With an Eye Toward the Future, The Home Loan Expert Holds 2022 Kick-Off Summit in STL


THLE CEO and founder Ryan Kelley speaks to attendees at the 2022 Kick-Off Summit in St. Louis, MO.

On December 3rd, nearly 200 employees gathered in St. Louis, MO at the historic Link Auditorium for the THLE 2022 Kick-Off Summit. The summit provided an opportunity for company leaders and loan officers to recap and reflect on the year’s accomplishments and discuss plans for THLE’s future.

The livestreamed event was also attended by remote employees across 19 states and was the company’s largest internal event to date.

CEO and founder Ryan Kelley kicked off the summit with a speech thanking all of the company’s employees and talking about just how much the company has grown in recent years thanks to THLE’s hardworking team.

“We care about every single person in this company, and everyone has a voice and an opinion here,” he said. “Our future is bright, and it’s more clear now than it has been in a long time.”

Following Kelley’s speech, the company’s leadership team took the stage to answer questions submitted by employees.

When asked about the reasons behind the company’s continued success, Regional Sales Director Nick Genetti replied: “We had the right people, and they’re still here. And the right people are still coming in. I’ve always said to my team, ‘You’re never going to be put in a position to fail here.’”

Vice President Kyle Melvin chimed in, adding: “A mortgage is a mortgage. An interest rate is an interest rate. What you have to sell is the experience. You have to treat customers better than your competitor does. And we do that every day.”

Other company leaders continued to thank employees and list the company’s successes and accomplishments, including a 12 percent faster rate closing loans than last year, expansion into six new states, and an average interest rate of just 2.90 on the company’s closed loans.

Loan officers John Schutze, Arien Bowersock, and Jon Howard received awards for closing the most loans by units within the company.

The company’s top loan originator, John Schutze, gave a speech thanking his team for helping him exceed his goals.

“Working here has truly changed my life,” said Schutze. “To be at a company where the owner literally pulls money from his pocket so I can keep originating and putting food on the table for my family brings tears to my eyes.”

The keynote speech was delivered by Dan McLaughlin, local celebrity and an Emmy-award winning sports broadcaster who works on the St. Louis Cardinals and previously worked as a play-by-play announcer for the NFL on Fox.

The “Voice of the St. Louis Cardinals,” McLaughlin spoke candidly about his personal journey, receiving not one but two standing ovations.

THLE’s philanthropic efforts—and the man who skillfully coordinated them—received a standing ovation as well. Keith Austin, Director of THLE Cares and soon-to-be Director of Keep Climbing Foundation, spoke movingly about the company’s giving efforts and accomplishments. In 2021 alone, THLE held 20 volunteer events with 70 employee volunteers, raised $133,000, formed 8 charitable partnerships, and more—with even bigger plans for 2022.

“My hope and vision is that each one of you will take time to know what your own story is and create a plan for how you’re going to give back this year,” Austin told employees. 

“Being at the summit gave me a greater appreciation of where the company came from and also the culture that has been built up since the founding, which I think is really special,” said Chris Gawyrch, Director of CRM and Automated Marketing Operations.

“It was nice getting to hear all of the stories from the people who work here, and learn about what’s next for the future of the company.”

Stephanie Malan, THLE’s Graphic Designer, echoed Gawrych’s sentiments. “We have a great company, and so many talented people work hard to make it successful,” she said. “Although we’re scattered across the country, it was so great to meet and connect with my coworkers face to face!”

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