"Adelante, Siempre Adelante. Forward, Always Forward." Fritz lives by this mantra — one that he heard regularly growing up with his Panamanian grandfather.
"He would always tell me, if you have a success or a failure, move on to the next challenge. Don't celebrate your successes too long and don't dwell on your failures. Continue to move forward. Quest for more, never be satisfied and always be ambitious," Fritz explains.
That drive for more is part of what's kept Fritz at Freddie Mac for 18 years. He came to the company in 2000, after a few years working on Wall Street as an investment banker. He was looking for a job that offered a better work–life balance and would help him move out of his parent's home in Queens, New York.
"It's hard to move out on your own in New York City," he says. A close family friend referred him to Freddie Mac, and when he got the job in McLean, Virginia, he thought, "A four–hour drive to visit my family and friends back home was better than the rent I'd be paying in New York. When I began working at Freddie Mac, I didn't know it would lead to a career, but it did."
Fritz started out as an operations analyst in Investments and Capital Markets (I&CM). A mentor early in his career advised him to demonstrate flexibility and not to be myopic. Fritz found it easy to do that at Freddie Mac.
"You can try your hand at different things in different groups, and I love that about Freddie Mac. Soon after I started, I tried my hand at derivatives, which is a set of financial products used to hedge our portfolio, and that's what stuck. I learned it and our processes, and I was good at the back–office management of it. I climbed my way up with my knowledge and skills."
Fritz is currently the I&CM regional operations director in the Southwest regional office and is responsible for business continuity planning (BCP) and testing I&CM's business resiliency capabilities.
To help maintain seamless operations, Fritz and his I&CM team work closely with other groups in the Southwest region that are involved in out–of–region disaster recovery, including Information Technology, Single–Family Business, and Treasury Operations. Fritz's willingness to mentor and provide guidance to employees in these different groups, as well as his friendly and approachable nature have earned him the affectionate title of "Mayor" of the Southwest region.
"We're like a family. We have a lot of employee events and the Southwest directors help everyone stay connected with each other and what's going on in headquarters. There are no boundaries to being active and involved in Freddie Mac life. It doesn't matter where you're located. I recently had the privilege of being elected co–chair of ARISE [Freddie Mac's employee resource group that provides, promotes, and expands opportunities for Freddie Mac employees of the African diaspora], and as a regional employee, it is an honor to be able to positively affect the company's culture from afar."