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Posted by on Dec 23, 2013 in Educate, Elevate, Empower, Inspiration, Resources, Woman on the RISE | 0 comments

Woman on the Rise, Michelle Geurtsen

Woman on the Rise, Michelle Geurtsen


Movement Mortgage

Movement Mortgage, LLC  and Toy’s4Tots/Stuff the Bus Fundraiser

Founder’s Name & Title:  Michelle D. Geurtsen, Critical Account Underwriting Manager | MM’s Founder’s CEO’s  are Casey Crawford & Toby Harris

Best contact email: | Web URL: or

Facebook Page:   or | Twitter Handle: @MrsChelleG

Your 140-character pitch:  I’m a wife & mother of 4. Love my job, work hard. Dislike procrastination. I’m OCD and I couldn’t survive without music. I am whatever you say I am.

Your Elevateher pitch! {your 90 second pitch about your brand}: Many people think that homeownership is a difficult task to accomplish, but it doesn’t have to be. Our company focuses on using technology & superior customer service to make the homeownership/mortgage process fast and efficient. Many do not realize the value of homeownership or that they could be paying a mortgage payment that is significantly lower than their monthly Rent. Homeownership has its benefits with taxes and pride of ownership as well. Please don’t think this is something that you can’t do….even if you can’t today. You can find out why & make changes or plans to make it happen in your future.

Your immediate region {within 100 miles}:  Hampton Roads, VA {Virginia Beach}

Featured products &/or services: Mortgages 

What do people think you do for a living? Underwrite Real Estate Home Mortgages

What do you actually do for a living? Underwrite Real Estate Mortgages, Train Underwriters, Coach Loan Officers, Support Operations & the Field, Promote positive Culture in the workplace. Raise four children, coordinate with my husband to get them to school, soccer, activities etc.

Tell us about your passions! I’m first and foremost passionate about my family (Husband & 4 Children, two are technically my step-daughter’s but I do not see it that way). I’m very passionate about finding ways to give back to the community & people in need. With most of my attention being given to the Toys4Tots/Stuff the Bus fundraising. I truly enjoy making a difference in any way I can.

Who|what inspires what you do? My children inspire me to want to make the world a better place as well as to work harder and do more to be able to give them the best opportunities they need to be who they will become.

Was there a turning point in your life that led you to your current career? I’ve been in the mortgage business most of my adult career. I’ve worked in just about every aspect of the business as well (Loan Officer, Processor, etc.) I always wanted to be an Underwriter because it has always been viewed as the hierarchy of our business. I see the opportunity to way the guidelines and use my common sense to help people achieve the American Dream of homeownership. I worked for many different companies and in 2009 the company I had worked for was going under business & failing due to the economy. I interviewed with Movement Mortgage (formerly known as New American Mortgage). They were a new company, which is ironic because at the time the mortgage business was “Crashing” and things were going downhill. The big companies were still okay (like BofA, SunTrust, Wells etc). I was apprehensive to start with a smaller company that could potentially fail as well. After interviewing with Toby Harris and listening to him talk about their company Motto & Values. To actually put God & Family first and to have good Culture in the work environment etc. He also told me that if I came to work with them “from the bottom” I would be able to grow with them and be able to be a part of the future. If I worked hard I would help the company grow and I would grow with it. I had an offer at one of those big banks and it actually would have paid a little more to start out. Just something about what Toby had said about how they wanted to things the right way. Putting their customer’s first & their employee’s well being/happiness. Just made me feel like it was the better choice. Things were really tough then. Just before the other company had gone out of business, in 2008 I had been “downsized” so my position was paying less but I was working more. I had lost a child due to an Ectopic Pregnancy in 2007 and my husband and I got married in 2008 and also had a son together, our 4th child. It was overall a scary time…I needed to do something to find a way to become something more to make more money to provide more for our family in order to financially support our home. It was a risk to be paid less but a risk I took and it paid off. Movement Mortgage has turned out to be even better than I could have imagined, having started their foundation last year and promoting me to a position where I supervise & train. I do a lot with our new loan officers and other critical situations & loan officers because I work with them to help them adapt to our “culture”, our way of working together for each other. I couldn’t really pinpoint the turning point. In our business at other companies Operations & Sales don’t really usually get along well and it creates a negative work environment. What we do at Movement breaks down those barriers and we genuinely focus on treating each other as people. Working together in a kind & thoughtful way. For me I would consider all the things I went to in some of my previous jobs and spending some time laid off and trying the sales side of being a loan officer as experiences that led me to the place I am now. I’ve written a lot here because I am not sure I can pinpoint a turning point. I’ve been in the Mortgage business my entire career (I was in a Marketing CoOp program in high school that paired me with a company that did Commercial Real Estate…and it is something that just sort of ended up being my thing. I was married young at 18 (1999)  and I had my first daughter when I was 21 (2002) , my ex-husband and I split up when she was almost 3 (2005) (she’s 11 now). I’ve had so many life experiences that have taught me to appreciate what I have to be the best that I can be and to try to take from life the good that it has because there will always be bad. It is only how I can learn from it and appreciate it. When I met my current husband he was a friend of my Dad’s and just a friend of mine….Our relationship started out truly as just friends and then it just happened. He showed me that I could trust someone again and love someone again. He had two daughters from his previous marriage as well (Brittney is 18 now and Katie is 13 now). When I started this job I knew that I needed to work harder, try harder and give all I had to give if I was going to succeed as Toby told me I could. I was given an opportunity to move up to a Management/higher level position and it was mine as long as I worked hard and did my best. The events in my life were all adding up to this turning point where I would learn that I couldn’t just be upset about what life’s cards had dealt me; I could only learn from them and make the best out of it.

