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Massachusetts Agencies

Resiliency ? Stewart is Stronger than Ever

Articles from The Massachusetts Focus

Newsletter of Stewart Title Guaranty Company, Massachusetts Offices
Spring 2007, Volume 6, Number 2

Resiliency — Stewart is Stronger than Ever
by Craig J. Celli, State Manager

Hello again and happy spring to all. I sincerely hope that the forecasts of a stronger buying and selling market either have impacted your business or will impact your business in the near future. We are partners on this road of business and I can assure you that Stewart will drive along side you for as long as you need.

It is with great pride that I write this message to our agents; a message about the resiliency of Stewart Title. Over the past nine months Stewart Title has enjoyed the opportunity to restructure its personnel and the direction of the company. Stewart wanted to strengthen its legal department, its sales force, its administrative staff, its technical support and its office management. I am thrilled to say that we have completed this restructuring and Stewart Title is stronger than ever.

When I joined Stewart Title back in June of '06, our restructuring began. Some old faces within management, our legal department, sales force, and administrative staff were replaced with new energetic faces. It is always easy for a company to act strong and confident when the times and the market are good. The seas are calm and the sun is shining. The question is how does a company react when the waves of business are crashing against it and the dark clouds of difficulty hang above. Stewart has seen those times over the past nine months and has shined brilliantly when times appeared most bleak. Instead of going the way many of our competitors expected us to go, Stewart Title moved forward. Many experts claimed that Stewart Title would lose market share in Massachusetts, but in the first full quarter since its restructuring, as compared to the 2005 year end figures, Stewart Title increased its market share. As I have been telling many of our agents, if our competitors were going to take advantage of our supposed vulnerability, they missed their chance.

Our strength and momentum has continued in the beginning of 2007. Proving positive of Stewart Title's momentum, is Stewart’s addition of some of the title insurance industry's leaders to the company. I am happy to welcome the following fantastic people to Stewart Title. Stephen Dinsmore, Esq, formerly of First American Title Insurance has joined Stewart Title as Vice President and New England Division Sales Manager. Steve, perhaps the most prolific sales representative in the industry over the past two decades, brings integrity and an unmatched record of customer commitment to a company that already deeply believes in the same. James (Jim) Bilodeau, Esq. formerly of First American joins Stewart as a Vice President and Massachusetts and Rhode Island Sales Manager. Jim, First American's top sales representative, has earned the trust and business of hundreds of agents, but now will lead the sales forces of two states with Stewart. Melanie Kido, Esq, also from First American, joins Stewart's already stellar legal team as an Assistant Vice President and Underwriter Counsel. As we have already learned early on in her time with Stewart, Melanie is revered by hundreds of agents and by her counterparts from all title insurance companies. Melanie Hagopian Esq. , formerly of Chicago Title, joins Stewart Title's sales team. Melanie is the Agency Services Representative for the downtown Boston and surrounding area. Melanie understands all the needs of her agents as over the past twenty-five years she has been a conveyancing attorney and for the past eight years she has been teaching real estate law to paralegals through the Boston University Metropolitan College. Joining Melanie from Chicago Title is Nicole Pratt, Esq. Niki, in three short years, emerged as one of Chicago Title's premier sales associates. Her legal background allows for great understanding of all agent needs. Also joining Stewart Title is Maria Courtney. Maria, as paralegal liaison with First American, assisted hundreds of attorneys, paralegals and office assistants. Maria's expertise in all paralegal areas and knowledge of many different types of conveyancing software has made her a trusted friend to office's everywhere.

These amazing recruits join an already remarkable collection of individuals. Our highly praised legal team of Ward Graham, Esq., Gary Casaly, Esq., Mark Borst, Esq. and Margaret Fortuna, Esq. are bolstered by the tremendous paralegal efforts of Don Brown, Ed Lambert and Kay Robertson. Our sales team of Stephanie Roumanis and Manny Amaral also welcome our new people. Our office manager, Jennifer Kohler and her administrative staff of Joanne Blair, Chris Graham and Marybeth McCarthy are there to support our agents every day. Our automation staff of Elizabeth Rocha and Andy Graham will be working side by side with our new people to deliver all of your technology needs. Our Boston office is joined by our Springfield team of Michael Agen, Esq., Nancy Brady and Linda Champigny in welcoming our new individuals.

Now that we have accomplished our goal of creating this “New Stewart Title,” we will deliver all the services that you, our agents, deserve. Everyone here at our company is committed to bettering your lives. When I came to Stewart, I thought my job was just about chasing “premium.” But after speaking to many of you, I realized that what we really need to do is be your partner. If Stewart Title can give a better bottom line by educating your office staff, keeping it safe from unwanted claims and bringing business to you, then we have done our job. If Stewart Title can make your lives better by offering you services that take you out of the office in the evenings and on the weekend then we have done our job. I don’t have to chase the premium. If we accomplish these goals your loyalty in the form of premium will follow and each day I endeavor to gain your trust, your loyalty and your business.

Thank you for your time, and if I can do absolutely anything for you, please do not hesitate to call me.

Very truly yours,

Craig J. Celli