Hello, I am Cal Haupt, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Southeast Mortgage. With 11 years of experience as a Commercial and Consumer Banker, I have experience in Retail Operations, Bank Management Consulting, Commercial Credit Analysis Credits 10 Million+, Formal Consumer and Commercial Credit Training, Business Lending Secured and Unsecured, Retail Branch Operations, Retail Branch and City Management.
I participated in many high-level Bank budget meetings when strategic direction was being determined. Bankers always looked to HR, Marketing and mortgage operations as a source of expense reduction. When the Mortgage Originator earned more than the President, they would terminate. To me, mortgage originations and the related compensation is incremental to the originator and shareholders. This view was consistent in the four banks I worked for. Given the yields were similar to non-interest DDA deposits, a new mortgage company that focused on great service and competent advice could serve a void in Atlanta. Southeast Mortgage of Georgia, Inc. was born.
With my new focus and banking’s evolution away from traditional management and more to tired concepts such as self-directed work groups etc., I left the banking world. My mentors in the banks were great and in my final months in banking they moved to other states, opening the opportunity to leave without breach of loyalty. My mentors included me in Executive Stock Grants and I quickly realized the power and security of being a shareholder when they vested at my departure. I could have retired 11 years after leaving Georgia Tech. However, the story was not over; I knew I wanted to pay my good fortune forward.
I believe the majority of my work ethic came after high school due to survival instincts. I was accepted to The Georgia Institute of Technology through a football scholarship. I quickly realized I would not be able to take full advantage of the education that Georgia Tech had to offer if I was playing football. High School football was a lot of fun; however, I could have a great time for four years in college or prepare a great foundation through education for the rest of my life. I made the decision to return home to Savannah to save money to return as a readmission to Georgia Tech. To save enough money for four years of education I opened a car detailing business “Safeway Car Care” on Ogeechee Road. There was a need for valet car detailing and the proximity of Ogeechee Road gave us quick access to downtown and to the Southside. Although Safeway was a huge success, I needed to save faster. A BC Alumni gave me the opportunity to bartend at his bar, Malones. I would work all day at Safeway and Bartend from 8:00pm to 2:00 am. Sleep was not a luxury but my goal was in sight.
Even as a kid, I was always good at saving and spending wisely. My unique skill was deriving outcomes from various inputs as they related to the patterns which I later formalized the definitions in academics. Although I was an average high school student at best, I graduated at the top of my class at Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech gave me the challenge and my undivided attention created a strong foundation in finance, accounting, organizational management, and economics.
When I’m not in the office, I enjoy hanging out with my family and creating new experiences for my kids. It is important to me that I provide experiences for my kids that will create depth and better understand how the world works. I want them to learn and experience the world firsthand, rather than through technology or TV.
“If you are comfortable, you are not learning. Do something that gives you butterflies, that is your reminder you are living!”
Cal Haupt, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
A Little More About Me
As Chairman and CEO of SEM, I am tasked with positioning for opportunity, mitigate risk, consolidate abstract data and frame economic outcomes. This is the basis for strategy formulation at SEM. SEM enjoys the longest average tenure of employees in Georgia by providing a fair, safe and stable workplace that rewards skill development and success.