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Cooper Culture: Celebrating Women’s History Month (Part Three)

Cooper Culture: Celebrating Women’s History Month (Part Three)

Each March, Women’s History Month gives us an opportunity to celebrate, recognize, and reflect on the accomplishments of all women — including those trailblazing ladies who work at Mr. Cooper.

As part of our Cooper Culture series and in honor of all women, we asked members of our Women’s Network group to share experiences, female role models, and advice for other women to live by that’s helped them learn and grow themselves.

Here’s what a few of them had to say:

 

Laporchia Jenkins, Business Operations Analyst II

Any advice for your fellow ladies?
Yes! Sometimes we get so caught up in our daily lives and focused on individual tasks and goals, but I realized that there is not one absolute goal in life. Life is a series of successive goals perfectly fashioned for each of us to accomplish what we were created for. So, don’t sweat the small stuff. It all works together for your good in the end anyway.  

What’s your favorite quote?
I have so many, but right now the one in the forefront of my mind and currently posted on my desk as a daily reminder is: “In a world that wants us to whisper, I choose to yell.” — Luvvie Ajayi  

How do you start your day?
My day starts somewhere around 4:30 am; I usually wake up just a bit before my alarm goes off. I usually just lay still for a moment, gathering my thoughts in deep breaths. I take a moment to just be grateful for the day, for life, for strength and health. I pray, read my bible, and journal. If I have time, I try to get some reading in. I just restarted The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. I usually wrap up my pre-work routine with a short sweat session, then it’s shower concert and off to work.

What would you tell your younger self or what would you like your older self to tell you now to help you through a personal or professional challenge?
You are amazing! That crazy idea that you have that you can change the world, it really isn’t so crazy. You can! You are smart, kind, and resourceful, and the world needs you just as you are. Never stop dreaming, stay hopeful, and continue to walk in love.  

Who’s one person who has believed in you since day one?
My mom. While she didn’t always say it directly to me, she has always believed in me. She was tough; I swear, she was harder on me than my brothers — but it was because she knew that I was capable of doing so much more. (She cried when I got my first B.) She is the reason that I have such a strong will, sharp wit, resilience, and relentlessness spirit. She taught me that there was no limit to what I could do, and that anything could be accomplished with hard work and perseverance.

How can women help women reach each other’s potential?
We have a responsibility to love, nurture, and protect one another and the light within us all. We have to hold one another to a higher standard and push each other to be the best versions of ourselves, to walk with courage and in truth. We must support and encourage one another as we try new things, provide feedback, and offer a helping hand when necessary. We are our sisters’ keeper. 

Why do you think it’s important to honor Women’s History Month?
It is import to honor Women’s History Month because history is not just HIS story, it’s our story as well. Women have been there since the beginning, shaping and creating the world that we live in. We are scientists, inventors, musicians, poets, writers, teachers, artists, doctors, nurses, and fighters. We are mothers and the very givers of life! We are women, and without us there is no (his)tory.

What advice would you give to women in your field?
To continue to grow and advance, you have to do things that take you out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to do things that make you uncomfortable; take the position outside of your department, volunteer for the special project, take on tasks outside of your norm, be vocal. You will be surprised at what you are capable of and how much you will learn when you step outside of your comfort zone and do something that you’re not used to doing. This industry, much like the world around us, is constantly changing and evolving. You have to change and evolve, too.

What does a day of work look like for you and how do you spend your time outside of work?
My work day is fairly routine; I do a quick scan of my email when I get in for any urgent requests and respond accordingly. Then I review my calendar for meetings and make note of anything I need to prepare. I review FLOD tests results, work things in the order in which they are received, and [handle] any other ad hoc or urgent requests that come in throughout the day. I’m the oldest of seven but I am the only one in the Dallas area, so my time outside of work is usually spent with friends. I LOVE spending time with friends that have become family. We have “family” dinners, go to sporting events and concerts, and have game nights. Monopoly can go ALL night and marriages have nearly ended over Spades games. At the end of the day, it’s all love.

