NMP's Mortgage Professional of the Month | National Mortgage Professional Magazine
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NMP's Mortgage Professional of the Month

Kevin Casey (center), Senior Mortgage Consultant with Guarantee Mortgage in San Francisco and Past President of the San Francisco Peninsula Chapter of CAMP, receives CAMP’s Associate Member of the Year Award in August
Kevin Casey is a Senior Mortgage Consultant with Guarantee Mortgage in San Francisco and Past President of the San Francisco Peninsula Chapter of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals (CAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with him regarding his work with CAMP’s San Francisco Peninsula Chapter.
 
Kevin Casey is a Senior Mortgage Consultant with Guarantee Mortgage in San Francisco and Past President of the San Francisco Peninsula Chapter of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals (CAMP)When and why did you get involved with the San Francisco Peninsula Chapter of CAMP? What was the route that led you to the leadership role of the Chapter?
I first started in 1994, when Leon Hunting, one of the Loan Officers in my office, was the Statewide President of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals. However, at the time, I thought it was more important to be putting a focus on getting loans. Fast-forward to 2010 and my co-worker Donna Aldrich joined the San Francisco Chapter, and that’s when I was reacquainted with Michelle Velez, who was the then-Chapter President. Donna was pretty active—she went to Washington, D.C., and Sacramento and told me about the importance of getting involved.
 
In 2013, I had just come back from an exchange program with Rotary International, where I learned about doing banking in Finland, of all places. I think that was either the first or second year that the eight-hour NMLS class was required. I became an instructor a year later. Donna became the Chapter President and that year, I joined on the Chapter’s Board. She had a really large Board, about eight to 10 people. We had a lot of fun work and camaraderie.
 
I went to Sacramento in 2013, when a bill was being introduced to extend the hours for the NMLS continuing education class in California from eight to 10 hours. I was able to give the legislators insight on how the classes work, and I convinced them it didn’t make sense. That is like getting the jackpot on your first quarter. I’ve been hooked ever since.
 
I became Chapter President in 2016 and just wrapped up a two-year term, finishing on June 30. Now, I am on the State Executive Board as Treasurer.
 
Why should mortgage professionals in your market join the San Francisco Peninsula Chapter?
I say you cannot complain about the rules and regulations if you didn’t do anything to stop them. You can focus on what you do at work, but if you don’t help us with the legislative agenda nothing is going to change legislatively and work will just continue to be difficult.
 
What is the Chapter’s membership?
We currently have around 110 members, and our mailing list is around 3,600.
 
What is the state of the mortgage profession in your region?

I’ve come to realize that almost 70 percent of loan producers are really retired and not active in the industry, while 30 percent are the active ones. That alone tells you why some people cannot afford to be members of their Chapter: They are not producing enough to pay $100-something to be a member of CAMP. The average age of a Loan Officer is 56 or 57, which means that someone over 65 is basically retired, but they work just to keep their license active.
 
If the profession is aging, what can be done to bring in the next generation of mortgage professionals?
Banks seem to be good at recruiting young LOs. They have no problem hiring twentysomethings to take on loan operations. But for the Mortgage Banker and Mortgage Broker world, it is easier for them to recruit and steal from other offices. That is the prevalent trend—recruiting someone who is established rather than hiring someone new and training them.
 
I go to competitors’ offices to teach the NMLS eight hours of CE and the average age of the lenders in the room is 50 and up. But I was one in an office in Chico and the average age was around 27. I later learned there was big illegal flipping scam that went through the town and most established lenders went to jail, so that mortgage office had to recruit college students.
 
The other problem is that the NMLS license exam may be too tough. I’ve had an attorney tell me that it’s up there with the bar exam in terms of the toughness of questions. It is helping established lenders keep out the competition, but it may also be hurting the industry in the end.
 
In looking at your work with the San Francisco Peninsula Chapter, what do you see as your most significant accomplishments?
We had regular consistent meetings, probably put on four NMLS classes and eight to 10 events per year. We also raised a couple of thousand dollars for charity.
 
What is the housing market like in your region?
It is the most competitive market in the country, as 10-15 offers are common on most homes for sale. If you are going to buy a house in San Francisco, you need to be prepared for the disappointment of not to get your first offer accepted. I find I spend much of my time coaching clients on homebuying strategies. Getting the $1-$1.5 million loan is almost the easy part.

Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.

 
Jonathan Tallinger, Chief Growth Officer for Michigan-based Class Appraisal, an Appraisal Management Company (AMC)
As our regular readers know, this column is normally dedicated to front line Loan Originators, the people who are directly responsible for getting new borrowers into the lender’s pipeline and keeping the business going. But from time to time, we focus your attention on some great executives working in support roles. These are the people without which no loan would ever make it to the closing table.
Jonathan Tallinger, Chief Growth Officer for Michigan-based Class Appraisal, an Appraisal Management Company (AMC)
 
This month, we focus on the collateral valuation segment of the business, and our Mortgage Professional of the Month is Jonathan Tallinger, Chief Growth Officer for Michigan-based Class Appraisal, an Appraisal Management Company (AMC).
 
