In the fiercely competitive realm of title insurance, where underwriters often prioritize their own interests, one exceptional individual stands out for her unwavering dedication to putting Agents First: Donna Slomins, SVP, Senior Agency Manager at Alliant National. With more than four decades of experience and an unparalleled commitment to serving agents, Donna has played a pivotal role in building Alliant National’s Florida operations from the ground up. Her remarkable contributions have left an indelible mark on both the company and the agents she serves.
Donna’s remarkable journey in the title insurance field began long before joining Alliant National. With previous experience working for large underwriters, she was determined to find an organization that genuinely prioritized the well-being of its agents. Thirteen years ago, Donna’s quest led her to Alliant National, where she saw a rare chance to live her passion. As Donna simply puts it: “I chose to work for Alliant National because they allowed me to do what’s in the best interest of our agents.”
Donna’s unwavering dedication to the success of agents has been the driving force behind the company’s remarkable success in the Florida market. However, establishing trust among agents who had never heard of the company was no easy feat during Alliant National’s early days in the state.
“All my agents trusted me enough to sign with Alliant when we were just getting started and no one knew who Alliant was,” Donna remembers. “I was able to overcome the challenge and I succeeded growing the business in Florida based on their trust and loyalty.”
Debra Coffie, Florida Region Manager, was also among those tasked with building Alliant National’s Florida operations in the early days, and she remembers Donna’s contributions.
“Donna Slomins’ dedication to putting Agents First is truly exceptional. She was the first Agency Manager in Florida, covering the whole state in the beginning, and was part of the driving force behind our success in growing the Florida Region,” Debra says. “Donna has built deep trust and loyalty among our agents. Her personal connections with agents, her tireless efforts, and her ability to relate well to their challenges make her an invaluable asset to Alliant National.”
Today, Donna’s commitment to putting Agents First still requires a level of personal dedication that goes beyond the ordinary.
“Every day I strive to solve difficult problems and make life easier for our agents. Without them we have nothing,” Donna says, adding that she forges deep connections with her agents, spending time with them outside the office and connecting on multiple levels. To Donna, her agents are not just clients; they are friends and extended family. She understands their challenges and is driven to find solutions that make their jobs easier.
“I have worked or managed almost every aspect of our business, so I can relate well to my agents and their challenges,” Donna noted. “I work tirelessly to make them a priority, no matter the need.”
In today’s ever-evolving business landscape, agents encounter many challenges, particularly in navigating complex technologies. Debra notes that Donna sees each challenge as an opportunity.
“Donna leads by example and embraces challenges as opportunities for improvement, making a positive impact in the lives of her agents. She is a fierce advocate for the agent and partners with them to find a solution for each challenge.”
Donna’s deep experience and exceptional instincts have helped Alliant National in other ways. She shares a powerful moment when her intuition guided her to uncover and prevent a major defalcation.
“Something was keeping me up at night even when everything looked good on paper, I put everything on the line and would not give up,” Donna said. “In the end my gut was right.”
Donna’s achievements at Alliant National have been instrumental in driving the company’s success in Florida and beyond. However, it is the profound impact she has on the lives of her agents that truly fuels Donna’s passion for her job.
“Every day is an opportunity to be better and to make my agents better.” Donna affirms. “Whatever the challenge is, I am up for it and will give it my all.”
Donna Slomins is the epitome of an Agents First advocate, leading by example and making a positive impact in the lives of her agents. Her dedication, intuition, and unwavering commitment have propelled Alliant National to new heights, while ensuring that agents receive the support and care they deserve. Donna’s personal journey and extraordinary contributions serve as an inspiration to all who strive to prioritize the needs of agents above all else.
For over two years, Russell Gonzales has served as Assistant Vice President and Southwest Agency Representative for Alliant National Title Insurance Company. Although the role encompasses many responsibilities, Gonzales’ main priority has been signing policy-issuing agents for Alliant National and helping them grow their businesses. It is a demanding position, requiring expertise in agent examination, escrow, marketing and policy reconciliation. But thankfully, this is hardly Gonzales’ first rodeo.
In fact, Gonzales’ time in the title insurance field began long before 2020. He got his start back in high school when he enrolled in a cooperative education program during his junior year. The title company he worked for during this program eventually hired him as a full-time employee. The rest, as they say, is history.
Having spent his professional life in title insurance has afforded Russell a unique perspective on industry trends. Unsurprisingly, the technology associated with the field has advanced considerably, with Gonzales noting that new technology solutions have “changed the way we do business for the better.” However, Gonzales emphasized that certain qualities that make a successful agent or agency have largely remained the same and are just as important as ever: “The biggest trends I have noticed are all related to service,” he said. “Customer service and hard work really continue to pay off,” he said. He added that successful industry people always “remember to have a servant’s heart.”
Service and hard work are qualities that Gonzales is pleased to see reflected in Alliant National. The company is “positively different,” he said, discussing how the firm stacks up against its competitors. “Everyone at Alliant National knows that home ownership is one of the biggest investments someone can make.” Because of that understanding, everyone is “truly eager to help. Whether you are internal or external to the company, you will always be treated like family.”
