Brother Farner Earns Career Achievement Award

Oct 10, 2022 – Rocket Companies CEO Jay Farner's dedication to company, community and Fraternity earns him Deltasig's Career Achievement Award.

The 30-year history of Delta Sigma Pi’s Career Achievement Award is a veritable hall of fame of professional and personal achievement. Past recipients include 2006 honoree Peter B. Petersen, Johns Hopkins (MD), a 504th Army Airborne platoon leader who became a faculty member at Johns Hopkins School of Professional Studies (he passed away in 2017), and 2018 award winner Julie Stackhouse, Drake (IA), who recently retired as a Federal Reserve Bank executive.

This year’s honoree, Rocket Companies CEO Jay Farner, Michigan State, adds a unique dimension to the Fraternity’s pantheon of award recipients. Brother Farner was recognized during this year’s Grand Chapter Congress in Cleveland. Instead of a traditional speech behind a lectern, he opted for a “fireside chat” – a conversation with Leadership Foundation Trustee Tim Augustine.

Brother Farner is a case study in the power of team-building and fostering relationships. After graduating from Michigan State, Brother Farner joined Rock Financial, which became Quicken Loans in 1999, and rapidly advanced his career as a mortgage professional. He became the company’s vice president of web mortgage banking and played a key role in the company’s creation of Rocket Mortgage, an industry pioneer as the first entirely digital mortgage-lending provider. Brother Farner was ultimately promoted to CEO in 2017, and, three years later, presided over the company’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Now known as Rocket Companies, Farner’s business has diversified and provides service and sales platforms for the real estate, automotive and solar-power industries, as well as an array of fin-tech products and services.

Farner has presided over numerous fin-tech innovations; under his stewardship, Rocket Companies has been equally forward thinking in its development of an inclusive and productive culture. The company has earned such plaudits as ranking fifth on Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2021, and placing among the top 30 companies for the last 18 years. Computerworld rated Rocket Companies at the top of its list of 100 Best Places to Work in IT for six straight years and among its ranked organizations for 14 years.

Jay has made it very clear that he wants Rocket Companies to be an employer of choice for young professionals. Further, the company reflects Brother Farner’s commitment to Delta Sigma Pi by providing several scholarships for deserving brothers, as well as partnering with Delta Sigma Pi to promote Rocket Companies as a potential future employer for Fraternity members and a ready provider for brothers’ mortgage needs.

The conversation during the fireside chat centered around six questions (see sidebar) that Tim asked Jay. Given Brother Farner’s tremendous career accomplishments, Tim praised Jay for being remarkably approachable and personable. He said, “CEOs of companies at that level are often formal and guarded, but Jay was very forthcoming and provided some thoughtful insights that should prove helpful for Deltasig brothers.”

One particular point to ponder that Jay offered was “Work is about who you do it with, not about what you do.” That philosophy is part and parcel of his intentional development of a company culture that emphasizes recruiting top talent and optimizing their abilities not only to enhance the company, but also employees’ professional development.

Brother Farner also embodies the Deltasig ethic of service through his involvement with numerous economic development and nonprofit organization that benefit the Detroit area. They include Detroit Labs LLC, Community Solutions, StockX, Rock Ventures LLC, Bedrock Detroit, the Metropolitan Detroit YMCA and the Rocket Giving Fund (where he serves as president). The company also moved its headquarters from suburban Livonia, Mich. into downtown Detroit, which has faced colossal economic challenges. It takes courage to be a catalyst in an economic rebirth, and Brother Farner set a sterling example of providing job opportunities.

This year’s presentation carried added significance because Jay is a legacy Deltasig. His father, David, Michigan State, was initiated in 1964 and was active in the Fraternity’s Lower Michigan Alumni Chapter. During the ceremony, Delta Sigma Pi presented David with a Golden Helmet to commemorate his over half-century of service to the Fraternity. 
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