Meet Sofia Castro, she was born in Brazil and moved to the US with her family when she was 2 years old. Sofia is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish and English. If she could plan a dream trip, it would be to Europe with her parents and her dog Benny. The itinerary would include Greece, Italy and Spain. During college, Sofia was involved in many internships for journalism but found her heart was not in it. This discovery took her down the path of working in the consulting field and feels lucky to have found PhoenixTeam. The inclusivity, leadership and positive work environment are the values that she admires most about PhoenixTeam.

Sofia lives by the advice once given to her, “Work hard and be kind! You never know what someone else is going through.”

In recent years, PhoenixTeam has grown in size, impact and influence. In reflection of our evolution, we are thrilled to introduce the new PhoenixTeam website to you.

Our goal with the new website is to share more about who we are:

  • Dig deeper into what we are passionate about and see the impact we have made with our community, company and clients.
  • Get to know what we do and the value of what we bring to our clients.
  • Chat with us anytime in real-time through our live chat.
  • Learn who a Phoenix Consultant is and the talent who serves our clientele.

Our new website provides greater visibility into who we are and how we impact our federal and commercial clients in the mortgage industry. Particularly exciting is the introduction to StratDevOps, our new, proprietary model for business value realization.

If Mary could give her younger self advice, it would be words from Eminem, “You can do anything you set your mind to man.” Mary has always wanted a career she was proud of. With fierce drive as she traveled a long winding path, Mary feels she has reached her career goals. The best part of her job at PhoenixTeam is being able to help clients and feeling like what she does makes an impact.

Mary’s perfect day would be spent outdoors on her paddleboard, at the beach, or in the woods hiking. It brings her great joy to be out in nature. Mary loves running, reading, cooking and gardening.

As anyone can see Lucas has a passion for travel, adventure and enjoying nature. In addition, when he is not outdoors, Lucas likes reading about history, philosophy and culture. Oh, and make sure to ask him about his extensive vinyl music collection.

When Lucas was younger, he was determined to grow his career path of architecture and product design. Having completed those objectives, he has grown to learn that there is a much more rewarding value in helping others in working together to achieve greater goals collaboratively.

The idea of working on a project that is meaningful to people was the biggest draw to PhoenixTeam for Lucas. He believes that helping Veterans purchase a home is a noble endeavor in today’s busy world that not only helps society but makes him feel proud of his day-to-day contributions.

Arlington, VA May 12, 2021 – PhoenixTeam has been named to Inc. magazine’s annual list of the Best Workplaces for 2021. The list is the result of a wide-ranging and comprehensive measurement of American companies that have created exceptional workplaces and company culture whether teams are operating in person or remotely.

Long before PhoenixTeam was formed in 2015, PhoenixTeam’s Managing Partners envisioned a company that put its people first. A place where independent thought, growth and learning was paramount and a space where creativity, openness and empathy was celebrated and encouraged. PhoenixTeam holds this vision as close to our hearts today as then because that is what makes us unique and differentiates us from other companies.

Collecting data from thousands of submissions, Inc. singled out 429 honorees this year. Each nominated company took part in an employee survey, conducted by Quantum Workplace, on topics including management effectiveness, perks, and fostering employee growth. The organization’s benefits were also audited to determine the company’s overall score and ranking.

“PhoenixTeam would like to thank Inc. for recognizing us as one of the 2021 best places to work, says Tanya Brennan, CEO and President of PhoenixTeam. “When we started this company, we envisioned a place where we would want to work ourselves. A place that inspires our people and provides them opportunity to achieve their goals and make an impact on the world. Six years later, having grown the team to almost 100 people, we continue our journey to inspire our people to be their very best.” 

“The definition of a positive workplace has changed drastically over the past year,” says Inc. magazine editor-in-chief Scott Omelianuk. “Stocked fridges and nap pods were no longer perks many companies could rely on once work went remote. So, this year’s list is even more important as it reveals organizations that continue to enrich the lives of its employees amid a pandemic.” 

About PhoenixTeam

PhoenixTeam is a women-owned small business that provides mortgage technology solutions to improve the home purchase experience for borrowers and help financial institutions, technology providers, and government agencies achieve their desired outcomes. PhoenixTeam specializes in serving federal housing agencies and the mortgage industry, helping deliver better business solutions through technology implementation excellence. For more information, visit 

Meet Jennifer Drahota, who has dreams of someday writing and publishing her own book. Although she has not figured out what it is going to be about, but she is sure that it will involve tidbits from her crazy and rewarding personal and professional experience. She is taking notes along the way.

‘Quit focusing so much on everything around yourself instead of what is right in front of you. Be diligent with what you have in this moment’. This advice has served her well, most recently in parenting her two young daughters as well as keeping her grounded all around.

Jennifer is proud to be part of this team and loves that at PhoenixTeam, there is so much amazing talent, diversity and leadership of all the team members.

If Saugat could give his younger self sage advice it would be “There is no course that teaches you money and time management, mental health, self-love, self-confidence, and acts of kindness, but it is the most important knowledge you will ever need”.

Saugat’s perfect day is a day spent with family. It was a pleasure for him when he began working for PhoenixTeam that he immediately felt like part of the family. To Saugat, everyday feels like a Friday at PhoenixTeam.

