NMP's Mortgage Professional of the Month

Robert Padron is a branch manager at 1st Financial Inc. in Coral Gables, Fla., and president of the Miami chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals
Robert Padron is a Branch Manager at 1st Financial Inc. in Coral Gables, Fla., and President of the Miami Chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals (FAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with him regarding his work with this chapter.
Robert Padron is a branch manager at 1st Financial Inc. in Coral Gables, Fla., and president of the Miami chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals  
How did you first get involved in the Miami Chapter of FAMP? What was the path that led to your leadership role within the Miami Chapter?
I joined FAMP in 2004, but I took about a three-year hiatus from the mortgage industry in 2009. One of the first things I did when I came back was to rejoin the association and get involved. I’ve served the Miami Chapter as Treasurer, Secretary and Vice President before becoming President. My term started in November of 2017.
 
Why should mortgage professionals in your part of the state get involved with the Miami Chapter of FAMP?
We fight for all members of our profession by lobbying in Tallahassee over proposed laws and regulations. We also host events with other associations that relate to our industry, including the Realtor and insurance industries. We also provide both credited and non-credited classes, including the eight-hour continuing education requirements for Loan Officers.
 
Let’s discuss Tallahassee for a minute. What role does the Chapter play in state level lobbying?
We go there once a year in February, with an agenda to discuss what is happening in regard to our industry. We work with the other FAMP Chapters, joining forces to meet with our representatives about the bills they may be considering. We helped to re-write Statute 494 [impacting Loan Originators and Mortgage Brokers], and we are continually involved in other new legislation.
 
I believe that it is always a good thing to be politically committed for our industry and have a voice in the process.
 
What do you see as your most important work with the Miami Chapter of FAMP?
I would think it is my work with our trade shows. We host them once a year and bring together lenders and retailers, and all others related to the industry. This year, we are changing the event site to a more hip location: The Watsco Center at the University of Miami. We average about 600 to 700 people for that event. The Miami Chapter currently has approximately 200 members, and we are always trying drive up membership.
 
Speaking of future membership, are you seeing more young people coming into careers in the mortgage industry?
There seems to be. I’ve seen an increasing number of young people joining the mortgage profession today versus three to five years ago. Unfortunately, for some in the younger generation, commission-based work may drive them away to salaried jobs.
 
I believe that the average loan officer is about 53-years-old. Ten to 20 years down the road, we may be a dying industry if today’s youth is not coming in.
 
Robert Padron is a branch manager at 1st Financial Inc. in Coral Gables, Fla., and president of the Miami chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals What is the state of the housing market like in the Miami area?
I haven’t seen it slow down. There is a quicker turnover from pre-approval to taking an offer. Two to three years ago, it took one or two months to come back with a contract. Now, the turnaround is much faster than that.
Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.

 
Tiare Fullerton, President, Hawaii Association of Mortgage Professionals
Tiara Fullerton is a Branch Manager and Senior Loan Consultant at Mortgage Associates of Hawaii, a division of American Pacific Mortgage, and President of the Hawaii Association of Mortgage Professionals (HAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with her regarding her work with the Aloha State’s mortgage trade group.
Tiare Fullerton, President, Hawaii Association of Mortgage Professionals 

How did you get involved with HAMP, and what was the path that led you to your leadership position within the association?
I got involved in 2007. As a member, I wanted to give back to the industry. It was a long journey to get to the position I’m at now. I started with the Membership Committee, because that’s how you get to know your members. I moved from there to the Legislative Committee, then the Seminars and Events Committee. I served as Treasurer because I thought it was a great idea to learn what our expenses were. I served as President for 2014, 2017 and 2018, and my current term runs through Dec. 31 of this year.
 
Why should mortgage professionals in Hawaii become a part of HAMP?
We currently have approximately 120 members and we try to protect the livelihood of mortgage professionals in Hawaii through education and the monitoring of legislative issues. The collective strength of the association helps to provide the best for its members and for the consumer.
 
We also encourage communication within the mortgage industry, not only amongst Mortgage Loan Officers, but with escrow and title professionals as well. We want to keep those relationships growing.
 
