President of Mortgage at Southern Bancorp
A Mortgage Man On a Mission!
Jeremy Davis is on a mission to bridge the homeownership gap that exists for minority families and other underserved communities throughout our country and hopes he can change his industry along the way. His purpose-driven business philosophy led by his specially trained mortgage teams have helped thousands of minority families buy their first home and many become the first in their family to own their own home. Through his new role with certified Community Development Financial Institution(CDFI), Southern Bancorp, he hopes to create thousands more.
Jeremy is a decisive, multifaceted mortgage leader with decades of innovative business development, strategic planning, coaching, and marketing success. A nationally awarded community development and DEI leader, he brings his high-energy and fun-loving spirit to strategic growth and culture-building initiatives as the president of mortgage at Southern Bancorp. In this role, he balances the dual objectives of margin and mission in the company's efforts to build wealth for all communities while bridging the homeownership gap among underserved, minority, and left-behind communities.
His philosophy of bolstering representation and encouraging equity across all diverse communities became the cornerstone of his business acumen and the key to his continued success. Jeremy’s recent roles include president and CEO of InQlusion Mortgage Capital, and director of mortgage at FirstBank where he led the bank’s FirstBank Forward Division winning the 2020 National Mortgage Bankers Association’s Diversity & Inclusion Award for market outreach strategies recognizing the 360-degree approach used to promote fair lending and minority housing needs.
For more than 20 years, Jeremy has advocated for underserved communities, focusing on BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ families. He recently served as vice chair for the Metro Nashville Human Relations Commission, a mayoral-appointed body, working to protect and promote the personal dignity, peace, safety, security, health, and general welfare of all people in Nashville and Davidson County, TN. Jeremy believes the work to bridge the gap of homeownership in the U.S. is about personal dignity in addition to equity and foundational wealth building. This passion has also garnered past recognition by the Nashville Business Journal as one of Nashville’s 40 Most Influential Business Leaders Under 40 as well as being chosen by the Greater Nashville Chamber of Commerce as one of Nashville’s Emerging Leaders in Financial Services.
We spoke with Jeremy to learn more about his enduring mission to close the homeownership gap, how he and his Southern Bancorp team are paving the way for a brighter future for all families—and why, for him, it’s personal.
What drew you to Southern Bancorp?
This collaboration is about mission and purpose. Southern Bancorp is one of the largest and most renowned certified CDFIs in the country doing the work of wealth building for everyone, regardless of zip code. Our missions fully align, and our efforts will help underserved communities build generational wealth through homeownership.
You’ve spent your entire career advocating for increased homeownership among underserved communities, with a special focus on BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ families. Why is this so important to you?
It’s really simple—it’s the right thing to do and it’s personal. I grew up in a diverse family with a deep legacy of poverty. The opportunity to own my own home as a young adult allowed me to break from this legacy and has provided the privilege of now helping others break this cycle as well. It is the most meaningful work of my career.
How are you helping to make an impact for the families you serve in your role with Southern Bancorp?
In my role, I balance mission and margin every day. My leadership team works to make sure our mortgage professionals are exceptionally well trained to address the obstacles preventing us from bridging the homeownership gap faced by underserved communities across the country. It is this dedication that allows us to maintain the balance required to make a long-term, positive impact for the families we serve.
You’ve seen homeownership climb across underserved groups, with the exception of Black communities. Why is this, and what can be done to solve this dilemma?
I think this trend highlights how much work is still required. As an industry, we must ramp up our efforts to educate minority communities, to partner with trusted community institutions to teach the rules of engagement. We must meet minority families where they are and be the bridge, providing real solutions, not lip service.
Southern Bancorp is actively working to reverse this trend with new programs and products. Tell us about these.
We know down payment funds can be one of the largest barriers to homeownership for minority families, so we’ve worked to offer a full suite of low or no down payment product offerings including self-funding our own down payment assistance program designed specifically for the communities we are here to serve.
We also know understanding credit can be a large barrier, so we’ve partnered with Southern Bancorp Community Partners, our nonprofit team, to offer long term, meaningful credit counseling and budgeting services at no cost to our clients. Southern Bancorp walks the walk top to bottom, it’s a great collaboration.
What do you enjoy most about your work? What drives you?
I’m a lucky man; I have the rare honor of doing what I love with a team I respect and admire, while knowing our work can and will change the trajectory of a family’s life, possibly for generations to come. There is nobility in the work, there is meaning and purpose in the work, there is love in the work. What more could I ask for? This is what drives me today and will drive me for the remainder of my career.
President of Mortgage at Southern Bancorp