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MORTGAGE

M AY/J U NE 202 1

A MB IZ MEDI A

WOMEN WOMEN MORTGAGE

MAGAZINE MAGAZINE

YOU’RE ALL IN TROUBLE NOW

URLA & You HHHHH

TYNA-MINET ANDERSON ON THE NEW WAVE OF MORTGAGE ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS

Get Organized: Top Time Saving Tips

CELEBRATING

MORTGAGE STARS WOMEN WHO RISE ABOVE THE REST

INSIDE:

MORTGAGE STAR CONFERENCE AGENDA > PAGE 48 MID-SOUTH MORTGAGE EXPO AGENDA > PAGE 47 A P UBL ICAT I O N O F A M E R I C A N B U S IN ES S M ED IA


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FRONT COVER

MORTGAGE

M AY/J U NE 202 1

A MB IZ MEDI A

MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE

WOMEN WOMEN MORTGAGE

MAGAZINE MAGAZINE

YOU’RE ALL IN TROUBLE NOW

URLA & You HHHHH

TYNA-MINET ANDERSON ON THE NEW WAVE OF MORTGAGE ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS

Get Organized: Top Time Saving Tips

CELEBRATING

MORTGAGE STARS WOMEN WHO RISE ABOVE THE REST

MAY/JUNE 2021

INSIDE:

MORTGAGE STAR CONFERENCE AGENDA > PAGE 48 MID-SOUTH MORTGAGE EXPO AGENDA > PAGE 47 A PU B L I CATI O N O F AME R IC A N B U S IN E S S ME D IA


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COVER STORY

Page 10 BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE CFPB

Federally, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is fixing to take it’s name seriously. Locally, lots of states are putting together their own mini-CFPBs. That all adds up to a lot of eyes looking for mortgage wrongdoing.

MAY/JUNE 2021

BY TYNA-MINET ANDERSON

FEATURES 6 C-ING NEW CONNECTIONS

MORTGAGE WOMEN, IN PERSON

We’ve learned that networking is more than just meeting folks at chicken dinners. It’s time to recognize the three Cs for making connections now.

47 PROGRAM AGENDA Mid-South Mortgage Expo

BY LAUREN RICHARDS ROSENFARB

16 COPING WITH THE NEW URLA After five years’ notice, the new URLA form is here. Some lenders remain mystified. But there are a lot of benefits in the changes it brings. BY SUHA ZEHL

20 LISTEN UP If you’re trying to motivate or direct people, telling them what to do won’t be effective until you first hear what they’re telling you. BY TINA ASHER

SPECIAL RECOGNITION SECTION

48 PROGRAM AGENDA Mortgage Star Conference 50 ROCKET GOES ZOOM Rocket Pro TPO, the wholesale division of Rocket Mortgage, scored an industry first by sponsoring an all-female race car team at this year’s Indy 500, in an effort to bring attention to women in the mortgage industry.

52 DREAMING NEW CAREER DREAMS Inspired by films like 13 Going On 30, one woman in the mortgage industry realizes she never knew what she could gain from working in the field. Now, she wants other women to empower young entrants like she was. BY CLAIRE BARBER

24 CELEBRATING THE NATION’S MORTGAGE STARS

Monthly Departments

Mortgage Women Magazine sought out women who are making a special mark in the industry and in their company. From hundreds of nominations, we present 39 ladies of achievement who are clearly among those who Rise Above The Rest, in our annual Mortgage Star Awards special section.

12 Trailblazers: Taking Chances, All The Way To The Top

4 Editor’s Letter: Breaking Out Of The Box 8 First Cup: We’re All Crocuses Now

18 Ask The Experts: To Every Thing There Is A Season 44 Mortgage Moms: Sparking Joy 54 Mortgage Women Calendar of

Events


F R O M T H E E D I TO R

OUR MISSION Mortgage Women Magazine is dedicated to providing quality informational/educational content that betters women in the mortgage process at every step. The content is oriented to help women progress their understanding of the residential mortgage banking business and develop their skills at improving efficiency, effectiveness and profitability at all levels. VINCENT VALVO, CEO, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief vvalvo@ambizmedia.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Beverly Bolnick bbolnick@ambizmedia.com FOUNDING PUBLISHER Ben Slayton BSlayton@ambizmedia.com MANAGING EDITOR Kelly Hendricks Khendricks@ambizmedia.com STAFF WRITER Katie Jensen kjensen@ambizmedia.com SENIOR EDITOR Jill Emerson Jill@ambizmedia.com ADVERTISING David Hoierman David@ambizmedia.com GRAPHIC DESIGN Stacy Murray smurray@ambizmedia.com HEAD OF ENGAGEMENT AND OUTREACH Andrew Berman andrew@ambizmedia.com INTERACTIVE DESIGN DIRECTOR Alison Valvo avalvo@ambizmedia.com

Should Haves

For many of us, as women, we live our lives as they should be. For some, having a family is what they should do, for others they should work hard in hopes of a successful career. Too many times, we follow what we should do instead of doing what we want to do and what makes us happy. We hold back excitement, sorrow, happiness, ambition because we go about our lives doing what we should. A few weeks ago, I received a call asking if I wanted to be a part of a changing venture, one which would put me front and center as the managing editor of a magazine. I am an executive at a mortgage banking firm, a mother of two, and have a full plate. I should have said no. That would have made the most sense. I should have said thank you for the opportunity, and graciously bowed out. Instead, I said sure, why not? Like so many of the women featured in this edition, we should start choosing our passion, what excites us, and break free of the “should haves.” I am excited to share the stories and success of so many women who have chosen, when at crossroads, to not do what they should do but explore what might be. I hope you find their stories as inspiring as I do and support the many women throughout your organization.

NEW BEGINNINGS

As I start on this new beginning as managing editor of Mortgage Women Magazine, I would like to thank all of the contributors and editors who have come before me. Without their tireless efforts we would not be where we are today. I am excited to bring you fresh and timely content that you, the reader, will find inspiring and meaningful both in your home and work life.

ONLINE CONTENT DIRECTOR Navindra Persaud npersaud@ambizmedia.com USER EXPERIENCE DESIGNER Billy Valvo bvalvo@ambizmedia.com MARKETING & EVENTS ASSOCIATE Melissa Pianin mpianin@ambizmedia.com

Kelly Hendricks Managing Editor Mortgage Women Magazine

www.ambizmedia.com

© 2021 American Business Media LLC All rights reserved. Mortgage Women Magazine is a trademark of American Business Media LLC. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. Advertising, editorial and production inquiries should be directed to: American Business Media LLC 345 North Main St., Suite 313, West Hartford, CT 06117 Phone: (860) 719-1991 | info@ambizmedia.com

Mortgage Women Magazine welcomes your feedback. If you have comments, questions, criticisms, praise, or information to share with us and our readers, please write us at Khendricks@ambizmedia.com.


THE MODERN M ARKETER

Stop Net IT’S TIME TO RETHINK YOUR APPROACH TO BUILDING CONNECTIONS

By LAUREN RICHARDS ROSENFARB

Special to MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE

Y

ou took meetings on Zoom. You happyhoured on Zoom. You talked to your grandma on Zoom. Now as we re-enter the world, without video conferencing software, we can be smarter. The same global crisis that slung inconvenience—even tragedy— our way has given us a once-in-apandemic opportunity: a chance to rethink our assumptions and create lasting change. First on the chopping block of the status quo: networking. Stop networking and start building your network. What’s the difference? Building your network requires planning ahead. It’s intentional and goal driven. It’s not social climbing. It’s about keeping your relationships healthy and creating value for those in your life. So as you plan your post-pandemic network, consider these three Cs: conceive, create and care.

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CONCEIVE

Start by imagining the network you want. Think quality over quantity since too large of a network will spread you thin. Networking research shows that those who rank the highest in wellbeing and performance typically have 12 to 18 contacts in their network. The ideal network regularly contributes the following: 1. Access to information including expertise, market awareness and best practices. 2. Power in the form of resources, support and clarifying difficult questions. 3. Developmental feedback that holds you accountable and challenges you to improve. 4. Personal support that uplifts your self-esteem. 5. Sense of purpose by validating your work. 6. Promotion of work/life balance by showing you the bigger picture.

Ask yourself: how connected are my relationships to other networks and who is in my inner circle? Research indicates that both men and women benefit when they are at the center of a well-connected network. But to keep on par with men, women need even more: insider knowledge, the kind that can only come from close female ties. Next, keep your network diverse to maintain a fresh perspective. Seek contacts outside of the mortgage industry and your region. A good network reaches across hierarchical bounds and areas of expertise. We know diversity is key, but with one exception: Everyone in your network, yourself included, should be energizers. Energizers are not necessarily extroverts, but they energize us with positivity and an ability to spot and share opportunities.

CREATE

Whether or not you had a strong support structure during the pandemic year, one thing is likely. If you’re in


tworking mortgage sales, you weren’t hitting the pavement for referrals. But the good fortune of a booming industry can’t last forever, so start building your network now before you need it. Consider your current network’s size, gender balance, characteristics and diversity, and then make some hard decisions. Minimize time with people who sap your energy, and let go of these relationships if necessary. You’re allowed to feel guilty about this, but remember that we already make decisions every day that unconsciously affect our network. Do you go out with a friend, or just go home? Do you only talk with your colleagues at a mixer, or introduce yourself to new people? Consciously make space for mutually rewarding relationships. To start, sign off LinkedIn and get out to socialize. Volunteer at a non-profit or join a sports team— and continue attending mixers and conferences. We are wired to interact in pairs, so find conversation partners by scanning the room for clusters of people with an odd number.

Remember, engagement in every people want to conversation will branch out and energize others. meet you too. Other ways to Furthermore, create positive don’t be shy about relationships: stick asking a friend for to your word and an introduction. follow through. (You can always Make your criticism Lauren Richards Rosenfarb is provide an easy director of marketing at constructive, and Delmar Mortgage. escape clause: focus on people’s “If sending an ideas instead of the introductory people themselves. email makes you Be sure to ask for advice on your uncomfortable for any reason, it’s projects and ideas too. OK.”)   Most importantly, create “pull” CARE by being a giver and an energizer. Relationships naturally fade away if Give before you receive. Reach out to we let them, so invest in the people others before you have to. Although in your life. Create a pathway where you expect the relationship to evolve kindness and reciprocity can flow reciprocally, you’re in this for the long and a space where authenticity and haul. Givers lead by example and set presence can exist. the standard for any new relationship.  As we enter life after lockdown, let’s Being an energizer is four times learn from high performers. Reconnect more likely to contribute to your face-to-face and leave the perfunctory success than being at the very center business card swaps for the preof your network. Your presence and COVID era where they belong.

MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE • MAY/JUNE 2021

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FIRST CUP

ANXIOUS AND EXCITED FOR THE PERSONAL TOUCH As lockdowns ease and vaccines get distributed, opportunities for face-to-face meetings return. WHO’S

READY?

By ASHLEY GRAVANO, MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE, CONTRIBUTING WRITER ach morning we wake up. We wash our face, we brush our teeth, after that we all have different routines. Some work out, some watch the news. For me, my first cup of coffee is like my start button. Monday through Sunday, I never miss that first cup. If I did, I guarantee you it would be catastrophic. But that first cup of coffee is about more than getting a jolt of caffeine. It’s about getting a morning jolt of clarity. It’s the time I set aside to reflect, think about my day, make my to-do lists and remind myself that what I put in today will make a difference tomorrow.  So here I am, having my first cup. I’m thinking about getting back on the road. I can’t wait to get that mug of coffee at the cafe near a client’s office, or even the dreadful airport coffee! Things we never thought we would miss are now wearing down on us.

FACING REALITY

What does that look like for you, your company, your colleagues? We are all at a different comfort level with being back out in the world. My time on the road is so important. Clients, friends, even prospects: Being face-to-face is how we as humans interact best. Zoom

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Be mindful. Don’t judge. Not everyone has the same beliefs or comfort level as you. Be respectful. Simply follow those golden rules.

is great, don’t get me wrong, but the Zoom fatigue is real and most of us have hit that wall. I was speaking to a good friend in the industry last week, and her thoughts are the same as mine. She’s counting the days to being back in front of people. On the other hand, a co-worker isn’t ready. We will all get back to things at our own pace, and as my CEO says, we need to give a little grace to everyone as they figure out where their comfort point is. After having a few conversations about being back in person here are a few things to remember:  It is ok to feel nervous. If you are not comfortable being back in person, (granted there are exceptions to this) be open and honest with your peers and leadership so they understand and can help you find a solution. Be mindful. Don’t judge. Not everyone has the same beliefs or comfort level as you. Be respectful. Simply follow those golden rules. Lastly, have fun! It will be the biggest reunion since the Backstreet Boys. Get ready to stock up on all of those hotel bottles of shampoo again … or am I the only one who does that? Ashley Gravano is vice president of product solutions at Mortgage Cadence.


MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE • MAY/JUNE 2021

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THE ENFORCERS

Duck & Cover GET READY TO

By TYNA-MINET ANDERSON

MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE Contributing Writer

AFTER YEARS OF HANDS-OFF ATTITUDE BY REGULATORS, A NEW WAVE OF MORTGAGE ENFORCEMENT IS BUILDING. EXPECT A TSUNAMI. 10

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A

more “aggressive” CFPB is not just something that compliance professionals are warning about -- it is a term that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has started to use on a regular basis to describe its own actions. If that wasn’t enough of a red flag that regulators are ramping up, states are creating their own mini-CFPBs to become the enforcers for local consumers’ rights. Without question, it’s time for mortgage professionals to step up their compliance game again. The record-low rates over the last year, combined with a world-wide pandemic, led many mortgage loan originators to put some portions of compliance on the back burner as they struggled to keep up with the daily grind. Taking time for extra training on fraud or fair lending just didn’t seem feasible for someone who could barely respond to urgent borrower emails. The writing is on the wall; it’s time to make it a priority again.