What is the association’s role in the state’s legislative and regulatory environment?
We keep in touch with the State’s Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and maintain close communication with the Department’s Commissioners. We have a local law firm that monitors upcoming bills and they let us know if there is anything we need to know about. I’ve met with our state legislators and it is a great experience—you get to see how the system works and how you can make an impact for the Loan Officers and the consumer.
 
I’ve also been to Washington, D.C. on two occasions for NAMB events. That is an experience everyone should participate in, because the more voices we have at the legislative levels, the better opportunities there are for our elected officials and regulators to hear what is important for the industry.
 
Tiare Fullerton, President, Hawaii Association of Mortgage ProfessionalsWhat is your association’s relationship like with NAMB?
NAMB keeps its state associations informed through monthly calls. We participate in order to represent our state, although it is a big haul to get to Washington, D.C. every year, but we make sure that we are supporting NAMB, and do our best to keep informed.
 
Do you see a lot of younger people coming out of college and going into the mortgage profession in Hawaii?
We are not seeing that. It is definitely on our radar, and we have talked about how to encourage that. It can be tough with this generation, because they want to see quick growth. We are talking about going into the high schools and colleges, and educating them to understand what it means to be a mortgage professional. They’re exposed to what doctors and CPAs do, but they may not have an idea about what we do.
 
What is the current state of your local housing market?
It varies by island. Our inventory is low and prices remain high, as the median price for a single-family home is $773,500 and it is $405,000 for a condo. We also have a lot of foreign investors who are moving prices up. As a result, we have a lot of families who are living together.
Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.

 
Scott St. John is Vice President of Production and Branch Development at American Pacific Mortgage and President of the Washington Association of Mortgage Professionals (WAMP)
Scott St. John is Vice President of Production and Branch Development at American Pacific Mortgage and President of the Washington Association of Mortgage Professionals (WAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with Scott regarding his work with this trade group.
Scott St. John is Vice President of Production and Branch Development at American Pacific Mortgage and President of the Washington Association of Mortgage Professionals (WAMP) 
How did you first become involved with WAMP?
Philanthropic services, paying it forward, and volunteering are a part of my core characteristics since I was a kid. I’m always seeking an opportunity to serve. Our corporate office in northern California was building out the Seattle market.
 
Why would a mortgage professional in your state want to join WAMP?
We are their voice in Olympia and in Washington, D.C. We also offer continuing education annually to all originators. If their companies are corporate annual partners, that continuing education comes to their originators for free.
 
We also offer real-time value throughout the year in blowing up their business: Time management, business planning, true sales skills and leadership training. I don’t believe we get true leadership education in schools. We need leadership and knowing how to lead with care and candor. We recently launched the WAMP Leadership Institute, which has tracks to help mortgage professionals gain real life skills in how to grow themselves. That is a value-added to our membership.
 
What role has WAMP played in the legislative process?
Right now, the state legislature is in recess. But we had a very successful year in killing some potential legislation that would have increased the property tax from the current set schedule of one percent to a proposed five percent. That would have taken the young out of the market and potentially decimated the elderly by forcing them to sell their houses because they could not continue to pay property tax.
 
On a national level, we have a bit of an appraisal crisis on our hands. By placing a four-year college degree requirement on appraisers, we could have quite a deficit in that profession. We were able to extract that from the requirement.
 
Scott St. John is Vice President of Production and Branch Development at American Pacific Mortgage and President of the Washington Association of Mortgage Professionals (WAMP)What is WAMP’s relationship with NAMB?
It’s healthy and has a regained focus. That was part of my mission for 2017. We had a much stronger bond several years ago, but some leadership on our board made a departure from that. I worked to bring back a more united front.
 
You’ve been in the mortgage industry for 37 years. What do you see as your most significant career accomplishments?
In the first half of my career, I had “Empire-it is” … it was all about me. The back half of my career was all about giving back—I coach and mentor young Loan Originators. I’m passionate about homeownership in America, but I also feel all we really own is our time. I see two choices: Squander or invest, and I choose to invest.
 
You mentioned mentoring young originators. Do you see more young people coming into the mortgage profession?
Yes, I do. They are looking at all different careers out there, and they are finding the barrier to entry in real estate and origination is really quite low: An NMLS license. This career also offers income that rivals some of the most prestigious in the country.
 
I tell young people that they should focus on “career” and not on a “job,” because that’s only an acronym for “Just Over Broke.”
 
