2020-HousingWire-Vanguards

The 2020 list of HousingWire Vanguard potential candidates was more competitive than ever before. On any other given year, many would have easily won – but this was not any other year. The competition was fierce.

But even more impressive was the back story behind many of our top housing executives. Just over 20% of this year’s Vanguards are women. This is not the 50% I hope we will someday see, but it is far above the 7% level of top female executives at Fortune 100 companies. Women today enjoy a much more level playing field, where hard work and determination are some of the largest factors in their success, but that wasn’t always the case.

We frequently see executive women who started their career as a secretary at their financial firms because that was the only position available to women at the time – then later ran that same company. In one instance, a woman became the first female member of the executive team, and the board had to change where it met because the place that it was using for business meetings at the time did not allow women to enter.

Many of this year’s winners fought through varying hardships to get to where they are today. One of the 2020 HousingWire Vanguards, William Lyons, appeared on season 4 of Shark Tank to ask for an investment on his real estate investing website. The judges were unimpressed and tanked his idea, saying they didn’t “understand how it’s possible to make estimations on value,” and that they didn’t “believe Bill has a real business concept.”

Needless to say, Lyons did not stop there, and now runs Griffin Funding, which has been recognized by Inc 500 and the Fastest 100 in San Diego County.

This year’s Vanguards are filled with success stories – the executives that made it to the top, and now dominate the housing industry. Flip through to read their stories.

This list is available early for HW+ members. Click here to subscribe to the HW+ premium content platform. The full list and individual profiles will go live for all readers on Oct. 1, 2020.