An expert in financial services for wealth management mortgage-related services, Dr. Cheryl D. Travis-Johnson was inspired by her mother, who held leadership positions in the banking business. She held positions in college introducing her to the business as well. Dr. Travis-Johnson was eventually given a scholarship, which came with an opportunity to work in marketing, where she learned different parts of the business. She enjoyed the work and decided to pursue a career in the field upon graduation. Her career continued to take a natural progression from there.
Since 2008, Dr. Travis-Johnson has co-chaired the CIFS section and served as chief operating officer of VRM Mortgage Services in Carrollton, Texas. She has also been the co-founder of the Council for Inclusion in Financial Services in Plano, Texas, since 2016. Dr. Travis-Johnson began her professional career as assistant vice president of World Savings in San Antonio in 1993, remaining in this position for five years before directing the REO sales section of Freddie Mac from 1998 to 2008.
Prior to the start of her career, Dr. Travis-Johnson pursued a formal education at Mills College in Oakland, California, earning a Bachelor of Arts in economics in 1983. She then attended Walden University in Minneapolis, where she attained a Master of Business Administration in management in 2007 and a doctorate in business administration and management leadership in 2018. Her doctoral thesis was titled “Mortgage Services Regulations and Compliance Strategies.” Dr. Travis-Johnson attributes her success to being a visionary and she loves to get her ideas out. She was taught to tie herself to her vision so that anyone who wanted to use her ideas would have to take her along with them.
Active in her local community, Dr. Travis-Johnson has served on the diversity and inclusion committee of the Mortgage Bankers Association since 2012, through which she created an online assessment tool in response to Section 324 of the Dodd-Frank Act, and the national diversity and inclusion council of the National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses (NAWRB) since 2013. Additionally, she is the co-founder and co-chair of the Council for Inclusion since 2016, as well as served on the board of directors of PCV/VRM Seeds of Hope. Looking to the future, Dr. Travis-Johnson hopes to be in a position of leadership and also express the importance of doing well in high school to students so that they know the importance of giving themselves options for their futures. She also wants to teach young adults the importance protecting their credit and saving.
In light of her many achievements, Dr. Travis-Johnson was awarded several Freddie Mac Premier Achievement Awards between 1999 and 2008. Following this, she received the Outstanding Leadership Award from VRM Mortage Services in 2010, was honored by the Women in Default (WinDs) with a Leadership Award in 2011 and led VRM Mortgage Services to receive four Housing Wire Pinnacle Awards in 2012. Later on, she led VRM to be recognized by Diversity Business for two years in multiple categories, including Top African American, Diversity-Owned and Minority Owned Business, and was named MReport’s Leading Lady in 2015 and Housing Wire’s Woman of Influence in 2016. Furthermore, Dr. Travis-Johnson has been named among the Top 100 Mortgage Professionals since 2016 and was bestowed with the Council for Inclusion in Financial Services Industry (CIFS) Impact Award in 2018.
What Dr. Travis-Johnson has learned over the course of her career is that people need different things and you can’t approach every situation and ever relationship with the same purpose; you have to meet people where they are. She tries to make sure whatever service she provides solves their specific need.