Meet The Team
Meet Susan Higgins, the owner of Western Illinois Title Company, a leading title insurance company serving clients in West Central Illinois. Susan has 23 years of experience in the title insurance industry and is a trusted expert in her field. Her "Farm girl" work ethic is in her DNA and is present in her work ethic today, having grown up on a row crop and livestock farm in rural Henderson County IL.
Susan's journey into the title insurance industry began uniquely as she taught middle school science for 20 years after graduating from Northeast Missouri State University, NKA Truman State University. Despite initial trepidation about leaving the teaching profession, Susan quickly discovered her passion for the title insurance industry! Over the years, Susan has gained invaluable experience and knowledge in all aspects of the title insurance business, including title searches, escrow, and closing processes. From her passion for education, Susan worked with the Illinois Land Title Association committee that developed the training to enable those involved with this profession to earn the designation of Illinois Title Professional and/or Illinois Escrow Professional. Susan even had the opportunity to serve as the President of the Illinois Land Title Association from August of 2020 to August of 2021.
In 2000, Richard Lutz, Pat Coker and Susan founded Western Illinois Title Company with a vision to provide top-notch services to its clients in our rural corner of Illinois. Her commitment to her clients' needs has helped her build a reputation for excellence, trust, and integrity. Susan understands that buying or selling a property can be a stressful process, and she and her team are dedicated to making the process as seamless as possible.
Susan is an active member of her community and church, as well as volunteering in various local charitable organizations. She is a member of the Illinois Land Title Association and the American Land and Title Association, two organizations in which she strongly believes. She is passionate about giving back to the community, continuing education in her profession, and helping those in need. In her free time, Susan enjoys cooking, entertaining, spending time with her family, and examining title!
Introducing Rich Lutz, the accomplished owner of Western Illinois Title Company and Bi-County Insurance, two leading companies providing exceptional services to clients in Western Illinois. Rich is an industry veteran with over 40 years of experience in the insurance and title insurance industry, and he is a trusted expert in his field.
Rich's insurance career started soon after he graduated from Western Illinois University, where he gained a solid educational background. He held several early positions in the industry, building his expertise and experience. In 1985, Rich founded Bi-County Insurance, a full-service insurance agency catering to the individual and business insurance needs of the local community.
In 2000, Rich expanded his services to include title insurance with the establishment of Western Illinois Title Company. With his vision for top-notch services, he has earned a reputation for excellence, trust, and integrity. Rich's commitment to his clients' needs has enabled him to build strong relationships with clients who value his expertise, professionalism, and personal touch. He is known for taking the time to listen and understand each client's unique situation and needs.
Apart from his professional accomplishments, Rich is an active member of his community and has volunteered his time and resources to various local charitable organizations. He cherishes his family and friends and is well-respected as one of the most generous members in the community. In his free time, Rich enjoys golfing, attending sports events, and spending quality time with his family.
Joni Secymore is an accomplished closer, with 19 years of experience in the field. She holds an Illinois Escrow Professional Certification. Outside of work, Joni enjoys spending time with her family, as well as indulging in her passions for cooking, baking, reading, and bowling.
Tammy Horberg is a highly experienced title examiner who is passionate about meticulously scrutinizing title work. With an impressive 45 years of experience in the field, she has earned her Illinois Title Professional Certificate. When not at work, Tammy enjoys cheering for her favorite sports teams.
Nicole Fritz is a title searcher who has a keen interest in uncovering the historical records of a property. With a decade of experience in title searching, she is currently pursuing an Illinois Title Professional Certificate. When she's not working, Nicole loves to explore the great outdoors and cherish quality time with her loved ones.
Marti Sproston serves the team in the capacity of a part-time data entry specialist from October through May. She has six years of experience in the secretarial domain and has taken on additional responsibilities with each passing year. In her leisure time, Marti takes pleasure in golfing, walking, and cultivating flowers in her garden.
Jessica Weir is a Closing Agent with 4 years of experience in escrow and closing work. Jessica has developed a passion for helping others succeed in achieving the goal of buying or selling a home. She is dedicated to customer success during the closing process and strives to provide an enjoyable closing process. Jessica enjoys cooking, trying new cuisine, traveling to warm and sunny locations, and spending time with family on the farm or the lake.
Lisa Reynolds has 31 years of experience in the title industry. She is past president of the Western Illinois Builders Association. Lisa is committed to helping people both personally and professionally. In her free time you will find her being a grandma as she loves her grandchildren.
Stephanie is a land title searcher with a passion for the history side of the title industry. With her 12 years of experience she has achieved her ITP/IEP designations, been selected to attend the ILTA Leadership Academy, been elected one of the founding Co-Chairs of the ILTA Young Title Professionals and been elected to the ILTA Board of Directors. When not working, Stephanie enjoys being a board member for the village in which she lives, cooking, reading, traveling and all that comes with her nine-year-old son playing travel baseball and other sports.
Amy Schwartz has been employed at Western Illinois Title for more than eight years, holding the position of Senior Escrow Officer in Galesburg, Illinois. Prior to this, she spent 14 years in the banking sector, working as a Residential Mortgage Loan officer for three years and serving in management roles for 11 years. Amy has always had a passion for the real estate industry and derives immense satisfaction from assisting people in purchasing their dream homes. In her leisure time, she relishes spending time with loved ones and indulging in water activities at the lake.
Mallory Motz is a Real Estate Closing Agent who possesses five years of experience in the escrow and title industry. She is certified IEP, ITP, and has developed a fervor for collaborating with realtors, lenders, attorneys, buyers, and sellers to close files from start to finish. Mallory is committed to ensuring that everyone present in the room feels at ease and comfortable. When not at work, Mallory can be found spending quality time with her family and two children. She enjoys boating on Oak Run Lake and relishes spending time outdoors in pleasant weather, playing with her kids and watching her son participate in all of his preferred sports while his sister cheers him on.
Stacey is an experienced Illinois Title Professional with a diverse skill set, having worked in the real estate and agricultural industries for a total of 27 years. As the Office Manager in Monmouth, she plays a pivotal role in facilitating communication between staff and customers, and is known as the go-to person in the company. In her free time, Stacey enjoys reading, living in a log cabin with her husband and cat, and spending quality time with her family, including her granddaughter.
Brenda is a title searcher with 20+ years of experience in the title insurance business. She has completed the Illinois Title Professional (ITP) recognition through the Illinois Land Title Association. Brenda has developed a passion for puzzles and problem solving. She strives to produce a timely and accurate report of a property search from the courthouse to be presented for examination and title insurance issuance. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, watching sports, horses, landscape photography and stamp collecting.
Mark is a title processor with a passion for real estate law. He has 10 years of of experience in title insurance and has earned the Illinois Title Professional Designation. In his free time he enjoys reading.
Tammy Davis is a title searcher in the title policy department. She has 17 years of experience in the banking world and 6 years in the title industry. With her passion for details and her customer centric work ethic, she enjoys helping our clients know how important they are to Western Illinois Title. When not working, Tammy enjoys cultivating the best use of coupons, listening to true crime podcasts or watching documentaries, and most importantly, loving and taking care of her family!