Travel and learning new things are a passion for Saugat and if he wins the lottery, you will find him vacationing in Greece, taking flying lessons or on a long drive with his favorite music playing on the radio

By Jaedri Wood</p

When reading through a job application, the first question that comes to mind is “Do I fulfill the requirements?” This is a reasonable question, but job seekers tend to forget the other side of the requirement coin: “Does the employer/ organization fulfill my requirements as well?” Searching for the right job to fit your career goals is a tireless effort, especially in today’s market. However, this effort should not be one-sided. Job seekers should inquire about mobility, training, and how to succeed in the company rather than solely completing the required tasks in the job description. Employers should also be searching for a forward-thinking team member who will go above and beyond to not only complete tasks, but who will always ask “what’s next?”

The mistake many make after securing a job, is not asking about the future of their role. If team members never ask what is next, they will be stuck in a role of maintenance, not excellence. To break out of the maintenance phase, employees must pursue internal and/or external continuous learning. Continuous learning is what transforms an employee into a valuable, retainable team member. In an agile world, where quick iteration and continuous development are paramount, team members are pushed to do more, do it faster, and do it better every time. From an organization’s perspective, it is easy to claim to be successful when the technology is steadily improving. However, as an organization, we do ourselves, our clients, and our team members a great disservice if we think software is the only thing that needs continuous improvement.

Software improvement would not be possible without the mass amounts of time, energy, and creativity that comes from the people designing it. Team members must have this same drive when it comes to their own improvement within an organization. When the software is upgraded, the team member’s skillset should be as well. For example, if someone is hired on to manage a specific software project, what happens when a more complex project comes along that they are not familiar with? While some companies may opt to give the work to a more skilled team member, we would suggest a different alternative: train them instead. When organizations invest in training or other learning programs, it shows team members that they are valuable investments and encourages them to pursue more growth opportunities. Investing in training for employees makes them feel more adept to handle challenging tasks, reduces turnover, and increases the profit margin of a company by 24% on average. Beyond the balance sheet, an IBM study reported that employees who feel they cannot develop in the company and fulfill their career goals are 12 times more likely to leave the company. The cost of turnover and rehiring must not be understated. Retaining skilled, happy, productive employees is a consistent investment that must be made by the company if they wish to avoid those costs. Furthermore, companies should foster a learning environment beyond the available trainings. Learning new skills is a result of thinking, not just teaching. Organizations are responsible for creating an environment where team members can leverage their new skills and actually use them. After all, training is expensive, and the return on investment will be lost if a certification is gained but not used.

Team members should be empowered and encouraged to seek out trainings or learning opportunities to further invest in themselves and the organization. Not every employee will ask or want to be trained more extensively for their role, and that is perfectly acceptable. However, companies who do not set aside investment capital for funding the employees who do with to pursue that path, will be missing out on prime opportunities to create a stronger, more dedicated, and passionate workforce than ever before.

At PhoenixTeam, continuous, lifetime learning is one of our core values. We are proud of the environment we have created where each of our team members is continuously growing, learning, and talking about it—a lot! From software engineers to our diversity and inclusion team, everyone is empowered to step out of their typical role and learn something new. Continuous learning makes our team more versatile, agile, and better as a whole. We are more than the certifications we achieve, we are practitioners and experts. Our team puts our certifications to the test every day by finding new ways to implement and improve ourselves and the software we create. Many of our team members are SAFe certified, Certified Scrum Masters, have an array of Mortgage knowledge and experience, and much more. Why do we invest so heavily in training? It’s simple: our goal is to have a team that is capable of anything. If there is a knowledge gap, we search for trainings to mitigate it. Once we know what we don’t know, the work begins to become experts in any and every field we can. Continuous learning is what differentiates us from the rest. We are here to learn, not just here to do.

Katie describes herself as fun loving, loyal, adaptable a bit of a people pleaser, slightly stubborn and loves making friends. If you missed information at a company meeting, don’t worry, she has an intense long-term memory and can recall discussions and decisions made years later. She is passionate about everything! She puts passion behind everything she does, which is driven by the desire to continuously learn. Becoming a SCRUM and SAFe Agilist were two of her career goals and PhoenixTeam helped her achieve both certifications. Katie loves the learning opportunities that PhoenixTeam offers her and appreciates that her team members are all invested in teaching as well as learning. When Katie is not working, she loves to read, color, shop and hike on warm sunny days.

Damion lives by his positive attitude and humble personality. The best advice he has ever gotten is “Judge not, least ye be judged.”  Damion does not believe “everything happens for a reason”, but he believes in making the best of the current situation.

When Damion was in college he worked on an initiative where an update was made to a financial system to begin tracking cost basis when stocks are purchased and sold. This was his “Ah Ha” moment that made him realize he had a real interest in finance and the inner workings of the residential mortgage industry space. His mantra is, “plan, do, check, adjust” and applies this to work and personal life.

Damion was drawn to PhoenixTeam when a current coworker informed him of the challenging work PhoenixTeam was doing and he wanted to be a part of it. His favorite part of working with PhoenixTeam are the challenges and how the daily support of his team members keeps him motivated.