GenEquity Appoints Executive to Head New CA Location

GenEquity Mortgage, a leading mortgage provider, has appointed an experienced executive to lead the company’s expansion into the Southern California region.

Richard Thomas, Vice President and Regional Sales Manager, will develop and manage the growing retail mortgage lending platform for GenEquity Mortgage in the Western U.S. Thomas will be responsible for building the GenEquity mortgage operations and brand throughout California. The first GenEquity Mortgage location is located in Rancho Santa Margarita, California with plans to open additional branches in the coming years.

“We feel confident that Richard is the type of transformational leader that GenEquity needs to promote smart growth. With his experience and knowledge of the southern California market, GenEquity is strategically positioned to make an impactful entrance into the California mortgage arena,” said Mary Legate, President of GenEquity Mortgage.

Thomas brings a wealth of experience to GenEquity Mortgage including twenty five years in the mortgage banking and retail lending industry. Most recently, he was the Southern California Retail Manager with Freemont Bank and previously held the positions of Regional Vice President with Bank of Commerce Mortgage and President of Milestone Mortgage for ten years.

 GenEquity Appoints Executive to Head New CA Location

Change is Coming: Navigating the Mortgage Arena

GEM webinar header Change is Coming: Navigating the Mortgage Arena

In November, Steve Crispin, CRP, Vice President of GenEquity Mortgage and Laura Henneberry, SCRP, SGMS, EVP of Morreale Real Estate Services co-presented a webinar entitled “Change is Coming: Navigating the Mortgage Arena.” The informative session included discussions on rules, disclosures, qualified mortgages and revisions to the HUD-1 statement going into effect in 2014. The impact of these changes on relocation was also discussed.

Due to the popularity of the subject matter, an encore presentation was held in December.

If you were unable to attend either session, the slide presentation is available here.

Social Media Playing a Larger Role in Global Job Searches

social media Social Media Playing a Larger Role in Global Job SearchesMore and more often, job seekers are turning to social media to search for global career opportunities. According to the Kelly Global Workforce Index, an annual survey from workforce solutions firm Kelly Services, employees are increasingly using social media to network and find potential job opportunities.

Roughly 21,000 people were surveyed from a variety of countries across the Americas, including the United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil. Here are the primary results of the report:

Two in five respondents, or about 41 percent, said they were contacted about an employment position through social media during the last year.

Fourteen percent of those surveyed said they actually secured a job through social media during the last year.

Thirty-nine percent are now more inclined to search for jobs through social media than other more traditional methods, such as newspaper ads and online job boards.

How this impacts employers
Because an increasing number of job seekers are utilizing social media, employers hoping to capture the attention of the most candidates should take advantage of this form of communication. Fortunately, social media can be a great way for companies to make sure a candidate is the right fit. It allows them to connect with job seekers on a closer level and also utilize resources such as online surveys. Ideally, this will help prevent a candidate from getting three months into the job and realizing it isn’t the right fit.

“Social media is rapidly revolutionizing the recruitment process because it broadens the access to an enormous pool of candidates,” said Michael Webster, executive vice president of the Americas region for Kelly Services. “We are also seeing the impact access to ‘smart’ technology has on retention, as the work and personal lives of today’s employees is more commonly blended together. Suddenly employees have the flexibility to engage socially or accomplish work tasks at any given time.”

The Kelly Global Workforce Index found that personal technology plays a significant role in the workplace for many job seekers. More than one-third (35 percent) said the use of personal devices such as smartphones and laptops at work is either “important” or “very important.”

“Employees are more social and more flexible in the way they engage with trusted friends and work colleagues on social media, and, increasingly, they expect to have access to technology in the workplace to enable that,” Webster added.

Results by region
Brazil stood out among the other countries in the Kelly Global Workforce Index results. According to the report, social media and employment are heavily interconnected in the South American nation. In fact, about three-quarters (74 percent) of respondents from Brazil said they were contacted on social media about an employment opportunity during the last year. Furthermore, 44 percent of those surveyed in Brazil reported that they secured a job through social media in the last year. In comparison, this number was only 25 percent in Mexico, 14 percent in Canada and 11 percent in the United States.