When Dodd-Frank passed in 2010, it created a new cottage industry for firms that could provide a compliant, arm’s-length valuation transaction for mortgage lenders. The original investors who came together to form Class Appraisal read the writing on the wall and launched their AMC in 2009.
 
Today, Class Appraisal is one of the largest and fastest-growing AMCs in the country. The company has partnered with 400-plus mortgage lenders and more than 10,000 of the highest performing residential appraisers in the nation to serve a client base that includes over half of the top 50 mortgage lenders in the country.
 
Over the years, Class has consistently been ranked number one in client service by several of the nation's top mortgage lenders and has been recognized as a top place to work, along with receiving many industry awards from trade groups and publications. A big part of the reason for that is Jon Tallinger.
 
Tallinger was Class Appraisal’s first employee. He was handpicked to help start the company. Over the years, he has served as the company’s Chief Appraiser, its National Sales Director, its Vice President of Sales and Marketing, and currently, Chief Growth Officer.
 
At the time he was hired, he ran his own appraisal company, which he had been doing since he graduated from college. You read that right. When it comes to the valuation business, Tallinger has one speed: Fast.
 
A quick start in the mortgage business
Getting into the residential appraisal business is not easy. Federal regulators have set a high standard, and the requirements include some college experience and a long training period during which the new appraiser must work under another licensed appraiser. So how was Tallinger able to skip the apprenticeship and move right into his own business? He didn’t.
 
“I started appraising residential homes when I was 18,” Tallinger said. After growing up in metro Detroit, he “went away to Michigan State after high school to get an advertising degree. But every summer, I would come home and work at my brother-in-law’s appraisal management company.”
 
Tallinger worked hard every summer, and when he graduated from Michigan State with his degree, he was also a fully licensed residential appraiser. He was only 22-years-old.
It turned out that this was a very good thing.
 
“The job market in 2002, at least for the advertising industry, wasn’t very good,” Tallinger recalled. “I was able to move right into appraising houses full-time. I spent the next seven years or so appraising homes in the Detroit metro area full-time, and I enjoyed doing it.”
 
Tallinger recalls that his appraisal business turned out to be a great job.
 
“No two days were ever the same. It was a great experience,” he said.
 
When the housing industry began to crash in 2008, many things changed.
 
“We started seeing declining values, people defaulting on their mortgages, and mortgage fraud was on the rise,” he recalled. “We all know what happened next. There were drastic changes in the regulation of the appraisal industry.”
 
That’s when Tallinger got the call from a yet-to-be-formed AMC. Tallinger’s ability to learn fast was about to become very important.
 
Jonathan Tallinger, Chief Growth Officer for Michigan-based Class Appraisal, an Appraisal Management Company (AMC)Learning an entirely new industry
Tallinger admits that when Class Appraisal first started, he was still a bit green. In his words: “When we first started the company, I was still pretty young at the time, I was a little bit nervous and, frankly, I realized quickly that I had a lot to learn still.”
 
Just about to enter his 30s, he may not have seemed like the obvious choice to run a brand-new company in a brand new industry. However, as it turned out, he was the perfect guy for the job.
 
“I had to learn on the fly,” Tallinger said. “I had a number of mentors, and that helped. One of the first things I learned was that I’m a decent manager, but I’m a much better salesperson.”
While Tallinger was able to set up the systems and recruit the operations team it would take to run the new AMC, he said, “I didn't enjoy doing it nearly as much as I did working with the clients and building relationships and seeking out new opportunities to grow the company.”
 
One of those early relationships was with United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM). At the time, the lender was the relatively small mortgage division of a metro Detroit based retail lender, just getting deep into the wholesale lending business. They had just cracked the top 75 for wholesale lenders and they were headquartered in what used to be a grocery store in a shopping center.
 
“When we opened the doors in September of 2009, we had literally zero orders,” Tallinger said. “We had to build it from the ground up. So, I started putting together a team of people, and the first big client we started working with was UWM. They were a great client for us then, but they were substantially smaller at the time.”
 
Even so, UWM had plans to make it big, and that meant they needed an AMC that could work as fast and hard as they did.
 
“UWM held us to a very high standard. So, that's the pace that we got used to operating at. When we started to work with new wholesale lenders, our standard service level that we had grown accustomed to was faster and more efficient than what our new lender clients were used to seeing,” Tallinger said.
 
As Tallinger added clients, Class Appraisal continued to deliver the quality and speed that their first client demanded. New clients reacted with surprise, and then satisfaction.
 
“It's like we started out in a higher gear on the treadmill and we just maintained that high service level for all of our clients,” Tallinger said. “We got used to it, and that's how we've always run.”
 
Becoming a wholesale lending powerhouse
When Tallinger began putting together the team that would eventually lead Class Appraisal, he didn’t do it with any particular specialization in mind. AMCs generally find it more difficult to penetrate the wholesale space because pleasing thousands of Independent Mortgage Brokers seemed to be more difficult than trying to build relationships with Appraisal Desk Managers at retail mortgage lenders. But Tallinger saw it differently.
 
