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American Financial Services Association

Kristin Karwat

Kristin Karwat

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Kristin Karwat

Chief Executive Officer
Gateway Financial Solutions

Kristin Karwat
Chief Executive Officer
Gateway Financial Solutions
Saginaw, MI
Direct: (989) 791-1369
Mobile: (989) 737-8723

Kristin is the Chief Executive Officer for Gateway Financial Solutions. Her responsibilities include leading operations and strategic direction with full responsibility for bottom line factors, including long-range planning, financial product management, portfolio management, and employee development. Kristin obtained a BBA/Finance from Northwood University and has over 20+ years in the sub-prime industry. She began her career in automotive retail as a business manager selling finance products. She joined Gateway Financial Solutions in 2002 with a focus on growth strategies and market expansion as the Director of Originations. Kristin has had the pleasure of serving as CEO of Gateway Financial Solutions since 2007. In addition to AFSA, she is a member of the National Automotive Finance Association (NAF). Outside of the automotive industry, she serves several organizations with volunteer work within the local community, including Habitat for Humanity, Women in Leadership Saginaw, past Chairman of the Saginaw Arts and Enrichment Commission.

Areas of Expertise
Strategy, Executive Management, Personnel Development

Areas of expertise upon which I would like to continue learning.
Risk, Team Building, Mentoring.

What three keywords best describe you?
Hungry - Humble - Human

Personal Motto
"If not you, who? If not now, when?"

What are you passionate about?
My family! I have a wonderful husband and two beautiful children that I truly live for. Professionally speaking, I love to accomplish things/challenges that I never previously considered possible.

What is something interesting about you that members might not know?
I love music and going to concerts. In fact, once I was on stage with Rick Springfield (Jessie's Girl) and sang a song during one of his concerts. I cannot carry a tune very well and feel bad for the audience, but it was an incredible adrenaline rush. #Rockstar moment.

Who has been a role model for you?
Jack Welch and John Maxwell

What are you most proud of?
Professionally, I am most proud of not only being the first female but also the youngest sr. executive in the history of our organization.

What would you say are the key success factors for a mentoring relationship?
If you want honesty, be prepared to give it in return. Keeping an open mind and be prepared to apply feedback.

What advice would you give yourself as a young executive?
Do not try to be perfect, do not be afraid to fail, do not be afraid to make a decision, surround yourself with great people, and ask a lot of questions to those you admire. Oh, and don't consume yourself with what others think of you!

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started your career?
I wish that I had more confidence in myself early on. I always assumed that I was never smart enough or experienced enough. It took me a long time to find the confidence to be a bold decision maker without worrying of possible failures.

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