What is the state of your local housing market?
Seattle is one of the fastest-growing markets in the country. We’re growing up, not out, because we have urban growth boundaries. The building crane is our new state bird!
Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.

 
Allen Touchton is Executive Vice President of Sales and Operations at Mainsail Mortgage in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and is the President-Elect of the Jacksonville Chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals (FAMP)
Allen Touchton is Executive Vice President of Sales and Operations at Mainsail Mortgage in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and is the President-Elect of the Jacksonville Chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals (FAMP)Allen Touchton is Executive Vice President of Sales and Operations at Mainsail Mortgage in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and is the President-Elect of the Jacksonville Chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals (FAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with him regarding his work with the Chapter.
 
How did you first get involved with FAMP’s Jacksonville Chapter, and what was the route that led you to your leadership role?
I’ve been a mortgage broker since 1995. People who were involved at the time with FAMP tried to get me involved, but I did not become involved … I didn’t see the big picture. I finally got involved in 2015. The Chapter President at the time, Howard Dyal, was a former business partner of mine. He contacted me and said that he needed my help. I saw that he was actively involved and I thought, “If Howard is involved, I don’t mind helping.” I started as Jacksonville Chapter Secretary and worked my way up.
 
Why should a mortgage professional in your market get involved with FAMP?
That was my question when I came on board. We try to bring in speakers who give good information and provide useful resources. We also have sponsors that offer discounts to our members. And if you run into problems and don’t think that you can get help, we are here to help.
 
What is the Chapter’s current membership totals?
We have about 100 members at the moment. There are approximately 1,300 brokers in the Jacksonville area; however, we are always looking to add to our Chapter and are always looking for ways to improve our membership.
 
What role does the Jacksonville Chapter play in the legislative process?
Every February, we visit our state capitol in Tallahassee for Lobby Day. If there are any bills on the floor or bills that need to get to the floor, we discuss them with our legislators. We let them know that we are here if they need our help.
 
During your years in the mortgage profession, what has been your most satisfying accomplishment?
I would say that owning my mortgage company and being successful at it has been my greatest accomplishment. When I got into the business, I was at a small bank and my goals were to become a Loan Officer. Then, being the Department Manager was my vision. I had little knowledge that someday I’d own my own mortgage company. I had been a Training Officer in the military, and I kind of enjoyed the training aspect of the role. Today, I enjoy training Originators on how to create phone calls, and not just take them.
 
Allen Touchton is Executive Vice President of Sales and Operations at Mainsail Mortgage in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and is the President-Elect of the Jacksonville Chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals (FAMP)What is the state of the synergy between FAMP and NAMB?
We are all volunteers. We take time away from originating to give back to our industry. We get a lot of feedback from Valerie Saunders, NAMB’s Executive Director, as we are lucky she’s local and very involved in what we’re doing.
 
In your market, do you see young people seeking out careers in the mortgage profession?
I’ve seen some young people try to break in. Some are better than others. Those younger folks who come in on the Mortgage Broker side are usually at a shop with industry veterans who are grooming them.
 
What is the housing market like in your region?
Oh boy … it’s booming! There is a lot of new construction, and it is a seller’s market. You just have to poke and probe in a nice way and stay glued to your referral sources—that’s where the business relations come in.

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

 
Utah Association of Mortgage Professionals (UAMP)
President, Utah Association of Mortgage ProfessionalsTrent Hendry is a Vice President and Escrow Officer at Salt Lake City-based Mountain View Title and President of the Utah Association of Mortgage Professionals (UAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with him regarding his work with this association.
 
How did you get involved with the UAMP? What was the track that led you to the association’s leadership role?
I got involved to serve and help out my fellow mortgage people. I began serving on the UAMP Board in 2013, and became President because they asked me serve. I was flattered that they would regard me so highly and I gladly accepted the appointment.
 
Why should mortgage professionals in Utah join UAMP?
UAMP helps our mortgage originators get the necessary education needed to be better loan officers. This includes the NMLS continuing education requirement for licensing, as well as other educational topics to improve their marketing and ability to close loans. On the advocacy side, legislation is a big part of what we do. We work in the state capital to keep an eye on the legislature, while giving a voice to the mortgage industry. We help protect consumers and make the lives of the originators a little easier. We have Capital Day, where many UAMP members gather and talk about current legislation and issues that we feel need to be dealt with. We also work on a national level, going to Washington, D.C. for the Annual Legislative & Regulatory Conference.
 
