Paragon Hosts Annual
Relocation Conference
 
 

GenEquity Mortgage Finds Opportunity Amid Market Turmoil

 

Paragonís Learning Resources Travels Abroad

 

GenEquity Hires Director,
Business Development


 

Promotions, Awards and Recognition

  Paragon Webinars
     
  "Like all relocation companies, we are impacted by declining real estate markets and the turmoil in the mortgage industry. This challenge requires us to work even harder to assist our customers and clients."  
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Paragon Relocation Hosts Annual Relocation Conference in Dublin

View from The Clarence hotel in Dublin, Ireland.

 

Dublin, Ireland was the stage for Paragon Relocationís Annual Relocation Conference, held in September. The conference brought together members of Paragonís senior management team and those from locations around the globe, including Paragon Relocation Holland and Paragon Relocation Korea executives, to discuss plans and strategies for 2009.

The three day event focused on developing Paragon's network throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas and proved highly successful in developing cross cultural links within the growing Paragon family.

"The conference was fun and challenging. The agenda included updates, training and wide-ranging discussions about relocation in a very broad sense," said Geoff Mills, Managing Director of Paragon Relocation Holland. "As a Paragon Destination Service Provider we benefit greatly by having a sounding-board for new ideas. I think the discussions are also useful to Paragon as a whole because it is a chance for all the DSP elements of the organization to present what is happening in our local markets and what we are hearing from our clients."

There was also an opportunity to sample some of Dublinís restaurants, including a trip to the seaside town of Malahide, the city centreís famous Temple Bar district and a meal at The Clarence hotel, owned by members of the pop band U2.

The final day of the event was opened up to prospective future Paragon members, giving them the opportunity to be part of the business development discussions. The time spent proved valuable in bringing together key elements of Paragonís international team, providing a key networking and development opportunity.

 
 
 
 

President's Message

As we face the most turbulent times in the global financial markets since the Great Depression, I am pleased to report that Paragon Global Resources and our family of companies including Paragon Relocation Resources, our core business, is financially sound. Our balance sheet is strong. Our funds are secure. We have no meaningful debt or crushing interest expense, as is the case with many companies in the relocation industry. Our credit lines are alive and well. Like all relocation companies, we are impacted by declining real estate markets and the turmoil in the mortgage industry. This challenge requires us to work even harder to assist our customers and clients.

Most important, we are still successfully relocating families achieving high service ratings in spite of all the challenges that we face. While I canít say it is business as usual during these difficult times, I can say we are doing business and that our volume is following normal seasonal patterns. In addition, as a relocation industry leader, we have added several new clients in 2008, which is a testament to our employees, reputation and the results we deliver year after year.
"...We have no meaningful debt or crushing interest expense, as is the case with many companies in the relocation industry. Our credit lines are alive and well."

At the same time, we continue to focus on our ten year plan to extend our reach around the world. The Paragon brand is now evident in nine countries with boots on the ground and more coming in the months ahead. We have affiliates in 120 countries allowing us to relocate our customers any where, any time. GenEquity Mortgage, our wholly owned subsidiary, is successfully funding mortgages throughout the United States at competitive rates, which is more important today than ever. Shortly, Paragon Career Resources will add to its menu of services. And, in 2009 we will expand Paragon Decision Resources, our mobility consulting subsidiary, to include other human resource consulting disciplines. Times are tough, but there is no going backwards. The times require us to be even more focused, disciplined and passionate about our business and our dealings with customers, clients and partners.

Since Paragonís founding in 1991, we and our clients have faced other downturns only to come back even stronger. Paragon has been built on a solid foundation that includes our financials, our employees, experienced management, great service and unbridled optimism, all of which have been the basis of our success. During these uncertain times, we fall back on our core principles:

  • Corporate Ethical Standards and Integrity - We implement business operations and practices in keeping with high ethical standards and integrity, both as a company requirement and as an integral part of our corporate culture.
  • Commitment to Quality - We apply Six Sigma practices, performance metrics, client and transferee evaluations, careful monitoring of our suppliers and extensive training for our employees to form the basis for our Quality Assurance Program.
  • Collaboration - We work together with our employees, clients and supplier partners to insure the best possible services, programs and ideas are implemented for our clients and customers. We build on our commitment to quality by fostering a proactive work environment for our employees and by working in partnership with our clients and supplier partners to develop and deliver solutions that exceed our clients' expectations.
  • Cost Savings - We deliver services that provide a tangible return on investment for our clients. From reducing exceptions to policy and relocation cycle time to minimizing expenses, Paragon's services return far more in savings than they cost.
  • Customers for Life - We maintain long-term business relationships that are the ultimate affirmation of our follow-through and commitment. Promises made are promises kept.
  • Community Involvement - We demonstrate a caring attitude for our employees and the people we serve. We recognize that we are what we give back to our community. We feel a genuine need to help others is important to our success.
  • As long as we stay focused on these principles, we can face any challenge.



