Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp.’s community programs help veterans and others with hardships

American Warrior Initiative supports the military
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp.’s community programs help veterans and others with hardships
Photo courtesy of Fairway/American Warrior Initiative
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. was the top-ranked large business in Madison Magazine Best Places to Work 2018.

When Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. moved into its new building in Madison last year, the company’s leadership wanted to make sure the space was large enough to accommodate not only employees but also their families.

Despite being a national mortgage lender – with headquarters in Madison, two corporate buildings in Texas and more than 500 branches across the country – the company promotes a unified work environment through interactive activities at its headquarters, says Julie Fry, executive vice president of human resources.

A wellness center, workout and meditation rooms, an outside patio and an on-site pub provide open spaces where employees can build relationships outside of the breakroom.

“We are a large company,” says Fry, “and in order to keep the family feel, we extend our activities to our employees’ families as well.”

Aside from social gatherings and spaces, Fairway offers employees opportunities to develop both personally and professionally.

The American Warrior Initiative brings awareness to the challenges facing active and former military members. Paula Wilcox, non-profit accounting manager, says in 2016 and 2017 AWI provided more than $850,000 in grants, which funded service dogs, home upgrades, financial assistance and more.

As of August, the company has issued 537 individualized care packages through Fairway Cares, a nonprofit initiative launched in 2016 that helps support employees, family members and community members with terminal illnesses or other hardships. The company has also provided $335,000 in financial assistance as of early September.

Mai Xiong, an administrative assistant who has been with Fairway for six years, saw how these programs can also benefit employees when she received a Fairway care package last year.
These efforts, along with the relaxed and social atmosphere, promote a sense of family and make work feel like home, she says.

“[At other companies], some people dread coming into work on a daily basis, but I actually don’t. I look forward to coming in every morning,” Xiong says.