Title Firm Tops Women-Owned Business List

Denver-based Williams Title Guaranty and Escrow Agency has been listed at No. 47 in the Top 100 Women-Owned Companies 2010 by ColoradoBiz magazine, according to Shelley Kaye, executive director of Women in Default Services (WinDS) of which Elizabeth "Betsy" Williams, one of the award-winning firm's owners, is a member.

"Betsy's company was honored for their outstanding business performance and high level of customer service," said Kaye, noting that Williams Title Guaranty and Escrow Agency increased revenue by more than 69% year-over-year.

"This is a remarkable achievement for any company at any time, but in the current economic climate their performance deserves high praise indeed."

Williams, a veteran of more than three decades in the real estate, began her career as an account executive with Citicorp. She later worked as REO asset manager/closing manager and bank liquidation manager for the FDIC, based out of Denver and subsequently out of Hartford, Conn.

Just prior to opening Williams Title six years ago with her daughter and business partner, Michelle McCollum, Williams served in senior management at Stewart Title Guaranty's closing departments for the Greater Denver area.

She is also a licensed real estate broker.

"Between Michelle and I we are truly 100% women, 'roll up your sleeves and work hard owned,'" said Williams.

"I can't imagine doing this without Michelle, because we balance so well off of each other's talents and skills."

McCollum has a strong background in the title industry as well as experience in information systems management, technical administration and business administration.

She has worked in the nonprofit arena and assisted in grant writing and proposal writing.

"We are very proud to make this announcement," said Kaye.

"WinDS focuses on recognizing the contributions and advancing the careers of women professionals who are employed in some capacity related to resolving the current real estate lending and foreclosure crisis, and Betsy and Michelle's proven track record of leadership in our industry makes them an outstanding example of who we are in this organization."

Williams said her firm provides closing services on over half of all HUD homes in her market area and also serves many asset management outsourcing companies on REO properties and short sale transactions, as well as serving the FDIC, and many local real estate agents and brokers with title and closing services.

The default services business comprises a multitude of disciplines and a wide variety of activities that are essential in handling the glut of foreclosed properties negatively impacting the entire U.S. economy.

According to Kaye, the members of WinDS are involved at all levels within this niche of real estate and many of these successful members own their companies, while others are engaged as independent contractors or employees at firms of all sizes in every state.