FITS AND STARTS

In 2012, thanks to the Dodd-Frank Act and the formation of the CFPB, I was able to leave billable hours behind and I started spending my days


focusing on mortgage compliance. During those early days, everyone was anxious to learn more about what they could do to prepare themselves and their companies for audits. After a few years of running to keep up with the CFPB, regulations and enforcements came to a screeching halt after the appointment of acting director Mick Mulvaney. Mulvaney was appointed, despite (or perhaps because of) his previous comments stating his desire to get rid of the agency. Once he was in charge, he effectively shut it down for several months by cancelling investigations and enforcement actions. To be precise, there were exactly zero mortgage-related enforcement actions during his tenure. In fact, that number held steady for all of 2018. His successor, apparently, saw little reason to change anything. In 2019, under Kathy Kraninger, we saw a whopping two mortgage-related enforcement actions that year. Even as the enforcement actions continued to increase (up 200 percent!), the punishments lacked the strength the early agency had.

ACTION EXPECTED

But the sense of ease many mortgage pros felt was somewhat short-lived, as change is now in the air. Since taking over as acting director in January, Dave Uejio announced plans for the CFPB to expedite enforcement investigations; he also announced that the agency will be expanding existing exams and adding new ones. It seems Uejio is being especially active for someone who is just acting director; as a career government employee who is likely to be replaced soon, it is unlikely he is making such drastic changes without guidance. It is more likely that Uejio is talking regularly with Rohit Chopra, President Joseph Biden’s appointee awaiting confirmation, to start moving the CFPB in the direction Chopra would like it to go. On February 10, Uejio stated that the Division of Consumer Education and External Affairs should “redouble efforts” to assist struggling consumers. He also stated that the Division should “aggressively rebuild and repair our relationships with consumer, civil rights, racial justice, and tribal and Indigenous rights groups.” In a March 1

blog post, Uejio stated that there was a need for “aggressive action” to address the housing insecurity crisis that was caused, in part, by the Covid-19 pandemic. This is quite a tall order for an agency that was recently reduced to a shell of itself. Perhaps that is why there is also a call for more attorneys to join the ranks at the CFPB. That is right; not only are they talking about more enforcement, they are actively putting plans in place to make sure it happens. We are going to be hearing a lot more from the CFPB and it is likely to happen a lot sooner than some might have hoped.

Last year, the California Department of Business Oversight was officially changed to the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, in a move that created the second largest CFPB in the country. It is led by Manuel P. Alvarez, a former CFPB enforcement attorney. California’s updated agency is self-described as the “premier financial regulator and national model for consumer protection.” The mini-CFPB trend may not have hit your state yet, but California’s statement signals to state regulators that it may just be a matter of time. In the last couple of months, we have

Rohit Chopra is waiting to be confirmed as the new head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He is expected to be much tougher on the mortgage industry than his predecessors were. STRONGER STATES

As if a stronger, more aggressive CFPB was not enough to keep you up at night, states have also started working double time to increase their enforcement power, by way of creating their own mini-CFPBs. The mini-CFPB idea started when Virginia created a predatory lending enforcement unit to investigate violations of consumer lending statutes. By the end of 2018, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey had all created a similar state level CFPB. In May 2019, New York joined the mix and elevated the mini-CFPB game by bringing in Leandra English, former CFPB Deputy Director, to work in the Department of Financial Services’ new “Consumer Protection and Financial Enforcement Division.” They have fined multiple settlement service providers in the last year and a half. Most recently, in March, they fined a mortgage company $1.5 million for failing to adequately respond to a data security breach.

heard from many more Washington state brokers upset by their state audits, as well as clients reporting stricter guidelines in Alaska, Hawaii, and Oregon.

BE PREPARED

In preparation for the stricter guidelines and enforcement, you will want to ensure that all areas of your Compliance Management System are operating smoothly. Take any suggestions or guidance received from state auditors and go one step further than they ask to proactively protect yourself. Go back through old audit questionnaires and double check to ensure that you are still in compliance with your responses. Double-check your processes against your policies and procedures to make sure they line up. Review and stay up to date with your company’s training schedule. With more than 11 million people in forbearance, it is my prediction that it will not be long before the mortgage industry becomes a big target for the CFPB. Based on Chopra’s experience CONTINUED ON PAGE 20 MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE • MAY/JUNE 2021

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TRAILBLAZERS

TR AILBL A ZER

BLAZING

I

A PATH... RAISING THE BAR

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Kim Hoffman, CMB, AMP

Head of Operations for Home Loans, SoFi

n her current role, Kim is responsible home loans fulfillment and servicing operations. Prior to joining SoFi, Kim was the COO for Envoy Mortgage where she led all aspects of operations for this national, retail mortgage organization. Before Envoy, she served as the Global Mortgage Operations & Service Delivery Executive for Sutherland Mortgage Services, a global process transformation and technology provider to the mortgage industry. In addition, Kim served as COO, Morgan Stanley Home Loans in NYC., and head of mortgage operations for the Royal Bank of Canada. Briefly tell me about your mortgage journey and how it began. How did you get into the business? I see you made a jump from the automobile industry to finance. I am sure there is a good story about this huge transition. KH: After college I joined a “Big Three” automakers consumer finance division, focusing on auto lending. Within a year I was invited to participate in their prestigious credit training program, an initiative to increase female participation. As I wrote in “Win or Learn” I knew it would change my career and life despite scaring me to the core. I had never been further than a few hours from my family; this change required a move to Orlando and my home was Houston. I had to dig deeper than I knew I could to push through the fear and noise in my head. Why can our own thoughts be so negative


and self-destructive? I accepted and cried all the way to Florida. This was the springboard for all the amazing opportunities that followed. The program was completed in 18 months and I was given a full consumer lending branch. This gave me experience in all consumer lending products, origination, fulfillment, servicing, default management, the entire life cycle. But one occasion changed my career focus. I helped a customer save their family business by monetizing the equity in their home and paying off his ill-intending business partners. This one transaction changed my customer’s future and mine. I saw the power of building wealth through homeownership as well as the security and stability created through homeownership. I knew this would be the focus of my career. What does a “Trailblazer” mean to you? How do you see yourself as a “Trailblazer” for women in mortgage? KH: I’m honored to be considered a “Trailblazer.” To me, this consideration means taking chances, seeing the business beyond traditional processes and mindsets, and creating solutions to improve or revolutionize the business. The future will happen with or without you; I advocate that you drive and participate rather than being a passenger. I wear a necklace that says “fearlessness” not because I am without fear but to remind me it’s ok, to understand my fear and move forward, not to let it paralyze me. If I can understand and control my risk while improving my service delivery, then its worth the risk. Safe is not in staying the course, that’s obsolescence.

No matter what you are doing,

I love seeing more and more women moving out of traditional mortgage roles and into secondary marketing, technology, and data analytics. I believe these roles will continue to expand and create more opportunity for women; the question is will we have enough skilled women? You are also seeing more and more women in the C-Suite and running large portions of mortgage companies both in public and private organizations. I see this trend continuing but, on our merits, not our gender. Women are strong, skilled, and capable leaders who also connect with the hearts of their employees; a powerful recipe for great teams. What advice would you give women who are either just starting out in this business or women who are feeling stagnant in their current role? What could women do that is actionable RIGHT NOW to better position themselves as future leaders? KH: For women who are new to the industry, first you picked an amazing industry to launch your career! If you execute and produce tangible results, there is nothing off limits to you. Second, your employer will teach you your functional job; however, you are the CEO of your career. You must invest in you! Be a life learner and know that “what got you here won’t get you there.” Our people and organizations deserve our best, so we must keep our skills and knowledge current. I read at least five hours a week of industry, technology, customer experience, and other topics and I take online courses to keep my skills sharp. I do not limit myself to mortgage-only content, I translate other sector information to frame my thinking about today, tomorrow, and so on. After all, our customers do not compare us with other mortgage companies; they compare us to how easy it was to order coffee and have it ready when they arrive. If you are stagnant in your current role, ASK for more, initiative will get you noticed! Also, I recommend finding a sponsor. A sponsor is different than a mentor. A sponsor is a senior manager or executive who will advocate for you within the organization where a mentor advises you. I keep a quote on my desk by Dr. Martin Luther King, “if it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep the streets as Michelangelo painted pictures or Shakespeare wrote poetry.” No matter what you are doing, pursue it with excellence. You may not achieve it, but you will be closer to it for your effort.

pursue it with excellence. You may

not achieve it, but you will be closer to it for your effort. Where do you see yourself in five years? Where do you see women in the mortgage industry over the next five years? KH: I see myself doing what I am doing and loving now, solving complex operational problems, ideally by leveraging technology, and creating operational strategies and executing them. Ultimately, making it easier to get a mortgage for the consumer. After all, buying or refinancing a home should be a great experience, not the nail biter it is today. There is still so much to do!

MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE • MAY/JUNE 2021

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T E C H TA L K

The New URLA – What’s the Big Deal?

B

By SUHA ZEHL , MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE CONTRIBUTING WRITER

ack in 2016 (yes, five years ago), the GSEs first revealed the completely redesigned Uniform Residential Loan Application, which was soon after adopted by the CFPB as an approved application form. After many, and I mean many, repeated delays, for various reasons, the redesigned URLA, as it’s affectionately referred to, the GSEs published their revised timeline on April 14, 2020, for its implementation: The redesign of URLA was fraught with challenges. Why? It was like herding cats. Seriously! Try to imagine a multiyear collaborative effort among lenders, technology solution providers, government agencies, mortgage insurance companies, document preparation companies, and many other industry stakeholders, each with their own agenda and timeline. See what I mean?

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Several providers immediately jumped on the bandwagon and began the arduous exercise of unpacking, scoping, scheduling, and testing all the necessary tasks to ensure proper compliance and readiness. They developed a library of resources (guides, videos, training material) and supported their customers to ensure they are able to transition seamlessly and with minimal disruption to their operations. Others, unfortunately, buried their

Courtesy of Ellie Mae ICE

heads in the sand, hoping that the deadline will be pushed again and waiting to the very last minute to address this major industry change which will most certainly impact the entire mortgage lending workflow.


PAVED WITH PREPARATION

With the March 1 implementation deadline now passed, and unless you and your team have been living under a rock, your roadmap to success is paved with preparation. This includes formulating a transition plan with clear goals and objectives, fully testing the new workflow to mitigate the risk of noncompliance and minimize disruption, and finally evaluating and refining the updated process as you measure the impact of the new URLA. By now, the hope is that lenders have been testing their processes and technology solutions because, ultimately, the burden of compliance truly lies on their shoulders. It certainly does not lie on the shoulders of their LOS providers or on the shoulders of their doc prep partners. Yes, these third-party vendors have a responsibility to offer end-to-end support for the redesigned form and the underpinning updated AUS platforms; Desktop Underwriter (Fannie Mae) and Loan Product Advisor (Freddie Mac). However, it is the responsibility of each lender to coordinate and test the heck out of their systems and integrations to make sure they are ready to meet the requirements set forth.

BIGGEST CHANGES

First and foremost, the revised URLA is designed to reflect the changes in the way the mortgage industry operates as well as the evolution of customer expectations. The new version is not only an update to the physical version of URLA, BUT it also the corresponding dataset used by technology vendors (MISMO 3.4 anyone?). The revised URLA will require lenders to request more customer information, 94 additional data points to be exact, bringing the total to 236 data fields. Some of these key data points include the following: • Modernized customer information: As customers become more digital-savvy, the revised form will now include fields for mobile phone numbers and email addresses. Customers may also be required to include additional information about their current housing expenses. • HMDA demographic data: The new URLA is designed with Home Mortgage Disclosure Act compliance built-in. Customers can supply this information while filling out their application. This will eliminate the demographic information addendum, saving customers from the headache of filling out yet another form and making compliance easier for lenders. While these changes may seem trivial to the untrained eye, upon taking a deeper dive, one becomes acutely aware of the pivotal transformation these revisions will accelerate. Why? Lenders will need to update their technology stack to comply with the redesigned URLA, leveraging modern innovations in mortgage technology. In turn, this will yield a modernized and humanized customer experience that will delight the next generation of homeowners. How? To support industry changes and meet the ever-evolving customer expectations when it comes to the modern lending process, the redesigned URLA will promote several unexpected benefits for lenders and borrowers alike. Suha Zehl is chief analytics officer with Equity Prime Mortgage. MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE • MAY/JUNE 2021

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THE MODERN M ARKETER

ASK THE

EXPERTS WITH

SUE WOODARD

GET A LITTLE SPRING CLARITY

W

ords you might not expect to hear from me: I am feeling a seasonal slump. Now, life is good, business is rocking, family and friends are healthy, and my cats are delighted to be seeing so much of me. Yet it feels like this winter has lasted an eternity, and I am way past ready for spring. And I bet lots of you are with me! But thank heavens, summer is on the way. Whether you have been dealing with a deep freeze, grey skies, too much to do, or just sick and tired of being in your house, spring always feels like a chance to rejuvenate, reorganize, reboot, and rebound into a fresh start in our business and life. So, to help kick me out of my own slump (and any of you who might be feeling the same), I reached out to some of the very best and brightest minds I know for some fresh ideas. And they did not let me down. In this issue of Ask the Experts, you will gain some of the very best tips, tricks, and technologies to help all of us put a little more “spring” in our step this season. Enjoy!

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MICHELLE SCHEMEL

National Director, Marketing and Sales Support AmeriFirst Financial, Inc. Managing a very fulfilling career and the most amazing team in the industry as well as sitting on the booster board for my son’s high school football team, running a home with teenagers and too many dogs (if there is such a thing), and supporting a wonderful husband whose work travel is becoming more and more frequent requires a high level of communication and planning.  In addition to leveraging tools like Microsoft Office to stay connected to my team, and Cortana to prevent tasks from falling through the cracks, I follow three important practices to stay organized, and sane:  • Plan our upcoming week as a family every Sunday. • Hand write tasks on a weekly planner, which helps visualize the load and manage priorities, while staying on track to hit goals. • Get plenty of sleep, water, exercise, and sunshine to stay connected to self.

