ELITE WOMEN 2017 SUE MELNICK Chief operating officer and chief compliance officer Bay Equity Home Loans
Juggling responsibilities for both compliance and operations at Bay Equity Home Loans, Sue Melnick oversaw the implementation of major regulatory changes while growing the corporate and regional operations teams to support a doubling of their business volume. She credits her success to the company’s talent pool: “Bay Equity has remarkable people throughout the organization. We focus on hiring, training and nurturing great employees; we have strong management teams and remarkable ownership.” Another major factor has been finding balance. “We’re in the business to do loans, but we must do so within regulatory guidelines and interpretations,” Melnick says. “The challenge has been that balance between removing obstacles to sales while ensuring we are on solid footing with compliance. I’m very proud of how our team has achieved balance.” Outside of her mortgage work, Melnick supports charitable organizations and activities through the company, including the Wounded Warrior Freedom Station and the JoAnn McGovern Memorial Golf Tournament, a benefit for the fight against pancreatic cancer.
KELLY HENDRICKS Vice president
ASHLEY RUSTOM Senior loan officer Element Funding
After spending almost nine years as a successful real estate agent, Ashley Rustom decided to switch to the mortgage business after seeing a void in her community for an excellent and friendly mortgage lender to cater to local financing needs. She joined the industry in 2010, armed with her real estate experience, which has given her a better perspective and a more nuanced knowledge of the business. Rustom joined Element Funding in 2013 and has maintained top producer status ever since, bagging quarterly customer service awards based on client surveys. She remains devoted to her job and finds it rewarding to be able to help so many people obtain their dream homes. Rustom aims to help Element Funding grow its Atlanta market presence while maintaining quality service. Outside of her day job, Rustom is a member of her local chamber of commerce and a nominee for Leadership Rockdale, a program that provides for personal and professional growth and serves as a springboard for local community leadership opportunities. A mother of three, she spends ample time volunteering at her children’s school to help achieve a healthy balance between work and family. She is also working with her local Division of Family and Children Services office to get certified to foster children in her community, which she considers a personal calling.
Delmar Financial Company
Kelly Hendricks recently concluded her second term as president of the National Association of Professional Mortgage Women. She credits her successes over the past year to being surrounded by exemplary peers in the industry and to continuously looking for new ideas and ways to stay updated on trends. When asked about the hurdles she has had to overcome, Hendricks describes a scenario many female leaders are familiar with: “Some of the biggest challenges I have faced have been balancing my responsibilities of managing our companies’ operations while fulfilling my obligations as president of NAPMW and finding time to be present with my family. Often there are not enough hours in the day to achieve everything I have set out to do, but finding balance was key.” Hendricks considers this kind of recognition an encouragement for women “to seek a career path they might not have chosen,” as it helps them envision opportunities to rise in the industry.