Fourteen Years and A Lot Fans
Phyllis Mulder Helped Shape Alliant National
What can be said about Phyllis Mulder? Just ask a few people who have worked with her at Alliant National since she came on board in July 2006, and you’ll hear what seems like 10,000 glowing comments. To an outsider, the accolades may initially sound like nice talk – just something you say about an executive who retires after 14 years with the same company. But as members of the Alliant National family share their heartfelt and personal stories, you realize that it’s all true; you are learning about a woman who not only helped shape a company, but also the careers and lives of seemingly everyone with whom she has come into contact.
Phyllis Mulder joined Alliant National almost at the company’s inception. Dave Ginger introduced Phyllis in ’06 to his co-founders Bob Grubb and Scott Hendrickson. Once they met, no one ever looked back. Since those auspicious beginnings, Phyllis has served as Chief Legal Officer & Executive Vice President at Alliant National, served as President of the Texas Land Title Association, participated in many committees through TLTA and ALTA, and helped the company grow from a handful of agents in a handful of states, to a national organization that today operates in 25 states and supports more than 500 independent agents.
David Sinclair, Alliant National CEO, has worked with Phyllis since 2011. He says Phyllis has played an important role in the company’s transition from a small- to mid-sized title insurance underwriter to a widely respected and recognized industry leader. “Phyllis has been instrumental in the development of the Alliant National culture,” says Sinclair, “and she has allowed us to recruit and retain outstanding people.
“When discussing any issue, Phyllis listens deeply,” he adds. “Phyllis is calm, thoughtful, respectful and kind. She remains steady in the face of uncertainty and unflustered by the whims of others.”
That rock-steady presence is not lost on other colleagues. Margaret Cook, General Counsel & EVP of Alliant National, has worked alongside Phyllis since 2010. Phyllis and Margaret previously worked together for about four years in the early 2000s, and Phyllis recruited Margaret to Alliant National.
“Phyllis is the consummate professional,” says Cook. “She is intelligent, collaborative, humble, and consistent. She genuinely cares about others and brings out the best in them. My favorite part of working with Phyllis is how she empowers her co-workers to succeed and sincerely celebrates their successes.”
Cook shares her admiration for Phyllis’ skills as an attorney. “Phyllis is the calm in the storm when it comes to making legal decisions. She is a natural team player who instinctively values the ideas and suggestions of others. She applies her sharp, analytical mind to think through all angles of a problem, and develops a solution that works for all parties,” she says. “Phyllis is also a master of the English language and enjoys learning and sharing. One day, she came upon and circulated a case where the outcome hinged on the lack of an Oxford comma – to the delight of the serial comma proponents on the Legal Team.”
Alliant National co-founder and long-time colleague of Phyllis, Bob Grubb, gathered a number of comments from Phyllis’ colleagues to celebrate Phyllis’ retirement on a recent company call. Here are just a few of the accolades:
“Jean Bailey, Vice president and Regional Underwriting Counsel for the Southwest Region, said that, due to Phyllis’ deep understanding of the English language, when Alliant National issued a bulletin, it was meticulous, brilliant and the most carefully read bulletin in the industry.
“Brenda Cannon, Underwriting Counsel, Florida, said that when she was considering joining Alliant National, it meant a lot to her that the CLO was a woman, which is not at all common in the industry. ‘I felt an immediate connection with Phyllis.’”
And from Bob Grubb: “Her way of being is the single biggest factor in having Alliant National be so respected in the industry.”
Phyllis is an extraordinarily warm person and brilliant attorney. Forget for a minute that, in addition to being Chief Legal Officer at Alliant National, she also hikes, practices yoga, is an avid bird watcher, spends considerable time in national and state parks – and has run dozens of half-marathons. It’s her humanness that touches the hearts of her colleagues. “I’ll always remember the delight in Phyllis’ voice whenever her daughter called,” says Cook. “Of all of Phyllis’ accomplishments, it’s easy to tell that she’s most proud of being a mother and raising a beautiful, smart, and independent child.”
Likewise, Sinclair knows well the warmth and humanness that is Phyllis Mulder. “Phyllis is a balancing force,” says Sinclair. “One of my favorite parts of working with her is that, regardless of moods or mindsets, she is always available to listen and make a personal connection.
“Phyllis seeks to find the positive in literally everyone,” he adds. “She works with the information supplied and develops the very best product to meet the needs of others.”
But perhaps the most telling aspect of Phyllis leaving Alliant National after 14 years of service, is how Phyllis feels about exiting – and about her stewardship of Alliant National. “The biggest thing I will miss when I leave are the people who make up Alliant National,” she says. “That is what I will miss the most.
“What an honor it has been to work with individuals who are so caring, professional, honest, smart, fun,” she adds. “I have learned something valuable from each person I’ve worked with. I am grateful for the lessons, the mentoring, the laughs, and the help along the way.
“What a gift – throughout the last 14 years to be able to say, ‘I love my job – I love what I do – I love the people I work with,’” she says. “This has been an amazing learning and growing journey. I am proud of our company’s growth, which has resulted from helping others achieve their goals and objectives. How rewarding to work at a company focused on serving our agents, our people, our industry, and all of our stakeholders.”
The evidence shows that Alliant National returns the sentiment. Well done, Phyllis Mulder, Esq.