MANULIFE
A 25-year industry veteran, Kyra Wong started her career at age 18 as a receptionist for a mortgage company. After completing her post-secondary education, she became a licensed mortgage broker and began specializing in alternative financing. Wong’s priorities changed after the birth of her son in 2004, prompting her to switch gears and accept a position on the insurance side of the business. In 2006, Wong attained the insurance business of a new company entering the mortgage space: Dominion Lending Centres. After years of skyrocketing sales results, she was promoted to national sales director and began running DLC’s insurance program. By 2017, DLC had grown substantially and made two acquisitions along the way, becoming Manulife’s largest account in the creditor insurance space. Wong was promoted once again to district vice president, nationally overseeing the insurance business for the entire DLC group of companies. In 2018, Wong felt compelled to do more to help others succeed and created the Magical Unicorn Project, which focuses on challenging the status quo within the financial industry by championing gender equality, diversity and inclusion. Her goal is to help support the advancement of women and minorities in leadership roles by shining a light on darkness to smash through the glass ceilings of inequality. An intrapreneur, best-selling author, blogger and keynote speaker, Wong was named a Woman of Influence by CMP in 2015, 2016 and 2018. She was also nominated as a Woman of Distinction at the Canadian Mortgage Awards in 2019 and received the 2019 WIMI Ambassador Award.
FRANCES BLAU President ABACUS MORTGAGES
Frances Blau’s list of achievements in her 50-plus-year career is impressive, to say the least. The first female inductee into the Canadian Mortgage Hall of Fame, Blau was the 2014 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Canadian Mortgage Awards. She is also the former president and chair of the education and ethics committee for the Ontario Mortgage Brokers Association. Before opening Abacus Mortgages, an independent private lending brokerage specializing in mortgages for unconventional borrowers, as well as construction and commercial financing, Blau owned and operated Siticapital Financial Corp., along with two other brokers. As owner and president of Abacus, Blau has helped nurture and educate dozens of mortgage agents throughout the years, many of whom have gone on to establish their own active brokerages. As a result of her knowledge and history in the industry, Blau is well known and respected by her peers, private investors and institutional lenders. Still a member in good standing of CMBA, Blau continues to share her experience and knowledge of the industry. “I hope I have contributed knowledge, information and education throughout my career,” she said when accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award. “I’ve done so many things in my life in the mortgage business.”
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