In July, 1990 Debbie Thomas and her husband/ business partner Grant opened TMG. In the ensuing 28 years, TMG has grown its presence in the marketplace from four brokers in a small office, to more than 800 mortgage professionals across the country.
Debbie has been the Broker of Record in British Columbia since 1993.
As the only female to head up a successful national brokerage, Debbie credits her skills as an educator that has contributed to her influence. She has been the "Mortgage Expert" on Global BC TV for many years and worked hard to get the industry message out to consumers that “Your best mortgage is through a Broker”.
Not only is Debbie committed to the success of TMG, she has shown passion and dedication for the success of others and the industry at large. As part of a very influential Western core group of broker advocates in the early 1990s, she was instrumental in ensuring that Western brokers were properly recognized. Through her efforts, mortgage lenders such as Scotia Bank and HSBC added the West to their business market.
It’s not surprising that British Columbia enjoys the highest level of mortgage broker activity in the country with more than 35% of consumers seeking out a mortgage professional.
Within TMG, Debbie is seen as a mentor, an expert and a leader. Within the mortgage industry, she is seen as an entrepreneur, an industry advocate and a pioneer.
On Thursday, May 3, Debbie was recognized for her contribution to the mortgage industry by receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Mortgage Awards of Excellence in Toronto. Here is Debbie, in her own words.
“I was both honoured and humbled to receive the inaugural 'Lifetime Achieve Award' at the Mortgage Awards of Excellence. Thanks to the nominating committee for the privilege of being the very first recipient of this award.
When I think about Lifetime Achievement I start to look back and reflect on the past, as I imagine all of us do, and I thought about the early days of TMG, and of the mortgage industry, and how I got here.
TMG was founded by myself and my husband Grant back in 1990. That same year the Berlin Wall came down, the first episode of The Simpsons aired and there was this launch of something called the World Wide Web. So, in retrospect, it was very good year for beginnings.
Back in those days, we had one huge, big-ass Fax machine, and we would line-up to send and receive documents. It was almost a full-time job just organizing and distributing those documents. Then in 2000, Expert came along and life got a whole lot easier.
We’ve seen a lot of changes in the industry over the years. We’ve seen lenders come, and we’ve seen lenders go. We’ve seen mortgage rates in the double digits, we’ve seen market “corrections” and we’ve seen very hot markets. And we’re still here. Mortgage brokers remain committed to the consumer and making sure they have a choice when it comes to mortgages.
I’m proud to say that we’ve seen more women enter the industry. Each day I work with outstanding women in the industry – our brokers – our lender BDMs – our underwriters -- and our support staff. Together we are empowering thousands, breaking down barriers and demonstrating that there are really no gender preferences in our industry. With each passing day there are more, strong female leaders emerging. I am grateful to be a part of that.
I have learned many lessons on this journey. One particular lesson has sustained us -- I have learned about the importance of partnering with the right people. By surrounding ourselves with people of integrity, with people we can trust, it empowers us to be our best.
From the outset, Grant and I never wavered from our values and our vision – it still sustains us today.”