Last month our team celebrated the retirement of the XINNIX legend and mortgage industry giant, Jack “Falcon” Karaszewski. We have been blessed to have Jack on the XINNIX team for the last 12 years of his career. To say that he has had a tremendously powerful impact on our company, my team and on me personally would be a huge understatement. With a mortgage career that spanned nearly 50 years, it’s hard to think of any industry leader that hasn’t been impacted by Jack’s legacy.
The story of how Jack came to XINNIX is something I cherish. Shortly after we opened our doors in 2002, Jack was serving as an executive of a national lender. He asked to meet with me along with his colleagues as he had an interest in our programs and services. During this meeting, I mistakenly thought one of Jack’s direct reports was him and didn’t address Jack directly for the first 30 minutes. After realizing my mistake, I looked quickly to recover from my embarrassment. I shared with Jack, “We actually just taught how to sell against you in class.” Jack, a little taken aback, replied, “Oh, you did? Well, let me hear it.” Once I finished, I assumed he was happy as he stated, “We want to put 100 new loan officers from all across the east coast into your program.” That one exchange initiated XINNIX to go from a regional to a national company way ahead of schedule. Jack was a maverick and chose to leverage us to exponentially allow his team to grow. I will be forever grateful to him as he put his trust in me and my company all those years ago.
Fast forward to 2007, Jack calls another meeting with me and to my surprise states, “I want to come work for you.” This industry legend who has held roles as an Executive, President, CEO, and Chairman for SEVEN different mortgage banking companies wanted to work at XINNIX. The greatest compliment you can get is a man like Jack who says, “I believe in what you do, and I want to sell for you.” I am grateful to Jack on so many fronts and especially as we tackled together the industry challenges of 2008.
Over his 12 years with XINNIX, Jack has seen our company go through transitions, challenges and triumphs… he has been such an anchor for me throughout the years. During our time together, we experienced births, marriages, deaths, illnesses and everything in between. Every year we worked together was better than the previous year, if that was even possible. I knew that one day we would have the hard reality of him retiring and moving into the next chapter of his life. Now that the day is here, I reflect back over his time with us, and there are no words to describe how incredibly thankful I am for Jack Karaszewski.
He is an amazing man, an incredible husband and father, and an even better friend. Jack, you have left a legacy at XINNIX. We dedicate the “Falcon’s Nest” at our corporate headquarters to thank and acknowledge you for the impact you have had on not only the team here at XINNIX, but the industry at large. For 48 years, you have spent your career pouring back into our industry and sharing your wisdom and expertise with anyone who asked. You have helped shape the careers of some of the finest mortgage professionals and leaders in the business today and many of them will say, “I owe my career to Jack.” It is certainly true for me. May God bless you and your family in this new phase of your life. We love you, and whenever you feel like coming “home” for a visit, we’ll be here with open arms.