DAWN DAWSON

Marketing Director Mortgage Solutions Financial My biggest trick for organization came from goal setting. My sport coaches always hit us with the power of affirmations. I will never forget them shouting as we worked out, “It won’t get done unless you are emotionally attached to the outcome!!” So I was taught early on to incorporate affirmations when setting goals and then emotionally attach them to every project we do.     For example, 2020 fast and smooth we’re in the groove. PERFECT theme for a year that kept throwing us curveballs and fast pitches! We broke records as I’m sure you


MICHELLE SCHEMEL

DAWN DAWSON

all did too. We were fast, agile, and resilient. Deep breath! Along comes 2021. I noticed how serious everything got in 2020. So for 2021, I wanted to keep a fast pace BUT I vowed to enjoy every moment. I want my team to enjoy as well.  So we created this theme for 2021: It’s all about fun in 2021! Fun is the center of everything. I remind everyone that while being dedicated is important, we don’t have to take ourselves seriously at all. Every meeting must include fun!   • In our communication we include a fun element, including fun affirmation cards. • In our projects we give ourselves fun rewards when we hit goals.  • We even have fun officers to enforce the fun.    It may sound frivolous to some, but creativity cannot thrive in a tightly bound, panic driven environment. Marketing departments are dependent on great creativity.  My advice? Baby bring back the fun! It is 2021!

BRITTANY HODAK

Chief Experience Officer Experience.com My top productivity tool is Calendar. com, which is one of the best calendar apps I’ve used. Honestly, I don’t think I could keep up with my life without it. It’s a one-stop tool for scheduling meetings (a la Calendly) and seeing ALL of my calendars together at a glance: work, personal, and my husband’s calendar, too. The best part is the analytics it provides. In a click, I can see how much time I’ve spent with every client, how many hours I’m spending in meetings on any given day/week/month/etc., and the average length of meetings and attendees in

BRITTANY HODAK

CINDY ERTMAN

LAURA WIEGERT

COREY TRUJILLO

each session. It also tracks your habits over time and makes suggestions for being more efficient.

LAURA WIEGERT

CINDY ERTMAN

My best organizational tip is an app. I use the Trello app to stay on track at work! I love it because I can set it up however I want. I created a category for each day, then organize my daily tasks that way. When I complete a task, I can remove it; and if I do not finish the task, I can drag it to another day. I also have a “master list” for future tasks I know are coming up. Very user friendly. There is a mobile version that syncs with my desktop so I can view my “to do” list in real time. On a group level, our marketing team is using it to manage campaigns, so everyone knows what they have to do, when they have to do it, and can see where we are all at with assignments. Love it!

CEO & Founder The Defining Difference As the CEO of a national coaching company, I manage a team and a very tight schedule, which creates the need for simple solutions to keep me on task. Here are a few of my favorite tools that keep me motivated, productive, and on track. · Insight Timer – my new favorite guided meditation app. My morning practice includes 15 minutes of meditation to keep me grounded and centered for a great start to my day.   · You Tube – my morning inspiration for learning. I rotate my 15-20 minutes of learning daily from motivational sources such as Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, and Les Brown to mortgage trainings from Mortgage Coach. · The Microsoft To Do app – this is the key to crushing productivity! So easy to use and collaborate with other members of my team. I track all my ‘to do’s both personally and professionally on this app.  · Email productivity – for short communication, put your information or request in the subject line and end with EOM (end of message). Then there’s no need to open the email.  · My daily ‘Cindy To Do’ folder on my desktop – all documents that require my review go into this folder, so they are easily accessed and all in one place.  · I have a team managed calendar. All five team members have access to my calendar, and I live by it, which keeps me massively productive each day.

SVP Marketing Investors Community Bank

COREY TRUJILLO

VP of Marketing American Financial Network I am a big fan of “inbox zero.” I get hundreds of emails a day, and my sorting process makes sure I don’t ever get behind or miss any. If an email is an immediate response, it’s answered and moved to SORT. If it requires time or research, it goes into FOLLOWUP. Newsletters or magazines go into READ. I have scheduled times each day to get into the FOLLOW-UP folder and keep those moving until they are complete. READ items have to wait until I can get to them, but when I have time, it’s nice to have all my newsletters and articles in one place. I spend one day a week clearing the SORT folder of all my completed items to determine what I want to keep and what can be archived or deleted. At the end of each day, every email will be in a folder.

MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE • MAY/JUNE 2021

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FOUR TIPS

Stop Talking

A

FOUR SIMPLE QUESTIONS TO IGNITE ACTION By TINA ASHER, Special to MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE

while back, I had a heated conversation with my adult son around something he had a timeframe to complete and didn’t get it done, costing us both time and money to fix. He firmly stated his facts and I volleyed mine right back at him. We hung up both irritated and nothing solved. What should have been an efficient process took twice the work and energy. If I would have known then this process, I could have saved us both a lot of time and headaches. I’ve seen managers do something similar. They set up a meeting, hammer out their agenda and leave without much input, feedback or next steps.   Here’s the irony. If you do all the talking in a meeting or conversation, then you should just send an email and save your breath. You don’t gain any concepts, solutions, feedback or new ideas if you don’t allow time for dialogue. What I’ve learned from both managing

and coaching others, is there’s an effective way to have meetings or conversations where you get buy-in, accountability, and both walk away rejuvenated. The best thing is it doesn’t take a lot of time. Here are four simple questions to ignite personal accountability and empower people to take action.

vent or let off steam and they feel valued. The crucial pivot.

QUESTION 1:

QUESTION 4:

What’s going well? Notice it’s not “How’s it going,” or “How are you?” You want to know what they like to do or what they’ve accomplished. Give them time to brag a bit. It requires more than a one-word answer.

QUESTION 2:

What’s one thing you’d like to see improve? Then be quiet and listen. This gives the person an opportunity to have their voice heard, but with limitations. It shows you’re interested in what disturbs them, or what things could work better. You give them an opportunity to

QUESTION 3:

What’s one thing you could do to improve that? Again, just listen, this might take them off guard a bit, but don’t let them off the hook. This is where they take personal accountability to help create a solution rather than just complain. If it truly hinders their progress, they’ll find a way to fix it. It’s easy to complain, it takes thought and creativity to take action.  What support do you need from me? Here’s where you let them know you’re here for them and want them to succeed and be happy. Your support conveys they’re not in it alone. When you set consistent meetings and use the same formula, it trains the other person to come prepared with a solution and to take action. You become a great listener, boss, mentor, spouse, parent, and eliminate additional stress. Tina Asher is a coach and founder of Build U Up Consulting.

REGULATORS RAMPING UP CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11

with student loan and payday lenders, it may not be his first target, but it will not be far behind, especially as he looks to protect consumers who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and requested forbearance. In fact, as this issue was going to press, the CFPB did indeed make a really big initial move. “Emergency protections for homeowners will start to expire later this year and by the fall, a flood of borrowers will need assistance from their servicers,” CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio said. “The CFPB is proposing changes to the mortgage servicing rules that will ensure servicers and borrowers have the tools and time to work together to prevent avoidable foreclosures, which disrupt lives, uproot children and inflict further costs on those least able to bear them.” To help homeowners who are behind on

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their mortgages, the CFPB is proposing a new rule that would establish a “temporary Covid-19 emergency pre-foreclosure review period” that would essentially block mortgage servicers from starting the foreclosure process until after December 31, 2021. It is likely that the 2008 mortgage meltdown is indelibly imprinted on President Biden’s mind, so he will probably pull out all the stops to ensure that consumers’ homes are protected during his term. The last thing he needs is for nearly a tenth of American households to lose their homes to foreclosure or eviction. You better believe he will be leaning heavily on the CFPB to ensure that consumers are protected. That means it is time to refocus your compliance efforts... or get ready to duck and cover.

Tyna-Minet Anderson is vice president of Mortgage Educators and Compliance.


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At Mortgage Educators & Compliance, we help businesses and associations like CAMP thrive by making compliance painless, and fun. Connect with us, and we’ll show you how we can make YOUR business better. — David Luna, President 22

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MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE • MAY/JUNE 2021

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SHINING A LIGHT ON WOMEN WHOSE WORK LIGHTS UP THE INDUSTRY

I

n an industry that often runs on swagger and braggadocio, there are times it’s reassuring to step back and pay attention to those in the mortgage world whose work serves as an inspiration to all of us. And given the additional hurdles that women in the workplace have to deal with, we’re especially proud of this year’s selection of Mortgage Stars – Women Who Rise Above The Rest. To be a Mortgage Star doesn’t mean that someone has achieved all their goals yet. It doesn’t mean, necessarily, that they have achieved the pinnacle of their career. It simply means that when we look at this person’s accomplishments, their philosophies, the way they support those around them,

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that we can find in them a spark that makes us want to be better ourselves. Can we do more for clients? Can we be better mentors to our colleagues? Can we set goals for ourselves to achieve what others have shown is possible? The women on these pages each has a personal story of their success, and in those stories each of us can connect to something that can inspire us to be better in some way. And in that inspiration, we can also find its sibling, admiration. Because while we strive to do as well as these honorees, we also realize that they’ve already done it. So please join with us at Mortgage Women Magazine as recognize the 2021 class of women who rise above the rest, our Mortgage Stars.


Ashley Abbondanza SVP, Operations SingleSource

How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? As luck would have it, this was my first job straight out of college. I graduated in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in English and a pre-med certificate. I was looking to take a break and get started paying off that student debt before heading to graduate school. Little did I know, I would be here 15 years later having taken every opportunity afforded to me to grow with our company. In my role at SingleSource, I get the advantage of constantly asking what is next, where are we going, what can we do better. It is very challenging to constantly try to reinvent yourself and your teams, but that is where we thrive – we are innovators. I work with some of the most adaptable, flexible and thoughtful people who constantly are asking more of me as a leader and a peer. Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? The mentorship that I benefitted from was organic and began with trust. They knew I was going to show up and give it my best and I knew that if I made a mistake, they would not crush me. In this industry, mistakes have consequences, but we learn through trying and that is the mentality that I apply to any mentoring or coaching that I attempt. Historically, I didn’t focus a lot on explicitly mentoring those around me. I was always laser focused on tasks and reaching goals that I never stopped to bring others along with me. At this stage in my career, I see the opportunities I missed and my team members that would have benefitted from time in a different mindset.

Luisa Bedoya

Vice President / Senior Loan Officer MSA Mortgage LLC How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? I got into this field to fulfill the dream of homeownership within the Hispanic community. I enjoy engaging the Hispanic community by educating and developing alternative ways to qualify for a home loan. The people I’ve helped along the way and the ones I have yet to meet motivate me to stay. Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? The support I receive at MSA Mortgage is second to none. The owner of the company (Bob Deeb) has taught me so much about the mortgage industry throughout the years and I am extremely thankful. There have been countless moments in my life where I had to lean on someone that I trusted for advice or assistance. Whether the person you turn to is a colleague, friend, family member or other, the importance of mentors is undeniable. Mentoring shows people that they matter, they aren’t alone and someone cares for them. I’d like to think that I’ve been a positive role model / mentor to my amazing Team Bedoya. They’re young, energized and extremely bright and I love watching them grow in their careers.

Patti Adamson Sr. Loan Officer VanDyk Mortgage

Why Patti Adamson Was Nominated Stephen Katz, VanDyk Mortgage Branch Manager, said he nominated Patti Adamson, a senior loan officer at VanDyk, has achieved her success from being a happy person who knows how to work hard, work smart and while surrounding herself with a strong support team. “As Patti talks to prospects on the phone they find comfort in her genuine sense of caring and when she meets with agents they want to send her business and become friends…and many have. Patti will tell you herself that she “likes” mortgages, but she “loves” people. Adamson made Presidents Club both in units and volume despite a challenging year with a couple medical bouts that would prevent most people from working. Katz said, “Patti is a competitor like all great salespeople, but I believe what kept her going was her insane desire to never let anybody down. It’s all about people. “Patti has been winning production awards for years but it was really special this year when Patti won a company customer satisfaction survey award with an overall score of 4.95/5.00. To me, this was no surprise. I often joke that it takes two hours to meet Patti for lunch as we often get interrupted by past customers with hugs and stories of how Patti helped them buy a house and change their lives.”

Heather Belair

Vice President - Executive Liaison, Branch & Lending Operations Bay State Savings Bank How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? I started with Bay State Savings Bank as a student teller in the high school banking program. Since then, I have grown into a branch supervisor, then virtual branch manager, and most recently my current role as vice president and mortgage loan officer. I have always had a passion for customer service, so it was a natural move to work one-on-one with homebuyers to help them achieve their financial goals. My motivation comes from the reward of seeing the joy on a homeowner’s face or hearing the excitement in their voice in helping them find their dream home. Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? I have been fortunate to work with some great female mentors. Mentoring is so important to young, aspiring women, especially in such a competitive field. The right mentor can help you build confidence, challenge convention, and aspire to be greater. My most influential mentor taught me to always share my ideas and knowledge with others, which, coincidentally, is one of my favorite parts of being a supervisor.

MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE • MAY/JUNE 2021

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Jenna Biancavilla

Producing Branch Manager Geneva Financial How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? My career plan was to be in the investment management business. In 2009, when the entire financial services industry was losing salespeople left and right, I somehow managed to begin a career in both lending and investing simultaneously. It just so happened that my mentor at the time was dually licensed, and I followed his lead and never looked back. I began working with Geneva Financial in 2014 and have been blessed to grow with such a human-focused company. I find the company’s mission and core values to be perfectly aligned with my personal purpose, which is to make people’s lives and the world a better place. Client testimonials stating that their lives have been changed for the better and positively impacted because of our interactions will always motivate me to stay motivated and humanfirst focused. Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? I have not been fortunate enough to have female mentors. However, I try to make myself available as a mentor to younger women in the industry. I have, however, had many male mentors. I’ll never forget what one of my early mentors shared with me. He said, “Starting a business is never easy or convenient, it’s the most difficult path you can take. But if you can get through the weeds, it’s the most rewarded route.” Since then I’ve been on a quest to always have mentors in my life.

Christy Bunce

Chief Operations Officer New American Funding How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? About 25 years ago, one of my very best friends, Megan Henry, told me about mortgage. She said it was really fast paced and fun. I immediately loved it! I worked from about 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. and would run out of the office to get to school because I was taking night classes to finish up my degree. I love every job that I have ever had in mortgage. It has always been fun and interesting. Nothing is ever exactly the same. The other part that keeps me so tied to this industry is the people. These are real human beings who are depending on us to lower their rate or give them cash out or help them to achieve the ultimate goal of buying a home.