 

Lori Green, AVP, Marketing

Any advice for your fellow ladies?
Try and find something positive in each day. Also, take time for yourself. It may be a 15-minute walk, yoga, reading — whatever makes you happy!

What’s your favorite quote?
“Everything happens for a reason.” The rest of the quote is actually, “Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can come together.”
— Marilyn Monroe

How do you start your day?
I usually wake up and go to Camp Gladiator boot camp. I find it easier to exercise in the morning and get my day started off with energy.

What would you tell your younger self or what would you like your older self to tell you now to help you through a personal or professional challenge?
I would tell my younger self to find something you are passionate about and make it happen. This may change over time as you grow personally and professionally, but always keep learning and seeking new adventures. It may seem stressful at the time, but things always work out.

Who’s one person who has believed in you since day one?
Of course, my mom! She has always encouraged me to follow dreams and not live with regrets.

 

Cathy Westurn, SVP, Human Resources

What motivates or drives you?
Learning is a key driver for me. I encourage myself and others to always engage in opportunities to learn something new and different. It is a way to stretch you outside of your comfort zone.

Who is one of your female role models, and why?
Princess Diana — [she was] an amazing role model for her family and her country and had an unbelievable love for the poor and needy. Diana was very humble, always looked out for others who were less fortunate, and dedicated her life to raising money for charities and visiting others who were less fortunate.

Any advice for your fellow ladies?
A strong network of friends who you can confide in, laugh with, and share with is invaluable. Always prioritize and maintain these relationships, even when life gets crazy, as this network of friends will be your rock when life gets crazy.

What’s your favorite quote?
Don’t be afraid to stand for what you believe in, even if that means standing alone.

Who’s one person who has believed in you since day one?
My mother. My mother is a four-time cancer survivor and never hesitated to put our family first despite her circumstances. She believed in me through my childhood (even through the crazy times) and ALWAYS gave the best advice at just the right time. Now that I am a mom, I call her every week to thank her for being a great mom and ask for advice… she is truly an amazing woman and role model.

 

Sheri Crosby Wheeler, VP, Corporate Social Responsibility

What motivates or drives you?
I am always trying to reach the highest level of whatever endeavor I undertake (a position, a skill, a class, etc.) That is what drives me — excellence and achievement. If I achieve something, then I want to move on the next challenge to achieve even more. I won’t say that I am never satisfied, but I don’t allow myself to become complacent either.

Who is one of your female role models and why?
My mom, of course! I didn’t fully appreciate the depth and breadth of what she accomplished until I was older, but to raise 5 well-adjusted, contributing members of society by herself was a tremendous feat. She had three children of her own and took in my two cousins after my aunt died in a car accident when my mom was only 25 years old. I know me, and there is no way I could have done that at that age! My mother did not have the opportunity to attend college and she struggled mightily, but she always made a way. She worked long, grueling hours for low pay to take care of us, and it is my honor and privilege to do my part to take care of her now.

What would you tell your younger self or what would you like your older self to tell you now to help you through a personal or professional challenge?
I would tell my younger self that everything is going to be all right. No matter how dark the day or how deep the valley, it will be all right. You will come out on the other side of whatever the challenge may be a stronger and better individual.

Why do you think it’s important to honor Women’s History Month?
To shine a light on the accomplishments of women that have come before us so that everyone will know that women have made great contributions to society and will continue to do so for many, many, many generations to come.

What does a day of work look like for you and how do you spend your time outside of work?
I spend most days working with the 10 Cooper Resource Teams that currently exist at Mr. Cooper, and also working on diversity and inclusion initiatives that originate from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. I work on government relations items as well, and I manage Mr. Cooper’s political action committee, which is the way that Mr. Cooper’s voice is heard in Washington, D.C. When I’m not at work, my favorite thing to do is volunteer. I love it and I can’t get enough of it! I also enjoy cheering at my son’s sporting events (I’m super competitive!), catching up with my girlfriends, and networking.

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