Decades of Dedication Part I

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Southeast Team Members Look Back at Their Time at Stewart

As a company celebrating 130 years in business, Stewart is fortunate to have many team members who have dedicated one, two and even three decades of their career to our company. Our longstanding team members have grown with us and continued pushing our innovative spirit into a new chapter many times over.

To celebrate this milestone, we sat down with members of our Florida team who have given decades of dedication to our company. These longstanding team members – Douglas Stevens, Branch Operations Manager, Annie Robertson, Operations Manager, and Jami Maxson, Branch Operations Manager – are among many of the pillars who have stood witness to the dynamic shifts in both Stewart and the real estate industry. They shared their insights into their Stewart origin stories from the moment they stepped through our doors, to the transformative changes they’ve seen unfold over the decades.

When did you start at Stewart?

Doug: I started in November 1988. I was working with a different title company for 2 years, now 37 years in the industry.

Annie: I started with Executive Title Insurance in 1983 in Cape Coral, FL. In 2000, Stewart purchased our company and grandfathered in our years of service resulting in October 2023 being 40 years for me.

Jami: I started as a marketing assistant in 2002, then shifted into post-closing & escrow processing. In 2004 I became an Escrow Officer. In 2009 I became Assistant Manager of the Kissimmee Office. In 2012 I became a licensed title officer, and in 2017 I became Branch Manager of Kissimmee.

Q: How did you hear about Stewart?

Doug: I was selling real estate at the time and heard about Stewart Title.

Annie: Stewart was introduced to me in 2000.

Jami: I filled in as a temp for a local Attorney’s office and was referred to Stewart Title.

Q: What is the biggest change you’ve seen happen at the company or in the industry?

Doug: Technology enhancements and a complete streamlined closing flow process. We can do more with less while producing faster response times.

Annie: Technology. When I was processing and closing transactions, at the beginning of my career, we were still penciling in the figures on a HUD settlement statement, then using a typewriter for the finished product. I will never forget how hard that was to transition to now letting a software product calculate our numbers. Look where we are now! Now we find ourselves putting on our detective hats to combat the constant threat of fraud. We continue to find and put into place best practices to be ahead of the fraudster.

Jami: The biggest change I have witnessed is Stewart’s ability to respond, adapt and adjust to meet the needs of the clients and the employees throughout the shifting market.

Q: What has been the biggest learning experience during your time here?

Doug: Working with so many resources at my fingertips. I love the integration of so many products to be able to offer a great customer experience.

Annie: Stewart has provided many opportunities for me to learn new skills. Starting out as a processor, to escrow officer to branch manager to administrative duties building branch offices with Executive Title. At Stewart those opportunities continued with management of department divisions such as BOA REO Division, FNMA Division then creating an operational position of support to the senior management team of Stewart for the State of Florida. It’s been a great ride full of twists and turns and always interesting. I thank Stewart for providing those opportunities and always being supportive.

Jami: The biggest learning experience during my time with Stewart would have to be through the housing market collapse in 2008. We learned to be flexible and navigate through foreclosures, short sales, REO’s and more. Stewart successfully guided us during this time strategically.

Q: How would you describe our company culture?

Doug: At Stewart, we do what we say we’re going to do. That’s how we’ve always done business and will continue to do so. This kind of integrity is what has allowed us to keep our relationships strong and our success consistent. Whether you’re in our home office or one of our many offices nationwide, you’ll find Stewart employees who have long careers with our company. Why? Because they appreciate how we’re a company that works in a spirit of true partnership not only with our customers but with each other. When you pursue a career at Stewart, you’re surrounded by people who share a passion to succeed and work as a team, which means they embrace new employees and work to help you achieve your goals. You can trust you’ll be in good company. Although Stewart is a large, international company, we all work together for our common goal – to provide an enhanced real estate transaction process. Also, at Stewart, we encourage our employees to get out and help the community as well as participate in numerous community programs across the country.

Annie: Stewart is well known as being a top workplace and respected for our core values of team focus, customer experience and being accountable. I am proud to work for Stewart.

Jami: I would describe Stewart’s culture as one based on community & equality. We are invested, passionate & take pride in the community we live in and the people in our communities we serve. We are also a culture of celebrating our employees’ strengths & diversity, with a strong focus on continuing education, employee career path & provided benefits. We strive to create a safe and exciting work environment while committing to maintaining our core values and ethics.

Q: We’re celebrating 130 years. What do you think is next for us?

Doug: Being number 1 and being a part of the American dream. Each Stewart associate makes a difference and has opportunities to express their ideas and viewpoints. Our associates give their all in serving our customers, and we offer rewards and recognition to employees who go the extra mile. Benjamin Franklin is often quoted as saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Those wishing for a change to the metric system might wish to parse words with Franklin, but the fact remains, title agents are the “ounce of prevention” that enable one of our country’s greatest privileges…. Home Ownership.

Annie: Continued regrowth and development through ongoing employee appreciation and reputation-building aim to attract top-notch title associates across the State of Florida. Companywide, our leaders are expanding operations in multiple directions, instilling confidence in our workforce that we are part of a stable, well-managed company.

Jami: I think the next step for Stewart is an exciting path of technological advancement that will enhance the closing experience to be even more seamless for our clients

Our team’s experiences serve as a living archive, providing a unique perspective on the growth and adaptability that defines our company. As we celebrate our rich history, their reflections also offer a glimpse into the future contemplating what lays ahead in the inspired future of Stewart. We thank these team members for joining us in this introspective journey, as we honor the past and anticipate the exciting future that awaits us.

Interested in learning more about our company culture? Visit our Culture of Caring page.