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Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? I have had two great female mentors. The first mentor was my friend, Megan Henry, who got me into the business. She was on the credit side when I joined her. Megan was the best at it, so I really analyzed everything she did and learned a lot from her. Patty Arvielo, the co-founder and president of New American Funding, is the other person. I met Patty about three years before I came to work for her company. Working for Patty has made me realize that you cannot always be so black and white, and you have to look at things from different angles to ensure you are making the right decisions for an employee, borrower, the company, etc. www.mortgagewomenmagazine.com

Michelle Bruto da Costa

Mortgage Loan Officer/Branch Manager Homebridge Financial Services, Inc. How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? When I bought my first house, we had a fairly horrific experience with a broker. All of our loan terms were changed at the last minute, including being switched from a fixed to an ARM. I worked in the appraisal side of the industry at that time and decided to pursue becoming a loan officer so that I could offer people a much better experience when buying a home. Helping families navigate the home buying process, many having been turned away in the past and seeing them have a chance to live the American dream and build their family’s wealth and a better future through homeownership, has continued to drive me day after day. Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? I have had the pleasure of being mentored by Rose Marie David, who leads the division of Homebridge I work for. She has continually demonstrated servant leadership and I have seen her lay down her own needs to serve those who work for her. I really enjoy mentoring others so they may have the opportunity to succeed. I love the quote, “If I have seen further, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants,” by Sir Isaac Newton. Product knowledge is also an area that loan officers need to stay on top of. I mentor my employees to be diligent in their learning. One last important part of mentoring is being an example to other women who are carrying other important roles while navigating their place in an industry that can be male-dominated.

Alezandra Burling

Paralegal Cherry Creek Mortgage, LLC How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? I started in the mortgage field shortly after completing my paralegal certification almost a decade ago. I didn’t originally intend on entering the mortgage industry, but the opportunities for learning and growth have been substantial. Over the years, the training opportunities have been considerable. I’ve been able to expand my knowledge base to cover both the legal and licensing fields. Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? I have had several wonderful colleagues over the years that have been great examples of who I strive to model my career after. It is important not only to have mentors who can share their knowledge, but to also pass that knowledge along. I hope to be able to pass the skills I’ve learned over the years along to my colleagues, so that we as a team are able to perform as effectively as possible. What do you hope to see in the future of the mortgage industry? In a post-covid world, I would like to see more homeowners have the ability to avoid financial strain and also go back to some sense of normalcy.


Megan Cloud

Rachelle Coffey

How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? I stumbled into the mortgage business when I took a job with a temp agency as a call center loan officer shortly after college. I have a degree in finance; however, it is the passion to serve others that really hooked me. Raised by my grandparents, and a family full of entrepreneurs, owning several service-related businesses, I learned at an early age the value of service and doing right by the customer. I have built my career on the aspects of the business I love – helping and serving others.

How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? After graduating from high school, I applied for a job in a real estate office and got hired as an assistant. At that time, mortgage companies regularly visited the office and a manager of a mortgage company that visited was looking for an assistant. My boss in the real estate office was so confident that I would be a good fit for the role at the mortgage company, that she fired me so that I would take the position! Helping others is what motivates me every day.

Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? My first boss in the mortgage industry was a huge mentor of mine. She believed in my abilities long before I ever believed in myself. Mentors help shape, motivate, encourage, elevate, and defend. Mentors keep you going. They challenge you to push harder to become a better version of yourself each day. They help you stay grounded and true to yourself. I am forever grateful for the mentors in my life.

Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? Yes, I’ve had two significant female mentors that I’m forever grateful for: • Debbie Hogan, from my job at the real estate office early on in my career. She is one of the most selfless people I’ve ever met who always prioritized supporting others. She truly helped to foster my professional growth and development and put my growth and development first (even when it meant that I would no longer work directly with her at her company). • Deb Gaustad, from my first job at a mortgage company. She taught me everything she knew about the mortgage business and trained me one-on-one, every day all day, for three weeks straight. As a trainer, I remember her stating, “If you want to do this job to make $1 million, get out of my room.” She engrained in us the importance of helping homeowners and our communities.

Sr. VP/Branch Manager VIP Independent Mortgage Inc.

What do you hope to see in the future of the mortgage industry? More collaboration among lenders, title companies, and other real estate professionals to bring each client a better experience throughout the entire process across the board. If we all learn to focus on respecting, loving, and appreciating each other and our roles within the process, it would be such a beautiful experience for everyone involved.

Licensed Mortgage Professional Homeowners Financial Group

BAY STATE SAVINGS BANK congratulates HEATHER BELAIR VP - Executive Liaison, Branch and Lending Operations

NMLS # 416997

Congratulations, Heather, and to all of this year's Mortgage Stars! We are thankful for your initiative and community impact.

NMLS# 402171 MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE • MAY/JUNE 2021

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Patty Garriga

Sr Director Product Management Core Mortgage Equifax How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? I initially joined Equifax in an IT Project Manager role where I worked with technology products focused on fraud prevention and the retail banking industry. I transitioned to the mortgage solutions group and was able to incorporate much of that experience into specific products helping to solve problems unique to the mortgage industry. I found mortgage to be more exciting because of the varied and ever changing needs facing lenders and consumers throughout the entire process from origination through servicing. It is very fulfilling to be part of a digital transformational journey that is changing the lending experience from the borrower, to the lender, to the investor. I enjoy my work because I get to interface with an extremely diverse group of fantastic and intelligent people on a daily basis. Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? I have been very fortunate to have several great mentors throughout my career, but one that stands out is a female colleague who has been in the mortgage industry for over 30 years. She will forever have a special place in my heart for her patience, guidance and willingness to share her knowledge.

Talita Guerrero Co-Founder Right Key Mortgage

How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? I got in when I was about 18. I speak Spanish and Portuguese so I originally got in to help a mortgage company with their clients that did not speak English. My motivation has and will always be helping others have financial success. It’s not just about purchasing a property but growing their wealth and financial independence. Since we opened Right Key Mortgage, my motivation has always been to educate the community on the power of real estate investment. I am also an investor and have created wealth through real estate so I love educating others on how to do the same. Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? Unfortunately this is a male dominated field so I have not had any female mentors but I know the importance on mentoring and I am very involved with investing in education and our youth. I was a mother at 16 and a high school drop out so not the ideal upbringing. Finding success was very difficult and required a lot of work and sacrifice but it is possible. Being a woman in this business is hard because this is a business that has no schedule or time off. So balancing a family while still trying to grow and compete with others that don’t have these disadvantages can wear you down but I have done it and so can everyone.

CONGRATULATIONS

DIXIE SANDERS 2 0 2 1 M O R T G A G E S TA R A W A R D W I N N E R You achieve excellence and make a difference through your talent, ambition, and philanthropy. You are a true leader at Homebridge, and in the mortgage industry. Congratulations on a well-deserved honor! – Your Homebridge Family

In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders. – Sheryl Sandberg

Equal Opportunity Lender - Homebridge Financial Services, Inc.; Corporate NMLS ID #6521 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org); 194 Wood Avenue South, 9th Floor, Iselin, NJ 08830; (866) 933-6342; Licensed in all states but UT. AZ Mortgage Banker License #922458; Licensed by the Dept. of Financial Protection and Innovation under the CA Residential Mortgage Lending Act; GA Residential Mortgage Licensee #22495; Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee; MA Mortgage Lender\Broker License #MC6521; MO branch: 1116 Remington Plaza, Suite A, Raymore, MO 64083 ; Licensed by the NJ Dept. of Banking and Insurance; Licensed Mortgage Banker – NYS Dept. of Financial Services, 152 Madison Ave., 23rd Floor, New York, NY 10016; RI Licensed Lender, RI Licensed Loan Broker; TX branch: 15301 Dallas Parkway, #900, Addison, TX 75001; WA Consumer Loan Company License #CL-6521. This is not an offer for extension of credit or a commitment to lend. 11/2020 Rev. 03.29.21 (0321-7350) LR# 2021-191

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Jodi Hall

President Nationwide Mortgage Bankers How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? I didn’t choose the mortgage industry, it chose me. I studied psychology as an undergrad and started my career as a drug and alcohol counselor. As my entrepreneurial spirit roared louder, I realized counseling wasn’t the path for me. My father and I always talked about starting a restaurant together, and so I became a small-town restaurant owner with my dad. While it was rewarding work, I knew deep down that I needed to get out of my small town, further my education and do something more meaningful. So, I began my MBA at John Carroll University, where I worked as a graduate assistant making a whopping $400 per month. I needed to supplement my income. AmeriQuest recruited me to become a loan officer. On day one I was handed a phone book and a training manual about 6 inches thick. I geeked out on loan programs for weeks and fine-tuned my approach for connecting with clients. Turned out I was good at mortgages and over time I became good at building relationships. I was hooked from the beginning. What keeps me motivated is the ability to do something I am good at, while also leading and mentoring the next generation of mortgage professionals who will run this industry beyond my time in the business.

Twyla Hankins

EVP of Operations American Financial Network, Inc. How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? A year out of high school and a recent transplant from Kentucky I was enrolled in college for accounting and landed a job at a Southern California mortgage company in the accounting department. A branch manager came in one day and asked the owner if he had anyone who wanted to learn loan processing, as the rates had just dropped from 21% to 19%. I raised my hand and moved to the branch to process FHA/ VA loans. Reflecting on that today, I know what a lucky break it really was. Today, four decades later, I can look back at a lengthy and satisfying career and see milestones achieved along the way as I climbed to my current position on the executive leadership team. Having four decades of experience in any field is an accomplishment! I am motivated to remain dedicated to mortgage lending because I enjoy the community aspect of the industry. As mortgage lenders, we help individuals and families to realize the American dream of homeownership. Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? I had wonderfully smart and talented women mentor me along the way. The majority of them chose to specialize in a department and serve as a leader in that capacity, and they did it very well. As a result, I learned loan processing, underwriting, closing, compliance, post-closing functions, and operations management from some of the most knowledgeable and talented women in the business.

Felisha Junge

Risha Kilaru

How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? I started when I was in college and I realized I love numbers and helping people. Mortgage lending was the perfect fit for me. The reason I stay is I make a huge impact on people’s everyday lives. I creatively structure their debt and home loan to accommodate their needs and wants.

Abigail Hart, a Guaranteed Rate Companies PR associate, shares what was behind Risha Kilaru’s nomination. She said Kilaru is a “formidable force” in the male-dominated mortgage industry.

Mortgage Lender GreenState Credit Union

Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? I am blessed with strong female relationships! I learn from multiple resources. Although I have had an opportunity to have a strong female mentor I hope to provide mentorship to younger women pursuing careers in mortgage lending and banking. What do you hope to see in the future of the mortgage industry? I hope the rates stay low for a while. Just kidding. I would love to see equal opportunity housing. I know a lot of companies especially GreenState are encouraging this. Seeing more first-time homebuyer programs would be advantageous. I would also love to promote more single mothers in home ownership. What do you consider your greatest success? I would consider motherhood as my greatest success.

Guaranteed Rate Senior Vice President of Mortgage Lending

Rish has been named the Top Female Loan Originator in the country three years in a row. She is also an “incredible mentor” for women looking to succeed in mortgage lending. “Risha leads by example with inspiring dedication, a strong will to succeed and unmatched achievement within the housing industry. With over a decade of experience, Risha Kilaru is changing the face of the mortgage industry,” Hart said in her nomination. In 2019, Kilaru funded more than $329 million in total loan volume, ranking as the fourth top producer at Guaranteed Rate, and according to “Scotsman Guide,” 12th for total funded volume in the country. Risha is also actively involved with the Guaranteed Rate Origination of Women (GROW), an organization that provides employees with mentorship as well as a place to learn, exchange ideas and generate increased empowerment and confidence. “Through her success, Risha has set a new standard for women in the mortgage industry and serves as an incredible example for women looking to succeed within the field.

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Megan Marsh

Co-Founder Keystone Alliance Mortgage Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? I have had a handful of female mentors in my life, who have made a significant impact on the person I am today. My first two were my high school and college coaches, who taught me to be strong, independent and to always be your best, but while helping others around you and always doing what is right. These women created the foundation that has led to the culture we have at our company and I use many of the teambuilding activities that I learned from them. We absolutely need more women to lead and mentor other women in our industry. We need to reach across retail and broker lines and support and get to know one another. We need to recruit more women into the field. What do you hope to see in the future of the mortgage industry? There are a few changes that I am very passionate about: 1. More diversity & inclusion accountability - Everyone talks about having more diverse teams but I have yet to see it at any corporate offices I have visited or been a part of. The only way it is going to happen is if we can create accountability and visibility of what is really present at the top of organizations. 2. More women loan officers starting their own businesses and finding ways to be top producers while raising a family. I have had many women ask me how I have started my business while having four kids. They couldn’t build big pipelines when every few years they had to take three months off to have a child. I want to see some things change around this.

Christy Moss

Head of Sales and Marketing FormFree

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Lauren Morris

Loan Officer Academy Mortgage Corporation How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? I accidentally became a lender. When I was 21, I applied as a temp. The temp company sent me to an interview that lasted 5 minutes. I would eventually work for that privately owned mortgage company for 16 years. I quickly moved from receptionist, to doc drawer, to processor (which I loved). One day my three loan officers who I processed for moved to another company. The owner sat me down and said, “Well I am not trying to pressure you, but I don’t have anyone for you to process for, you mentioned getting licensed and now is the time.” That was 2004. I have been producing since 2005 and I absolutely love being a lender. I thrive off of learning and constant change in our industry, problem solving, helping first time buyers, saving loans that other lenders couldn’t close. I never give up and I don’t take no for an answer. Since coming to Academy, we have become a team of four loan officers and two transaction coordinators. Academy has given me the room to grow my business and expand our footprint. Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? I had two very strong female lenders to learn from at my first employer. The owner of the company was self-made. She went from being a loan officer to privately owning multiple locations. Everyone who knows her understands her integrity, honesty and work ethic is what drives her. She taught me to listen to a client’s motivation, understand and not be afraid to tell a client it was not worth doing the loan.

Erin McCarthy Naylor, Esq. Chief Operations Officer Direct Mortgage Loans

How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? Like most, I didn’t plan on going into the mortgage industry. When I was 22, I had a chance conversation with the director of marketing at my credit union, which led to a position promoting financial products and services to its members. From there, I transitioned into a role at GE Capital, where I received comprehensive training on the sales and loan manufacturing side of mortgage lending and that’s when I became enamored with the industry. When I joined Fannie Mae in 2008, my eyes were opened to how impactful the housing industry is to the US economy. The understanding I developed of how home builders, mortgage lenders, banks and professionals like myself all contribute to building a strong economy is a huge motivator.