Being able to deliver this level of personalized service to families pursuing the dream of home ownership is a benefit for Gonzales, whose own family is his greatest joy. “Outside of work, I really enjoy spending time with my family,” he said. “Having a 26-year-old son and 21-year-old daughter allows my wife Grace and I to focus on ourselves. Together we enjoy working out with our personal trainer, watching great movies and shows and building our relationship with God.” For nearly 30 years, Gonzales’ family, industry expertise and service-oriented mindset have allowed him to build an enviable career. His work in the title insurance field has benefited companies, individuals and the industry as a whole. As one of the leaders of Alliant National’s Southwest operations, he has found the perfect home to continue applying his passion for the industry and helping the company solidify its position as the premier independent underwriter for the independent agent.
From the gym to the title agency, Micah Owen maintains her rock-solid commitment to improvement and excellence.
Micah Owen has always loved being physically active while striving for excellence through hard work and dedication. Growing up, she was highly active in sports, becoming particularly passionate about strength training while playing on her high school basketball team.
Once she entered college, Micah became even more serious about sports and exercise, immersing herself in resistance training, anatomy and physiology. She eventually gained her degree in exercise science before moving into a career as a personal trainer. These educational and professional experiences have continued to define her working life to the present day.
“I have always enjoyed spending quality time getting to know someone and then figuring out what I can do to help them better themselves,” Micah said when reflecting on the experience. “That’s what my time as a personal trainer consisted of, and that is the strategy I still use every day as an agency manager.”
Since entering the title insurance field, Micah has found ample opportunities to continue helping people become their best selves. As Alliant National’s South Carolina Agency Manager, she frequently makes decisions that deliver tangible benefits to both Alliant National and its policy-issuing agents. She is most proud of how she has helped Alliant National deliver greater business value to agents, including the time she produced more than 500 critical title documents from scratch and made them available for client use.
For Micah, successfully occupying a role like hers entails finding joy in being customer focused.
“To me, it means that whether I am in their office or behind my computer, agents are my top priority. I prioritize every one of them to the best of my ability. It also means constantly communicating with the Alliant National home office to streamline processes that may be hindering our agents.”
Even while improving the experience of the independent agents Alliant National serves, Micah continues to find time to cultivate her own physical, emotional and mental wellness. “The scientific effect that movement can have on your emotions, health and wellbeing is truly incredible,” she said. With such a holistic view of wellness, it is no wonder Micah can continually strive for excellence and improvement – both in herself and others. It comes as no surprise that she has found a home at Alliant National, where our commitment, like Micah’s, remains steadfastly focused on putting agents first.
Cyber criminals are busier than ever. Staying safe requires fraud awareness and the right business insurance coverages. Jerome Magana of SSIS Securance and Tom Weyant, Alliant National’s Risk Management & Data Privacy Officer, sit down to discuss the latest fraud trends and tips for making sure your businesses is positioned to recover in the event of a cyber fraud attack.
After a rich career split between technology and title, Bob Grohol has a unique perspective on the title industry – particularly on digital trends reshaping the field.
Bob’s career path through these industries began in 1982 when he started working at a computer shop. This early professional interest stuck, and Bob would work in the field for the next 17 years, holding positions in computer technology, telecom and software.
His initial transition to title insurance came in the form of RamQuest Software – one of the industry’s main title and closing software solutions. At the time, RamQuest was looking to grow its Ohio business, and despite having no previous experience in the industry, Bob jumped at the chance, immersing himself in all things title. “Despite not knowing a HUD Settlement Statement from a hole in the ground at that time, I learned quickly,” said Bob. “And I continue to learn something new almost every day.” Bob eventually left RamQuest in 2009, transitioning back to the world of software for nearly four years. In 2012, he would make another career change back to real estate and title insurance – where he works to this day.
“In 2012, I was exploring options, and I reached out to Manoj Purohit, whom I’ve known for over 15 years,” said Bob. “Manoj referred me to eRecording Partners Network (ePN).” Similar to RamQuest, ePN was looking to expand in Ohio and the surrounding states, and Bob was a perfect fit. He tapped into existing title industry contacts and resources to grow business, and over time, he became responsible for operations in about 26 states.
Working at ePN gave Bob particular insight into a mission-critical process of the title industry. “Document recording is one of the final steps in the real estate transaction process. The quicker a title agent can get documents recorded, the quicker the final policies can be issued – lessening gap time,” he explained. “Traditional paper document recording can potentially take days or weeks to happen. Plus, it’s possible for documents to be lost, damaged or altered.” By digitizing this process, title agents gain new efficiencies and competitive advantage. “Documents can potentially be eRecorded in minutes, and most, within a couple of hours. With eRecording, documents can’t be lost or damaged. It is also more secure in many ways,” Bob said.
eRecording is an example of digital transformation: a gradual shift from manual or analog processes to digital ones. From Bob’s perspective, while it has taken time for eRecording to develop, it is now fully mainstream, indicative of an industry that is slowly but surely adopting new technologies. “It has taken over 20 years to get where we are today. Almost 2,500 counties are set up for eRecording across 49 states, plus D.C.,” Bob noted.
Of course, while technology may be transforming the field, other elements that make it special or determine one’s success in it have largely remained the same. “To me, the title industry has always felt like a big family. People do move around from time to time – to new companies and roles – but a lot of the same great people are still around,” Bob said. “I enjoy the ‘camaraderie’ between all of those involved with the title insurance business: agents, vendors, underwriters, etc. Everyone is about helping others fulfill the ‘American Dream’ of home ownership. To be successful, follow-up and follow-through are very key. Whether it’s with agents, internal team members or just in general, always do what you say you’re going to do.”
Have a question about eRecording or title technology? Contact Bob Grohol – BGrohol@alliantnational.com