Mexico ranked second with regard to people being contacted about jobs via social media. According to the survey, about half (48 percent) of those surveyed in Mexico were contacted, compared to 39 percent in both Canada and the United States.

Kelly Services also found that these results were not skewed heavily to a particular generation, even though one might expect Generation Y to be the most active on social media. For example, of those who secured a job through social media in the last year, 18 percent were Generation Y, 14 percent were Generation X and 12 percent were baby boomers. In this way, the results were not very disparate between age groups.

Message from Paragon CEO Joseph Morabito

Joseph Morabito Message from Paragon CEO Joseph MorabitoAs we close out 2013, our 22nd year in business as Paragon, we must thank our clients for their continued support and suggestions that allow us to continuously improve our company. Without them there would be no Paragon. At the same time, we have achieved the best service results in our company history at 97% Satisfied or Better Than Satisfied, with more than 70% of our customers rating Paragon as Excellent. Clearly, those who work in our operations subsidiaries at Paragon Relocation, Paragon GeoImmigration and GenEquity Mortgage, along with all of our corporate support staff around the world, are the key to our service ratings. We manage a very complex global business and services requiring tremendous coordination between all of our departments, divisions and subsidiaries along with our supplier partners. None of this happens by accident. Dedicated Paragon employees and our supplier partners make the world go around for our clients and customers. To all of you, I say a heart-felt thank you.

Looking ahead to 2014, there are initiatives in place to further improve our Business Alliances and Information Technology Application functions to benefit our clients and customers. More and more of our relocation clients are retaining Paragon to provide comprehensive Global Compensation Services to track worldwide income for expatriates in our system. Shortly, we will announce the opening of new GenEquity Mortgage retail offices in various states to expand our mortgage business. We are also working on plans to enter the real estate business in selected markets in Texas, California and Illinois, with other states to follow. At Paragon, there is no standing still.

As the economy improves, we expect to see more moves from many of our clients. Fortunately, the operations apparatus we have built is fully scalable. We have the technology, back office and employee talent in place around the world to deal with any volume level we may experience. In addition, we always maintain links to experienced Relocation Consultants and International Assignment Consultants, which allows Paragon to staff up quickly in the event of a volume surge.

Paragon is an agile, flexible, global service company. That is one reason for our longevity despite recessions, downturns and other economic factors beyond our control. As we look forward, we will just continue growing the old fashioned way, by doing a great job for our clients and customers.

As we close out 2013, I would like to wish each of you a very safe and happy holiday season.

Selders to Mentor at Worldwide ERC® Global Workforce Symposium

CraigSelders blue bkgrn sm2 237x300 Selders to Mentor at Worldwide ERC® Global Workforce SymposiumCOPPELL, Texas – October 1, 2013Paragon is excited to announce that Craig Selders, president of Paragon Relocation, has been invited to return as a mentor to young professionals at the Worldwide ERC® Global Workforce Symposium on Thursday, October 24, 2013.

Back by popular demand, the Young Professionals Under 40 (YP40) progressive mentoring sessions are 20-minute roundtable discussions specifically designed to cover topics of interest to young professionals by providing guidance from high-profile professionals with decades of experience in the global mobility industry. The sessions provide participants with the opportunity to meet in a small group format with up to four mentors during the course of the event.

“As always, I am honored to be invited to participate in conversations with the next generation of industry leaders,” Selders said. “These sessions create dynamic dialogues about current industry trends, management and leadership.”

In addition, Joseph Morabito, Paragon’s CEO, will speak during the Global Thought Leaders session on Friday, Oct. 25.

The Worldwide ERC® Global Workforce Symposium will be held October 23-25, 2013, in Dallas, Texas at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. Visit Paragon at booths 318 and 320.

About Paragon Relocation

Paragon Relocation is the premier partner of choice in the global relocation management industry providing innovative programs, value-added support, superior customer service and thought leadership to our clients and the families we relocate. Our mission is to provide an extraordinary customer experience, one family at a time.  Paragon Relocation has been providing relocation services for 26 years and offers services in 150 countries. For further information, please visit www.paragonrelocation.com.

