River City Six – Mary Byrnes
Meet Mary Byrnes, vice president and mortgage loan officer at the Omaha Branch for Lincoln Federal Savings Bank (MByrnes.LincolnFed.com) located at 132nd and Dodge.
Tell us a little about your business.
I am a real estate lender and assist people on purchasing, building, or refinancing a home to meet their financial needs.
How did you get started in the business?
When I was about five years old, I would go to the bank with my parents when they closed on all the homes they purchased. The entire transaction fascinated me, and their loan officer was the only female lender in real estate lending in Omaha at the time. Ironically, when I was 18, I started working for that same institution. I actually got to work with her, and she let me look over files and sit in on the closings. This is what started me on my path to become a mortgage lender. To my knowledge, I am the longest running lender in the State.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
I was Governor appointed to the Commission on Housing and Homelessness and Keep Omaha Safe. In addition, I received sales and marketing awards from both the Metro Omaha Builders Association and Nebraska State Home Builders Association in the same year, and I was named Affiliate of the Year by the Omaha Area Board of REALTORS®.
Tell us a little about your family.
My husband is retired, and we have two children. Our youngest, Elizabeth, is a senior at UNL. Her plan is to work in data analytics and will she will be pursuing her master’s degree. Our son Kent is a Law Enforcement Officer in Colorado and was recently hit head on by semi-trailer. Though he is currently wheelchair bound, he is working on strengthening his legs to be able to walk again.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
I love camping. Relaxing by a fire in the evening and enjoying the outdoors with family is peaceful to me.
Who inspires you?
My parents! They worked full-time jobs and bought homes to create safe, clean, affordable housing for people to rent.
What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
You are going to fall down a few times and skin your knees. That’s okay. Get back up and start again. The fall will remind you what not to do again.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Measuring twice and cutting once! I love DIY projects, but I get in such a rush to see the end result that I tend to have to start over because my impatience gets the best of me.
What local nonprofit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
I currently serve on the Board of the Omaha Municipal Land Bank, and we work to acquire vacant or dilapidated lots for the purpose of future use and growth of the community with much needed affordable housing and/ or to utilize the lots for community gardens.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?
My favorite genre is mystery or psychological thrillers, and my favorite author is Kendra Elliott.
What is your favorite movie?
Sister Act—I’ve watched it too many times to count.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Joe Tess Place.
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be?