“Wholesale lending and dealing with brokers is such a relationship-based business,” Tallinger said. “We ended up deep in the weeds with these Brokers on many transactions, but we made it our mission to give world-class service to every Broker.”
 
By building out a platform that could serve Brokers in a reliable manner, they won the loyalty of a large segment of the TPO community.
 
“Brokers may really like a specific lender, but they will take their business to the lender that offers the right product for their borrower,” Tallinger said. “That meant that we have Mortgage Brokers who were used to working with us at one lender going to another lender and asking them why they weren’t working with Class Appraisal.”
 
Tallinger recalls that new prospects would tell him that brokers were spreading the word that, “Class is killing it!” This positive word of mouth was the catalyst that led to the company’s growth.
 
“The competitors I talk to are always puzzled as to how we've been able to be so successful in wholesale,” Tallinger said. “It's generally thought of as being more difficult than the retail side. For us, it was just that we started building relationships with the Brokers, and the Brokers all liked working with us. So, that's how we grew.”
 
Adapting to a changing business
Despite the company’s success, Tallinger says Class has no plans to rest.
 
Tallinger offered some insight into the changing mortgage and valuation landscapes and how Class is adapting.
 
“We’ve undergone some big changes as a company this year,” said Tallinger. “We sold to a private equity firm in early 2018 and our ownership and leadership are in lockstep on the fact that we are just beginning to write the Class story. We will continue our commitment to dominating the wholesale channel, but we’re equally committed to building our presence as a leader in the retail, credit union and non-QM segments as well. The valuation space is changing at a rapid pace. As a company, we are embracing this shift and creating unique valuation solutions to help our lender partners close more loans faster and more efficiently.”
 
Much of that work, for Tallinger in his new role as Chief Growth Officer, will be sharing the company’s story. “I'm out there building relationships. It's almost like being a storyteller.”
 
It’s a job Tallinger says he’ll stick with.
 
“I’ve been with Class Appraisal since day one, and I hope that it’s the last company I ever work for,” he wrote on his LinkedIn profile. “Being the first employee gives me a unique perspective from a sales perspective; I rarely focus on ‘selling,’ and instead, dedicate my time to simply building relationships, being available for our clients, and telling the Class Appraisal story.”
 
So far, it’s been a story that has been well-received by the industry.
 
In a market where purchase money business has locked down lender timelines and the speed of collateral valuation has become extremely important, Tallinger is confident that Class Appraisal can keep up.

Rick Grant is Special Reports Editor for National Mortgage Professional Magazine and Mortgage News Network. He may be reached by phone at (570) 497-1026 or e-mail RickG@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.

This article originally appeared in the October 2018 print edtion of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.

 
Tiffany Dembowski is Assistant Vice President and Underwriting Counsel at Fidelity National Title Group in Portland, Maine, and President of the Maine Association of Mortgage Professionals
Tiffany Dembowski is Assistant Vice President and Underwriting Counsel at Fidelity National Title Group in Portland, Maine, and President of the Maine Association of Mortgage ProfessionalsTiffany Dembowski is Assistant Vice President and Underwriting Counsel at Fidelity National Title Group in Portland, Maine, and President of the Maine Association of Mortgage Professionals (MAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with her regarding her work with the state trade group.
 
How and why did you get involved with the Maine Association of Mortgage Professionals? Can you share the track that led to the leadership role in this group?
I had been working in a real estate law firm/title company since college and joined MAMP in 2013 or 2014 as an opportunity to network with industry professionals. I began to participate in many of the events and Hal Tippets, our Past President, asked me to join the Board. This is my third year as a Board member, and I was just re-elected as President in August for my second term.
 
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state join your association?
MAMP has an incredibly strong educational component. Each year, we host 10 Breakfast Meetings and one full-day expo. We have industry leaders come and speak, we offer training, economic forecasts, insights into federal and state regulatory matters, among other things. We try and plan topics that will help both front office (Loan Originators) and back office (Underwriters, Processors) learn and grow in their business. We also host great networking events throughout the year and a wildly successful Charity Golf Tournament. We try to keep our members engaged by bringing them together on a regular basis and providing them with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed in the industry. We also like to make sure our members have fun at our events–it keeps them coming back for more!
 
What role does MAMP play in the federal and state legislative and regulatory environments, and are there any items on the current agenda you would like to highlight?
We stay in tune with what is happening on a federal and state level. Since we are continuing to grow as an organization, we are hoping to put in more of a presence at the legislature. In the past, we have coordinated with other real estate and industry organizations in Maine to support or oppose legislation as necessary. We are hoping to roll out our own association Lobby Day soon.
 
The Maine legislature just came out of a short session this summer, so there wasn’t anything big introduced at this time. We’ll be headed back into the regular session this fall. This past spring, we participated in the MBA National Advocacy Day and met with members of each of our state’s congressional offices to talk about S.2155, GSE reform, flood maps and the CFPB. It was a great experience!
 