Worldwide ERC®’s Global Workforce Symposium Dallas Publicity Committee

WERC Dallas Publicity Committee 300 Worldwide ERC®’s Global Workforce Symposium Dallas Publicity CommitteeWorldwide ERC®’s Global Workforce Symposium is right around the corner. This year’s symposium will take place in Dallas, TX from October 23-25 and is on track to be one of the best yet. If you haven’t taken advantage of the early bird registration, now is the time to make plans to attend.

Additionally, all corporate members who have not attended in the last 3 years can receive free registration. Paragon is taking part in a local area push to attract more attendees and drive participation. Kristin Eubanks, Paragon’s Director of Global Marketing and Communications, is part of the Dallas Publicity Committee that is working to expand the reach of the conference.

Message from Paragon CEO, Joseph Morabito

Joseph Morabito Message from Paragon CEO, Joseph MorabitoThough relocation volume is down a bit from various clients, our service ratings have never been higher. Paragon Relocation has achieved service ratings above 97% Satisfied or Better than Satisfied and 66% of our customers have rated our service Excellent, which is a record number. This is happening because of significant efforts and resources that have gone into training our Relocation and International Assignment Consultants. And, we are clearly functioning as a well-organized team to get the job done. Relocation and International Assignment Consultants are the face of our company, providing services to the customer; but right behind them is Learning Resources, Client Accounting, Corporate Accounting, Business Alliances, Information Technology, GenEquity Mortgage, Paragon GeoImmigration and many other company functions that allow us to provide exceptional domestic and international relocation services.

Great service is going to get even better by year end as we add an entirely new communications system that will include video desktop connectivity. It will take about six months to fully roll out our new capability; but going forward, our Relocation and International Assignment Consultants, Mortgage Loan Officers, and Immigration Coordinators will be able to provide counseling services with visual connectivity. This may be a first in our industry. This new technology is a game changer that will forever change our service delivery model for the better.

At the same time, we are expanding our retail mortgage operations in Texas, California and Illinois as we bring on more loan officers at GenEquity Mortgage. Currently, we are licensed to provide mortgages in our high volume states. We have been providing corporate mortgage services for several years to support our relocation activity. Since we can originate and process mortgages very effectively from our Dallas office, expanding into the retail space is a logical progression as we grow this business.

Paragon GeoImmigration is growing as well, with the signing of new clients in Asia. In addition to service capabilities in Europe and the United States, we will soon add staff in our Hong Kong office to coordinate immigration work in Asia Pacific. Further, we are adding Paragon Authorized Representatives around the world to market our global services in their regions. Standing still at Paragon is never an option. Innovation requires constant change as we continue to meet the needs of our clients and customers.

Message from Paragon CEO Joseph Morabito

image Message from Paragon CEO Joseph MorabitoIn our never ending process of improvement, Paragon is exploring using video technology to allow our Relocation, Immigration and Mortgage Consultants, Account Managers and Sales team to better communicate with our customers, clients and prospects using both telephone and visual technology to better display information. While we already have video capability to connect our offices for conference calls, this desktop concept, perhaps a first for the relocation industry, will forever change the way we do business. The goal is to enhance the ability to build relationships by turning an often distant call into a face-to-face interaction. In a people-to-people business, the more we can develop our relationships, the more successful we will be in providing complex relocation services. This is an exciting development for Paragon as well as for our clients and customers.

At the same time, we are moving to expand our mortgage business, perhaps through a series of acquisitions in addition to organic growth, to increase GenEquity Mortgage’s presence in the marketplace. Our current emphasis on corporate mortgages in the relocation space is being expanded to include retail mortgages and will grow dramatically in the next five years. This will include licensing in additional states to expand from our current 16 states to 35 or more as we see business opportunities. In addition, we are rolling out the PGR Home Caregivers real estate services to support Senior adults, allowing them to stay in their homes as long as possible. These services include property management, reverse mortgage, dealing with household goods to prepare for a move, if necessary, and home marketing assistance to sell the current home if and when it is time to go into assisted living. In 2014, we will expand this subsidiary to include actual personal home care services to reflect the needs of the 78 million Baby Boomers that are retiring in the United States at the rate of 10,000 a day.

On the international front, we continue to explore better ways of doing business. We are currently supporting expatriates in more than 70 countries, though our reach extends to more than 150 countries through our company locations and affiliates. In doing so, we are implementing money transfers to provide expatriates their benefit reimbursements and supplier payments around the world and often in multiple currencies. This is no easy task; but, we do it efficiently and with few errors thanks to the audit processes we have in place to ensure accuracy.

