1) How long have you been a member of SLTA and how did you originally get involved?

My first SLTA convention was in 2004 in New Orleans, and it was Richard Bailey, Sr., who encouraged me to get involved in the association.

2) What’s your favorite part of being a member of SLTA?

It’s difficult to name just one, but I think the most rewarding and enjoyable part of my involvement in SLTA would have to be the relationships. I cherish the lifelong friendships that I have made across state lines and with competitors. Without the three-state association I simply would not have had the privilege of getting to know industry professionals outside of my company and agency network.

3) What is your favorite SLTA convention memory?

It’s impossible to narrow down my most memorable convention experience to just one, but the one that stands out the most is Nashville in 2012. I was the convention chair, and the association had very few resources and a less than ideal hotel venue. Essentially, we were tasked with hosting a convention on a shoestring budget, 10 miles outside of Nashville. But boy, was it fun! We had a moonshine tasting, a cooking demonstration, Barbara Dooley as our keynote speaker, and to top it all off, we honored one of our own members for his induction into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. Along the way, I lost my prized cowboy hat at Tootsies, drank way too much on Broadway, and my dog Hank died, all in the same night. One night, or morning, I found that every single piece of hotel room furniture had been placed on my bed, even the television console. The stories that came out of that convention in a motel outside of Nashville are legendary. We laughed, we told lies, and some of us cried. It was indeed the most memorable convention!

4) What is your current occupation?

I am Area Manager for Stewart Title Guaranty Company, and my role is overseeing Agency operations in Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and North Florida. I have the privilege of working alongside an amazing team as we serve as partners to many independent agency companies and law firms.

5) How many of your friends and family understand what you do?

I believe my family has a general understanding of what we do. I’ll never forget when I explained title insurance to my wife, Lisa, not long after we met. She asked, “Do I need that?” If they understand we don’t sell property and casualty, or life insurance, I consider it a win.

6) What committee(s) do you currently volunteer with in SLTA?

Since concluding my presidency and rolling off the SLTA board, I handed off my role as Alabama education chair and have been sitting on the legislative committee. I want to find a place where I can offer the greatest impact on the organization, and while I tend to be a little outspoken, this committee seems to be a good fit.

7) How do you define success?

I’m working to positively impact the success of many independent title companies and law firms in four states, and part of that involves encouraging and equipping my team with the tools they need to succeed. It’s a team effort and our wins are collective. So, for me, success is measured by the number of lives and businesses our contributions have positively impacted, including the people who work for me as well as our agency partners.

8) What’s one thing – either industry related or not – you learned this past year?

My wife experienced a tremendous personal loss in 2023. Watching her navigate her grief while caring for and loving others taught me an incredible lesson on perspective. Far too often I have allowed my circumstances to dictate my outlook and cloud my judgment. Perspective is about being truly present and in the moment without the noise of doubt and fear. It’s about giving your whole self without fear of rejection. Everyone’s journey is unique but having perspective can be freeing for those of us who are often singularly focused.

9) What is something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?

I am dyslexic. Some of those closest to me might have already guessed that by now, but obviously I’m thankful for technological advancements like spellcheck! Reading and writing were a struggle in my childhood as we didn’t have the tools available to educators today. I learned some hard but valuable life lessons about fear and overcoming a weakness by developing my strengths. Today I read quite a bit, but it didn’t come easy early on.

10) Are you currently binge-watching any shows?

Braves baseball is the only television I’m able to watch these days, and even that depends on how much drama is going on with my four daughters. Every night I have a standing “listening” session with the girls. I get the scoop on who broke up with whom, which friends are fighting, and generally why boys don’t understand women. So, with all that drama I don’t have the energy for reality TV!

11) What is your favorite hobby?

I enjoy collecting rare bourbon and baseball cards, two hobbies that are not particularly great investments but bring me joy: nostalgia for one and the pleasure of drinking the other.

12) If you could choose anyone from any period as a mentor, who would you choose and why?

My great grandfather, Herbert C. Webber, was born 1884 in Worcester Massachusetts. He set out as an entrepreneur in Saskatoon Saskatchewan, Canada at the turn of the century. I would love to have known him and to have learned how he approached the complexities of business in such an exciting time.

13) What’s the next place on your travel bucket list?

With graduation around the corner, my eldest daughter is asking to make a trip up to Vancouver, British Columbia. I’m looking forward to traveling up in the northwest and experiencing a new place with the girls.

14) What’s one item you cannot live without?

The obvious answer here is my iPhone, but since there is no “single item” I cannot live without, I’ll expand the question to “person”. I cannot live without my amazing wife. She truly is my angel in so many ways. She has taught me what it means to fight for the people you love, to give unconditionally, and to never stop having fun. I could not live without Lisa.

15) What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the title industry?

We work in a unique industry. Every day we make a promise of protecting one of the most fundamental rights of Americans: property ownership. Our promise extends beyond the transaction, it is for the benefit of generations to come. It is a privilege to be involved in such an important piece of our economic security. Let us never forget that behind every policy is a long line of dreamers and risk takers who have achieved the American Dream. We don’t sell a product or service; we sell a promise. So, when you experience the fatigue of the month end blitz, the frustration of obtaining a mortgage release, or dodging fraudsters, remember that what we do matters. This business is all about people and personalities, don’t ever lose sight of the promise.