       
     
       
     
     
     

    GenEquity Mortgage Finds Opportunity Amid Market Turmoil

    Derek Bird, Vice President
    Mortgage Services
    GenEquity Mortgage

    GenEquity Mortgage, one of Paragonís newest subsidiaries, is already providing mortgage services to our clients within the United States. While turmoil surrounds the financial markets and in particular the mortgage industry, the timing of starting a new mortgage company may seem strange. However, Derek Bird, Vice President of Mortgage Services at GenEquity, believes there is opportunity in the marketplace. We sat down with Bird to talk about these opportunities and the advantages GenEquity Mortgage can bring to organizations.

    PP: In light of the current turmoil in the financial markets, how has this affected GenEquity Mortgage (GEM)?

    Bird: The current mortgage market and financial crises has left many lenders scrambling to stay alive. There is no doubt that the real estate and economic environment has created challenges for individuals selling and buying homes. The majority of customers are waiting to sell their old home before they purchase their new home, which is a shift from days past. In addition to the delay in customerís purchasing their new homes, many customers are finding it more difficult to purchase a new home due to the tighter guidelines and additional scrutiny that has been placed on mortgage originations. One thing is certain, the documentation required for obtaining a mortgage loan has digressed to decades ago. In light of these challenges and realities, GenEquity is positioned extremely well to thrive in the current market because of the strategic direction and quality of its customer base. The market is craving for high-quality loans with strong FICO socres, low loan to value (LTV), borrowers with plenty of reserves, and stable employers, all of which GenEquity is able to produce through its origination platform. GenEquityís investor base is solid, our financial backing by PGR, and solid credit lines position GenEquity for success in 2009 and beyond.

    GenEquityís strategic direction is to be a solid nationwide lender focused on the relocation mortgage industry and will compete with the relocation channels of Countrywide / Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Chase. The GenEquity message is powerful due to the multiple lender options available through a single service provide with experience in the relocation arena. To further this growth strategy, GenEquity has recently hired Paula Foster as the Director of Business Development. Paula comes to GenEquity with a wealth of experience in sales and relocation mortgage experience. Her focus will be to grow the client base of GenEquity by offer our innovative and powerful solutions to corporate employers and third party relocation companies. 2009 is expected to be a year of growth for GenEquity.

    PP: What do you think sets apart GEM from other mortgage companies?

    Bird: GenEquity is able to provide a multiple lender platform through a single service provider with expertise in the relocation mortgage arena. In addition, GenEquity has established innovative solutions that will drive convenience and cost savings for customers and clients. One example of these innovative solutions will be the roll-out of a virtual closing experience in a virtually paperless environment. This process will be leveraged through its national title solution that will also drive costs down for GenEquityís clients and customers by managing the title cost component.

       
     
     
     

    Paragonís Learning Resources Travels Abroad

    In the past few months, Learning Resources has been busy completing the initial MAGIC (Make A Great Impression on the Customer) and Six Sigma training with Paragonís newest DSP addition, Paragon Relocation Korea in Seoul, South Korea. Carol Nichols, Director of Learning Resources, enjoyed her stay in Seoul where she met Jay and Bright Yoon and the rest of the Paragon Relocation Korea team.


    "Itís important that Paragon welcome our newest addition and also provide them with the necessary training and resources they need so that we can ensure customer service expectations and levels are the same throughout the world," said Nichols.

    In addition to Korea, MAGIC update training was completed in the company headquarters in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, Warrenville, IL, and the Hong Kong offices.

    In addition to customer service training, Learning Resources has hosted 14 supplier training sessions for Warrenville, Rancho Santa Margarita, Dallas, and Danbury and 19 training classes for Operations staff.

       
     
     
     
     
     
      GenEquity Mortgage Hires New Director of Business Development
     

    GenEquity Mortgage has hired Paula Foster as Director of Business Development. Foster will be responsible for developing relationships between GenEquity Mortgage and corporate employers and third party relocation firms.


