Coming Full Circle
Molly Busch, Eller Marketing ’03
Vice President, Thomas Title & Escrow
By Liz Warren-Pederson
Less than ten years out of Eller, marketing alum Molly Busch has already forged a varied career for herself, ranging from experience in marketing for a regional bank, to filmmaking, to building a ground-up market for her current employer, Thomas Title & Escrow, and even venturing into stand-up comedy.
“I’m more certain today than I was yesterday or even ten years ago that every step I’ve taken has prepared for what’s yet to come,” she said.
Busch graduated in 2003. “It was a good economic period, but before I accepted an offer, I decided to spend the summer honing my Spanish skills,” she said. “My mom and I roomed together and attended intensive language classes in a little town outside of Mexico City.”
After returning from Mexico, her brother, Frank W. Busch III (also an Eller alum), helped recruit her to work in the marketing division of the regional bank where he was an attorney. “He has always been a great professional mentor for me,” Busch said.
After a few years with the bank and with the economy continuing to grow, Busch – a longtime documentary film fan – saw an opportunity to chase a dream. “It seemed like there was a lot of money going around to fund independent films, and a lot of them were getting picked up at film festivals and getting great exposure.”
She took the leap. “I packed up my car, moved to L.A., and camped out on the floor at a family friend’s,” she said. “After a short while, I found out I wasn’t good at performing, but I was good at the business side of the industry.”
Busch got work in private equity for small start-up productions, where she read a lot of scripts. She volunteered as a camera operator on productions to get experience on set. “I was raising money, learning how to be comfortable speaking in front of people, and building my skills on the technical side,” she said. At the same time, her mother was just finishing her career as a nurse practitioner, and with her youngest getting ready to graduate from college, was casting about for a creative project.
Trailer for Between the Water and the Wood, a documentary produced by Molly Busch and her family.
“We began developing ideas for a documentary on the UA Swimming and Diving team, and how we could paint a picture of Division I Athletics,” said Busch. She had an inside track: her father, Frank W. Busch II, was the long-time UA and Olympic swimming coach. “We created Busch League Entertainment, and over the course of two years, we captured the footage for Between the Water and the Wood,” Busch explained.
As the film moved into post-production, her brother Frank founded Thomas Title & Escrow in Phoenix and, again, recruited her to work with him. “I was straddling the documentary and the title company,” she said. “We completed the finished product and had some great success at festivals and local screenings with the film — and now it’s been five years since I’ve been with Thomas Title!”
“Working on the film has brought me full circle to where I am today,” she added. “My family supported my journey all along and now I am on the verge of another journey.”
Thomas Title has carved a niche for itself as a provider with a focus on cutting-edge efficiencies in a historic industry. Busch said that as the economy began to collapse, the company was small and nimble enough to refocus on a set of underserved clients: banks’ legal teams. “We were really fortunate, because title companies that had grown too fast and overextended themselves were struggling to adapt and stay in business.” Now the company is preparing to launch into a new market in Texas, which Busch has been tapped to lead.
“The entrepreneurial spirit runs through my family,” she said. “It comes from my dad, who upended family expectations to become a swimming coach. He’s always encouraged us to maximize our skills in any context, and to never shy away from any challenge that will make you a better person, personally or professionally. And it was inspiring having a brother like Frank to lead us out of the gate.”
As she moves on to her next challenge, Busch said she hasn’t ruled out returning to filmmaking at some point, “but only if it’s someone else’s money!” she added. “Documentaries are labors of love, so you can’t be disappointed with the outcome. The responsibility is to drill down and extract a message and learn from the experience; everyone can meet that call with good, hard work.” Meet other marketing alumni on the Department of Marketing’s alumni profiles website.