What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with the association?
On the whole, we have continued to grow from year to year, adding new member organizations and increasing our organization’s budget so that we can enhance our programming and events. The Board has really raised the bar in the last year on event planning, but I wouldn’t take credit for that either. I have been pushing for a little more Millennial generation presence on the Board and in the organization, and I think that has been successful. I am hoping to continue our trend of increasing diversity among member companies and individual members and to keep reaching out to bring new, younger members into the organization.
 
Tiffany Dembowski is Assistant Vice President and Underwriting Counsel at Fidelity National Title Group in Portland, Maine, and President of the Maine Association of Mortgage ProfessionalsWhat is synergy between your organization and other industry trade groups?
With the assistance of Joshua Wolfe, our Executive Director, our Board tries to stay engaged with what is happening on a national level with other organizations. Many of our members also participate directly in NAMB and MBA. We have worked with MBA on state advocacy matters in the past and they have also graciously allowed us to borrow some of their staff to speak at our meetings and at our Expo.
 
In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
I don’t think that recent graduates have the opportunity to learn about the mortgage industry as a career option. For me, I wound up in the industry after college when I began as a paralegal at a real estate law firm–so in a very roundabout way. I think a key part of increasing the number of young people in the industry is getting out there and demonstrating that this is an area where there continues to be job growth and opportunities.
 
In Maine, we’ve worked with The University of Southern Maine to attend their career fairs and events. Our organization is incredibly diverse, including both banks and mortgage companies, but also appraisers, attorneys, mortgage insurance companies, settlement agencies and title insurance company. So, when we’ve participated in local job fairs, we try to demonstrate the diverse opportunities available by bringing different representatives to talk to students about what’s out there. 
 
How would you define your state's housing market?
In Maine, real estate is second in state GDP, after healthcare and we have one of the highest homeownership rates in the nation. The drive for homeownership in Maine is incredibly strong. Maine is an incredibly diverse states as far as the real estate market is concerned. Overall, Maine home sales have set another record this year for the numbers of homes sold and home prices continue to go up. In southern Maine, inventory is lacking so buying can be a challenge, but prices continue to increase. In northern and eastern parts of the state, the overall home prices are slower to rise and properties in these areas seem to stay on the market for much longer.

Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.

 
Jim R. Wickham is Vice President for Third-Party Originations at Union Home Mortgage in Strongville, Mich., and President of the Michigan Mortgage Lenders Association (MMLA)
Jim R. Wickham is Vice President for Third-Party Originations at Union Home Mortgage in Strongville, Mich., and President of the Michigan Mortgage Lenders Association (MMLA). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with him regarding his work with the trade association.
 Jim R. Wickham is Vice President for Third-Party Originations at Union Home Mortgage in Strongville, Mich., and President of the Michigan Mortgage Lenders Association (MMLA)
How and why did you get involved with the Michigan Mortgage Lenders Association? Can you share the track that led to the leadership role in this group?
Early in my career, one of my mentors, George Smith, won the James T. Barnes Lifetime Achievement Award that the MMLA gives each year. I went to the presentation of the Award and was so impressed with all the people in the room. I knew right then and there I wanted to be a part of the association. 
 
Over the years, I naturally got more involved, at first on some committees and then later actually chairing some committees. Eventually, I wanted to move to the State Board as we were at a time of significant change, I wanted a seat at the table and the opportunity to give back to the association that I had come to enjoy so much.
 
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in Michigan join your association?
Mostly for networking and knowledge. It is an amazing environment to meet your peers and learn from others. Additionally, with all the support the national MBA gives all the state associations, the training and education pieces are incredibly timely.
 
What role does MMLA play in the federal and state legislative and regulatory environments, and are there any items on the current agenda you would like to highlight?
Transition licensing is significant on the federal level, it gives all Mortgage Loan Officers the ability to move from depositories to Independent Mortgage Bankers without having to not work for months while their license comes about. In addition, many states are working to bring their notary process into the modern tech era. Our state association has a very active Legislative Committee. We meet monthly to discuss priorities, additionally we make sure that committee is well-balanced by having folks from banks, independents and vendors all having a seat at the table. We will only be our best when we are all engaged, having folks from all corners of the industry on the Legislative Committee and Board is critical. 
 
Jim R. Wickham is Vice President for Third-Party Originations at Union Home Mortgage in Strongville, Mich., and President of the Michigan Mortgage Lenders Association (MMLA)What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with the association?
This year was the third year of a three-year plan that the two previous Presidents and I committed to working on together. That plan was our association has not made any structural changes in over 20 years. It was time to re-evaluate our bylaws, our committee routines, our chapters–the whole plan needed to be looked at. We spent three years evaluating what needed to be done, work with the entire Board to implement changes, and this year was the year to tie up all the loose ends. We feel the association is structurally sound and well-positioned for many years to come.
 
In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
Stability. A lot of today’s young professionals were growing up during the great recession and the mortgage meltdown that accompanied it. We need to demonstrate to young professionals that we are a stable industry with plenty of upside potential, then we will attract that next generation of Mortgage Bankers. If we continue to staff up rapidly when busy to only execute severe reductions in force the minute volumes dip a bit, we will not attract young people to this industry. We need to demonstrate some stability.
 
