Woman-owned A and N Mortgage Services undergoes rapid growth

by Mary T. Prenon

This year marks the 20th anniversary for A and N Mortgage Services, a 100% woman-owned business with Neena Vlamis as owner, president and CEO. Vlamis was just 27 when she made the decision to open her own firm. “Yes, it’s still very uncommon for a woman to own a business like this, but I was fearless and dedicated,” she explained. “I was determined to try it because I had nothing to lose.”

Fast forward to 2022, and A and N Mortgage Services now has 10 locations across the country and plans to expand to Colorado and Arizona. Most of its 85 employees work remotely, with many of their closings done remotely, as well. “The pandemic really didn’t affect us, since we were already in a virtual environment,” added Vlamis. “I wanted everyone to be mobile, since we do have a lot of working moms, and we are always looking to improve our tech to support the staff and our clients.”

For the past two years, A and N Mortgage Services has been listed as one of the top 100 mortgage companies in the U.S. and has had an A+ credit rating with the Better Business Bureau for over 10 years.

Vlamis credits her mother with piquing her interest in the business. “My mom was a mortgage processor, and it always intrigued me,” she remembered. “I wanted to be just like mom, so here I am. And now my mom works for me!”

In a slight detour from the world of mortgages, Vlamis originally planned on becoming a college professor. After graduating from the University of Illinois, she went on to earn a master’s degree in English. Instead, however, she took a position in banking. “I was always excited to go check on rental properties, and along the way, I fell in love with doing mortgages,” she admitted.

Vlamis wasted little time before forging ahead with her own business, citing her recurrent desire to become an entrepreneur. “I knew at that point I didn’t want to work for someone else,” she said. As a result, A and N Mortgage Services was born, and Vlamis was able to use her academic background to bring instruction to her leadership style and continued education to her clients.

For Vlamis, helping homeowners get to the next chapter of their lives and watching their families grow are what keeps her excited to come to work every day. “This is still a male-dominated industry, but I think it’s starting to change, and I want to support other women in this business and in home ownership, as well,” she said.

A and N Mortgage Services has access to over 30 banks, credit unions, mortgage insurance companies, products and niche programs to fit an array of homeowners’ needs. The company also services high-end borrowers with in-house jumbo loans for up to $5 million and funding up to $5 million.

Intent on giving back to the local communities it serves, the firm also works with various charities and nonprofit organizations, including Habitat for Humanity in Chicago. Most recently, the A and N staff took on “Women’s Build,” featuring an all-women homebuilding crew.

When she’s not working on mortgages or homebuilding, Vlamis and her husband stay pretty busy with their three children. The family lives in the Chicago area, and her husband works with mortgages at another firm.

As for the company name, Vlamis revealed her “secret”: “The truth is,” she quipped, “I just wanted to be listed first in the phonebook.”

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