How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? After being a prosecutor in Baltimore City I was presented an opportunity to prosecute mortgage fraud for the State of Maryland under a Department of Justice Grant for two years. When that role ended I was offered a role to join Direct Mortgage Loans to oversee compliance. Over the last seven years my role has grown to my current role, which includes oversight of our operations department. I am motivated to stay in the mortgage industry for a multitude of reasons to include a desire to help others. In my role, I am able to help our operations staff, our sales staff and in the big picture our borrowers. To help our operations staff, we focus on creating a culture where our staff feels valued, empowered and that they have a voice within the company.

Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? I’ve had several amazing female mentors. My first boss and mentor was Kim Wall at Georgia United Credit Union, who taught me how to effectively build relationships within the organization. During my time at Fannie Mae, two women — Jennifer Whip and Beth Millstein — helped me take ownership over the direction of my career. Marcia Davies at the MBA also has been influential in challenging me to stake claim to my professional path.

Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? I have been fortunate to work with other strong women in the mortgage industry, as half of the members of the executive leadership team at Direct Mortgage Loans are women. Additionally, many of our top branch managers are female. This heavy presence of women in leadership has allowed for mentorship, collaboration and comradeship.

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Veronica Nguyen

Kimberly Palmer

Co-founder and Executive Vice President BeSmartee How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? My career journey in the mortgage industry was a serendipitous event. My nowhusband, and then-boyfriend, Tim Nguyen, asked me to help him set up appraisal appointments for his small business. This was back when I was in college and had no clue what it meant to get a mortgage! Tim’s business experienced fast growth. And, in two shakes of a lamb’s tail, he became so busy that he needed to hire a team to help with the increase in volume. I told him that he needed an office and he asked me if I could manage it. From that day forward, we became a team, entering into a committed partnership—both in business and in life. What do you hope to see in the future of the mortgage industry? I would like to see more women involved in the boardroom. I believe we are working toward this and believe women can bring value to any company, whether big or small. I would also like to continue to see more awareness being generated about our industry so that we can attract new talent. What do you consider your greatest success? There are so many things I could mention here. Being an immigrant woman, I have faced many adversities, but — through passion, persistence and a lot of hard work — I have also experienced many wins that I am very grateful for.

Executive Vice President of Operations LeaderOne Financial How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? Growing up, my favorite day of the year was “Take your kid to work day.” I looked forward to it all year when I would miss school and spend the day with my mom at her office observing what she did every day as a loan officer’s assistant to a top producer. I spent every second trying to learn what it was that she did. When she went home and talked business with my dad, who happens to be a mortgage loan originator, I would listen for jargon I recognized from my annual day at the office. Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? I have had several female mentors, but the one that stands out the most is my mom. She spent her life mentoring me on how to be a good person and treat everyone equally. She taught me patience, honesty and remaining true to yourself. She taught me everything I needed to know in operations to get out there and start thriving. She gave me the confidence I needed by positive coaching and feedback. To this day, I seek her advice. What do you consider your greatest success? My greatest success is my ability to balance a family with excelling in a career that I love.

Felisha Junge as one of the Top Women in Mortgage. on this much deserved honor!

Felisha Junge #1 Mortgage Lender in the State of Iowa

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Denise Panza

Senior Mortgage Banker Total Mortgage How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? Upon receiving my teaching degree I was driven to work with students in the classroom. Therefore, I left Boston to try and land a teaching job in Brooklyn, NY. I wanted to teach where I was raised and felt this was a great opportunity to do so. Unfortunately, there was a major teaching freeze back in 1993 and I was not able to find a job. Shortly after that I was pregnant at 23 and was now a single mom. I had to take on working while also raising my son and doing what it took to make life emotionally and financially secure for him. I grabbed the first position available in the paper at a mortgage company in Brewster, NY as a post closer. My father owned a mortgage company in Long Island so the field was not foreign to me. Truth be told, I did always have a crush on the business. The rest is history. It’s now 26 years later and I’m still in the mortgage business. It’s exhilarating and I love every moment of it! I’m one of the lucky ones that is really passionate about what she does and enjoys it thoroughly. My love for the business is what keeps me motivated year after year. Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? I never had a female mentor. When I started it was predominately dominated by men. Nevertheless, I put my foot to the plow and learned as much as possible. As of today, there are many women in the industry and I love to see them thriving! This is exciting and empowering to me.

Joni Pilgrim

Chief Executive Officer NAN - Nationwide Appraisal Network How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? In 2003, I was hired in a sales role working for an independent appraiser, which is coincidently how I met my business partner, Cari Pinkert. We both ended up getting hired for the same role and instantly became a dream team. After about a year of working there, Cari and I went out for drinks after work, wrote our business plan on a bar napkin and our baby, All Star Appraisal Services made its debut in 2004. We worked out of a garage - in Florida - during the summer. Two years later we were nationwide. Fast-forward to 2008 and the crash – we went from a non-regulated industry to a now highly regulated industry. We transitioned from a company of convenience to a company of compliance and our entire business model had changed. We rebranded from All Star Appraisal Services to Nationwide Appraisal Network in 2008 and the rest is history. I love being a part of the process of helping people achieve the American dream of homeownership. It is what keeps me motivated to stay. Have you had any great female mentors? Early on in my career, I engaged with a consulting firm (which was also a women-owned business) to help with the direction of the business and these two women, Bronwyne and Susan – proved to be great mentors who are still highly involved with our company.

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Wendy Peel

Vice President of Sales and Marketing ReverseVision How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? My background is in SaaS technology. It wasn’t until a little over six years ago when a recruiter reached to me about a position at ReverseVision that I was drawn into the mortgage industry. What keeps me motivated day-in and day-out is building opportunities for people to retire gracefully. Retirement requires wealth, and home equity is many Americans’ largest source of wealth. My work is focused on supporting ReverseVision’s product strategy to build, train and market the technology infrastructure lenders need to incorporated Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) and private reverse loans into their lending portfolios. Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? My most influential mentor has been my mother, who was an entrepreneur back in the ‘70s. She built a small telephone company with my dad, so I grew up listening to executive business decision making at the dinner table. As a female executive in a maledominated industry, I believe in helping other women succeed by creating direct opportunities for them to excel and grow. Brene Brown’s books “Daring Greatly” and, more recently, “Dare to Lead” have been hugely influential on me and I try to encourage women to lean into their authentic selves on their personal and professional journeys.

Amanda Richardson

Senior Product Development Manager Genworth Mortgage Insurance How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? I began my career in financial services in operations in 2009, at the height of the financial crisis. In 2013, I transitioned to product management when the hiring manager took a chance and hired me in a junior role. Since then, I’ve been a proud member of the product team. Whether it’s bringing a new product to market, supporting the day-to-day management of the company’s offerings, collaborating with other teams, or delivering a new product update to a lender directly, I find motivation in the innovative ways we work with each other to solve problems and provide solutions to our customers every day. As a people leader, I also draw motivation from working with my team directly and seeing their growth firsthand. Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? I’d say more important than a female “mentor” has been my fellow female colleagues – my peers, other female leaders, and friendly coworkers that I’ve had a chance to work with and work for. My informal panel has helped shape me into the woman I am today. I have participated in Genworth’s mentor program for several years now, both as a mentee and a mentor. As a mentor, I am often paired with young women earlier in their careers and the importance of that mentor relationship early on is critical to positioning our next generation of female leaders.


Dawn Rudie

Nicole Rueth

Mortgage Manager Westby Co-Op Credit Union How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? I began in the mortgage industry as a mortgage loan officer immediately after college. My degree is in finance with a real estate concentration. I have always had a passion for real estate and financing homes, especially new home construction. My first employer was a mortgage banking company that exclusively originated and serviced mortgages for many different credit unions. This is where my eyes were truly opened to the credit union industry, philosophy, and way of doing business and I knew I wanted to be a part of this movement. I have discovered an immense sense of pride and accomplishment helping individuals purchase, build, or refinance homes, but an even greater satisfaction when I see credit union membership at work helping members in our communities. Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? Deb T., a past client of mine, managed mortgage operations for a Top 10 national credit union. She always maintained a fun, positive attitude and possessed in depth knowledge of mortgage efficiencies and operations. She was also very “approachable” which I feel is an important trait of a leader. Denise B., a friend and past co-worker, is another female mentor.

Producing Branch Manager Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation’s “The Rueth Team” How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? After the birth of my three children, I wanted to step out of the corporate traveling schedule so I went to work for a friend to reinvigorate and redesign his mortgage company. Here is where I found my passion. What keeps me motivated daily is striving to find creative and lasting ways to educate current and future homeowners so they can make the best choices possible for them and build their portfolio. I truly believe that women should feel empowered by their passion for their career, confident in their desire to work or return to work, and in their desire to build a business and leave a legacy. Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? I’m particularly grateful to Sarah Middleton for her impact on my career. Sarah recruited me to join her when she moved to Fairway. Sarah would challenge me to find my “why,” as in, my passion for going to work every day. She would constantly ask me what I was building. It was the first time I looked at my life and asked, “What difference am I making in what I’m doing?” It resulted in a huge shift in my perspective. I went from closing $13 million annually to over $100 million in four years by remaining true and disciplined to my convictions.

CONGRATULATIONS MICHELLE BRUTO DA COSTA 2 0 2 1 M O R T G A G E S TA R A W A R D W I N N E R You change lives with your infectious energy and sincere desire to help people. Your impact is creating a legacy that will far outlive your career as a Mortgage Loan Originator. Congratulations on a well-deserved honor! – Your Homebridge Family

If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, – Dolly Parton then, you are an excellent leader.

Equal Opportunity Lender - Homebridge Financial Services, Inc.; Corporate NMLS ID #6521 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org); 194 Wood Avenue South, 9th Floor, Iselin, NJ 08830; (866) 933-6342; Licensed in all states but UT. AZ Mortgage Banker License #922458; Licensed by the Dept. of Financial Protection and Innovation under the CA Residential Mortgage Lending Act; GA Residential Mortgage Licensee #22495; Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee; MA Mortgage Lender\Broker License #MC6521; MO branch: 1116 Remington Plaza, Suite A, Raymore, MO 64083 ; Licensed by the NJ Dept. of Banking and Insurance; Licensed Mortgage Banker – NYS Dept. of Financial Services, 152 Madison Ave., 23rd Floor, New York, NY 10016; RI Licensed Lender, RI Licensed Loan Broker; TX branch: 15301 Dallas Parkway, #900, Addison, TX 75001; WA Consumer Loan Company License #CL-6521. This is not an offer for extension of credit or a commitment to lend. 11/2020 Rev. 03.29.21 (0321-7350) LR# 2021-192 MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE • MAY/JUNE 2021

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Dixie Sanders

Cathleen Schreiner Gates

Loan Officer Homebridge Financial Services

President SimpleNexus

How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? I got in the field by accident. I took a position as a receptionist and learn as much as I could from my colleagues and made it my career. I started in the operations side of the business and stayed there for 10 plus years. After that, I switched to origination side so that I would have more of direct impact on borrowers. Helping people keeps me motivated. Getting the pictures of families outside of their home and seeing the excitement on the faces reminds why I do what I do. Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? Over the last 15 years, I have been fortunate to have two great female mentors that kept me on track. Kendra Cooke is the head of the real estate division at The Core Training. Her overall great attitude, work ethic, discipline, and ability to coach is unbelievable. Rhonda Kuchik, a branch manager for Cross Country Mortgage in Indianapolis, has the awesome systems and structure and oversight that I do not have. I coached for The Core Training for 14 years and it was always amazing to me how much I learned from my students. I trust they learned as much from me. The joy of seeing them succeed was immeasurable. 100%WomenOwnedACTAppraisalR3-OL.pdf

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10:30 AM

How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? Interestingly, my background is in enterprise software and software-as-a-service (SaaS) sales and consulting. A little over six years ago, an Ellie Mae (now ICE Mortgage Technology) recruiter approached me about bringing a fresh perspective to their scaling of the organization. Within 10 minutes of talking to Jonathan Corr, Ellie Mae’s then CEO, I realized that my previous work disrupting marketplace segments with software was exactly what the mortgage industry needed. Once I saw the potential to make a huge impact through automation and process efficiencies, I was hooked. In fact, the enormous potential of mortgage technology is what keeps me going. There’s still a lot of innovative technologies that can be leveraged to improve the mortgage industry. Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? Early in my career I was fortunate that my first boss and mentor was a woman. She was a generation ahead of me and had experience bumping against the glass ceiling. Back in the ‘80s she challenged the conventional thinking around women’s leadership and encouraged professional ambition. She was a huge influence and to this day, the only female boss I’ve had.


C O N G R AT U L AT I O N S T O

Kimberly Palmer M O R T G A G E S U P E R S TA R !

Kimberly Palmer

E X E C U T I V E V P O F O P E R AT I O N S L E A D E R O N E E M P LOY E E /OW N E R LeaderOne Financial is pleased to see Kimberly Palmer’s efforts recognized as a Mortgage Star! Having been with LeaderOne for 8 years and in the mortgage industry for 18 years, Kim is responsible for spearheading and implementing our operations department and procedures. She has done an amazing job of increasing efficiencies and ease of process for our team, our referral partners, and our clients. Truly an integral part of our LeaderOne Family!

2021

MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE • MAY/JUNE 2021

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SPONSORED CONTENT

Recruitment Recruit, Train and Retain in a Virtual Environment PART TWO: TRAIN

What is your number one tip for training during this remote environment?

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My advice would be: Don’t let best get in the way of better. The available training resources that your company is using to train new hires might Lindsey Bernard VP National Training not look the & Support Team best in terms of quality, but it’s the content that truly matters, and your new hire needs it in a format that they can quickly access, learn from and then execute in their role. Flexibility is another key factor when it comes to this philosophy. In this remote working environment, people need to be more flexible with their schedules. To help accommodate this reality, we’ve invested in a robust on-demand training library that allows new hires to complete the training on their own schedule. We believe this will eventually allow us to pivot from the traditional instructor-led approach to more innovative e-learning methods moving forward.

