By Melissa Wrubel
Originally published May 1, 2017
If you live in the Blue Water Area, chances are you have heard of renowned hometown lender, Michigan Mutual, an amazing business with countless success stories and loyal customers. Michigan Mutual is a privately held Retail and Wholesale lender established in 1992 in Port Huron, Michigan, by brothers Hale and Mark Walker. Currently operating in 35 states throughout the U.S., Michigan Mutual specializes in home and property loans. Michigan Mutual offers premier customer service, and goes to great lengths to provide the very best solution to your lending needs.
Michigan Mutual took a big step and moved their hometown Port Huron office into the renowned Times Herald building at the heart of downtown. Moving into this large building created an opportunity to enhance employee collaboration and production. Having all employees on one floor was a very important aspect to consider when the move was taking place.”The most rewarding feat for me is to see the growth of my employees,” said Hale Walker of his 345 faithful employees. “Adding jobs in the community is a passion for myself and (brother) Mark. It definitely helps grow that employee level more.” Michigan Mutual’s operations center is located in Southfield, Michigan, along with an underwriting center in St. Louis, Missouri.
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The Core Values of the business are integrity, problem solving, commitment, family, and fun. Regarding family, Hale has been asked in the past about how it is to work alongside family members for so long, and still build a successful business at the same time. “The key is to understand each other’s strengths,” said Hale. He knows that it’s a rarity to have such a fortunate occupation with family members working so well together within the same business. Hale’s children, Dustin, Brandon, and Sam, all play a role in making Michigan Mutual succeed. Mark’s daughter, Emily, also works for the family business at the Port Huron location.
Looking ahead toward the next 5 years, Hale discussed what he sees for the future of Michigan Mutual. “We will continue to grow, with specific growth of small groups on the retail side. Technology is critical going forward. Automation and mortgage process made simple for the future. This is not a trend; it has to happen.” The process will be much easier for the customer. There will always be a loan officer involved in the process, but the options will be there to personally utilize online services for the loan, or to choose a face-to-face appointment with a loan officer.
There was definitely a sense of excitement among the staff at Michigan Mutual when I stopped in to see their new headquarters! Everyone seemed fresh and wide-eyed about being in a new location and having a changed perception of desk space. The concept of the building layout is to promote collaboration; less desk room and more conversation areas, collaboration space and conference rooms. The idea is to promote team members to interact with one another versus staying at individual work spaces.
Michigan Mutual will continue to provide the very best services to our community and beyond. Stop in to see them in their new location in the heart of our community and see what this amazing company has to offer for your lending needs!
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Melissa M. Wrubel is a life-long resident of the Blue Water Area. Melissa has a Bachelors Degree from the University of Michigan, and a Masters Degree from Saginaw Valley State University. Her father is local, long-time realtor Thomas L. Coleman, and mother is retired PHASD teacher Marsha V. Coleman. Melissa is a former elementary and middle school educator and administrator. She is happy to live with her family locally in the Blue Water Area, and wants to do as much as she can to support the people in our community.