I wanted to share with you the passing of a long time member of the APM family, David Ryland. Dave was a loan officer at Big Valley Mortgage, the first and original branch of American Pacific Mortgage. So I guess we could say that Dave was one of the first employees of this now 2300 APM family. Our story goes a bit further and deeper than that. In fact Dave was my original mentor in the industry and a 32 year personal mentor as well.
I first met Dave in the fall of 1986 when one of his loan officers, noticing that the bank I worked for had terrible rates and programs (I had been in the business 3 months) took pity on me and invited me to meet his boss, Dave. I immediately took a liking to him. Dave had a gentle demeanor and a firm handshake. He clearly knew what he was doing, running a nice little office in sleepy Granite Bay, California. It was a small office, and truly having no idea what I was doing, I gladly accepted his offer to work for him.
I planted myself on a tiny 3×2 desk right outside his door and began my career as a mortgage loan officer. Now, Dave was the kind of guy who rarely sought credit. He was a true giver, but that first year sitting outside his office was likely the defining experience of my career. Dave was knowledgeable, passionate about his work, and had a true gift for putting people at ease when he worked for them. My secret……I copied him in every way I could…..and it worked. I quickly began to see traction in my business.
Three years and an encyclopedia of lessons later, I built my production to the point of being ready to launch my own branch. In gratitude and transparency, I went to Dave to discuss with him. He was gracious and supportive of my ambition, as he was during my whole career, and so Big Valley was launched, once again with his mentorship. His appreciation for my honesty and my gratitude for his magnanimous response served to solidly our mutual respect.
Four years later when Dave decided to close his office and simplify his life by returning to originating full time, he came to work for BVM. There were about 15-20 of us back then. We have been together ever since, until now….
Dave was a spiritual man whose faith was always evident in the way he carried himself. He showed me that expressing oneself spiritually in the workplace was ok, as long as we did not impose our views on others. He taught me that affirming others is perhaps the most important thing we can aspire to do in our interactions. He was better at it than me.
I give Dave, my original mentor, a large measure of credit for APM being here today.
Like so many things in life, a chance meeting 32 years ago changed the direction of my life. And here I sit today, in the twilight of my career saying goodbye to my mentor and friend, Dave Ryland.
Dave’s kindnesses, his drive, and his compassion for others has been a lifelong inspiration to me which has, in no small way, contributed to much that has gone good in my life. Through ups and downs he was a rare constant in my personal and professional life for 32 years.
I will miss him.
With gratitude and humility,