Our employee spotlight shines on John Slupe, Branch Manager and Settlement Agent for Ashburn, Leesburg and Winchester. Keep reading to learn more about John, his family and his journey to and with Highland Title + Escrow.
John was born in Western Pennsylvania and raised in Springfield, Virginia. He graduated with his Bachelor of Science in 1988 and worked in retail for the next six years with the J.C. Penney Company as part of the management team in Gaithersburg and Annapolis, Maryland. He credits his experience there as laying his foundation of learning how to provide great customer service and understanding the importance of developing a good team.
John took that experience and went into sales working for The Perrier Group of America, Boise Cascade Office Products and others over the next 12 years. At Boise Cascade Office Products, John achieved Sales Executive status twice (top 10% nationwide) and Inner Circle for six years (top 10% in the region). How? “Providing exceptional customer service and making the customer the #1 priority.”
During John’s time in sales, he recognized a need for his commercial clients. He supplemented his office product offerings by owning and operating his Office Coffee Service for five years. This venture started with a plane ticket to St. Louis, Missouri, where John met with Newco to learn about the commercial coffee brewer offering and its installation. After ordering several coffee brewers and converting his garage into a mini-warehouse, he served several Fortune 500 companies in the Northern Virginia area. It was a great experience and John’s passion, but as his family grew, John sold his company to Aramark. This opened the door for what would become his “coaching career” with his three children, which was the best decision he ever made!
John Slupe and Mike McFarlane, Founder, President and Chief Counsel of Highland Title + Escrow, have known each other since fourth grade. They’ve played on several soccer teams and spent summers honing their Marco Polo skills at the swimming pool. After John and Mike graduated from high school, life sent them in different directions, and it was at their 20-year high school reunion they decided they needed to do a better job staying in touch.
Shortly after, John and his wife Susan called Mike for assistance with refinancing their home. Mike insisted on bringing them the settlement documents, knowing they had three small kids. John thought, “What top-notch customer service!” That day, Mike and John played with the idea of what it’d be like if John came aboard! Three years later, the time was right, and John left commercial sales life behind!
John says the best thing about Highland Title + Escrow is that he works with his wife. Many mention how the Highland Title + Escrow team is family, but it’s really true for John and Susan! He remembers when there were just two offices, and Mike was concerned about growing the company. He didn’t want growth to change the culture. Often, companies grow too fast and ultimately lose their identity and track of their mission.
Not at Highland Title + Escrow. With multiple locations and a supportive team surrounded by experienced professionals, they all have one common goal…to provide the best closing experience for buyers, sellers, real estate agents and lenders. Our goal is to make agents and lenders look like heroes to their clients and to have a smooth transaction.
A typical day? No way! Some days, John’s “to-do” list gets done, and others, not one item gets checked off, but it truly is one of the reasons he loves his job. Each day is unique, and it’s never boring. If it were up to John, he’d be doing settlements from 9 am to 5 pm as that’s the best part…working with people. When not in closings, John manages all the aspects of the transaction, works closely with the processing team and communicates with all parties as needed to ensure he reaches the goal of being prepared for the settlement date.
John loves working with real estate agents and mortgage lenders to prepare their clients to close their homes. First-time homebuyers are so excited to close, and he sees it as an honor to sit with them and discuss all of the loan documents so they are comfortable and understand what they’re signing.
Days aren’t always easy, but often, the most difficult days end up being the most rewarding when all is said and done, according to John. If you are interested in the title industry, going through the buying or selling process yourself would be a big plus. The work can be challenging, but if you’re looking for a fast-paced environment filled with fun, knowledgeable co-workers and a management team that genuinely cares about your well-being, Highland Title + Escrow is the place for you.
Working with the Highland team is truly a blessing for John. Every day, he wakes up and looks forward to going to work. Regardless of the office, the Highland Title + Escrow team is very supportive, looks out for one another and cares about what’s going on in each other’s lives. He works with people who care, and they have FUN, too!
John has always told his kids and the teams he coached, “Don’t ever give up!” In high school, he tried out for basketball and soccer his freshman year and didn’t make the team…same thing during his sophomore year. He played his junior and senior years on the soccer team because he refused to give up. He and his team won states his senior year, and that experience is one he will never forget.
John started his coaching career when his oldest daughter was four years old. (John says that coaching four-year-olds is more like cheerleading than coaching. It’s really about encouragement and getting them all headed in the right direction.) He went on to coach all three of his kids in soccer and basketball, including rec and travel. He did this to be close to his kids and often coached multiple teams a season to make a difference in other children’s lives, as well. Through the Positive Coaching Alliance, he learned the importance of life lessons through sports. John knows he learned just as much from those kids as he could have imagined and will be forever grateful for those days. During the winter, he spends his Saturdays refereeing basketball games with his son when he is home from college. He finds it’s good exercise, gets him out of the house and allows him to be around the “Fountain of Youth!”
John has been married to his wife Susan for 26 years. His only regret is he wishes he would have met her ten years sooner! As the mother of their three adult children, Susan is John’s best friend and the person he prays he’ll grow old with.
Reach out to John Slupe at 703.723.3300, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.