If money weren’t a factor, what would you be doing? I would love to start a home for children (like the kind you see on TV) where I inherited or purchased a ginormous mansion/castle-like house and I could have tons of foster children or unadopted children. I would also still honestly enjoy doing my job I do now too.

How does your brand benefit your community and|or a greater purpose? Homeownership would be the first and primary business. Secondly – Movement Mortgage has a foundation…that foundation has given back almost 3 million toward the community & people. They have a Samaritan House in Charlotte, NC where they help people get on their feet and live in the condo’s while they are doing it. They’ve helped me with Toys4Tots donations. We raised money for Wave City Care (a Church in Virginia Beach) and provided food at Thanksgiving. Did another Toy’s/Christmas drive called Operation Christmas Child where they fill large shoe boxes with presents and they filled over 200 boxes.  The company contributes to a LoveWorks program to that helps employees or its affiliates in times of trouble or need.

What’s in your Bucket List? Skydive, go to Jamaica. Go to/see NewYork (I’ve never been, and want the first time to be for Christmas/NYE, with the kids). Go to St. Thomas. Meet Eminem….

Knowing all you know now, what would you tell your 20 year old self? Honestly, nothing. I believe that knowing all I know now is the most important part… I know those things because I experienced them and I have learned from them. I also know my 20 year old self wouldn’t have listened… I needed to experience the bad times in my life to appreciate the good ones.

What’s you go-to stress reliever? Music is probably first. Honestly, the other thing I do on a bad day is usually to watch one of the past video’s for Stuff the Bus…it helps me to just sorta calm down and think about the good things I’ve done. It depends on the day or the situation. I used to drink a glass of wine etc., but I learned that became a habit, which isn’t good. So I will sit with a cup of coffee (even if its 11pm at night) and listen to music. Kinda like the lyrics in Stan by Eminem…have a ***day, drift away and put the cd on.

What is your strategy for turning a negative into a positive? I believe everything happens for a reason. I usually just have to walk away from the situation for a second, think about it and then find the solution. In my line of work and life I’ve learned there is a way to make all things logical. If there’s a problem then there is also a solution, one has to step outside of the negativity and let it go if they are to see the positivity or the solution.

How do you perceive retirement? Ha…I’m not sure. With the economy and things like that I am not sure it’s a truly rational idea. I have a job that isn’t really strenuous or physical, I think I’ll always love to do it even if it’s just part time. But my husband and I do talk about that time in the future, when the kids are grown and gone and how we will travel around to places, possibly in an RV or I’d like to buy a little house on the water somewhere, probably a lake. (Maybe that also should be on the bucket list too).

Do you have a personal philosophy you’d like to share? I guess mine is technically Ghandi’s – but I believe in “Being the change I wish to see in the world” and that everything happens for a reason. Live, learn and don’t sit on the couch complaining about the things going on in the world…. it is within all of us  to make the difference we want to. I “preach” a lot to my friends or people about all of the “big” people in history that made a difference in the world had some huge obstacle to overcome. Beethoven was deaf, Helen Keller was blind. There will always be adversity in your life. There will always be a problem or a thing to hold you back. If you want to make a difference in the world you have to start with yourself and how you see it.

What would you like your legacy to be?  Maybe the same as my philosophy. I’m only 32 years old, I’d love to find more ways to give back and do more. But, if my kids all graduate and become what they want to be, then I will be happy. My youngest daughter has already told me that if I ever die she is going to raise money for Toys4Tots like I do. I will continue to do that… I would even if my bosses didn’t want to match the funds (but they’ve said they will also continue to support me with this). I decided the other night at dinner that showing my kids that there is good in the world and that we can be a part of it… that was my legacy. They will have something truly nice and genuine to say at my funeral one day. I didn’t take the life I was given and waste it. I found opportunities and I made the best of everything life threw at me. I’m pretty young to feel like I’ve done it, I won’t stop and I clearly have things left on my bucket list (it’s longer than just the few things I wrote on it)… but I’m happy with the life I have lived so far. You know, that’s it – I’d love for more people to see life that way.

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