Standing still is the equivalent of going backward. One thing is for sure – no matter what external challenges we face, Paragon never stands still. We are always focused on the future, process improvement and moving forward. Change is inevitable. Making change happen is a Paragon trademark.

image Message from Paragon CEO Joseph Morabito

Paragon Delivers on Mission Statement

5 star service emblem Paragon Delivers on Mission StatementParagon is excited to announce our year-to-date customer satisfaction numbers are on the rise with our overall end-of-move transferee satisfaction 5 Star Service rate coming in at 97% and our interim survey satisfaction rate being 97.4%. Enforcing our commitment to our new mission statement of providing an extraordinary customer experience, one family at a time, Paragon Consultants have continued to delight our transferees.

Additionally, Paragon offices across the globe are developing a healthy competition to see who will reign as the customer service office champion. Currently, our offices in Warrenville, IL and Hong Kong, China are neck and neck, averaging satisfaction rates as high as 97.5% and 98.7% respectively on the two surveys.

Paragon is thrilled to be able to provide this level of service around the world.

Paragon Relocation Donates More Than $10,000

Paragon Relocation, a leading provider of global relocation management services, underscored its commitment to its core value of community involvement through a number of charitable initiatives. As part of the employee donation matching program, Paragon has given a total of $10,871 in financial contributions to a variety of charities in 2012.

Employees in Paragon’s global headquarters in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, and global customer service centers located near Dallas, Dublin and Chicago supported numerous charities through donations and supplies including the Boys and Girls Club, the American Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy Relief, the North Texas Food Bank and other global organizations.

“Our employees are committed to helping organizations that impact their local communities and also those in which their co-workers and our clients are located,” said Joseph Morabito, CEO of Paragon Relocation. “I am proud of the efforts of our employees in supporting such worthwhile causes.”

About Paragon Relocation

Paragon Relocation is the premier partner of choice in the global relocation management industry providing innovative programs, value-added support, superior customer service and thought leadership to our clients and the families we relocate. Our mission is to provide an extraordinary customer experience, one family at a time.  Paragon Relocation has been providing relocation services for more than 25 years and offers services in 150 countries. For further information, please visit www.paragonrelocation.com.

Message from Paragon CEO Joseph Morabito

image Message from Paragon CEO Joseph MorabitoParagon uses the UCLA Anderson School of Business Economic Report each year as our benchmark for strategic planning purposes. UCLA is saying that there will be slow or little growth in the U.S. and Europe in 2013 along with continued high unemployment. Interest rates will remain low in the U.S., though economic stimulus from lower interest rates does not seem to be driving much economic activity. The only glimmer of light in this report is that real estate home prices in the U.S. have stabilized and appear to be going up a bit. In addition, there are headwinds coming out of Washington D.C. related to new taxes, regulations and health care that are causing a lot of uncertainty, so that many businesses sitting on a lot of cash have adopted a “wait and see” attitude rather than moving into new investment.

So, at best, we can only be cautiously optimistic about 2013. Even so, we are proceeding with our strategic plan to expand around the world, just recently adding expansion in China and Singapore to our list of office locations. Further, we are now implementing Destination Services in Germany, rather than using an affiliate, as is the case in many other countries. Based on work in progress, we should be able to make other country expansion announcements in 2013 as we extend our reach around the world.

Specific to our mortgage subsidiary, GenEquity Mortgage, while we have provided corporate mortgages in the relocation arena for years, we have closed our first mortgages for the general public, on our way to becoming a large retail mortgage company in 2013. As we also continue to grow Paragon Relocation, Paragon GeoImmigration and Paragon Decision Resources, we are also rolling out PGR Home Caregivers in 2013 to provide services for older adults. We will be able to provide senior customers and their families with a single point of contact, a Paragon Care Coordinator, first to deal with various real estate-related and household goods management services; but eventually to provide home care services to allow seniors to remain in their homes as long as possible. This particular subsidiary will provide Paragon additional entry into the retail space to assist the general public with a variety of services.