Utah Association of Mortgage Professionals (UAMP)How many members are currently in the UAMP?
We currently have about 70 members. We started the year with 50 members, and we are projecting to have 120 by the end of the year.
 
There was recently a bit of drama involving your Annual Expo. What was the story behind that?
Our Annual Expo is our biggest event of the year. This year, a company came into the state and held a similar expo. It did created some confusion initially, but in the end our Board was able to work hard to clear up the confusion and we had a great Expo, one of our best attended Expos ever. In fact, we have one of the best attended Expos in the nation here thanks to the great mortgage people in our state.  We are lucky to have a lot of amazing mortgage experts in our state.
 
What is the UAMP’s relationship with NAMB?
We are the state affiliate for the national association, NAMB. When people become members of UAMP, they are automatically enrolled as a member with NAMB. We feel it is equally important because NAMB is a big part of what we can do on a legislative front in Washington, D.C. There is power in numbers, and NAMB provides that amongst many other benefits for our local members.
 
In other parts of the country, there is concern that not enough young people are coming into the industry. Is that a problem in Utah?
It was from 2008-2012. I’ve seen a little bit of an increase over the last year or two. I think the Millennial generation may have been scared off during the recession, but now we see more young people come in, not only as originators, but also in the title insurance sector where I work as well on the Realtor side. It is exciting to see their enthusiasm for our great industry.
 
What is the state of the Utah housing market?
Booming. It is extremely busy. But we are dealing with a supply and demand issue–there is a lot of competition, and offers are being accepted in record times.
Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.
 
John Forsythe is a Regional Vice President at Portland, Ore.-based Plaza Home Mortgage and recently concluded his term as President of the Oregon Mortgage Association (OMA)
John Forsythe is a Regional Vice President at Portland, Ore.-based Plaza Home Mortgage John Forsythe is a Regional Vice President at Portland, Ore.-based Plaza Home Mortgage and recently concluded his term as President of the Oregon Mortgage Association (OMA). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with him regarding his work with this trade group.
 

How did you join the Oregon Mortgage Association (OMA)? What was the track that led you to your leadership role?
My path began as a member of the Portland Chapter of OMA. I joined because they believe in doing business in an ethical, professional and profitable way, and they put a high standard on the industry. I became a Board Member of the Chapter, and later on, I became Statewide President of OMA in August 2015 for a two-year term.
 
Why would a mortgage professional in your state want to join OMA?
OMA is the best association for someone who wants to gain insight from other professionals. We have member-only events that allow you to network with other like-minded individuals at the highest level. You can talk with top-producing loan originators in our market, and their insight can help you gain knowledge. OMA is also providing NMLS continuing education classes to professionals in the mortgage industry.
 
How many members are currently in the OMA?
We now have about 80 members. In the past, we have had up to 140-plus members.
 
Is OMA actively involved in the legislative and regulatory environment?
We defer to NAMB and follow their lead. NAMB talks to the state of Oregon and, when needed, we jump right in. We do not have our own lobbyist, nor do we pay for a Political Action Committee in Oregon.
 
John Forsythe is a Regional Vice President at Portland, Ore.-based Plaza Home Mortgage What do you see as the association’s most significant achievement?
Within each of our markets, we contribute to local charities. If we do an event–say, a mixer in Bend, Ore.—any money above our expenses goes to a charitable group in that market. These non-profit organizations look up to OMA because we give back to the community.
 
What is your relationship like with other industry trade groups?
We host events with the Oregon Realtors Association. We’ve put on an annual golf tournament in Eugene with them for a number of years. That is a huge event that turns out more than 150 people every year. We also do an annual Toys for Toys with the Eugene Association of Realtors in December, coordinated in conjunction with the U.S. Marines Corps.
 
Do you see young people in your state seeking careers as mortgage professionals?
We do. We have two OMA state Board Members who were recently featured in National Mortgage Professional Magazine’s 40 Under 40. We also have a number of professionals in our organization who are in their mid-20s and mid-30s.
 
