US Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting
The United States Conference of Mayors
January 22-24, 2014
Safeguard’s community initiatives department values its relationships with municipal leaders throughout the country. As a testimony to this, the department returned to speak one-on-one with our nation’s highest, locally elected officials at the annual Winter Meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) in Washington, DC. This three-day event is one of two semi-annual gatherings hosted by the national organization.
Heather Lazar, community relations liaison, represented Safeguard and joined several Business Council members from the banking and mortgage industries in endorsing and advocating for the USCM. Lazar attended the Community Development and Housing standing committee meeting, which focused on innovative and unprecedented public-private partnerships. Current and upcoming efforts within this arena were the speaking points of guest speakers Honorable Shaun Donovan, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Bob Annibal, Citi Community Development. Annibal’s comments concentrated on small, minority-owned businesses, for which promotion and education are priorities among Safeguard’s vendor management team.
The conference closed with a meeting of the Vacant and Abandoned Properties task force. Tyler Smith, Wells Fargo’s vice president of REO community development, shared an overview of property preservation activities and a general roadmap of the foreclosure process. Following an educational synopsis of the industry’s best practices, Smith elaborated on Wells’ efforts and municipal impacts related to the repairs and sales of REO properties. Likewise, details of the discounted sales and donation projects to non-profit organizations were provided, including his ongoing work with two military groups that provide housing to wounded soldiers.
Safeguard Properties is the largest mortgage field services company in the U.S. Founded in 1990 by Robert Klein and based in Valley View, Ohio, the company inspects and maintains defaulted and foreclosed properties for mortgage servicers, lenders, and other financial institutions. Safeguard employs approximately 1,700 people, in addition to a network of thousands of contractors nationally. Website: www.safeguardproperties.com.