World culture and company culture collide at Academy

by Heather Turner30 Aug 2016
The defining traits behind every company collectively make up a company’s culture. At Academy Mortgage, one of the largest mortgage lenders in the nation, their cultural roots lie with its people – the employees – and the unique experiences Academy offers to them.
Every year, Academy arranges trips for top producing officers and President’s Club members that allows them once-in-a-lifetime experiences outside of the office. “We have a real heritage of giving back,” said John Owens, senior manager. “Our CEO, Adam Kessler, puts on these President’s Club trips every year and every other year it is a service expedition. For example, last year the top producers and executive team went to Peru and camped at 11,000 ft. in a native village. There they dug a reservoir for them and helped build a large building to use for storage in the winter,” he said. “ We work with different organizations to put that all together and it really is a life changing trip for a lot of people.”
The years that Academy trips are not service expeditions, they are instead “cultural expeditions” where Academy’s President’s Club members get to explore a new nation, culture and environment. Their next cultural fun trip: Beijing, China next month.
Owens comments that the lessons learned during these trips, in addition to the pleasure of ‘giving back’, offers Academy employees new perspectives and experiences that many would otherwise not have. And to that effort, Academy has now expanded the criteria for producers who qualify for these trips. “Adam really wants to have as many Academy employees to go on these trips as possible. For production done this year, we will have three trips next year. We always had two trips, one for top producers and one for President’s Club members, and now we will also have an executive level trip,” said Owens. What’s next for 2017? A cultural trip to South Africa and a service expedition to Costa Rica for President’s Club members and executive level members, respectively, with President’s Club producers having the pleasure of attending both trips, Owens adds.
 “We love our employees here and we really value them,” said Owens. “We really believe that our loan officers need to experience Academy and how great it is to give back. When we take them on these trips, it is an absolutely mind boggling and life changing experience.”


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