Describe the current state of the housing market in Oregon?
It is better than most others. There is a problem: Because of all of the people moving to Oregon, we are seeing inventory drop and prices going through the roof. We see multiple offers from buyers on a property that was only listed for one day. And we have seen prices on houses going up, up, up.

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

Dawn Cychner is Sales Manager and Mortgage Loan Originator at C&S California Capital in Covina, Calif., and State Secretary of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals (CAMP)
Dawn Cychner is Sales Manager and Mortgage Loan Originator at C&S California Capital in Covina, Calif., and State Secretary of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals (CAMP)Dawn Cychner is Sales Manager and Mortgage Loan Originator at C&S California Capital in Covina, Calif., and State President-Elect of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals (CAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine spoke with Cychner regarding her work with the trade group.
 
How and why did you get involved with CAMP? Can you share the track within your association that led to the leadership role?
I honestly do not remember when I first got involved with and became a member of CAMP. I do remember that at the time I joined, it was known as CAMB, the California Association of Mortgage Brokers, so it’s been quite some time. In the most recent 15 or so years, I was most active in the Inland Empire Chapter because it was the closest Chapter to my office location. I served a few years on the Inland Empire Board until I decided to take on an integral role in reestablishing our San Gabriel Valley Chapter.
 
I had joined CAMB/CAMP because the organization was different from other industry groups. The members and particularly leaders truly were concerned with helping originators/managers and broker owners to grow and improve their businesses. The group genuinely helped their members grow their business, educate themselves and their staff and truly nurtured each other. There was a dynamic mentality that the more of us that we can help, the better our industry becomes. I truly believe that. We need to learn from each other not hold each other back. Some of my best friends in the industry jump at the chance to help me solve a problem and I likewise truly desire to help them should they run into a problem they need help with. Together we improve our industry.
 
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state join CAMP?
I believe the vast majority of those who join CAMP do so because they want to make a difference in the industry. Many members truly feel a passion to be involved in our legislative efforts and that shows when we are able to gather for our State Lobby Day and also join with NAMB for a Federal Lobby Day and Legislative Conference.
 
Some members, like myself, see that this is the first association that seeks to mentor each other. CAMP believes wholeheartedly that we are the best resource to educate our industry. CAMP recently launched a platform that allows members to reach out to one of several CAMP Counselors with questions that they need direction with. Some of these questions are regarding day to day operations of a mortgage business, some may be how to structure a transaction to best help the borrower, some may just be quirky weird situations that come up and they aren’t sure who to turn to with these questions. We at CAMP want to be their resource. 
 
Dawn Cychner is Sales Manager and Mortgage Loan Originator at C&S California Capital in Covina, Calif., and State Secretary of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals (CAMP)What role does CAMP 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 are very satisfied that SB 173 (Dodd) passed this year, reinstating the California Dept. of Real Estate to a standalone department. We are in the process of fully reviewing the Congressional tax reform bill, but the bill would cap the mortgage interest deduction on new home sales at $500,000, which is a departure from the current cap of $1 million for couples filing jointly. 
 
What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with the association?
I would love to think that the best is still yet to come! I am very proud of serving the San Gabriel Valley area and reestablishing that chapter, which I still continue to serve. In 2014, I was awarded the Chris Salazar Mortgage Professional of the Year. I am very proud to be recognized for helping grow and improve our industry. I firmly believe the best source for a consumer to obtain a mortgage is through an educated, involved and locally based mortgage professional. Our own communities have these dedicated mortgage professionals who are so much more than just a licensed originator.
 
What is synergy between your organization and NAMB?
CAMP and NAMB have lengthy histories together. I can tell you that the current CAMP leadership is dedicated to working with NAMB to reach more mortgage professionals. The current CAMP President, Karen Bates, feels as strongly as I do that we can accomplish so much more together than apart. NAMB has purposefully sought out our opinions and involvement and we are equally seeking theirs. I recently had the pleasure of attending the NAMB National Conference and the NAMB Leadership Meeting. The ideas, the energy and the sentiment that came from attending these events are contagious! The professionalism of the organizations working together can truly move mountains, I believe. I am looking forward to these next few years!
 