Because of the pandemic, a lot of companies had to re-evaluate their technology and training strategies so their business would continue to thrive. With our transition to utilizing Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Skype, we have been able to eliminate the obstacles that were making it challenging to properly train remotely. As technology continues to improve, so will the virtual training and onboarding experience. This “new normal” has also helped most new hires to be more productive without the distractions that an office environment could pose at times. In the office, we could interact and notice if someone was having a challenging day, or step in and assist when needed more quickly. Working virtually, it’s harder to stay connected, so as a leadership team we must step up our game to make sure all our new hires feel like they are part of a team. To help overcome this hurdle, we suggest making sure our webcams are turned on, which makes our training sessions more personal. We have also built team chats and encourage new hires to talk to one another and ask each other questions, which fosters connections and relationships and ensures that no trainee is left behind.

Despite the circumstances, 2020 was a great year of growth and retention for Stearns, so I’m focusing on keeping the momentum Jennifer Clemerson strong going VP Operations into this new year. The way to accomplish this is to continue to support our new hires by being accessible, staying in communication, and making it feel like we’re in an office environment while working remotely. It wasn’t an ideal situation going fully remote, but we were able to adapt and see what worked, what didn’t, and how we could do things better. As we look to the future, we’re continuously evolving and innovating our training practices to best serve our new talent. Getting creative with training sessions and content is essential to keep people engaged and we plan on improving this facet of our operation in 2021 by being more interactive, conducting more live demos, and eliminating distractions that come with working remotely.

To learn more about Stearns visit us at StearnsWholesale.com or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Sheridan Whipple

VP of Business Systems Analysis Cherry Creek Mortgage How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? After getting to know the real estate industry through my time at RE/MAX Corporate as a franchise development consultant, I jumped at the opportunity to work in the closing department for Cherry Creek Mortgage. There is something about helping people find and afford their dream homes that always brings a smile to my face. Working now for our technology team has also provided me with the chance to learn and grow as both a manager and as a systems analyst. Creating a feature that saves someone time or makes their job easier is very satisfying. Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? Executive leaders Margaret Kelly and Diane Kreider were both wonderful mentors at RE/MAX. They taught me the importance of effective communication, patience and being able to stand up for my viewpoint without being intimidated. I have also learned a lot from some wonderful women that I have worked alongside at Cherry Creek Mortgage. Nicole Hanrahan, our VP of production support, specifically comes to mind. She is truly Superwoman and wears many hats at Cherry Creek Mortgage. She also has a tremendous talent for reaching a balance between family and work that I strive to achieve as well.

April Tracy

Regional Manager Cross Country Mortgage How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? I had two cousins that were working at a big streamline shop. They talked me into coming over. Honestly this job can be stressful but on closing day when you have clients that are so grateful it’s a wonderful feeling! Have you had any great female mentors? I am actually in a mentorship program right now with Lizy Hoeffer. I think it is very important for us to help each other and build each other up. What do you hope to see in the future of the mortgage industry? It would be nice to see more women in leadership roles. What do you consider your greatest success? My marriage. Without my husband I couldn’t do what I do. I am blessed to work with him as well. He understands the long hours and is very supportive. Greg Tracy, a Realtor at Impower Real Estate, had this to say in his nomination: April has built a company, office, and team of professionals with the philosophy of work/life balance and the notion that happy people are more productive people. She created a meditation/relaxation room in the office, allows the staff to bring their dogs to work, and created a concierge program dedicated to helping the loan officers grow their business and develop relationships. MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE • MAY/JUNE 2021

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Corey Tess Trujillo Chief Maven Synergy Maven, LLC

How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? My background and focus in film and television prepared me for the fast-paced and often relentless mortgage industry pace. I have always loved storytelling and creativity - so when my experience as a producer of large-scale events landed me a role in finance and banking conferences, it was a natural fit. When I started my creative agency in 2016, my network of mortgage and banking connections allowed me to work with some amazing individuals. Like most people, I got into the mortgage industry by accident but stayed because I fell in love with the community. My motivation comes from creating ideas and being able to see them implemented and return results quickly. It is very fulfilling to see my work be so successful. In addition to that, I have to say that the caliber and attitude in this industry are another reason I am motivated to continue growing my home lending career. I find that hard working, innovative, gregarious, and creative humans are drawn to the industry and make working, socializing, and celebrating as part of it, a joy. Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? From my first foray into marketing and events at Disney to my boot camp of small business with the owner of an AKC Show management company, I have been allowed to work with women who mentored me, gave me room to make mistakes, learn, discover and grow in a safe space.

Marcia L. Volin

Loan Officer V. I. P. Mortgage, Inc. How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? I started in this field in 1986. I fell into the position with a job as a loan processor and after four years moved into origination. What has kept me in this industry for all of these years is the satisfaction of helping people get into homes. I love working with first-time homebuyers and the excitement they have owning their first home. I also love that so many past clients now have me helping their kids with their first home purchase. Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? I have actually not had many great female mentors. Most of them have been male but have regardless been great mentors. The people I work for feel very strongly about the sense of community and have a true desire to help people. Not just about the business. What do you hope to see in the future of the mortgage industry? I hope to see more value placed on the knowledge of an originator and less movement towards everything being computerized. The industry is moving away from the personal aspect of the origination of a loan. Automation really only works for a small group of well-qualified borrowers and leaves out many people that need help.

Jonice Gray Tucker Partner Buckley LLP

How did you get into this field? Indecision ultimately led to the opportunity of a lifetime. I went to college on a meritbased biomedical scholarship, planning to become a medical doctor. Along the way, I changed my mind. Ultimately, I applied to law school, but after getting in, I questioned whether this was the right decision. I deferred my admission and matriculated a year later, taking advice (perhaps accompanied by a shove!) from my father who held the strong view that a law degree could provide many pathways and opportunities inside and outside of the law. He was right. In September 2001, I joined Skadden Arps. One of my first cases was to assist on a landmark Federal Trade Commission mortgage servicing enforcement action. That FTC enforcement action was followed by several more in which we served as defense counsel, and nearly a decade later the regulatory landscape for mortgage servicing had been forever changed, with new rules and expectations set by these and other actions. These actions were just a few of the many that I was able to work on as defense counsel, as the first decade of the 2000s was punctuated by many extraordinary development in mortgage origination and servicing, including the subprime boom, the Great Recession, and the foreclosure crisis. A mortgage banker lawyer was born by chance because I was at the right place, at the right time — a watershed period in mortgage history. Have you had any great female mentors? One of my greatest mentors has been Patrice Ficklin, director of fair lending for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Renee Westrick

Retail Mortgage Loan Coordinator Manager MiMutual Mortgage How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Michigan State University and was working at a local hospital. While at the little league field with my son, one of the owners of the Michigan Mutual approached me and asked if I would be interested in coming to work for them because they heard that I had excellent organizational qualities and they have been looking for someone. Intrigued by the offer I met them for an interview despite having no mortgage experience. My current position at the time was becoming mundane so the challenge of a new opportunity was exciting to me. Here I am, 19 years later and still learning something new every day! There is no one aspect of my position that keeps me motivated as each day presents new challenges, successes, and learning experiences which is what I love about my job. I embrace the satisfaction of knowing that my work makes a difference and is vital to getting the loan from origination to closing. What do you hope to see in the future of the mortgage industry? I would like to see more focus on the back-office efficiencies. I think it would be a better investment for our company in the end and increase the speed of closing a mortgage, which in turn will increase customer satisfaction. MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE • MAY/JUNE 2021

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GREAT EVENTS START AT AMBIZ MEDIA LIVE, IN PERSON 2021 SHOWS

MAY 5

Mid South Mortgage Expo Memphis, TN

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MAY 11

Motor City Mortgage Expo Detroit, MI

MAY 18

JUNE

Texas 10-11 Mortgage New England Roundup / SA Mortgage San Antonio, Expo TX Mohegan Sun, CT

JUNE 15

Great Northwest Mortgage Expo Portland, OR

JUNE 22 Chicago Mortgage Originators Expo Chicago, IL

JULY 6

Ultimate Mortgage Expo New Orleans, LA

JULY 13

Carolinas Connect Mortgage Expo Charlotte, NC

40 ORIGINATOR CONNECT MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2019 40 MORTGAGE BANKER | JANUARY 2021 www.mortgageconferences.com www.mortgagewomenmagazine.com

JULY 22

Arizona Mortgage Expo Phoenix, AZ

AUG 3

NY Mortgage Expo Suffern, NY

AUG 12

CA Mortgage Expo San Diego, CA


The Originator Connect Network is the nation’s largest coalition of mortgage conferences, reaching more mortgage originators in person than any other organization. Coast to coast, we offer many opportunities for companies to reach the front-line sales and origination professionals critical to you success. There’s nothing quite like standing faceto-face with potential new clients. At American Business Media, we produce some of the most successful and largest business-to-business conferences and trade shows in the nation. Visit www.mortgageconferences.com for a full listing of our shows and links to register your company as a sponsor, exhibitor or attendee.

SUN O OAST M O R TG AG E E X P O

AUG 20-22

Originator Connect Las Vegas, NV

SEPT 2

Texas Mortgage Roundup Dallas, TX

SEPT 9 CA Mortgage Expo North Glendale, CA

SEPT 14 Great Northwest Mortgage Expo Seattle, WA

OCT 7

Colorado Mortgage Summit Denver, CO

OCT 12

CA Mortgage Expo San Francisco, CA

OCT 19

Suncoast Mortgage Expo Tampa, FL

NOV 4

Utah Mortgage Expo Park City, UT

NOV 18

Texas Mortgage Roundup Houston, TX

DEC 8

OCN California Mortgage Holiday Party Irvine, CA

DEC 9

CA Mortgage Expo Irvine, CA

www.mortgageconferences.com MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE • MAY/JUNE 2021

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ADVERTORIAL

THOUGHT LEADER Erika Franks – Owner, President of ACT Appraisal, Inc. 100% woman owned. ACT Appraisal, Inc., is a nationwide AMC serving the entire U.S. and Puerto Rico. ACT Appraisal has been in service since 1998 and Erika Franks, Owner and President, was the original ACT employee after the company was founded. ACT has a long history of appraisal management Services. It started with Erika as a coordinator and her philosophy was simple: Offer the ERIKA FRANKS best possible service to clients, period. Be available for the mortgage professionals 24/7/365. Over the 20 plus years ACT has been in business, the industry has seen many changes. From polaroid picture appraisals to a completely paperless environment, Erika has excelled at keeping things simple and adding value to an already competitive edge for her clients. The onset of HVCC and Dodd-Frank created the mindset that the only constant in life is change, more so for the mortgage industry and their vendors than ever before. Appraisal portals, processes, appraisal software, delivery methods, postdelivery issues, all were implemented in stride by ACT and all of Erika’s staff. Erika’s ability to adapt and expand upon her appraisal process expertise, proved to be

an invaluable asset to her clients over the past 20+ years. ACT Appraisal, Inc., a 100% woman owned business, prides itself on keeping processes simple, being an equal opportunity employer, adapting to new technologies for all conventional and FHA products, focusing on compliance, with zero tolerance, and listening to and empowering all employees. ACT Appraisal manages the entire residential appraisal process, utilizing a network of certified appraisers nationwide, to complete assignments from an array of mortgage lending institutions. Along with keeping up with technologies and integrations, ACT has created a “Call First” program that the employees have been effectively utilizing for many years now. The “Call First” program separates us from the competition. When the order is placed, we reach out to the contact to make them aware of our process. We “Call First”. We push the appraisal along and we “manage” the process from submission, to completion, and into the lender’s hands. Excellent communication, “Call First” program, dedicated team contacts, personal service, the ability to select the highest ranked appraiser for the product. These are stalwarts at ACT Appraisal, Inc. To contact Erika Franks, email Erika@actappraisal.com.

www.actappraisal.com

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PH: 888-377-8901


Suha Beidas Zehl

Chief Analytics Officer Equity Prime Mortgage (EPM) How did you get into this field? What keeps you motivated to stay? In 2002, after living overseas for 10 years, I returned and could not find a suitable position (I had been the director of institutional research at a higher education institution). I joined a start-up niche-market home financing company as a part-time, data entry person; and I eventually became their chief information officer. What keeps me motivated is twofold: First, I am passionate about helping families achieve their American reality (not dream) of becoming homeowners because we know the impact that has; second, I am energized by the amazing opportunities our industry can leverage with technology and data to create a customer-centric, frictionless journey to that reality. Have you had any great female mentors? What is the importance of mentoring and is this something that you focus on? I have been extremely fortunate to have had (and continue to have) exceptional mentors - both male and female. Each mentorship relationship is different - but at its core, it is a relationship! A great mentor builds the mentee’s confidence and ability to face the myriad of challenges they face (give them a fish / teach them to fish). It’s not about telling someone what to do; it’s helping them figure it out by asking questions and listening.

It’s the reason I started In the Spotlight with Suha, a platform that recognizes rising stars in our industry, as well as the reason I became a NAMMBA Visionary Ambassador and joined the Board of Directors of Women with Vision. Mentorship matters; it is critical to success, and it is incumbent upon us, those in leadership positions, to make ourselves available and to help nurture and promote those who will follow. What do you hope to see in the future of the mortgage industry? We need more women to lean in, speak out, and most importantly, to lead! We need to see more women break the ceiling and rise into senior leadership and the C-Suite roles. Emerging leadership roles present new opportunities for women. For example, in 2012, there was only a handful of Chief Data or Analytics Officers. Today, leveraging big data and analytics has become a competitive advantage, giving rise to these new roles. The same is true for leadership roles in diversity and inclusions, innovation, privacy, strategy, customer experience, and brand and reputation. As our industry evolves through digital transformation and disruption, demographic changes, and macroeconomic forces, I hope to see a significant shift that supports the inclusion of women in the highest leadership roles in these strategic areas. What do you consider your greatest success? I would say raising two amazing boys. I was fortunate to marry the love of my life and he came with two young boys who light up my every day. They are young men now who are so inspirational to me and I am so grateful that I was able to play a role in their development and transformation.

neenav@anmtg.com

773 . 305 . 7037

THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT. This is not a commitment to lend. A and N Mortgage Services, Inc. is an Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee and Equal Housing Lender. 1945 N. Elston Ave. Chicago, IL 60642 p: 773.305.LOAN (5626) ANmtg.com NMLS No. 19291 IL MB.0006638. Serving IL, IN, IA, FL, MI, MN, WI, TX. Texas Recovery Fund. Offer of credit subject to credit approval. For licensing information, visit https://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org and https://www.anmtg.com/company-info/licensing/. Neena Vlamis NMLS No. 37370. MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE • MAY/JUNE 2021

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Mortgage Moms By ASHLEY GRAVANO

MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE Contributing Writer

For Love or Money? Likely none of us wanted to be in the mortgage business when we were kids. We wanted to be something different or something that did not necessarily result in a career. For me it was a dancer, like the backup dancers on stage or on Broadway in the Big Apple. Well, that didn’t happen. I was 19 years old and waitressing at Bertucci’s and a friend said, “you need to come work with me at PHH Mortgage.” I laughed of course and said, “what do I know about mortgages?” and her response was, “you’ll learn!” So, there I was slinging pizzas and I figured why not. I can still pursue the dreams! After six short months of working in the PHH mailroom, like Michael J. Fox in Secret of My Success, I fell in love with the hustle, the people, and the culture. It was a family. We all felt the same way. Every day I woke up excited to swipe my badge. I learned so much and met so many great people that I still call family. I fell in love with the opportunities in front of me, putting aside the passions of the younger me. Here I am now 22 years later having conversations with my kids: I tell them regularly to not settle. Follow your heart, have balance. You can have a career and still follow dreams. Although dancing didn’t pan out for me professionally, I still dance at the club, a wedding, or my living room. The me today is happy that I was fortunate enough to have found a new passion that happens to be rewarding in so many different aspects.

