Michelle Van Dyke
President, Fifth Third Mortgage, Fifth Third Bancorp

Michelle Van Dyke is out to make Fifth Third a household name in mortgage lending. Fifth Third currently ranks 37th among the nation's largest mortgage lenders, but Van Dyke, who took the helm of the mortgage unit a year ago, believes it can crack the top 15 within five years through outstanding customer service.

For loan officers, that means communicating regularly with customers throughout the loan process and being there for the closing of the loan in case any issues crop up. It also means being available to those clients — not just closing the loan and moving on to the next deal — should they need other financial products and services.

"We want to keep the customer at the center of everything we do," Van Dyke says. "If we do that, we win."

The mortgage unit has a ways to go before joining the industry's upper echelons, but it's making significant progress. Through early August, applications were up 11% year over year and loan volume was up 14%, according to Van Dyke.

Van Dyke is highly regarded within the company for her ability to drive results and develop talent. In 2004 she was named chief executive of its Western Michigan affiliate and within a year she was running operations in the entire state. Bigger assignments followed and by mid-2014, she was overseeing eight of the company's 17 geographic regions, representing nearly half of its net income.

Here's another impressive statistic that's reflective of her leadership: between 2010 and 2014, nearly 500 employees in the markets Van Dyke oversaw moved on to larger jobs in the company.

Van Dyke believes strongly that business leaders should devote time to board service — as long as they don't spread themselves too thin. At one point in her career she served on as many as 12 boards, but she's since pared it to a more manageable three. Her advice to others considering board service: "Don't serve because you think you have to, serve because you want to."

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