Member Highlight – Underwriter: Stephen Reck

Stephen Reck was born in Bangkok, Thailand while his father was in the U.S. Air Force. His family moved to Keesler Air Force Base when he was just a year old. For a few years during grade school, Stephen lived in foster homes and at the VFW National Home in Michigan. However, Stephen was ultimately reunited with his siblings and father by the time he was in elementary school after his father decided to retire in Biloxi in 1984. This allowed him to plant his roots on the Gulf Coast from that point on until today. Stephen attributes his time in foster homes as making him more empathetic toward others as well as grateful for “the family God has given me today.”

Stephen graduated from Biloxi High School in 1992. He then attended The University of Southern Mississippi graduating in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. His interest in real estate stems from taking multiple courses during his years at USM. He earned enough hours in those real estate courses to qualify to sit for the real estate exam. Stephen then got his real estate license.

After getting licensed, Stephen sold real estate for 2 years for the largest real estate broker in South Mississippi, Coldwell Banker Alfonso Realty. After getting engaged in 1998, Stephen wanted to stay in the real estate industry, but knew he needed more financial stability and consistency. He became a marketing representative for a regional title agency that was expanding in the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He describes that shift as a great stepping-stone in his career. Following a year as a marketing representative, Stephen became an agency representative for one of the “big four” underwriters covering South Mississippi. Stephen Spent the next 22 years there. He joined Fidelity National Financial in 2022 as Agency Manager for Mississippi and Alabama.

When asked what type of work his job usually involves, Stephen describes every day as an adventure. He dons many hats in his day-to-day work. Stephen jokes that no two days are the same. He acts as a sales rep, a marketing guy, a technical assistant, a foodie guide, a counselor and finally as the trusted advisor/consultant he’s known for being. Stephen enjoys earning the trust and loyalty of his clients. As for what enjoys most about his job, he said “[he] genuinely enjoys serving others. In 20+ years, I’ve learned to be a resource, a ‘go-giver’, and to add value to my title agent’s business. It’s not how can I benefit, but how can I add value to any relationship. I enjoy working together with my agents and their staff to help them be successful.”

When we asked Stephen what lessons he has learned in his work; he said “People matter. Companies and brands are great, but ultimately, it’s the people that matter more. Don’t just treat people the way you want to be treated, treat them the way they want to be treated (The Platinum Rule).” He and his company “take it personal.” Relationships and loyalty truly matter. Stephen also advises against burning bridges in the title industry. The industry is very small and close-knit.

Stephen and his wife, Stephanie, just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. They met in high school but did not date until college. Stephen has a stepson named Jonathan. He and his wife have a rescue dog named Duffy. He is a member of Cedar Lake Church in Biloxi. He enjoys cooking on his Big Green Egg and his Blackstone Griddle. He’s known to have even cooked fried rice for some of his clients! Stephen also enjoys fishing and tennis and just took up playing pickleball, as well!