In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
We are very conscious of our role to play in grooming the next generation of mortgage professionals. We allow newly licensed mortgage originators to join CAMP at no cost for their first year. We are an association of mentors and we relish the opportunity to bring in new blood to our industry. In my opinion, the best asset we have for someone just getting started, is someone who has already been there!
 
We are also conscious of the technology requirements that often times go along with the young people coming in. We are constantly seeking to improve and add to our technology components.
 
How would you define your state's housing market?
I do not believe it is any surprise to anyone in California when I say that we have a housing shortage. Builders have not yet fully returned to building homes as in previous years. Specifically, we are in need of entry level homes. The first-time buyer now faces numerous obstacles such as obtaining down payment, qualifying with more debt (student loans), credit history (sometimes a lack of credit, sometimes overuse of credit) and all of these are in addition to there being a shortage of homes that they can afford. I would love to see more education of consumers when they are in college and even high school. Students leave high school knowing they can obtain student loans but truly not understanding the consequences of the debt. We do not educate our young consumers on credit, how to use it, what it means, how to obtain it, etc. Credit is paramount for so many facets of life including employment and housing. Mortgage professionals spend a lot of time educating our consumers.

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

 
Debbie Cooley-Guy is a Branch Manager and Loan Originator at Innovative Mortgage Services
Debbie Cooley-Guy is a Branch Manager and Loan Originator at Innovative Mortgage Services Debbie Cooley-Guy is a Branch Manager and Loan Originator at Innovative Mortgage Services and President of the Gulf Coast Chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals (FAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with her about her work with this trade group.
 
How and why did you get involved with the Gulf Coast Chapter of FAMP? Can you share the track within your association that led to the leadership role in your Chapter?
I had a mentor, Gabe Ayala, who was Past President of FAMP, and he tried to recruit me. I said to him, “Whenever my kid is all grown, I promise that I’ll participate.” About 15 years ago, my son graduated from high school, and I said, “Now is the time.”
 
I came in as Secretary, then Vice President, and I have been elected President three times: In 2012, 2013 and 2017. My current term runs through July 2018.
 
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state join FAMP?
There are tangible benefits and intangible benefits. The tangible benefits involve having people more attuned to what is going on in the industry and seeing what our leaders are doing on their behalf at a state and national level. The intangible benefits enable you to see your peers and learning what issues are impacting them. We’re all in our home offices, and you may not want to get out of that comfort zone.
The great thing about this association is that every time you participate, you learn something. I believe it is important to be in a continuous state of learning.
 
What role does the Gulf Coast Chapter play within the statewide FAMP decision-making process?
Among the Chapters, for every 50 members you have, you have one delegate who goes to the State Quarterly Meeting. Have 169 members, so our President and three Board Members go to that meeting.
 
Debbie Cooley-Guy is a Branch Manager and Loan Originator at Innovative Mortgage Services What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with the association?
I have been responsible for extremely successful trade shows for three years. I also organized a golf tournament last year, and I headed up the change in our branding. We also had our had our Facebook Page launched during my tenure, and I would say that we have the best Web site or any Chapter in the state.
 
Also, I have been able to keep member retention. One of the biggest challenges is retaining members: People change professions or just leave. Keeping in touch with everyone is a challenge.
 
What can the industry do to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
We’re working on an internship program, and we’ve done a couple of Facebook posts. We have some members whose children have become involved in the profession.
 
We need more publicity of the industry. I participated in some High School Career Days, and I’ve had our banner out—but the students walked past us and went to the Police Department’s career table. We need to attend more job fairs—students need to know how much money they can earn as a mortgage broker.
Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.

 
Joanne Mucino is a Sales Executive with Ticor Title of Nevada and the 2017 President of the Board of Directors of the Nevada Mortgage Lenders Association (NMLA)
Joanne Mucino is a Sales Executive with Ticor Title of Nevada and the 2017 President of the Board of Directors of the Nevada Mortgage Lenders Association (NMLA). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with Joanne regarding her work with this trade group.
 
How did you first become involved with the Nevada Mortgage Lenders Association? What was the path that led you to your leadership role in this organization?
About three years ago, one of my co-workers invited me to join the organization. I was brought in on the Events Committee, and after some time, I became Events Vice President. People who have a Vice President position become part of the Board of Directors. From there, I was chosen to become President.
 
