Senior Vice President, Agency
For nearly 30 years, I have been bringing value to clients inside the real estate, title insurance and settlement services industries, blending a unique prospective of lending, title company ownership and underwriting. I joke that I will not sell something unless I have been a consumer of the product first.
As the owner of a multistate title company for 10 years, which spanned the Great Recession, I have an intimate understanding of what it takes to operate a successful operation during challenging times. I sold my title company in 2014 and currently serve as Senior Vice President of Agency for North American Title Insurance Company.
A recognized speaker on sales strategy, management, CRM and organizational culture, I have taught and coached hundreds of real estate agents, loan officers and title professionals across the country. I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Illinois University and a Master of Business Administration from Arizona State University.
Expert on the following topics:
– Sales and marketing
– Company culture
Vice President Strategic Agency Manager
A third-generation title professional, I have been serving the title industry since 1989. I received my bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri and have previously owned and operated a large title agency in Missouri. Prior to joining NATIC, I was national agency manager for two different regional underwriters. As an active member of the American Land Title Association, I have served on several committees and have previously served on the agents’ section to the board of governors.
My passion is speaking and teaching the next generation about the land title business. Throughout my career, I have taught classes to a cumulative total of over 10,000 students. I have been a speaker for several state land title association conventions and provide CE classes to title agents in the Midwest. Having a wealth of knowledge about the history of the land title industry in the United States, I author a monthly article titled: “The Ramblings of a Title Man.” In 2007, I was recognized as a “Top 40 under 40” by The Title Report. In 2020, my second book, “The Ramblings of a Title Man – Second Edition,” was released and is available at www.lulu.com. My family has celebrated 100 years of service to the land title industry and published an historical website, www.holden100.info, to celebrate the century milestone for the family.
After working as both an agent and an underwriter, I understand the critical partnership between the two. Working as a title agent is a tough, but rewarding job, and my goal is building a partnership that enhances a title agent’s success. North American Title Insurance Company is focused on building a responsive and nimble relationship with its agents, representing a hands-on alternative to the oversized corporate underwriting companies.
Approved CE instructor in the following states: OH, IN, PA, NJ, VA, MD, MO, WY, MT, CO, AR, FL, GA, MS, AL, LA & UT
Expert on the following topics:
– Ethics for leadership in title companies (qualifies for both CE and CLE in many states)
– Understanding title insurance for consumers – ALTA’s Homeowner Outreach Program
– ALTA Best Practices update
– “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad:” The U.S. railroad system and how it effects land titles
– The history of land titles and the U.S. land title system
– Cemeteries, ghosts and zombies (great for October seminars!)
– The Ramblings of a Title Man “Live”
– 1031 exchanges
– Remote online notary: How does the technology work?
Assistant Vice President, Regional Agency Manager
At North American Title Insurance Company, we pride ourselves on our position as a boutique underwriter, dedicated to the success of our independent agents. As Assistant Vice President, Regional Agency Manager for Texas and Key Accounts, I am committed to building long-term relationships with my agents and being the go-to person to help resolve the day-to-day challenges they face.
A graduate of The University of Houston with a BBA in Business Management, I am a free-spirited individual who is passionate about living life to the fullest. To me, life is about enjoying the small things, like spending quality time with my daughter Madeleine. She and I are yogis who love the great outdoors, spending time in a variety of pursuits, such as rock climbing, hiking, traveling, skiing or scuba diving. I am also a marathon runner and triathlete. Giving back to society by volunteering in many local charitable associations is equally important to me. I also love teaching yoga to both children and adults, giving back the peace and joy it has given me.
Expert on the following topics:
– Mindfulness in the workplace
– Mindset equals success
– Resilience practices
State Agency Manager – NJ – PA – MA
Serving as North American Title Insurance Company’s state agency manager for New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, I am focused on providing agents the latest tools, techniques and services that can assist them in growing their business. Prior to joining NATIC, I was Vice President of marketing and sales for Security Compliance Associates, which offers a suite of information security assessment, compliance and cybersecurity services for the title and settlement services industries. I also served as Vice President of marketing and sales for RynohLive, creator of an escrow reconciliation software solution and fraud prevention system for real estate closing and escrow professionals. While there, RynohLive was recognized by INC Magazine and ranked as one of the fastest-growing, privately held companies on the INC 5000 list.
My career has encompassed more than 30 years of management, marketing, publishing and sales experience. My business-to-business publishing career began in New York City in 1984, where I worked with Madison Avenue advertising agencies and international suppliers to the automotive aftermarket. Moving to Ohio in 1995, I joined Advanstar Communications as publisher of RSI, where I also worked as group publishing director for Pit & Quarry, Paperboard Packaging, Global Cosmetics, Body Fashions Intimate Apparel, Candy Industry, RSI, Roofing Specifier and Mining Equipment News.
