Meet Cindy Koebele

Cindy Koebele
President, TitleSmart, Inc.
 
TitleSmart, Inc. is a full-service title insurance company dedicated to providing clients with exceptional title, escrow, and real estate closing solutions. A certified Women's Business Enterprise, TitleSmart was named one of the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America in 2014, 2015, and 2016 and one of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal's Best Places to Work in 2015.
 
Tell us about your business journey/experience. Is there a surprising tidbit we can share about you or your history?
 
I started TitleSmart with my sister Angela Shackle in 2007 during the collapse of the housing bubble with a $30,000 loan from my family. Although many people saw it as a risky time, I saw an opportunity to provide a level of service that I wasn't seeing at the companies I worked for.
 
TitleSmart has been profitable since 2008. We currently have 56 employees in seven locations and have been on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in America for the past three years. We are on track to hit $10-12 million in revenue in 2016.
 
Why did you decide to own your own business?
 
I believe that closing on your house should be a positive and fun experience and I wanted to bring that experience to life for my customers. I also wanted to start a company where employees are treated well and have the opportunity to build the career they want as part of a great team.
 
Tell us a little about the awards you or your business has received - or the business accomplishments that make you proudest.
 
TitleSmart has been on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in America for the past three years. Companies such as Microsoft, Dell, LinkedIn, and many other well-known brands gained their first national exposure as honorees of the Inc. 5000, so it's a pretty exciting honor to be included on that list. TitleSmart has won several other local business awards including being named a Small Business Success Story Finalist in 2014 by Twin Cities Business Magazine, a Fast 50 Honoree by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal in 2014 and 2016, and one of the Business Journal's Best Places to Work in 2015.
 
In 2015, I was named an EY Entrepreneur of the Year in the Upper Midwest in the Insurance Services category. I won the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business Award in 2015 and was recently named the winner of the 2016 American Business Awards Silver Stevie Award for Executive of the Year - Insurance and Financial Services. I am also extremely passionate about my role as Vice President of the Executive Committee on the board of directors for Spare Key, a nonprofit that provides housing grants to parents with a seriously ill or critically injured child.
 
Family? Hobbies? Any work-life balance tips?
 
I have two sons and two step daughters who I love spending time with. I also enjoy traveling with my husband, Jon. I am the author of a series of children's books about the adventures of my family's beagle dog (www.puppabooks.com). I also recently launched a website that offers customer service tips and inspiration to business owners (cindykoebele.com). A recent hobby/project that I worked on was producing a Tribute Album (CD) of my brother's (who passed away from illness earlier this year), music to honor his memory.
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