What is the length of your term as President of the Board of Directors?
It is a one-year term. But I was talking to the Chairman of the Board of Governors recently to see if it would be possible to make it a two-year term. I feel that I am just getting started. This is really, really fun and rewarding, and I feel that I can do more good work.
 
How does your organization approach the legislative and regulatory environment?
NMLA has a Lobbyist, Marcus Conklin—a former majority leader of the Nevada Assembly—who gives us a voice in fighting for what is acceptable for lenders. The legislative and advocacy agenda is maintained by the NMLA’s Board of Governors. I am on the Board of Directors—you have to be a lender to be on the Board of Governors.
 
What do your duties entail?
I run the day to day operations. I’m mostly responsible for holding events, getting the word out on the NMLA. At some of our recent events, we had the FBI come in to talk about fraud, and a former local broadcaster who is also a financial consultant did an amazing presentation of how lenders have been affected by having Donald Trump as President. A couple of years ago, we did a mixer with candidates who were running for office, and that was a great forum for people to ask direct questions of their current and potential elected officials.
 
Can you tell us about NMLA’s membership?
We used to be two organizations. In January 2015, the Nevada Mortgage Bankers Association and the Nevada Association of Mortgage Professionals merged to become the NMLA. We have three levels of membership: Individual Membership; Affiliate Membership, which is available for all mortgage affiliates and industry providers; and Corporate Membership for residential originators and servicers. There are thousands of voices in our membership.
 
Are you seeing young people coming into the industry in pursuit of mortgage careers?
When I am out at lending institutions, I see a lot of young people. In my field, the title industry, we are very, very diverse. I am happy to see all ages represented there.
 
What is the housing market like in your state?
It is an amazingly active time in the state of Nevada. Overall sales are up, and there is a new housing boom again. I don’t know what the future will bring, but the year 2020 will be exciting when the Raiders will be here.
Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.
 
Ray DeMar is president of 1st United Mortgage Banc in Lincoln, Neb., and Past President of the Nebraska Association of Mortgage Brokers (NEAMB)
Ray DeMar is president of 1st United Mortgage Banc in Lincoln, Neb., and Past President of the Nebraska Association of Mortgage Brokers (NEAMB).Ray DeMar is president of 1st United Mortgage Banc in Lincoln, Neb., and Past President of the Nebraska Association of Mortgage Brokers (NEAMB). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with him regarding his trade association leadership.
 
How and why did you get involved with the Nebraska Association of Mortgage Brokers (NEAMB)? Can you share the track within your association that led to your leadership role?
I joined both the Nebraska Association of Mortgage Brokers and NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals in 2007. The mortgage crisis was underway and the need to be informed was a leading factor in my joining. Once a member, I joined the Board of Directors, I later became involved in the association’s Fall Conference and Membership Committees, although I did not chair either of them. I eventually was elected association President and served in that capacity from 2015 to early 2016. I have very much enjoyed the association.
 
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state should join NEAMB?
The association puts on a Fall Conference that is usually held over the course of two days. On the first day, we have continuing education classes that last for four hours, and later, have a social event where all of the affiliates operating in the industry–title companies, lenders, insurance companies and so forth–come in and tell us what’s new and exciting. We have about 100 members and they are a great group of people.
 
What role does NEAMB play in the federal and state legislative and regulatory environments? Are there any items on the current agenda you would like to highlight?
We have not been overly involved in regulatory issues. On occasion, we get e-mails from NAMB asking us to contact our representatives regarding specific issues. We also have an individual on the Board who follows the legislative side and updates up on what Nebraska might doing that would adversely or positively affect our industry.
 
Ray DeMar is president of 1st United Mortgage Banc in Lincoln, Neb., and Past President of the Nebraska Association of Mortgage Brokers (NEAMB)What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with NEAMB?
The ability to put on our own continuing education classes. Shortly after the crash began, it became obvious that everyone would have to take the NMLS. We decided to take the initiative and have continuing education in our Nebraska organization. I don’t know how many states did that.
 
In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
Educating young people about the industry would be helpful. The association has talked about it, but to date, we have not established an outreach program. As for why many Millennials are not pursuing this, I imagine many still remember the mortgage crisis.
 
How would you define your state's housing market?
Nebraska has always been a very stable market, even during periods of high rate environments, recession and inflation.

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