9089 E. Bahia Dr, Suite 101, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Chris Lagerblade is a trailblazer in the industry and the matriarch of LHM Financial and CNN Mortgage. Starting in the industry nearly 40 years ago, Chris was the first female loan officer in her company, quickly outperforming her male counterparts. She learned the business from the ground up, combining her appetite for knowledge with an incredible ability to connect with people. Her modesty and servant-leader style compliments her strong drive for the business built on professionalism, trust, and excellence. For 25 years now, Chris has sat at the helm of this close-knit group of mortgage bankers, leading with a holistic approach at the highest level and influencing everyone who has the pleasure of knowing her.
Chris’ love language is Giving. No matter who she encounters, she genuinely connects, discovering something of significance that later she will circle back and graciously make them feel special. Her nurturing acts of kindness amongst her staff and the community at large is coupled with a savvy wherewithal to pro-actively foreshadow the direction of this ever-evolving industry. Chris’ forward-thinking mindset has embraced cutting edge technology and innovation that undoubtedly placed LHM ahead of the curve during the surge of business in 2020. Chris’ business partner retired in 2019, and during the pandemic, Chris didn’t just react, Chris anticipated where the company needed to go, redesigning the business, and investing in technology even more heavily than before to improve not only processes but people’s lives. While the economy faltered, rates dropped, and the mortgage industry boomed, Chris provided a constant support system to keep everyone around her focused on the task at hand. As consumers were buying and refinancing in record numbers and many competitors in the industry couldn’t keep up with the demand, Chris made sure LHM had a wide variety of investors and programs catering to different markets. Instead of widening profit margins, Chris invested the rates in her borrowers; she negotiated extra warehouse capacity and made sure the secondary department was sound.
Her business influence and giving spirit is not contained within the company but flows freely throughout the community. Her ‘baby’ is Fillmore Gardens, a government subsidized low-income housing complex for seniors in Phoenix, Arizona. Chris has worked with the people here for more than a decade and has purchased various items they require including beds, computers, televisions, bikes, and toasters.
Throughout the year, she continues to shower them with contributions to celebrate various holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo. And every holiday season, the staff of LHM adopts the community at Fillmore Gardens, purchasing items on their holiday wish lists. The people at Fillmore Gardens are never far from her thoughts and always in her heart. An avid pet lover and horseback rider, Chris also supports many equestrian charities and animal causes such as Pawz for Purple Hearts and Cause for Pawz. She even rescued two zebras from a gaming farm, which now reside on her property. When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas in 2017, Chris loaded up her horse trailer with supplies to take care of the animals there. She never slows down, always helping in some form.
Chris oversees LHM’s Operations and Sales, diving in wherever she was helpful to her staff. No job was beneath her. Chris’ depth of knowledge and expertise allowed LHM to manage the onslaught of business and execute both flawlessly and successfully. Chris identified the significance of technology in the industry very early on, investing heavily in software programs that enhance LHM employee’s productivity and success, as well as the customers. She took profits and reinvested them in the company’s infrastructure. As weaknesses were identified through the influx of business, Chris invested in additional software programs to create even more efficiencies her teams were lacking. E-solutions were applied for closing, shipping, and front-end origination, and a virtual platform was created for employees to collaborate including the ability to train and meet on daily basis – all at Chris’ direction.
Chris also has an impact on culture and team bonding. Chris’ acts of kindness and hands-on style maintained the close-knit family atmosphere. She identifies top performers, coaching, and mentoring these individuals into management positions, then hiring beneath them, rather than above them. Ensuring morale remained high, she holds zoom happy hours, trivia contests and raffles. Chris has spent decades leading with her heart. She speaks people’s love language and makes everyone around her feel empowered and special.