Posted May 31, 2021 in Special Features

Leslie Gerard photo & logos, Clark County WA real estate agent

Every year local businesses and service professionals eagerly await the results of The Columbian’s popular “Best of Clark County.” While some nominees who make regular appearances are not surprised to be entered in the annual contest, the news takes others by surprise.

Leslie Girard of Evergreen Home Loans™ was nominated in the Top 5 Mortgage Broker/Banker category and she says it’s an amazing honor.

“It’s not my style to say ‘look at me’ but it’s nice to be recognized, especially during the pandemic,” she says. “Some people are motivated by having a carrot out there for goals but for me it’s about activities and what I do every day that is the real reward. Getting this nomination is just the cherry on top.” The global pandemic is not Girard’s first professional challenge in the industry. During the Great Recession, she saw mortgage professionals around her leave the industry and brokerages close their doors. In 2007 when the industry first began to topple, Girard moved from a big box lender to Evergreen Home Loans, a small privately held mortgage company. For the last 14 years, she has been a top team producer.

“Being with a smaller company makes you more nimble to adjust to changes and products,” she says. “They have given me great tools and a good foundation to serve our clients.” However, she says that a company is more than just a name but about what the company stands for and alignment of values. She also believes success of a company really comes from the people behind it.

“Myself and my team all have same desire to do what’s best for the client,” she says. “Our company philosophy is about serving people. We always have time to talk to any client who truly wants help, even ones with a complex loan or first time home buyers who may not qualify now. We get alongside people and help for however long it takes.”

Girard describes her team as close-knit and says they do a lot together such as go on annual retreats. When she had breast cancer in 2019 her team had her back. “They are a neat group of people to work alongside me and support me.”

“It’s not all about me, it’s the team effort,” she says. “Everyone works to support each other.” Looking back at her 20 years in the industry, Leslie attributes her personal success to her service minded approach and genuine care for her clients, especially in difficult economic times. “When things get tough and people really need help, they want to reach out to someone  hey can trust,” she says. “I’ve always kept my head down and worked hard to do what’s best for my clients.”

For all her hard work, Girard wasn’t expecting to be nominated for Best of Clark County. “To look up and be recognized is an amazing compliment. It shows my efforts are recognized and I’m doing something right.”

Evergreen Home Loans started in 1987 with a single office and has grown to 67 branches across the Western states. They are also licensed to originate home loans in Montana, Texas, and Wyoming. “One of the big reasons we’ve lasted and grown is because it’s not just about a transaction, it’s about a relationship,” Girard says. The Columbian’s annual Best of Clark County competition gives the community the opportunity to show support for their favorite businesses and service professionals in more than 180 categories. You can vote for Leslie Girard and your other favorites during the voting period between May 31 and June 13.