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Ashley Gravano

BRITANY LUTH

Finance of America Reverse LLC SVP of Best Practices Did I expect to be in the mortgage industry when I was growing up? Definitely not. Is this where I want to be now? A resounding 100 percent! From the time I began high school, I have always had a passion for All. Of. The. Creative. Things. My first career choice was interior design. In fact, I was pursuing that during college when I got started in the mortgage industry almost two decades ago. Since then, my mortgage career has progressed, and it’s been my primary focus and joy. I love the ever-changing and adaptive nature of the industry. There is always something new to learn. Plus, it keeps me on my toes! I have also been blessed to work for most of my career at the same amazing company that values its employees and continually advocates their pursuit of their passions, even if that route takes them somewhere else. I leverage my interior design passion and skills by remodeling homes, taking on occasional interior design projects, and featuring my work on social media pages that I created to share my passions and talents. My approach enables me to control how and when I feed my creative spirit. It also allows me to own


something that is just “mine.” It provides me with a rewarding outlet to do what I love while pursuing my creative dreams and supporting my family. I also somehow find the time to be a mom to three (very wild) boys, all under the age of 4, which complicates things. As I write this, they are screaming and jumping on the couch next to me, so believe me, I get it! When it comes to advice, one perspective I have gained over the years is that you cannot do everything all the time. However, I believe it is possible to have all the things you want.

Having a 3-year-old and a 6-month-old I’m far from an expert on mom life, but I do know that I will prioritize teaching them the importance of following your heart and staying true to yourself, not to aim for the highest paying job out there. Money is important, but if that is your only motivator it will never be enough.

HEIDI BELNAY

Reggora Partnership Manager BRITANY LUTH

Now, that may seem counter intuitive, but it really rings true for me. I believe that one must decide on a personal order of priorities. Fill the buckets of your life that are most important to you within your available bandwidth. So, for love or money (or family for that matter)? I think the answer to all is yes! If you find yourself all-in on one of those, you’re really missing out. Life is about balance. You can and should have them all. I chose a career that challenges and interests me and allows me to do something different every day. And when the stresses of a fast-paced industry get to me, I can feed my personal passion through my creative side.

An aha moment. LAUREN DOBIE

LAUREN DOBIE

The instructor explained that you should always be looking ahead at the road and never just one car ahead because when you look far enough ahead you can still see both while anticipating better for what is farther ahead. It is true, while growing up, I never ever dreamt that I would end up in the mortgage industry. But what I did dream of most, especially after losing my own mom as a teenager, was being a mom. I graduated college with a dual major in Psychology and Elementary Education.

Family First Funding LLC Marketing Director In my experience, the key is finding that perfect balance where you can love what you do while still building a strong career path. Was my dream job “marketing director of a mortgage company”? Definitely not, but I’ve always had a love for creativity, helping others, and problemsolving, all of which I’m able to do on a daily basis.

Barry Habib tells a story about a driving course where the instructor asked him where he typically looked as he drove. Barry said he looked at the car in front of him. The instructor set a water bottle on the ground and asked Barry to step back about 20 feet from it. He then asked Barry to look at the bottle. While looking at the bottle, he asked if Barry could see the road sign ahead. Barry said that he could not. Then he asked Barry to look at the road sign, and while looking at it if he could still see the bottle of water. Barry said yes! 

HEIDI BELNAY

Hey, I loved kids so why not spend all day with them. At the time it sounded like the dream job for me. In the end, I was not able to set up a life as a teacher that made sense with my true passion of becoming a mother myself. I love children, but what I wanted most was to have my own!

I majored in accounting in college and I had every intention of pursuing a career in it after graduation, but during my last semester I took on a marketing assistant role at a title company just to get my foot in the door somewhere. Not only did I not have a clue what title insurance was, but I had very little experience other than taking a graphic design course, so at the time the pay was minimal. I was later offered an accounting position for the same company but had really grown to love marketing and decided to stay put, even though it meant a lower paycheck and a lot of new skills to learn.

I never would have guessed that single decision would bring me to where I am today. My advice to others is if you’re struggling between doing what you love or taking the higher-paying job, always choose love! I am grateful every day to love what I do and be able to contribute income for my family.

In the end I can proudly say that I got it all. My dream job while at the same time being the mother of the sweetest, most highspirited little girl you will ever meet. And this year I have even been able to test out that teaching degree while she does virtual kindergarten side-by-side with me. Tell me that isn’t fate!

Like so many of us in this space, I landed here unexpectedly. But I am in my dream job. I get to work with and meet people from all over the country. I love to hear everyone’s stories and build relationships. I love each crazy new day (okay, well most of them!). This space is so unique in that it is such a big, yet still somehow a tight knit, community of people and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it. I cannot imagine myself anywhere else but right here.

MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE • MAY/JUNE 2021

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WE BELIEVE DIVERSITY MATTERS

At MBA, we believe diversity, equity and inclusion is more than just a business imperative. It’s essential to the future of our industry. We’re about bringing people together with different ideas, perspectives and experiences so that we can better serve the American people. It’s up to us to ensure everyone has a seat at the table. Join us on our mission to ensure the real estate finance industry reflects the diversity of the communities we serve. learn more at mba.org/diversity

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Event Agenda MAY 5, 2021 Memphis, TN

Conference & Sessions Mortgage Star Awards NMLS Renewal Course

Visit www.originatorconnectnetwork.com for a detailed agenda

MAY 5, 2021

9:30 am — 10:15 am Harnessing Your Superpower Presented by Paul Yatooma

8:00 am — 8:45 am Buy, Rehab, Repeat. Making More With Fix-and-Flip Loans Expand your reach to professional real estate investors as well as build better relationships with real estate agents by using fix-and-flip loans. Learn how these popular programs can boost your income and give you more product to offer your clients. Gain knowledge about our rental finance products fueled by products such as a 10-year investor-owned program that will be an outlet for your investors looking to buy or refinance rental properties. Learn the power of these loans and the ability to generate wealth in real estate investing. Presented by Temple View Capital

Discover how a 3-person brokerage firm grew, re-invented and went head-tohead with big banks to become America’s largest mortgage lender. Paul Yatooma, Vice President at Rocket Pro TPO, shares philosophies that you can use to shape innovation, client service, marketing, technology and partnerships. Learn what top brokers are doing to grow their business and how you can leverage your superpower. Bring your questions, because this is an interactive presentation.

8:00 am Registration Opens

8:45 am — 9:30 am Finding Opportunity in Reverse Presented by Ralph Rosynek Are you prepared for one of the fastest growing origination opportunities? Loan origination activities for 2019 continue to reflect the fastest growing homeowner demographic, as 10,000 or more Americans reach age 62, needing specific retirement planning and resource tools as components to a financial longevity strategy. Today’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage will be one of those important components for many. Are you prepared to address the lending needs of older Americans with loan programs, product education, staffing and a marketing plan? Do you need to fast track this demographic to increase your potential growth and marketshare objectives? Let’s expedite the discussion and begin a pathway to this growing origination opportunity. Presented by Ralph Rosynek, SVP of Moneyhouse.

10:15 am Exhibit Hall Opens Break with exhibitors 11:15 am — 12:00 pm The New Non-QM: How It Works For You Presented by Larry Mize Alternative lending is the fastest growing segment of the mortgage industry - come learn why. With a growth potential of upwards of $200 billion, it’s imperative to get involved today. By offering non-agency/ non-QM products, lenders can break into an untapped market, increase their reach and help millions of underserved American homebuyers find a mortgage that fits their needs – ultimately growing their business. Presented by Larry Mize, Regional VP of Sales at Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions. Learning Objectives include understanding: • What exactly is non-QM • Common misconceptions regarding non-QM • What programs are available to help challenging borrowers • How technology is helping make nonQM even easier to close • How to identify and reach potential non-QM borrowers • How to qualify and actively market to add volume • What to look for in a non-QM investor

12:00 pm Time With Exhibitors Spend some time with exhibitors in the exhibit hall. 12:45 pm — 1:45 pm Mortgage Star Awards Luncheon Open to all attendees of Mid-South Mortgage Expo, Mortgage Star Conference, and exhibitors.

MAY 6, 2021

9:00 am — 5:00 pm 8-Hour NMLS Renewal Course Presented by David Luna Must Pre-Register Registration opens at 8 am, class beings promptly at 9 am. Anyone not already registered at 9 am will not be allowed to take the class. Partial credit cannot be offered. Fulfill your complete 8 hour continuing education requirements for your NMLS license renewal! This is a separatelyticketed bonus offering. Make the most of your time this year by getting all your federally-required CE at the expo, in addition to a conference full of networking, education, opportunities and prizes. Continuing Education course provided by Mortgage Educators & Compliance. IMPORTANT: You must take the entire 8 hour class to qualify for credit. We cannot give partial credit. In addition to pre-registration, in order to qualify for admission to the free NMLS License Renewal Class, you must have attended the expo and had your Exhibit Hall passport marked by all exhibitors. Only one Exhibit Hall passport given per person. This 8-Hour NMLS Renewal Course is free with pre-registration. In addition, attendees must complete their Exhibit Hall Passports to earn eligibility. Learn more about free NMLS renewal. MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE • MAY/JUNE 2021

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Event Agenda MAY 4 – 6, 2021 Memphis, TN

Conference & Sessions Mortgage Star Awards NMLS Renewal Course

Visit www.mortgage-star.net for a detailed agenda

Tuesday, May 4th 1:00 pm — 2:00 pm Take Advantage Of Your Unfair Advantage Do you know what your Unfair Advantage is? In an industry where products and programs can be the same across the board, it is YOU that has to stand out and make the customer the hero of their story. To stand out you have to have an Unfair Advantage. Presented By Mary Kay Scully, Genworth Mortgage Insurance 2:00 pm — 3:00 pm Achieving Women: Panel Discussion Of Top Women Mortgage Leaders Join moderator Kelly Hendricks, managing editor of Mortgage Women Magazine, and our all-star lineup of accomplished women as we explore what obstacles women, especially, have to overcome to excel in the mortgage industry. Our panelists include Nicole Rueth, producing branch manager at Fairway Independent Mortgage; Ashley Abbondanza, SVP of operations at Single Source Property Solutions; and Suha Zehl, chief analytics officer at Equity Prime Mortgage. Presented By Kelly Hendricks, Mortgage Women Magazine 3:00 pm — 4:00 pm Bringing Out Your Inner Entrepreneur Susan Kerr, president of the National Association of Mortgage Women, will kick off this conversation encouraging everyone to find the passion and drive to, if not be a boss, act like one. Take control of your career, push yourself to be the best, and have the courage to take chances. Sometimes, that will propel you up the ranks in the company you work for. Sharing their experiences and wisdom with you will be

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Megan Marsh, founder of Keystone Alliance Mortgage; Jodi Hall, president of Nationwide Mortgage Bankers; and Talita Guerrero, coowner of Right Key Mortgage. ‍

Wednesday, May 5th 8:00 am — 8:45 am Buy, Rehab, Repeat. Making More With Fix-and-Flip Loans Rocket Pro Main Stage Expand your reach to professional real estate investors as well as build better relationships with real estate agents by using fix-and-flip loans. Learn how these popular programs can boost your income and give you more product to offer your clients. Presented By Mark Burch, Temple View Capital 8:45 am — 9:30 am Finding Opportunity In Reverse Rocket Pro Main Stage Today’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage will be one of those important components for many. Are you prepared to address the lending needs of older Americans with loan programs, product education, staffing and a marketing plan? Do you need to fast track this demographic to increase your potential growth and marketshare objectives? Let’s expedite the discussion and begin a pathway to this growing origination opportunity. Presented by Ralph Rosynek, SVP of Moneyhouse. 9:30 am — 10:15 am Harnessing Your Superpower Rocket Pro Main Stage Discover how a 3-person brokerage firm grew, reinvented and went head-to-head with

big banks to become America’s largest mortgage lender. Paul Yatooma, Vice President at Rocket Pro TPO, shares philosophies that you can use to shape innovation, client service, marketing, technology and partnerships. Learn what top brokers are doing to grow their business and how you can leverage your superpower. Bring your questions, because this is an interactive presentation. Presented By Paul Yatooma, Rocket Pro TPO 10:15 am Exhibit hall opens, break with exhibitors 11:15 am — 12:00 pm The New Non-QM: How It Works For You Rocket Pro Main Stage Alternative lending is the fastest growing segment of the mortgage industry - come learn why. With a growth potential of upwards of $200 billion, it’s imperative to get involved today. Presented by Larry Mize, Regional VP of Sales at Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions. 12:00 pm Time With Exhibitors Break in sessions. 12:45 pm — 1:45 pm

Mortgage Star Awards Luncheon Celebrate the Mortgage Star Award winners. Open to all attendees of Mid-South Mortgage Expo, Mortgage Star Conference, and exhibitors.


