MEET TODD GIERHART – Guild Mortgage Loan Officer

Todd loves the beach in Naples, FL. It’s one of his favorite things. “It entirely centers you, it’s so vast and powerful, and wipes out everything that might be affecting your day, or whatever life throws at you; your senses are so heightened that you don’t have room for anything else but the smell of the air, the wind, the sand, and the waves, it frees you”.


Question Answer
Q: Where is your home? A: Here in Naples, I hail from Westerville, Ohio.
Q: How long have you lived here? A: Seven years
Q: Why did you choose Naples? A: We have a lot of family here. My wife’s cousin, her mom, and her sister. We have been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time down here over the years. We don’t have kids, and we like to go, so we would come down 15 to 20 times a year because we wanted something to do on the weekends
Q: What led you to your current career? A: I always had an interest in finance while in college. Before making my way to one of the largest and best lenders in the country, Guild Mortgage, I started off with Countrywide, on the wholesale side, back in the mid to late ’90s. From there, I went to IndyMac Bank for 10 years, which was smaller at the time, but in the time I was there, we grew it to Countrywide level. The division I was over, The Construction Lending Division grew to THE largest in the country. Then the big mortgage meltdown happened. I joined Merrill Lynch (then part of Bank of America) as a wealth management banker. I had to get my stockbroker license, that was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life. I never really saw myself getting back into the retail side like I am now, but an opportunity opened up, and that’s where I’ve been for the past five years.
Q: If you could have lunch with somebody dead or alive, who would it be? A: Condoleezza Rice. I think she might be the smartest person that ever was in Washington. I think she’s overcome so many things to get to her level, I think she is a remarkable woman.
Q: What’s something on your bucket list? A: I’m trying to rethink this part because I’ve already carved it in stone, but I want to do an Iron Man before I’m too old to do it. I did the first part, which was a couple of 5k/10k runs that I did. I just did the Olympic level triathlon that was just here in Naples. I’m doing the half Ironman, in November in Panama City, my first leg event, the final leg is the full Ironman in Kona Hawaii. I mean, that’s so lofty, I’m not sure that the Half Iron Man is not going to kill me. Three weeks ago, two guys died, one was a heart attack, and one drowned.
Q: What’s your favorite restaurant in Naples? A: I really like Nemo’s a lot. They are a class act, they make you feel good, the food is second to none. I really enjoy that restaurant.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go right now and why? A: I think I’d go to the Philippines. My neighbors in Ohio are the sweetest people in the entire world. There’s six brothers and sisters, all came from humble upbringings, and are all wildly successful. They always ask us to go to the Philippines with them because their parents are in the Philippines now full time.
Q: What is something interesting people don’t know about you? A: I think a lot of people don’t know that Beth and I make wine. They always seem surprised. And at one point we were doing 75-85 hundred bottles a year. We make delicious wine. We do production as you would do in California. We bring the grapes in from California on refrigerated trucks in time for grape harvest and do a full fermentation, then we do a full malolactic which is a secondary fermentation, that gives it that kind of buttery taste. So I think people are always kind of amazed when they drink our wine, they’re like, oh, my God this is really good. I wanted to do a wine school here and bring people I know that would get it, and like to give it out as client gifts.
Q: What about flying? A: I’ve been flying since I was 15. I have volunteered with the Angel Flight, with the honor flight too with registration. I like to volunteer and give my time for things related to aviation.
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people? A: Know your environment. If you’re going into a restaurant, a movie theater, if you’re going into a house or a place that’s not familiar with, know where to look for the exits, the fire extinguishers. We live in a kind of time that anything can happen. We’ve seen hurricanes and shooters, fires, and floods, take a minute and know your where your egress and ingress is, you stand five hundred times better chance of surviving it.


Nancy Bjork of John R. Wood Propertieswould love your Faces nominations.