When did you first get involved with Washington Mortgage Bankers Association? What was the path that led you to a leadership role within WMBA?
WMBA is a fairly new organization. I was a member of the Seattle Mortgage Bankers Association for the past 20 years. Through networking and attending events and talking to people in leadership positions, I let them know that I was interested in being more involved in the organization. This led me to being on the board. This was about five years ago. Soon after, our treasurer resigned and we needed someone to fill that position. I was nominated, which got me into an executive leadership role.
Why should members of your state’s mortgage profession join WMBA?
There are a number of benefits that someone gets from being a member of WMBA. There are networking aspects–where you can gain knowledge from other lenders. We are a statewide organization that has a full-time lobbyist and good communication with the legislative community. Companies that join us have a voice and can be part of influencing change.
How is WMBA involved in shaping legislative issues, at both the state and federal levels?
We have our chairman of the board focusing exclusively on legislative initiatives related to our industry. We work very closely with our local legislators. Each year, we participate in a Legislative Day, where we go to Olympia and meet with important legislators who work with the mortgage and banking industries. We also have good relations with the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions.
What has been your most significant accomplishment within the association?
Supervising the merger between the Seattle Mortgage Bankers Association and the Washington Mortgage Lenders Association required a lot of support from both organizations. It took a lot of effort to get those groups aligned, and we grew even stronger from the mortgage professionals in Washington State.
What is the synergy between WMBA and the national MBA?
Part of what we did in the merger was to become a member of the national Mortgage Bankers Association. That offered an additional benefit to our members and it gives us very close communications with the national MBA. We work pretty closely with them on anything happening with our local legislators. We may not always agree 100 percent, but we try to work with the MBA in representing the same positions on a national level, as well as a local level.
In your professional opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
There are not a lot of young people coming into the industry. What could help would be if more companies had programs in place to bring in entry-level people. It is difficult to get a job in mortgage banking, because the typical company wants people with experience, especially on the sales side. It is also difficult for people to earn a living while learning the business. That could be helped by a program where we bring on junior mortgage originators and maybe salaried positions to come in and learn the business.
What is the housing market like currently in the state of Washington?
We have a very strong housing market, led by good strong employment and growth. The challenge is a lack of inventory. It is harder to find a home and that drives home values up due to the lack of supply in the market.
2017 WAMP Legislative Day is set for Wednesday, March 15th.
Each year, WAMP members and constituents make our way to Olympia, Wash. to meet with lawmakers. YOUR PARTICIPATION is crucial toward reminding lawmakers that ANY and ALL legislation that affects housing, real estate, mortgage banking and loan originating in Washington State should be vetted by professionals in the industry ... if for no other reason than to avoid unintended consequences from otherwise well intended legislation.
Please GET ON THE BUS with WAMP on March 15, 2017!
WAMP's chartered bus will pick you up at any one of the following Park & Rides the morning of March 15, providing you to and from transportation to the State Capitol:
►Seattle’s Ravenna Park & Ride at 7:00am
►Bellevue’s Wilburton Park & Ride at 7:45am
►Tacoma’s Lakewood Park & Ride at 9:00am
The WAMP Bus will begin its return from the Capitol at approximately 5:00pm. Continental Breakfast and Coffee will be served in Olympia upon your arrival on the WAMP Bus. A selection of Box Lunches will be available for all registered guests. This is an important annual event for our Washington State Trade Association. Effective grass-roots mobilization gives us a powerful voice with lawmakers and allows us to positively influence our work environments, our careers, our entire industry.
For more information, click here or call WAMP at (206) 484-6442.