Thursday, May 6th 9:00 am — 5:00 pm 8-Hour NMLS Renewal Course Must Pre-Register Registration opens at 8 am, class beings promptly at 9 am. Anyone not already registered at 9 am will not be allowed to take the class. Partial credit cannot be offered. Fulfill your complete 8 hour continuing education requirements for your NMLS license renewal! This is a separately-ticketed bonus offering. Make the most of your time this year by getting all your federally-required CE at the expo, in addition to a conference full of networking, education, opportunities and prizes. Continuing Education course provided by Mortgage Educators & Compliance. IMPORTANT: You must take the entire 8 hour class to qualify for credit. We cannot give partial credit. In addition to pre-registration, in order to qualify for admission to the free NMLS License Renewal Class, you must have attended the expo and had your Exhibit Hall passport marked by all exhibitors. Only one Exhibit Hall passport given per person. Presented By David Luna, Mortgage Educators & Compliance 9:30 am — 11:00 am Regulatory Outlook Panel With only a few months into 2021, beefedup regulatory enforcement and litigation is

already well under way. Join us for one of our conference’s most popular sessions, as we convene a panel of industry experts to discuss changes and outlook expected from organizations such as HUD, FHA, Freddie Mac and more. We’ll hear their insider views on issues that the industry is grappling with, guidance on compliance concerns, and their thoughts on what’s coming next. Discussion leaders include: Nora Guerra, affordable lending manager at Freddie Mac; and Chrissy Brown, CMB, chief lending officer at Atlantic Bay Mortgage Presented By Susan Kerr, National Association of Professional Mortgage Women 11:00 am — 12:00 pm Say "Yes" Everyday Have you ever been asked to face your greatest fear? Being vulnerable and putting yourself out for all to see requires a certain mindset. I have learned that by enlisting help and including others to support your efforts can make the difference you need to squash your self-doubt. Once you open your mind and realize the outcomes it would be hard not to change. Let Laura Brandao, president of AFR Wholesale Mortgage, guide you to “Say Yes Everyday” because once the ripple of positivity begins, you will never look back. This session presents a new mantra on how to remain open to new experiences by altering how you approach each day – just

by stepping up and putting yourself out there without preconceived notions. In 2018 Laura underwent a transformation, and she realized that most of her success both professionally and personally was due to a “say yes” everyday mindset. So, she started to test the theory. As each day began, she would open her mind and say YES. This approach to others when you don’t know what someone might want can be either positive or negative. Opening up and listening without thinking about what else is on your plate can bring about new experiences. She will illustrate that if you go into every situation with no preconceived notions or expectations, you can do ANYTHING. Laura feels that as humans we cause our own fears or letdowns because things don’t turn out the way we expected them to – but by realizing that we are doing it to experience something new, there is no possible letdown. Presented By Laura Brandao, American Financial Resources 12:00 pm — 2:00 pm Break For Lunch Intermission in sessions for self-provided lunch. 2:00 pm — 4:00 pm NAPMW Annual Business Meeting 6:00 pm — 9:00 pm NAPMW Annual Installation of Officers and Awards Dinner MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE • MAY/JUNE 2021

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Promoting Mortgage Women At 230 MPH

ROCKET PRO TPO MAKES UNIQUE BID TO HIGHLIGHT FEMALE MORTGAGE BROKERS

R

ocket Pro TPO – the wholesale lending division of Rocket Mortgage -- is looking to highlight women in the mortgage and racing industry through its latest partnership with Paretta Autosport, the first-ever entrant in the Indianapolis 500 that is female-owned, female-driven and largely female crewed.

availability of mentorship opportunities and build a strong sense of community within Rocket Pro TPO’s broker partner network. “We are both huge proponents of highlighting the power of women, while also using technology and speed to be the best at what we do,” said Beth Paretta, CEO/team principal of Paretta Autosport.

Simona De Silvestro will race in the Indianapolis 500 under the sponsorship of Rocket Pro TPO. Rocket Pro TPO will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 16 Chevrolet in the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 30th. The race car will be piloted by Simona De Silvestro. The core focus of the partnership is to amplify women in the mortgage and racing industry through the newly launched “Rocket Accelerator” program, which will start with a multimedia initiative, showcasing female leaders who are thriving in both industries, according to a press release. Rocket Accelerator will be an ongoing campaign from both organizations to improve access to employment in mortgage and racing, increase the

ON TRACK WITH WOMEN

“It is an honor to be able to use the Indianapolis 500 to highlight and amplify the important role that women play in our industry, in our company and in independent mortgage brokers’ offices all across the country,”

said Austin Niemiec, executive vice president of Rocket Pro TPO. “Rocket Accelerator will be a central focus of our business as we look to expand opportunities and access for female brokers, while also creating educational programs for the next generation to give them the keys to unlocking their full potential with a robust career.” “We all need to have our pedal to the metal and win in our respective industries. At the same time, this isn’t about crossing the finish line first, it is about lifting up others and helping them get there too,” said Stacey Van Roosendaal, president and CEO of Sundance Lending, a Rocket Pro TPO broker partner. “Women can play a significant role in driving these industries to a better place. It is important we support and cheer for our professional sisters wherever they work.” Paretta Autosport’s formal entry into the 2021 Indianapolis 500 was recently accepted. The team is an extension of the INDYCAR series’ “Race for Equality and Change” announced last July to broaden equality in the sport.

Paretta Autosports has teamed with Rocket Pro TPO, the wholesale division of Rocket Mortgage. 50

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Next Gen Female Mortgage Pros:

13 Going on 30

T

TO GET TOP PROS INTO THE PROFESSION, WE NEED TO REACH OUT EARLY AND BE HELPFUL.

By CLAIRE BARBER

Special to MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE he pre-teen blockbuster Thirteen Going on 30 was released in 2004. Like the film’s protagonist, I too had just turned thirteen years old. If you have had the great fortune of seeing the movie, bear with me. If you have not, here’s your rundown: 13-year-old Jenna dreamed of being popular but struggled to make those dreams a reality. After suffering total humiliation at the hands of the “popular girls” at her birthday party, Jenna makes a wish to be “thirty, flirty & thriving.” The next morning, she magically wakes up in a swanky Manhattan apartment as her 30-year-old self, which includes a thriving career as a fashion magazine editor, while possessing the knowledge and mindset she had as a 13-year-old.

ASPIRATIONS

Like Jenna, I had big aspirations at age 13. Those lofty goals were eventually narrowed to a career in law. Frankly, I am not sure whether I came up with this idea myself, or if my parents suggested it after I insisted on diagraming the fallacies as to why I could not stay out past 10 o’clock. I vividly remember walking away from the movie theater with my friends, telling them how I could not wait to have a corner office and a driver to chauffeur me to a big city courthouse to fight for liberty and justice for all, a notion that forms the basis of the American identity. One decade later, I would accept a job in the mortgage industry. Do you know what the 13-year-old me would say about that? I do. I would have asked, “what’s a mortgage?” But would she be disappointed that I was not the next Elle Woods, the protagonist in another outstanding movie that spurred my legal

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ambitions? Would she be disappointed to know that the likelihood of ever seeing the inside of a courtroom as an attorney in the mortgage industry is virtually zero? When I accepted this position, none of that mattered. As a soonto-be law school graduate in a tough legal market, I was thrilled to have a job offer. I did not know much about mortgage lending. I can definitively say I did not see a “mortgage lending” elective. It certainly wasn’t tested on the bar exam.

professionals to lead. During my first year in practice, the generational gap appeared to be an insurmountable obstacle for an eager, driven individual looking to build a successful career. That mindset only intensified a self-imposed psychological barrier that, because of my age and lack of experience, my professional abilities were less than those of experienced attorneys. I carried these ideas with me for a long time. It was not until I read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg that I had several breakthroughs. I first realized that the beauty of being young and inexperienced was that my career had resilience; that I had room to take risks and step outside my comfort zone. I had the luxury of failing. This was not true of the many mortgage professionals that I had recently met. Perhaps I saw this ability to take risks as the only advantage I had over those in the industry. I began to try and leverage this ability to take risks at every turn. And it worked. Beyond empowering employees in work place, empower them to get out and attend industry-related events. The best part about the mortgage industry is the people.

I REALIZED THAT THE BEAUTY OF BEING YOUNG AND INEXPERIENCED WAS THAT MY CAREER HAD RESILIENCE. Along the way, I learned that mortgage professionals can generally be placed into one of two categories: those who were raised in it and those who accidentally fell into it. So, while there may have been a path in the industry for those like me, was it a path I planned on taking? Probably not. But, worst-case scenario, I could use this opportunity to get experience and parlay it into my next opportunity. Over the past five years, however, I have found fulfillment, purpose, and a career in the industry I had initially intended to quickly forget. But many others in my generation have not found such fortune in the mortgage industry. According to population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living adult generation. Yet, as an industry so resistant to change adapts and adopts technologies to make the mortgage process easier, why are there not more Millennials driving the technological innovations within our industry? We must empower young mortgage professionals, especially young female mortgage professionals, to grow and thrive within our industry. How we do that? First, start early.

EMPOWER

Organizations should focus on empowering and preparing the next generation of young mortgage

EDUCATE

Second, we must help the next generation find their purpose by educating them about our organizations and the industry at large. So much of who we are is tied up in our professions. One of the first questions asked between two complete

Claire Barber is an attorney at Polunsky Beitel Green, LLP and leads the firm’s Houston office.

strangers making small talk is “so… what do you do?” Why? Because so much of who we are is what we do. The same is true of employees within our organizations. Many find themselves in a position like I was: not sure what I was getting into but thankful and excited for an opportunity to prove myself. Teaching employees their purpose and importance within our organizations will certainly improve the ultimate outcomes of their work.

ELEVATE

Third, we must provide opportunities to elevate our newest employees to advance within our organizations. Employers so often look to hire external employees who check the proverbial box without first considering a less experienced internal candidate with potential to grow, leaving such individuals disenchanted by the prospect of advancement within the organization. Invariably, they will seek an organization where they perceive such opportunities for growth to be present. While it is often said that there is no substitute for experience, the same can be said for hard work, determination, and ambition. We should not be afraid to place a promising prospective candidate into leadership roles simply due to a lack of experience. Beyond promotions, we should not be afraid to entrust the next generation with projects that are critical to the success of our organizations. Along those same lines, I acknowledge that my path has not been paved by virtue of my own aspirations for excellence. I am lucky to have found mentors and leaders who have taken the opportunity to educate, empower, and elevate me into the position I am today. Beyond finding career advancement and opportunities to lead within my organization, I found my purpose much greater than my own career. While the American dream of homeownership isn’t the lofty American identity I set out to promote and protect at the beginning of my journey, it is now. This industry presents the same opportunity for the next generation to discover their purpose and passion. Maybe the 13-year-old me didn’t have it so wrong after all. MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE • MAY/JUNE 2021

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Calendar of Events MAY 2021

JULY 2021

AUGUST 2021

Wednesday, May 5 Mid-South Mortgage Expo Sheraton Memphis Downtown 250 N Main St, Memphis, TN 38103 www.midsouthmortgageexpo.com

Tuesday, July 13 2020 Carolinas Connect Mortgage Expo Embassy Suites Hilton Charlotte 4800 South Tryon St. Charlotte, North Carolina CarolinasConnectMortgage.com

Thursday, August 12 2021 California Mortgage Expo— San Diego Hyatt Regency La Jolla 3777 La Jolla Village Dr. San Diego, California CAMortgageExpo.com

Tuesday, May 18 Texas Mortgage Roundup – San Antonio Wyndham San Antonio Riverwalk, 111 E Pecan St San Antonio, TX txmortgageroundup.com

Thursday, July 22 2021 Arizona Mortgage Expo Wild Horse Pass Resort & Casino 5040 Wild Horse Pass Boulevard Chandler, AZ 85226 2021 Arizona Mortgage Expo www.azmortgageexpo.com

Thursday, Aug. 19 – Sun. Aug. 22 Originator Connect Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino 3667 Las Vegas Boulevard South Las Vegas, NV 89109 originatorconnect.com

Tuesday-Thursday, May 4-6 Mortgage Star Conference for Women Sheraton Memphis Downtown 250 N Main St, Memphis, TN 38103 www.mortgage-star.net

JUNE 2021

Thursday-Friday, June. 10-11 2021 New England Mortgage Expo Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd. Uncasville, Connecticut NEMortgageExpo.com

Tuesday, July 6 2021 Ultimate Mortgage Expo Hotel Monteleone 214 Royal St New Orleans, LA 70130 www.ultimatemortgageexpo.com

Tuesday, Aug. 3 New York Mortgage Expo Crowne Plaza Suffern Three Executive Boulevard Suffern, New York 10901 Nymortgageexpo.com

DECEMBER 2021 Thursday, December 16 2021 California Mortgage Expo— Irvine Hilton Irvine/Orange County Airport 18800 MacArthur Blvd. Irvine, California CAMortgageExpo.com

Tuesday, June 15, 2021 Great North West Mortgage Expo — Portland Holiday Inn Portland South 25425 SW 95th Ave., Wilsonville, OR 97070 www.greatnorthwestexpo.com Tuesday, June 22 2021 Chicago Mortgage Originators Expo Holiday Inn Chicago SW 6201 Jollet Road Countryside, Illinois ChicagoOriginators.com

See www.mortgageconferences.com for more events. To submit your entry for inclusion in the Mortgage Women Magazine calendar of events, please e-mail the details of your event, along with contact information, to editorial@ambizmedia.com. All events are as of May 1, 2021 and are subject to change.

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Naomi Mathis

I AM A VETERAN AND THIS IS MY VICTORY. “My victory is facing my PTSD so I can be here for my children.” After returning from service in Iraq, Naomi could still hear the booms and see the tracer fire. With the right support from DAV, she began to heal. DAV helps veterans of every generation get the benefits they’ve earned—helping more than one million veterans each year. Support more victories for veterans®. Go to DAV.org.

MORTGAGE WOMEN MAGAZINE • MAY/JUNE 2021

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Mortgage Women Magazine May/June 2021  

In this edition of Mortgage Women Magazine, we hone in on the growing strength and determination of the CFPB to hold mortgage lenders accoun...

Mortgage Women Magazine May/June 2021  

In this edition of Mortgage Women Magazine, we hone in on the growing strength and determination of the CFPB to hold mortgage lenders accoun...

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