How would you define your state's housing market?
Steady growth, not a defined buyers or sellers’ market–balanced. We went through a period of excessive inventory, things have certainly corrected. New construction has been growing in recent years, so we are not experiencing a measurable shortage of inventory. We appear to be very well-balanced at the moment.

Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.

 
Frank Williams is Co-Founder and Divisional Manager of Capital Direct Funding Inc. in West Covina, Calif., and President of the Los Angeles Metro Chapter of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals (CAMP)
Frank Williams is Co-Founder and Divisional Manager of Capital Direct Funding Inc. in West Covina, Calif., and President of the Los Angeles Metro Chapter of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals (CAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with Williams regarding his work with CAMP and his local Chapter.
 Frank Williams is Co-Founder and Divisional Manager of Capital Direct Funding Inc. in West Covina, Calif., and President of the Los Angeles Metro Chapter of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals (CAMP)
When did you get involved with the Los Angeles Metro Chapter of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals and what was the route that led you to the leadership role?
I’ve been a member and long-standing supporter of CAMP’s mission since 2001. The ethics, community involvement and being on the forefront of industry legislation really inspired me to not only be a member, but to join the association’s leadership. The year 2002 was the inaugural year of CAMP’s Los Angeles Chapter. I’ve been committed to the Chapter leadership since its inception and have taken on the role as President since 2012.
 
Why would a mortgage professional in your market want to be part of CAMP’s Los Angeles Metro Chapter?
Los Angeles is second largest and diverse city in the nation. The value is truly limitless in opportunity. We strive to connect mortgage professionals to inspire growth and collaboration amongst each other.
Although we are competitors, there is plenty of good business out there for everyone. Most of our members are either family businesses or small business owners.
 
Is your Chapter actively involved in impacting the legislative and regulatory environments?
As longtime supporters of our organization, Freddie Mac is an integral part to help our members build an educational platform to increase homeownership. We choose to integrate education to the Frank Williams is Co-Founder and Divisional Manager of Capital Direct Funding Inc. in West Covina, Calif., and President of the Los Angeles Metro Chapter of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals (CAMP)membership, as well as encourage activism at the state capitol.
 
We are advocates of creating wealth through homeownership. The biggest step to wealth today is owning a home—and a lot of families may not have access to that here in California.
 
There have been many news reports about California’s housing problems. How serious is the issue?
It has evolved over the last 20-plus years. When you have legislation intended to help protect the environment and there are provisions in the legislation to prohibit the development of a workforce and entry-level housing, it makes it very difficult to create affordable homeownership opportunities. And because there is a lack of houses, there have been increases in rents. Most families pay more than 50 percent of their gross income to cover rent payments.
We are not building enough houses in California. And the cities here are not fulfilling their requirements on the number of houses to be built for their populations.
 
You mentioned that you’ve been in the industry for nearly three decades. Are you seeing more young people seek out careers in the mortgage profession?
We see some young Millennials starting their careers, but I don’t think there are enough. More can be done to bring them in. Organizations like ourselves can do outreach and go right to the colleges, where can help young people explore the possibilities in this industry. This is an incredible career path and we need to help them understand that they will be doing important work.
 
Looking at your work with the LA Metro Chapter, what do you see as your most significant accomplishment?
Our presence here in the community. This year, we have really gained momentum at our local events. We’ve worked through storms and cycles, and we’re still here. And we’ve been able to help families create wealth through homeownership, making it a bit easier for them to obtain the American Dream.

Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.

Dean Harrington is Chief Executive Officer at Shamrock Financial Corporation in Rumford, R.I., and President of the Rhode Island Mortgage Bankers Association (RIMBA)
Dean Harrington is Chief Executive Officer at Shamrock Financial Corporation in Rumford, R.I., and President of the Rhode Island Mortgage Bankers Association (RIMBA). National Mortgage Professional Magazine spoke with Dean regarding his work with the state trade group.
Dean Harrington is Chief Executive Officer at Shamrock Financial Corporation in Rumford, R.I., and President of the Rhode Island Mortgage Bankers Association (RIMBA) 
How and why did you get involved in the Rhode Island Mortgage Bankers Association? Can you share the track that led to your leadership role in the group?
“If you’re working in the mortgage industry in Rhode Island, it’s because RIMBA has been working for you.” That phrase is exactly what led me to getting involved in RIMBA. I began as a Board member 10 years ago (frankly, I should have committed much earlier in my career) and served as the organization’s Vice President before being named President in 2016.
 
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state join RIMBA?
Three different reasons … First, to advocate for industry-related affairs and issues, particularly on the legislative side. This is hugely important to all of us. Second, to network with industry peers and colleagues. And third, to become informed and educated in the pursuit of excellence in their career. There are other reasons, but these are the big three.
 
