Stewart Title Announces New Head of Underwriting for National Commercial Services

HOUSTON–Stewart Title announced today that Wilhelmina Kightlinger has assumed the role of Chief Underwriting Counsel for National Commercial Services (NCS) effective July 1. Having previously filled the role of Deputy Chief Underwriting Counsel for National Commercial Services, Kightlinger succeeds former NCS Chief Underwriting Counsel Don Wade who is stepping down to focus on mentorship and training, as well as continuing to serve as a member of the Underwriting Leadership Team for Stewart NCS and on the Senior Underwriting Committee.

“Don has been with Stewart for nearly 30 years, serving in the NCS Chief Underwriting Counsel role for the past five years,” said Erin Sheckler, Head, National Commercial Services. “We want to thank Don for his leadership and all he has done for Stewart and our underwriters as he will work closely with Wilhelmina to ensure a smooth transition. Commercial underwriting is already a noted strength of ours at Stewart, and Wilhelmina will continue to build upon the great foundation that Don and our other Senior Underwriting Committee leaders have lain.”

Prior to joining Stewart, Kightlinger spent 13 years at Old Republic Title, based in Tampa, FL, most recently as their General Counsel for the National Commercial Title Services Division. She had previously spent several years in private practice with DLA Piper US LLP representing commercial developers and lenders.

“Stewart has a very firm commitment to its future forward vision that includes a significant investment in the training and development of our next generation of best-in-class underwriters,” said Kightlinger. “I’m honored to step into Don’s role while also continuing to have the benefit of his counsel and guidance as we remain focused on strengthening our underwriting capacity. Partnering with our other underwriting leaders nationally, we’ll continue to grow our footprint in markets where our unique expertise has previously been underrepresented. I’m excited about the challenges and opportunities ahead.”

Kightlinger graduated summa cum laude with a Juris Doctorate from Florida State University College of Law. She is a fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL), a member of the CLE Committee of the ABA RPTE, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Executive Council of the Florida Bar Section of Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law.

Among her extensive publications and honors, Kightlinger’s articles have appeared in editions of the Florida Bar Journal as well as Probate and Property, a publication of the Real Property, Trust, and Estate Section of the American Bar Association (ABA), the latter of which awarded her the 2017 Excellence in Writing Award for Best Overall Article. In 2008 she was named one of the top women in commercial real estate by the Florida Real Estate Journal. She received the Robert C. Scott Memorial Award from the Florida Bar Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law Section of the ABA in 2018.