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Guaranty Trust CEO Recipient of HousingWire's Women of Influence

by Heather Kent

August 01, 2018

Guaranty Trust CEO Recipient of HousingWire's Women of Influence

HousingWire announced its annual Women of Influence list. This is the eighth year that HousingWire has recognized the women leading the mortgage and housing industry forward, and each year, the nominations grow more and more competitive. These 85 women represent a variety of occupations within the housing economy, each demonstrating leadership that inspires those in their own companies, in their communities and in the industry at large.

Some of HW’s 2018 award winners have worked their way up in traditional mortgage companies, while others started their own businesses. Each woman has made her mark in marketing, technology, economics, compliance, operations and business development.

“The 2018 Women of Influence are an inspiring, amazing group of leaders. These women are innovating in every area: technology, marketing, compliance, strategy, operations and more,” Sarah Wheeler, Managing Editor of HousingWire Content Solutions, said. “Their energy and expertise are fueling the success of companies across the industry, and their impact is felt in every area of mortgage finance and real estate.”

Many of this year’s winners mentor other women in the industry, manage internship programs for college students or work with business groups in disadvantaged areas. Others coordinate volunteer programs for their employees or serve on advisory boards that inform the industry. Investing time and effort to see others succeed is a hallmark of this group, and should be celebrated in its own right.

Retta Gardner, President and CEO of Guaranty Trust stated, “I am very grateful and honored as a recipient of HousingWire’s Women of Influence Award. Upon completing my education, I was afforded a tremendous opportunity at Guaranty Trust to help us grow from a very small company of 30 to 150 employees strong today with sales exceeding over $1 billion on an annual basis. I have been active in many roles during my tenure at Guaranty Trust Company and have progressively advanced. I’ve held roles as the IT Manager, HR Manager, Wholesale Manager, Executive Vice President and CEO. One of my passions is giving back to our employees by providing them with opportunities for advancement and educational opportunities. More than 70% of our staff are female and female executives account for 80% of our senior management team. I strive to provide an excellent example to them every day that you can achieve your goals with a great work ethic, attitude, and the willingness to learn.”

Gardner is beginning her 22nd year with Guaranty Trust, a billion-dollar mortgage lender that ranks among the top 100 mortgage companies in America. Named CEO in 2013, she oversees 145 employees who facilitate home loan transactions in more than 32 states.

The lending professional has been recognized for both her contributions in the business world and as a community volunteer. In 2016, she was presented the Jennings A. Jones College of Business Exemplar Award for her commitment to community service. She is also a recent recipient of the Community Partner Award from Rutherford County Read to Succeed.

In addition to the TNMBA, Gardner currently serves on the boards of Volunteer State Bank, United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties and Rutherford County Read to Succeed.

Guaranty Trust

Since 1986, Guaranty Trust has been a leader in residential mortgage lending. Locally owned and operated in Tennessee, we service loans in 32 states. From conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, Rural Development, and THDA loans our experts can guide you through the process with speed and ease. Guaranty Trust is a locally owned, billion-dollar mortgage lender that ranks among the top 100 mortgage companies in America. In addition to Murfreesboro, the company maintains Tennessee sales offices in Brentwood, Fayetteville, Hendersonville, Knoxville, Mt. Juliet, Shelbyville and Atoka. The company also markets mortgages nationally through its wholesale services.

Additionally, Guaranty Trust has received accolades from The Nashville Business Journal as a Top 25 Mortgage Lender in Nashville.

To learn more about GTC and our company culture visit or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.



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