    Paula Foster

    "We are excited about the future growth of GenEquity that will come through Paulaís wealth of experience, knowledge, and relationships in the relocation / mortgage industry," said Mary Legate, Senior Vice President of Paragon Global Resources.

    Foster comes to GenEquity with previous experience as an area sales manager with CitiMortgage and a corporate relationship manager for the past seven years. Prior to her experience in the relocation mortgage arena, she worked as an Account Manager for Impact Group and as the Director of Marketing for Ariel Premium Supply. Foster is currently the Secretary of the Denver Rocky Mountain Relocation Council and has previously served as the President. She currently resides as a board member for the St. Louis Employee Relocation Council. She is a Certified Relocation Professional and has obtained a bachelorís degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Marketing, from the University of Missouri, St. Louis.

     
      Paragon Relocation Resources Names Jeremiah Blakely Manager, Business Development for Northeastern U.S.
     

    Jeremiah Blakeley has been promoted to Manager, Business Development. As such, Blakeley will oversee business development in the northeastern portion of the U.S.


    Jeremiah Blakeley

    Blakeley has more than six years of experience working in relocation and was most recently a Client Relations Consultant at Paragon. In this capacity, he managed a team of both Domestic and Global Relocation Consultants, coordinated and managed projects, maintained client relations as well as preparing and administering annual reviews, client visits, reporting, managed inventory and vendors. Before joining Paragon, Blakeley worked for three years as a Senior Relocation Consultant for Sirva Relocation and two years as a Relocation Consultant for Cartus.

    "Jeremiah comes into this new position with a great deal of frontline relocation experience that will serve him well," said Craig Selders, Senior Vice President of Paragon Global Resources. "Paragon has experienced significant growth within the U.S. and abroad in a short amount of time, and Jeremiah will be a key member to further expand our services within the Northeast United States."

    Blakeley has a bachelorís degree in communications and graduated Cum Laude from Western Connecticut State University.


     
     
      Congrats and Welcome!!
     


    Congratulations to the following employees on their recent promotions:

    Karen Kason to Managing Consultant
    Michelle Ackerson to Manager, Global Human Resources
    Kristy Allen to Global Marketing Specialist
    Nikki Tran to Relocation Consultant

     


    We welcome the following new employees to the Paragon family:

    Jennifer Collins - Relocation Administrative Assistant for Team Migliaccio in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
    Cliona Fitzsimmons - Manager, Operations EMEA in Dublin, Ireland
    Lorraine Furey - International Assignment Consultant in Dublin, Ireland
    Terri Hamilton - Client Relations Consultant in Danbury, Connecticut
    Brett Kohout - Financial Analyst in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
    Otis Lau - International Assignment Consultant, Hong Kong
    Claire Maher - International Assignment Consultant in Dublin, Ireland
    Mike Morabito - Project Consultant for Paragon Decision Resources in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
    Thomasina Quinn - Marketing Communications Specialist in Dublin, Ireland
    Chad Rayfield - Contract Administrator in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
    Crystal Rummel - Director, Global Human Resources in Irving, TX
    Swapnita Shirsekar - Client Account Report Analyst in Irving, TX
    Donna Todd - Business Development Associate in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
    Timothy Valverde - Graphic Designer in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
    Catia Viola - Destination Services Coordinator - London, UK
    Stacy Wood - Receptionist in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

     
      Service Award Winners
       
     
    Double Diamond Award Winners  

    This quarterly award recognizes outstanding achievers who demonstrate Paragon’s Core Values in their daily routine.

     
    2nd Quarter 2008
      Sasi Kilaru
      Kristy Allen
      Teresa Mahlberg
     
     

    Peak Performer Award Winners
     


    This monthly award recognizes outstanding achievers throughout Paragon who demonstrate the most exemplary performance in their daily routine.

     
    June 2008
    July 2008
    August 2008
    Shannon Thielke
    Sari Hanna   Peg Cich
     
       
     
       
     
     
    Upcoming Paragon Webinars


    Wednesday, November 12th - Laura Henneberry, Executive Vice President of Morreale Real Estate Services, will discuss problems in the real estate market in her presentation of "Short Sales, Negative Equities and Other Fun Stuff."

    December 3rd - Joseph Benevides, Executive Vice President of Paragon Global Resources, will give an overview of the state of the relocation industry. Benevides is the 2008 president of the Employee Relocation Council.

    January 2009 (specific date TBD) - Derek Bird, Vice President, Mortgage Services for GenEquity Mortgage will present a webinar on current mortgage practices and products.

    For more information about these and other webinars, please contact events@paragonrri.com.