What role does RIMBA play in the federal and state legislative and regulatory environments, and are there any items on the current agenda you would like to highlight?
We have a dedicated Legislative Committee focused on proposed bills being sponsored and discussed in the Rhode Island General Assembly. Our state is quite political and we have an inordinate amount of legislative activity for a state of our size. The RIMBA team stays on top of it all. Our legislative season just wrapped up and the largest issues we faced were all centered around workplace-related legislation, equity pay, paid time off, things like that.
 
On the national side, we work closely with the MBA using weekly updates and as-needed ‘Call to Action’ instructions for our members.
 
What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with the association?
Building brand awareness, improving advocacy and relevance for our organization. RIMBA’s membership growth, educational sessions, communication protocol, committee depth and industry engagement has improved by 30 percent over the last 18 months. We have made great strides.
 
Dean Harrington is Chief Executive Officer at Shamrock Financial Corporation in Rumford, R.I., and President of the Rhode Island Mortgage Bankers Association (RIMBA)What is synergy between RIMBA and the national MBA?
Principally, it’s a legislative connection. We participate annually in the MBA Legislative Day in D.C. and stay in constant contact with the national MBA on all matters facing our industry. We also have a nice balance of educational content that MBA plays a big part in.
 
In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
That is the big question, isn’t it? We can’t all be my age in this game! Candidly, we need to be willing to invest in young people. That means hiring, training and developing the next generation of mortgage professionals realizing that the payoff in doing so is tomorrow, not today. This is both a leap of faith and a challenge with today’s narrow operating margins.
 
I’m skeptical that we can get curriculum advancements with local colleges and universities, programs that can help build the next consumer finance professionals. I think we have to own this issue ourselves. RIMBA is set to pilot a “Mortgage University” cooperative program to go about solving this collectively. Stay tuned.
 
How would you define your state's housing market?
Typical of the nation’s housing market at this point … plenty of buyers, but not enough sellers.
 
People ask, “Why don’t we have inventory?” and my answer is, “Because we don’t have inventory.” Is that circular logic? Sure, but truth is, until people see homes for sale that they want to buy, they aren’t’ likely to put their own on the market. Obviously, we also didn’t build enough middle-income housing in the last decade either, so we’re all feeling that as well.

Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.

 
David Demcak is Client Manager and Executive Director of Commercial Term Lending at JPMorgan Chase in Lake Oswego, Ore., and President of the Oregon Mortgage Bankers Association (OMBA)
David Demcak is Client Manager and Executive Director of Commercial Term Lending at JPMorgan Chase in Lake Oswego, Ore., and President of the Oregon Mortgage Bankers Association (OMBA). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with him regarding his trade association leadership.
 David Demcak is Client Manager and Executive Director of Commercial Term Lending at JPMorgan Chase in Lake Oswego, Ore., and President of the Oregon Mortgage Bankers Association (OMBA)
How and why did you get involved in the Oregon Mortgage Bankers Association? Can you share the track that led to your leadership role in this group?
I wanted to be more involved in the local real estate industry and help make a difference, and the OMBA has been a great organization to do just that. I originally joined as a regular member in 2013. I then started to get involved in committees and events within the organization, serving as the President of the Commercial Committee, which led to me becoming President of the OMBA in 2018. This has been a great opportunity to give back to my community and have a stronger voice in the lending industry, impacting initiatives that affect our industry.
 
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state join your OMBA?
Our organization provides great networking opportunities for both residential and commercial lenders and affiliates, which offer educational and informational value. In the past year, we’ve had networking events that featured local brokers, provided tours of new commercial projects, gathered panels of lenders discussing the status of the market, hosted our annual golf tournament and organized the Northwest Lender’s Conference. I’ve been able to meet a number of wonderful people throughout my involvement with the OMBA.
 
What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with OMBA?
There have been a number of great people who have served as OMBA President over the years who have done so much for this organization to make it what it is today. During my involvement, it’s been great to see the Commercial Committee grow and attract new members, and we’ve been organizing more commercial events, resulting in greater participation over the years. We also have a joint event every year with the local NAIOP (National Association of Industrial and Office Properties) Chapter. It’s great to have a two-pronged approach to our chapter in both residential and commercial, to provide a stronger and more holistic view of the industry.
 
What is the synergy between OMBA and the national MBA?
There’s ongoing communication between our local chapter and the national MBA, exchanging helpful insights on national mortgage news and legislation. We’ve established a terrific partnership and often collaborate with the national MBA to support local legislation.
 
David Demcak is Client Manager and Executive Director of Commercial Term Lending at JPMorgan Chase in Lake Oswego, Ore., and President of the Oregon Mortgage Bankers Association (OMBA)In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
I think the industry can provide better mentoring opportunities for younger people—opportunities to learn how the industry works, see what the lifecycle of a deal looks like and show them how the work can impact their community.
 
How would you define your state's housing market?
The overall Oregon market from a commercial real estate perspective is strong due to a number of factors. Employment growth continues and the state offers a wonderful quality of life. I’m continuing to see local growth opportunities in commercial real estate.

Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.