The only thing that is certain in business is continuous change. There are many factors we cannot control. Yet, they can impact short and long term business goals. The good news is that Paragon is financially sound and that has always allowed us to weather any storm. And, we have the management talent and ability to move swiftly to deal with the internal and external issues we face to make certain that we always provide high quality global relocation and other services for our clients and customers. As we bring 2012 to a close, let me say thank you to our clients and customers, who are responsible for Paragon’s growth and development. In addition, I must thank our employees and supplier partners who work diligently to provide outstanding services for our clients and customers. They are the foundation of our company upon which everything else is built.

image Message from Paragon CEO Joseph Morabito

Paragon: The Only Source You Need for Industry News

GenEquity Mortgage News Paragon is excited to announce a value-added feature of our websites. We are posting top industry news stories that have an impact on your relocation and mortgage programs. To support our reputation for providing “The Best Thinking in Relocation,” we have created news pages to keep our clients up-to-date on everything related to the mobility industry.

Check out our news pages for relocation and mortgage and let us know your thoughts! The news site for immigration is underway and is expected to launch by the end
of July.

Message from Paragon CEO Joseph Morabito

image Message from Paragon CEO Joseph MorabitoThe global economic picture is causing a great degree of uncertainty. The debt crisis in Europe will play out in 2012 and 2013 and could have a major impact on the Euro Zone, the Euro and companies doing business in Europe, including Paragon. Growth in the U.S. and China is slowing down as unemployment in the U.S. remains high. The United States government is facing two crucial issues in the latter half of the year: decisions related to the end of the Bush Tax Cuts and increasing the National Debt Ceiling. At the same time, we are in the middle of a hotly contested election year. Due to all of these factors, businesses large and small around the world to some degree are in a holding pattern until we all see the outcome from government actions concerning these critical issues.

Even so, at least at Paragon, business life goes on. We are still relocating our client’s employees. Volume from some clients is up, while it is down from other clients. We are very focused on our mission statement, which is to provide extraordinary customer service, one family at a time. We are working on putting more Paragon boots on the ground in China, Singapore, India, Brazil, Norway and Portugal. We have devised a new sales, marketing, service and account management strategy aimed at Middle Market companies with $10 million to $1 billion in revenues. Our mortgage and immigration activity are both up. A major effort is underway to improve our Client Accounting function allowing us to better process both employee relocation benefits for our customers and supplier payments for our clients around the world in multiple currencies. In addition, we are in the process of improving and enhancing our Business Alliance function to provide better management of our suppliers.

image Message from Paragon CEO Joseph MorabitoAt the same time, we will roll out the first phase of services for senior citizens in the United States under our PGR Home Caregivers banner. This new business will focus on providing both real estate and home care services for the 75 million Baby Boomers in the U.S. that began turning 65 years old last January at the rate of 10,000 a day. If you think about it, many of these people may have been our relocation customers in the last 25 years and we now will follow them into retirement as a natural extension of our service business. Whatever happens in the economy, or with factors beyond our control, it is never boring at Paragon. We are very focused on providing outstanding services to foster the growth and development of all of our subsidiaries around the world. Though change is inevitable, our mission will never change.

image Message from Paragon CEO Joseph Morabito

Paragon Relocation Announces Appointment of Steve Williams, Director of Global Client Accounting

Paragon Relocation, a leading provider of global relocation management services, is pleased to announce the appointment of Steve Williams as Director, Global Client Accounting at Paragon’s Coppell, Tx service center. In this newly created position, Williams will be responsible for expanding Paragon’s Global Client Accounting team and executing client contracts, guidelines, policies and procedures.

“Everyone at Paragon is delighted to bring Steve on board to provide an extraordinary financial experience to our clients and customers,” said Craig Selders, President, Paragon Relocation. “Steve brings decades of client accounting and global compensation knowledge and education to Paragon.”

Prior to joining Paragon, Williams previously worked for Cartus and Primacy as Director, Expense Services. In his most recent role, Williams managed a team handling new client implementations as well as providing on-going support for existing corporate clients. His experience also includes managing Solomon and Equus software applications.

Williams has more than 20 years of industry experience and holds a Certified Relocation Professional (CRP) designation from Worldwide ERC®.

