In the early spring of 2002, a recent college grad was doing what recent college grads are usually up to: job hunting. In addition to her own earnest search, she had her friends and family on the lookout for some great opportunities. It was her brother who came through for her, finding a place where she’d thrive and grow. Her brother knew someone hiring at a nearby company, a brand new start-up, which was expanding dramatically but deliberately. They had as many employees as you could count on two hands. After joining the company, this recent college grad quickly rose through the ranks, eventually working her way up to the position of Assistant Vice President, Secondary Marketing, where she still works wonders to this day! That young college grad was Gaddah Daoud, and today we celebrate her absolutely astounding 15th Anniversary with Guidance Residential!
What does Gaddah mean to Guidance?
“I’m only sorry that I cannot provide more color for Gaddah, she’s wonderful,” said Guidance Residential’s Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer Nick Minardi. “I have both worked with Gaddah and been fortunate enough to have her work for me. She is a tireless employee and the only ‘rap’ on Gaddah is that she makes things look so easy that you wonder sometimes if she is busy. You only find out how much she does for us all when she is off and it takes two or more people to do what she does. She’s somehow able to manage a busy home and family life along with an obviously busy work schedule. Although there are many great employees at Guidance, there are few who are as quiet and who seek less attention than Gaddah. She performs her job each day, each month, each year, and works with a very high level of effectiveness. However, she seeks no specific recognition (although she deserves it and hopefully we let her know she is appreciated).”
Well, Gaddah, too bad! Enjoy the recognition and prestige of being Guidance Residential’s most tenured employee! We all owe you so much for your hard work, and part of that debt is the most sincere thanks we can muster. Here’s to you!
Gaddah in the Limelight
We took some time to sit down with Gaddah, to ask some questions about her past and her future, both of which are keystones in the great triumph that is Guidance Residential.
How did you first come across Guidance Residential?
I had just graduated from college and was looking for a full-time job. My brother knew someone who worked at his company, a new start-up at that time called Guidance. He gave them my resume, and the rest is history!
What was the spark that led you to join the company?
When I first came, the company was just starting out with very few employees. I felt this would be a good opportunity to be a part of something truly special. I was also personally interested in what Guidance was trying to do. It was something that was important to me, being of the Muslim faith. This company was all about helping people purchase a home while at the same time confirming to the principles of Islam. I was so excited to be a part of this brand new company.
Can you tell us about your first years here?
When I was first hired, there was not a formal role for me. I did just about everything. I reviewed documents, filed papers, sat at the front desk and answered the phone. Then, as we began to produce, I found my role in Secondary, working under Patricia who was the manager at the time. Back then, Secondary and Postclosing were one department. We did everything manually, from pricing to delivery. This was my first job so I was always trying to learn new things. I was fortunate enough to work with people who were great teachers. They took me under their wings and helped me grow as the company grew.
What was your biggest accomplishment or milestone early on?
I would have to say that my biggest accomplishment was in May 2005, when my manager retired and I took over the role of Pricing/Postclosing Manager.
What do you see as Guidance’s biggest milestone or accomplishment?
Our biggest accomplishment early on was when we hit our first $20 million month. I remember the company was so excited that we were finally seeing all our hard work pay off. Also, that we were able to continue in our growth without sacrificing our core principles.
What are your duties with Guidance? How have those duties changed over the years?
When I was first hired in 2002, I was doing just about everything. I answered phones, filed documents, made copies, proofread papers, etc. Early on, we were doing everything manually. We actually priced each file before the Account Executive could lock and it was submitted via a form that was filled out. Delivering files to our investors was also a manual process where we had to type in all the information into their system. We also had to copy each file and send it to the Servicer. As time went on, and the company grew, many of these things became automated. Secondary and Postclosing became two different departments. As time has gone on, I have learned many new things that have helped make my job easier. I was and still am very fortunate because I was and am able to work with some of the best in their fields. They have taught me so much along the way and have helped me grow along with the company. Now, here we are 15 years later, and I am still learning.
Could you pick a best day with Guidance above all others? Could you pick a worst day?
Guidance is like a family and just like with any family, there are always ups and downs. Fortunately for me, the ups have always been more numerous. I have truly enjoyed my time at Guidance and I am looking forward to what the future has in store for us. I am so happy to be part of this organization and wish it continued success in the future. Guidance has also seen me grow and was part of all the milestones in my life. I got married and had four kids, all while working here. I can’t think of a worst day, but there were so many good days. Every time we hit a new record was a good day and hopefully we will be breaking many more in the future.
Tell us something that most at Guidance might not know about you.
I am the oldest of seven kids! It may be hard to believe, but I used to be extremely shy and quiet when I first started working here.
What are your hopes for the future? For Guidance’s future?
I hope for continued success not only for myself, but for Guidance as a company. Inshallah nothing but the best for this company, because it is truly my second home.
Any shout outs for your friends, family, and colleagues?
I would like to thank all the people who have helped me grow along the way. There are some who are no longer with us like Jon, Judy, and Patricia. I also want to thank Nick and Chris who I continue to learn from to this day. You both have been wonderful in helping me to learn new things and for pushing me to become better at what I do each and every day. A big thanks to Jen and Francisco who are my back up and who cover for me when I need a vacation. I would also like to give a big shout out to all the people I have worked with over the years. It has been an honor to work with them, as they are all truly amazing. A big thank you to Kal for truly being a strong motivator over the years. Thank you for letting me be a part of this team… I mean family. It has truly been an honor. I wish Guidance nothing but success in the years to come, and inshallah I will be around to share in the glory.