SUPPORTIVE ATMOSPHERE: With many workers who have been friends since childhood, it’s no surprise that Province Mortgage Associates feels like family, where people take care of each other in good times and bad.
PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY
By Victor Paul Alvarez Contributing Writer
Donald P. Wilson’s son was born with congenital heart disease in 2009. Wilson, as you can imagine, had a lot to worry about. One thing he didn’t have to worry about, however, was his job at Province Mortgage Associates Inc. going away. The situation actually brought him, his co-workers and management closer together.
“Every single employee reached out to help. Most importantly, our company president said, ‘Do what you need to do, and let me know how I can help.’ He helped rally employees to back up my work and my responsibilities, and I took care of my son without worry and without the fear of losing my job,” Wilson said.
His title is director of corporate relations. Talk to him for a little while and you begin to wonder if that title should be changed to Captain Province. His sincerely positive attitude about the company, the way its employees pitched in during a difficult personal time, and the way he describes Province’s family-minded workplace makes it easy to understand why Province has been named one of the Best Places To Work by PBN for four years running and why it came in first for small companies this year.
“Province cares about our employees and their families,” Wilson said. “We make mortgages for families in our community every day, and we support our own as well.”
The company opened its doors in 2005 with a mission to create a culture that set it apart from the dozens of mortgage companies and banks in the state. In the mortgage business, though, there is little room to be unique. A mortgage is a mortgage, as Wilson said, and rates and costs don’t change much, no matter where you go.
But it’s the way customers are treated when they come in to get a home loan that doesn’t have to be a cookie-cutter experience.
“We focus on the experience of the process, which has separated ourselves from our competition time and again. Along with this is the experience of being a Province employee,” he said. “You’re not lost in the crowd at our company. You’re part of a team, and every part is important,” he said.
It’s a competitive business and people could easily get burned out. Province Mortgage’s clientele is earned 100 percent by referral only. That means the mortgage professionals at Province live or die by their service and reputation.
Still, “If we didn’t take time to have a little fun and relax, we’d all be in the hospital,” Wilson said.
To that end, to keep his people happy, President David Currie paid for the operations staff to have massages in the office as a way to reduce tension.
The company also has a Fun Club to ensure gatherings or events are consistently scheduled so everyone can get to know one another a little better and have a few laughs. “A few of our senior mortgage advisers are in charge of creating a small event or contest on a monthly basis,” Wilson said.