Paragon Refines Company Mission Statement

Message from Paragon founder and CEO, Joseph Morabito
globe europeRecently, Paragon’s Management Team, gathered from all over the world, revisited our mission statement to provide refinement. We together determined that Paragon is in business to provide an extraordinary customer experience, one family at a time. The key word in this statement is “extraordinary.” What does it really mean? To better define the word “extraordinary,” I have asked all Managers at Paragon with direct reports in every department, division or subsidiary of our company to meet with our staff members to heighten awareness of our mission statement and to define the word “extraordinary” related to their particular company function. Once done, I have asked that all definitions be submitted to me. We are doing this to make our mission statement not just something we say in proposals to new prospects, or to our existing clients, but to have all employees at Paragon internalize our reason for being. Words in a service company matter, particularly when they turn into actions and deeds. The fact that one word can make such a huge difference in our mission statement is in and of itself pretty “extraordinary.”

In keeping with this thinking, we have added additional talent and resources at Paragon in Operations, Client Accounting, Corporate Accounting, Information Technology Applications and Network Solutions to allow us to provide extraordinary services. We have refocused our efforts on training for our Relocation and International Assignment Consultants to make sure they are well prepared to do their jobs. PRISM 2.0, our new automated operating system, is now fully in place for all existing and new clients, allowing for more functionality related to client and customer access to our system and reporting capabilities. We are in the process of completing a major upgrade of our computers at Paragon in preparation for more video connectivity. We continue to add Paragon boots on the ground as we will shortly add additional service capabilities in Germany, Switzerland, Singapore and China.

We are also developing relocation services for smaller, mid-tier companies – those clients with revenues of $/€10 million to $/€1 billion. These particular clients are more likely to implement more of a flexible benefits approach, rather than fixed plans requiring a different service mindset. Shortly, GenEquity, our national mortgage company will receive FHA approval, which will allow us to provide retail, in addition to the corporate mortgages we already provide. We will be providing retail mortgages this year in Dallas, Texas with a full expectation of growing into other markets in the U.S. Finally, we will begin offering PGR Home Caregiver services to senior citizens in the Dallas metroplex market in recognition of the 75 million Baby Boomers that began turning 65 years old at a rate of 10,000 a day beginning in January 2012. These services are designed to allow senior citizens to remain in their homes, living independently, as long as possible. Once this service is perfected in the Dallas market, we will go national.

The only thing I can say for certain is that change at Paragon is inevitable as we respond to our clients and customers around the world. However, when all is said and done, our mission to provide an extraordinary customer experience, one family at a time, remains constant for all our businesses. We know what we have to do to be successful. Our mission statement is very clear.

Joseph Morabito Paragon Refines Company Mission Statement

Paragon Recent and Upcoming Events

Paragon Relocation is very busy on the conference and event circuit this time of year. Here are the highlights from recent events and upcoming events where you will see Paragon Relocation during the month of October.


Paragon Annual Conference

Paragon Relocation hosted its 4th Annual Conference this month in Dublin, Ireland. The meeting was directed by Liam Brennan, Managing Director of Paragon Relocation. In attendance were representatives from Paragon Relocation’s Operations in France, Hong Kong, South Korea, The Netherlands, Spain and the USA.

Conference sessions addressed current trends and challenges within the global mobility industry and also provided opportunities for networking and sharing best practices with colleagues. The agenda included presentations on key growth areas, cost control approaches and best practices adopted by companies in light of today’s economy.


Paragon GeoImmigration Exhibits in London

international bar relocation company
Representatives from Paragon GeoImmigration recently exhibited at the International Bar Association’s (IBA) conference in London. Attendees took part in sessions that focused on the new immigration world after the economic crisis, employer compliance, global transfers and the future of immigration law practice.

The IBA influences the development of international law reform and shapes the future of the legal profession. The association comprises over 40,000 lawyers, 80 group member law firms and over 197 bar associations and law societies across all continents.


Upcoming Events

Visit Paragon at our upcoming events:

Worldwide ERC Global Workforce Symposium

October 12-14
Denver, CO
Booth 400 and 402


HR Southwest

October 30-November 2
Fort Worth, TX
Booth 1308 and 1306



If you are also attending one of these events, please stop by the Paragon booth to say “Hello”!