In 2001, I joined Crain Communications and was later introduced to the title industry through October Research LLC, publisher of The Title Report and The Legal Description.
I studied business administration and marketing at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey and Kean College in Union, New Jersey. Currently, I serve as co-chair of the Pennsylvania Land Title Association’s communications committee and as an active member of the New Jersey Land title Association’s technology committee.
My wife and I spend much of our spare time visiting local nursing homes, a hospice center and the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland with our certified therapy dogs.
Expert on the following topics:
– Marketing strategy, planning and execution
– Idea generation (creative thinking)
– Strengthening your brand through community work
IL State Agency Manager
An Illinois native, I grew up in the title insurance industry, launching my career at the age of 16 in the family business. Initially, I handled new orders, recordings and other administrative tasks, and later served as a Closing Officer for at-home and after-hour closings. My early experience, as well as my more recent stint as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for RynohLive, has given me a keen insight into the intricacies of agency management and the growing imperative for tighter controls over every aspect of the process. I am excited to bring the robust resources of NATIC to our Midwest agents, as we assist them in managing and growing their businesses in the current regulatory environment.
I spent nearly a decade in the hospitality industry, working with Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, one of Chicago’s most esteemed restaurant groups. Previously, I served as Sales Executive for HiPOINT Technology Services. Living on the northwest side of Chicago, I am a BIG fan of the World Champion Chicago Cubs as well as the Stanley Cup winning Chicago Blackhawks. In my off time, I play bass guitar for a classic rock cover band and enjoy collecting records, attending concerts and cooking.
Expert on the following topics:
– Social media strategy for business
– Digital v. non-digital: Today’s marketing mix
– Business development and CRM must haves
Vice President, Sr. Regional Underwriting Counsel
Serving as Vice President and Senior Regional Counsel for North American Title Insurance Company, my main responsibility is to make underwriting decisions pertinent to the writing of title insurance on residential and commercial properties in Texas and other states. Along with underwriting responsibilities, I am active on the Education Committee of the American Land Title Association and the Legislative, Regulatory and Land Title Institute Committees of the Texas Land Title Association.
Prior to joining NATIC, I spent three years in the oil and gas business working on a variety of contractual matters as well as insurance coverage and land ownership issues. I also served as Stewart Title’s Senior Vice President and Director of Marketing and Communications, and Counsel, during which I was responsible for Stewart’s marketing worldwide. The majority of my 30 plus years in the title industry has been spent closing and underwriting real estate transactions and handling claims. While in Stewart’s national legal department, I also co-developed Virtual Underwriter, as well as several other websites that have been used extensively in the real estate industry.
I hold a Bachelor of Science from Texas Tech University and Juris Doctor from South Texas College of Law. I am a frequent lecturer on real estate subjects for the State Bar of Texas, Mortgage Lending Institute, Mortgage Bankers Association, Practising Law Institute and other various groups throughout the country.
A past director of the Texas Land Title Association, I’ve had many articles published in the area of real estate law. I am a member of the American Bar Association, State Bar of Texas and Houston Bar Association and a member of several real estate sections for both the State Bar and American Bar Associations. I also served as past director of the Real Estate Section of the Houston Bar Association.
Vice President, Regional Underwriting Counsel, Midwest
As NATIC Regional Underwriting Counsel, I serve agents in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. I am also General Counsel for North American Title Company in Chicago. Beginning my title career as a part-time recording clerk in 1994 while finishing law school, I went on to become Underwriting Counsel for that same company. In 2003, I became Vice President and Underwriting Counsel for the Illinois affiliate of Stewart Title and moved to Stewart Title Guaranty Company in 2008, working as Claims Counsel for seven years. I returned to the underwriting counsel role when I came to NATIC in 2015.
I am currently serving as a three-year Director on the Illinois Land Title Association’s (ILTA) Board of Directors, Co-Chair of ILTA’s Legislative Committee, Chair of the ILTA Blockchain Ad Hoc Committee and as a member of the American Land Title Association’s Blockchain Work Group. I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Wyoming in Laramie and a Juris Doctor from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.
Exec. Vice President & Chief Underwriting Counsel / Florida Bar Board Certified Real Estate Lawyer
North American Title Insurance Company’s underwriting team is comprised of the most experienced title counsel in the country, with more than 400 years combined experience. They bring their knowledge and skill to the table every day, going the extra mile to support our agents and affiliates in their residential and commercial transactions.
As Executive Vice President, Chief Underwriting Counsel for NATIC, I bring a wealth of commercial real estate experience to my position, including commercial acquisition, conveyance, financing and development, as well as title insurance underwriting. Prior to joining NATIC, I served as Senior Underwriting Counsel at Attorneys’ Title Fund Services, a division of Old Republic Title.