 
Charles O. Moore is President, Central Ohio at The Middlefield Banking Company and President of the Ohio Mortgage Bankers Association (OMBA)
Charles O. Moore is President, Central Ohio at The Middlefield Banking Company and President of the Ohio Mortgage Bankers Association (OMBA). National Mortgage Professional Magazine spoke with him regarding his work with OMBA.
 Charles O. Moore is President, Central Ohio at The Middlefield Banking Company and President of the Ohio Mortgage Bankers Association (OMBA)
When and why did you get involved with the Ohio Mortgage Bankers Association (OMBA) and what was the path that led you the leadership role within the association?
I was involved with the OMBA twice in my career. The first time was in the 1980s, when I was one of the youngest board members, and then I was invited back after I had served as Ohio Deputy Superintendent of Consumer Finance and began working in the capitalization group for a bank in central Ohio. I went through the chairs: Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President and President.
 
Why should mortgage professionals in your state belong to OMBA?
We are the voice, both politically and operationally, of Mortgage Bankers in Ohio. We have an active relationship with a Lobbyist who participates within the political process in Ohio. The Mortgage Banker’s role is understood in the realm of government. Also, members can get their voices heard among their peers. OMBA offers a sense of camaraderie by being involved with other Mortgage Bankers—you are dealing with good people who produce business in an open, honest and direct way. This is a cathartic organization that does good things.
 
What has been OMBA’s most important work on the legislative front?
We led a six-year labor to modernize our mortgage licensing structure. When the original licensing structure was put in place, we didn’t have the Internet or the electronification of banking. We had a little bit of catching up to do over the past several years. Lobbying in our world is education. We educate elected officials on our business model and the safety and structure around it.
 
What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with OMBA?
It’s not about me. It’s about having a great group of Officers, Board Members and members. There is a great deal of quality in our organization, both the Mortgage Bankers and our affiliates.
 
Charles O. Moore is President, Central Ohio at The Middlefield Banking Company and President of the Ohio Mortgage Bankers Association (OMBA)What is the relationship between the OMBA and the national Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA)?
We’re a separate entity and the national MBA is a separate entity, although our role is somewhat aligned with the national organization. The national MBA is the national voice for Mortgage Bankers, and each state has its own organization. Some metro areas have their own organization, too—I’m in Columbus and there is a Columbus Mortgage Bankers Association.
 
Are you seeing more young people in your state seeking out careers in Mortgage Banking?
We are seeing more than we did. We’d love to have more, and we will engage in a push during this year and next year on educational programs to foster and enable a younger workforce by providing them with a pathway to learn the detail elements about this business. This is a very technical field with a lot of elements that you need to know in order to be successful. We’d like to see it happen and we believe it will.
 
What is the current state of the housing market in Ohio?
I can only speak for the Columbus area, which is one of the top 10 housing markets in the country. In Franklin County, there are fewer homes than people moving here. It’s a very tight market.

Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.

 
Mark Favaloro is Principal at Aamtrust Mortgage in Clifton Park, N.Y., and President of the New York Association of Mortgage Brokers
Mark Favaloro is Principal at Aamtrust Mortgage in Clifton Park, N.Y., and President of the New York Association of Mortgage Brokers (NYAMB). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with him regarding his work with the trade association.
Mark Favaloro is Principal at Aamtrust Mortgage in Clifton Park, N.Y., and President of the New York Association of Mortgage Brokers 
When and why did you get involved with the NYAMB and what was the route that led you to the leadership role of the association?
I have been a member of the association for many years, but it was not until several years ago when Past President Marty Pfeiffenberger asked if I would like to become a Board Member. I joined the Board of Directors that year and that evolved into becoming President of the Northeast NYAMB Chapter, serving the Capitol Region and then ultimately, Statewide President of NYAMB.
 
Why should mortgage professionals in New York become involved with NYAMB?
To protect their business model now and for the future and to learn how to continue to successfully maintain and grow their businesses in an ever-increasingly competitive mortgage environment. NYAMB provides numerous member benefits, such as regular meetings with New York State regulators, lenders and industry partners.
 
NYAMB offers conferences and conventions to give our members the opportunity to develop relationships with these same regulators, and industry partners, and of course, each other. We also provide regional Broker Roundtable Meetings to give Broker/Owners a chance to speak to the leaders of NYAMB and/or their lender/partners about the issues most concerning them and their business.
 
NYAMB also keeps Mortgage Brokers in touch with one another through our Web site, our Quarterly Newsletter and the many Webinars about pertinent issues effecting their day-to-day business activity. Members also enjoy the use of our Compliance Hotline, which is hosted by an attorney specializing in mortgage compliance. And, of course, any member is welcome to call me and I will happily assist in any way I can.
 
This is only a partial list of why mortgage professionals should become involved with NYAMB. Anyone interested can simply give us a call or go to our Web site to find out more about what we are doing and how we can help them grow their business.
 
What is the NYAMB doing on the state legislative and regulatory fronts?
We are in regular communication with the New York State Department of Financial Services and have an ongoing relationship with the Deputy Superintendent and her assistants. I recently had a meeting with my Regulatory Compliance Committee and the Department of Financial Services regarding compliance exams and new Broker Registrants and MLOs. We asked for guidance on these issues, as well as some of the new cybersecurity requirements and we received clarification that was helpful to the membership on many of the items of concern.
 
