Women Worth Watching 2015

Kristy Fercho

This Dynamic SVP Builds Relationships and Revenues for Fannie Mae


web FannieMae_FerchoKristy Fercho, Fannie Mae’s senior vice president of customer engagement–west, and head of customer management, is responsible for the creation and management of Fannie Mae’s value propositions for all customers in the 27 states in the western United States. She also works to maximize the value of existing customer relationships, develop new customers, negotiate pricing and contracts, and coordinate company activities intended to establish, support, execute, and enforce business arrangements.

Previously, Kristy served as senior vice president for Fannie Mae’s single-family mortgage business, central region. Responsible for managing the business contributions of nearly 2,000 lenders, she drove the achievement of revenue, profitability, and housing mission goals through business development, risk management, credit and pricing, technology initiatives, and best market execution.

“You will always be more effective being your true and authentic self.”

Earlier in her Fannie Mae career, Kristy served as vice president of human resources, responsible for company-wide programs and initiatives to improve workforce performance, utilization, and satisfaction. She led the company’s culture transformation effort, guided development of its people strategy, and oversaw the design and execution of programs and initiatives required to implement this strategy.

“I think the most important quality a woman leader should have is authenticity,” said Kristy. “Be comfortable in who you are. You will always be more effective being your true and authentic self.”

Prior to joining Fannie Mae in 2002, Kristy was with PepsiCo for eight and a half years, most recently as director of HR for several corporate functions worldwide. She began her career at Baxter Healthcare, with positions in sales, operations, and HR.

Kristy served as chairperson of the National Advisory Council for First American Corporation until 2010. That same year, she was recognized by STEM magazine as one of 50 Top Women in Finance. She was also named one of Diversity MBA Magazine’s “2012 Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executive and Emerging Leaders.”

Education: BS Finance, University of Southern California; MBA, Erivan K. Haub School of Business, St. Joseph’s University.

First Job: Wendy’s

What I’m Reading: “The Road to Character” by David Brooks

Words I live by: To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”– Micah 6:8

The most important quality a woman leader should have is…

…authenticity. Be comfortable in who you are. You will always be more effective being your true and authentic self.

The career advice I’d give my former self…

Don’t sweat the small stuff

The one thing I’d do differently in my career knowing what I know now is…

…continuously develop mentors and sponsors in the organization and don’t just rely on the ones you have

When I really need to focus on a project I…

…go into my home office, turn on gospel music and get to work

My biggest career leap (and what I learned from it) was…

…moving from human resources to running a line business. I learned the power of saying “I don’t know” and asking for help. People were so impressed (and stunned) that, as a senior Vice President, I would admit that I didn’t know the answer that they committed to helping me learn and be successful

Being a woman in my profession has been…

…challenging but an incredible blessing. It has taught me to navigate successfully in a male dominated industry

I’ve learned that failure is…

…the best teacher. You learn what not to do the next time and it creates resilience going into the next challenge

I maintain a healthy personal life by…

…maintaining order – God, my husband, and work. I am also committed to eating well and working out

I knew my present career was what I wanted to do when…

…during a meeting the customer said “I can see why you are in this role, it was made for you”. His words illuminated what I was already feeling.