A Florida Bar Board Certified Real Estate Attorney, I serve on the advisory board and as a guest lecturer for the University of Miami School of Law’s Robert Traurig, Greenberg Traurig LL.M. graduate program in Real Property Development. I am active on the American Land Title Association’s Reinsurance Committee, NAIC Liaison Committee and Title Counsel Committee, and in the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network. A Florida native, I support many local institutions, such as my alma mater, Carrollton School for Girls, and United Against Poverty.
Senior Underwriting Counsel and Vice President
Serving as Senior Underwriting Counsel at North American Title Insurance Company (NATIC), I share my extensive experience in both commercial and residential transactions, including acquisition, disposition, financing, leasing and title insurance with NATIC agents and their staff. As a Board Certified Real Estate Lawyer admitted to the Florida bar since 1977, my professional background includes the private practice of law for clients in the real estate industry, including banks, insurance companies, title insurance underwriters, title companies, real estate brokerage companies, residential and commercial real estate developers, commercial landlords and trust companies. I also served for many years as Senior Underwriting Counsel, Forms Counsel and Education Manager for a former Florida underwriter. I hold a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from The University of Georgia, where I held full-time academic positions, including Interim Director of the Housing and Demographics Research Center and Assistant Director of the Gerontology Center. I earned my Juris Doctor, Master of Business Administration and bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami.
VP, Regional Underwriting Counsel & Forms Counsel
As Vice President and Regional Underwriting Counsel for North American Title Insurance Company’s Eastern region, I focus on developing a strong relationship with my agents, including offering training to help them grow and develop to their full potential as successful settlement agents. Having worked with title agents for over 10 years in many different aspects – such as agency management, underwriting, audits and claims – I understand how all the functions at a title agency interact.
I serve as NATIC’s team lead for digital closings, including remote online notarization, and am passionate about helping agents introduce digital processes. Graduating cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with dual majors in finance and economics, I earned my Juris Doctor from the Indiana University School of Law–Indianapolis. I earned the prestigious National Title Professional designation from the American Land Title Association and am a member of the Indiana State Bar Association, Indiana Land Title Association, Ohio Land Title Association and IndyCREW.
In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, sporting events, performing arts and spending time with my husband, Jason, young son Landon, and golden retriever, Derby.
Vice President, Senior Underwriting Counsel, California
Gytis Nefas has been active in the title insurance industry since 1979, joining NATIC in California in 1998. He has a wealth of experience in all phases of title insurance practice, having worked in claims, litigation, underwriting and as General Counsel. He has also worked in private practice, representing title companies, secured lenders, real estate agents, independent escrow companies and homeowners in real estate and related matters. Gytis is Chair Emeritus of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Real Property Section, and is a speaker to the legal profession on real property topics under the auspices of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, University of California Continuing Education of the Bar and the California Land Title Association. He is a member of the State Bar of California, U.S. Supreme Court Bar, U.S. Federal Court for the Central District of California and the U.S. Tax Court.
Vice President, Western Region Underwriting Counsel
Along with the other members of the Western Region underwriting team, I am responsible for developing and implementing underwriting standards, guidelines and procedures for North American Title Insurance Company (NATIC) and other companies under the States Title umbrella. My primary role involves working with and supporting NATIC agents and affiliates with underwriting guidance and risk mitigation in title issues in California, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah, Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
Prior to joining NATIC, I was Managing Attorney/Of Counsel for an Orange County, California real estate law firm, Vice President, Title Operations Manager and General Counsel for a leading national title insurance company’s Hawaii operations and Claims Counsel for a variety of companies, including a leading national financial services company and a national title insurance company. I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of California, Irvine and Juris Doctor degree from Western State University College of Law. I am a member of the State Bar of California, Orange County Bar Association and serve on the California Land Title Association Forms and Practices Committee as Chair of the Electronic Recording and Notarization, and Title Documents Sections.
Vice President, Regional Underwriting Counsel, Northeast
As Vice President and Regional Underwriting Counsel in the Northeast, I enjoy helping agents unwind tough title issues in order to facilitate transactions. I have been in the title industry for nearly 15 years having worked in both the underwriting and claims departments for a large, national underwriter prior to joining NATIC.
After earning my Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, I earned my Juris Doctor from New York Law School and then completed a clerkship for the Honorable Maureen P. Sogluizzo in Superior Court, Hudson County Vicinage. I am admitted to practice law in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts and serve as NATIC’s Forms Counsel and reinsurance team lead for the east coast. A past president and member of the New Jersey Land Title Association, I also serve as a member of the Pennsylvania Land Title Association, CREWNJ and the American Land Title Association’s Data Privacy workgroup.
I currently reside in New Jersey with my husband, Scott, daughter, Charlotte, and mini cockapoo, Hazel.