Signature Chefs Event Chairs from Century Mortgage intend to raise a record-setting amount for March of Dimes
By Mariah Kline
Photos by Kathryn Harrington
Century Mortgage was started in 1996 by the late Matt Bohn, who prioritized treating customers like family and giving back to the community. Now led by his wife Monica Bohn and his close friend Bryan P. Wiegandt, the company continues to create lasting relationships with clients and use their prosperity to help those in need.
Owner and CEO Monica Bohn, who also owns Century Lending and Century Entertainment & Furnishings, met Matt at Georgetown College. She recalls his upbringing and how it influenced the formation of the business.
“Matt was one of nine children,” says Bohn. “His family had a background in real estate and building, so he decided he wanted to do mortgages as a way of helping his family. He started working with friends and family who were building on their own or with his family members, and that kind of set the tone for how he treated customers.”
“Over the years, other people in the industry have moved toward internet lending,” explains Wiegandt, who serves as president of Century Mortgage’s retail division. “Even though we understand that automation is going to be valuable in the future, we still believe in a very personal experience with our customers.”
Wiegandt grew up in Louisville with Bohn and started as a loan officer for the company in 2002.
“Matt and I sat beside each other in first grade,” Wiegandt says. “It was a 15-minute bike ride across a field from my house to his house, and I really felt like one of his nine brothers and sisters.”
When Matt Bohn became ill in 2005, staff members rose to the occasion. While her husband underwent treatment over the course of a few years, Monica Bohn gradually learned more about the job and how she could take on some of his duties.
“We had great leadership that was able to step in and take on different roles while he was out,” she recalls. “Eventually, he lost his ability to speak, so I had to become his interpreter in a way. I learned a lot that way. When he passed, I was able to step in here as well as at the other businesses we had established.”
Century Mortgage’s staff has carried on the mission of their founder, focusing not just on individual transactions but on building relationships with families. Efficiency is also a major priority for the company. On average, their customers can close on a home in just 24 days while the normal time in the home-buying industry is 90 days. Wiegandt explains that the amount of low turnover in employees is also exceptional.
“We have a very tenured staff of loan officers, which is rare in the industry,” says Wiegandt. “Our people stay with us an average of nine years, and the industry-standard is about a year and a half.”
Each member of the Century Mortgage team shares a passion for helping local business partners and causes, including March of Dimes Kentuckiana. Bohn first got involved with the cause through last year’s Signature Chefs Chair Marla Guillaume, who serves as the president of Century Lending. As she urged Bohn to join the planning committee, Bohn then recruited Wiegandt to help her in chairing this year’s event.
“Last year at Signature Chefs, I saw Monica at a table talking to someone from March of Dimes,” he recalls. “The next thing I know, she’s pointing at me and waving, so I waved back. Pretty soon after, I learned that I had been recruited to co-chair, and she was telling the staff member who I was.”
Wiegandt was surprised but grateful for the opportunity to work alongside his friend and colleague for the organization. He and Bohn both possess something of a competitive streak and are hoping to raise even more funds than Guillaume did as chair last year.
Though chairing takes a great deal of work throughout the year, both feel honored to serve in such an important role. Wiegandt’s wife, Holly, has been a neonatal intensive care unit nurse for more than 25 years, and he has seen the profound effect March of Dimes has made through his wife’s work. After caring for her husband, Bohn understands the significance and urgency of the care provided by March of Dimes.
“(During) my experience with Matt, I had organizations that supported us as well as family and friends who were there to help,” she says. “We were lucky that we had that, but not all families are so fortunate.”
For new parents, March of Dimes provides financial and emotional help, creating an invaluable support system for families during a frightening and challenging time. The Signature Chefs Auction allows the organization to assist more families in Kentuckiana in times of crisis.
Bohn and Wiegandt look forward to the night of the event when the culmination of all their efforts and the hard work of so many will come to fruition. The delicious eats in store are, of course, a nice bonus.
“There are so many great restaurants in Louisville, so I always keep a running list of ones I want to eat at,” says Bohn. “Signature Chefs is the perfect place to check off a lot of them at once.” V
The Signature Chefs Auction will take place on Nov. 14 at the Omni Hotel Louisville. Visit signaturechefs.marchofdimes.org/louisville or call 502.473.6682 to purchase tickets and learn more.
For more information on Century Mortgage, visit centurymortgage.com or call 502.425.7740.