We were also successful in getting guidance on some of the looming questions that Brokers have had with regulatory compliance in general. The relationship with the Department has been excellent and they are quick to accommodate our requests to speak at our conferences and conventions so that our Mortgage Brokers stay well-educated on New York State compliance issues. 
 
Mark Favaloro is Principal at Aamtrust Mortgage in Clifton Park, N.Y., and President of the New York Association of Mortgage BrokersWhat do you see as your most significant accomplishment with the NYAMB?
I hope that I have helped to create a new excitement for the role of the NYAMB with our Mortgage Broker members by the extensive expansion of membership benefits to help them grow their businesses and provide a much larger platform for their voice on the issues that impact their day-to-day business both here in New York State and in Washington, D.C. 
 
What is the synergy between the NYAMB and NAMB?
We share the common bond as advocates for the Mortgage Broker. We also join in on the effort to present to the leadership in Washington, D.C., together, as a unified voice, on the issues.
 
Within New York, are you seeing a lot of young people coming into the mortgage profession?
I am not seeing a lot of young people going into the mortgage business in general, but it would be a very good career for them. The future of the industry will rely on the young professional with an aptitude for sales and technology. 
New Loan Officers will need to embrace automation, but in a way that still offers the borrower a personal experience that fosters a relationship and a lifetime of referral business. Now that the regulatory environment has stabilized, the opportunity to learn the business at an early age can result in big payoffs as an experienced Loan Officer in the future.
 
The number one problem Mortgage Brokers face in New York State in recruiting young people is the length of time it takes to obtain a Mortgage Broker Registration or Mortgage Loan Officer License. NYAMB is currently working with the Department of Financial Services on this very issue and with the Department’s cooperation, the future for young Mortgage Broker Registrants and Mortgage Broker MLOs is looking improved.
 
What is the housing market like in the State of New York?
Currently, the housing market in New York State is healthy. Actually, it is so active in some areas that the inventory is actually very low and prices have started to escalate.
 
Buyers in these areas are often in competition with multiple offers on the same property and sellers are often presented with sale prices substantially higher than the listed price. But there are still many areas where the market is more balanced that all parties are enjoying the movement of the market in general. With interest rates still relatively low and prices still very reasonable, the New York State housing market still offers the very best in housing for just about everyone who is looking to buy now.

Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.

 
Rick Darlington is Senior Vice President and Regional Manager at Brand Mortgage in Kennesaw, Ga., and President of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Georgia (MBAG)
Rick Darlington is Senior Vice President and Regional Manager at Brand Mortgage in Kennesaw, Ga., and President of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Georgia (MBAG). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with Rick regarding his trade association involvement.
 Rick Darlington is Senior Vice President and Regional Manager at Brand Mortgage in Kennesaw, Ga., and President of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Georgia (MBAG)
How did you get involved with the Mortgage Bankers Association of Georgia and what was the path that led you to your leadership role?
Around 2004 or 2005, I became involved in the Georgia Future Leaders Program. One of the requirements of the program was to serve on a Committee. I guess that I never got off the Committee. I’ve been on the leadership Board for five years—it is a five-year commitment—as Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-President and President. My term as President runs until June 30, and then I become Immediate Past President.
 
What is the MBAG membership level?
We currently have approximately 175 members, but our membership is done by company membership, not by individual membership. Any number of people within a member company can participate.
 
Why should mortgage professionals in your state join MBAG?
There are many reasons—you could probably write a whole article on it! Among the most important reason is education. Our Education Committee brings up the most relevant updated topics. There is also our legislative outreach, which deals with the rules impacting us on a local and state level. We help pass legislation to help the industry and stop or amend legislation that can hurt our industry.
 
Can you tell us more about your legislative concerns and activities?
On a state-level, regulations are set by the Department of Banking and Finance. Our members look to us and our lobbyist to keep on top of that. We also keep up with federal law, making sure that Georgia law mirrors national law.
 
What do you see as your most significant accomplishment in your work with the MBAG?
During the past year, I was most pleased with the implementation of our internship program, which is designed for college-age students—typically, juniors and seniors. We are trying to get more young people interested in careers in the field of mortgage banking. We are also looking into creating a scholarship program, but nothing has been finalized. I was also invited by the Mortgage Bankers Association of Alabama to speak at a business class at Auburn University last fall.
 
Rick Darlington is Senior Vice President and Regional Manager at Brand Mortgage in Kennesaw, Ga., and President of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Georgia (MBAG)What is the synergy between MBAG and the national Mortgage Bankers Association?
It has always been very good. They are always with us and we’re always with them. Some members of their team came down to speak with us two or three years ago at our Annual Convention.
 
What is the state of Georgia’s housing market?
It is pretty solid and robust right now. But there is a lack of inventory and a lack of affordable housing, and these are the biggest hurdles we have at this time. However, Georgia is no different from other states in that regard.
Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.