In September 2020 Shamrock CEO Dean Harrington put a call out within the company to answer one simple question “How have you changed because you work at Shamrock?”
Ruth Fournier's Story
When I received Dean’s request to write about how Shamrock changed me I knew it would involve having to open up completely. This is extremely personal but Shamrock has been so good to me that I owe them the truth.
I started working at Shamrock 6 years ago (August 2014) and had 7 months clean back then. Most people don't know that I had an addiction to pain meds. I was also a little shell shocked getting back into an industry that I left during the infamous ‘08 housing market crash/crisis. My first year at Shamrock I struggled to fit in. Dean and Trish always made me feel welcome, but I was still early in recovery and fighting demons.
The first change came quick and it was my feelings towards religion. I grew up Catholic but my father became a Christian about 20 years ago. Most would call him quite the fanatic. He would tell me that if I were not saved I would go to hell. This made me feel rejected, so I rebelled.
Fast forward 20 years and I meet Dean. He was a Christian, he was open minded, didnt judge me or anyone else, he seemed cool. It was refreshing to meet Christians that were so different from what I was used to. Keri Niman and Kayla Pelletier were so warm and genuine to me that I started opening up and feeling comfortable being myself.
I met colleagues of Dean’s that were leaders and attended lunch groups where we would learn about other people’s incredible stories of how they found Christ. All of this opened my mind and made me see that “I” was the one judging. I know now that it never had anythng to do with religion, rules, or unrealistic expectations. It’s about having a relationship with God.
This change is more of an outlook on the mortgage industry. I had been in the business for 20 years and had worked with and for some grimey people. Most had no interest in helping people and instead took advantage of them. Everyone was driven by money even if it meant knowingly putting clients in bad loans. Shamrock’s Core Values have changed my outlook and understanding of the WHY we do what we do. I am no longer jaded. I am proud to work for a company that has its client’s and its employee’s best interest.
I had put on a lot of weight and felt pretty bad about myself. Shamrock started lunch time 30 minute walks and the weight loss challenge. I started losing inches but not nearly enough weight.
February 2019 I had just weighed myself at the office and scale told me I was 215 lbs! I was devastated and went into the girls room to have myself a pity party. Trish walks in and sits me down to tell me about intermittent fasting which I know her and Dean were doing. She told me to at least give it a shot which I did. The first 2 days were brutal but I am forever grateful to them because I have lost over 50 pounds and it has become a way of life. It may seem superficial but this was a big game changer!
I knew I had to get licensed as a Loan Officer in order to grow with Shamrock and after failing miserably twice I knew that this time was it! Facing the fear of failing AGAIN caused me great anxiety and I needed to come up with a plan of something I could measure. So I wrote out my own personal plan of how much I would study each regulation and how much time I would spend daily doing so. I didn’t realize it but I was changing already, gaining more confidence.
Early April 2019 I passed my exam! I remember seeing my score, sitting in the stuffy testing room and just sobbing on the keyboard, with happy tears of course. The woman running the office came over to me and said, “Don’t worry, you can take it again soon”. I was so relieved to tell her I never have to take that damn test again and that my tears were joyful.
Shamrock never gave up on me and everyone supported me so much. I truly felt the love when I came back to the office and instead of the walk of shame it was my entire desk with pretty balloons and cards with beautiful words from my co-workers! I set another goal and accomplished it!
It’s late July 2019 and I am now a licensed Loan Officer sharpening my social skills. Keri Niman had been nagging me to get a Facebook which I was strongly against. She told me that it would be a good platform to conjure up business from. She went ahead and created my FB page. Keri showed me how to take a selfie and would keep me posted on friend requests. I reconnected with so many people that I hadn't seen in years.
I connected with one person that I always wondered about. I had not seen him in nearly 30 years but heard he moved to Florida. He was always a soft place to fall when I was young. He was the one that I could call anytime and he would be there. We developed a friendship over the phone, he flew me out for a visit in late September and I knew after that visit that I would marry him.
Acting on my heart and a lot of nerve I found myself first sitting in Dean’s office asking if I could temporarily work remotely from Florida, then on to Rod’s office to get his approval. Neither of them batted an eye and I still remember leaving work that day thinking how blessed I am. I have been in Florida since November 2019. Scott and I have saved enough money to come home to RI soon and buy a house and I have never been happier!
So, yes this was lengthy but Shamrock has opened up doors for me that I am sure no other company would have. It has kept me clean for almost 7 years, changed my negative perspective on religion, helped me lose weight and get healthy, pushed me to learn and grown, and get licensed. Shamrock believed in me every step of the way. I am not yet finished with my journey at Shamrock and I cannot wait to see what’s next!
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