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Sep 11, 2006

NAMB soars through Philly with annual convention: 4,500-plus make annual pilgrimage to City of Brotherly LoveEric C. PeckNAMB, NAMB Annual Convention, Philadelphia, Jim Nabors II, Harry Dinham Photo caption: The past and present of NAMB leadership were on hand in Philly as Immediate Past President Jim Nabors II from Ohio welcomes Harry Dinham from Texas to the role of NAMB president There is a lot of work ahead of us. But, I believe NAMBs future is bright and the work that we do truly helps Americans buy houses that become their homes. --NAMB 2006-2007 President Harry Dinham during his acceptance speech in Philadelphia The National Association of Mortgage Brokers hosted its 2006 Annual Convention & Exposition in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, from June 23-26. Chock full of education, networking opportunities, and enough cocktail receptions and hors doeuvres to get you through 2006, NAMBs annual extravaganza offered something for everyone looking to enhance their business. The association said hello to its new President Harry Dinham, bid a fond farewell to the presidential term of Jim Nabors II and celebrated the infancy of self-management of a roster of mortgage professionals that currently stands at 27,000-plus nationwide. Beating the crowds Education was on tap for those who chose to arrive early for the event. Thursday featured a number of NAMB-accredited courses for those looking to meet their respective states education requirements. As the day turned into night, early-arriving attendees were bused to the Battleship New Jersey for the First Magnus Financial Corporation-sponsored Pre-Conference Reception. A brisk night on the water and picturesque sunset served as an ideal backdrop to renew old acquaintances and forge new business partnerships. Friday was a day of meetings and additional education, as the day kicked off with the annual NAMB Political Action Committee Golf Tournament at the nearby Makefield Highlands Golf Course in scenic Bucks County, Pa. NAMBs 2005-2006 committees gathered for one final time to discuss their accomplishments over the past year, and a meeting of the Delegate Council was held to discuss NAMBs objectives for 2006-2007. The evening concluded with the Radian Guaranty-sponsored Opening Reception. Held at the National Constitution Center, attendees mingled at one of Philadelphias historical treasures. It was then back to the host hotel, the Loews Philadelphia for the Annual PAC Auction. This year, attendees were treated to boxing matches among NAMBs delegates as contestants donned their blow-up gloves and hit the inflatable ring, while auctioneers J.J. Sims and Todd Williams took bids on autographed sports, entertainment and political memorabilia to raise money for the PAC fund. Day two & up and running Saturday, June 24, day two of NAMB Soars, began with an early-morning broker workshop, presented by David Lewis from Ellie Mae, titled 10 Ways to Generate More Leads. Lewis discussed a number of simple ways in which to increase business, including a number of tips for online marketing and how to better leverage your companys Web site. The Countrywide-sponsored General Session began with Paul Logan of the Pennsylvania Association of Mortgage Brokers coming out as the spitting image of Ben Franklin to share his thoughts on the host city of Philadelphia. NAMB President-Elect George Hanzimanolis, also from the Keystone state, emceed the General Session, and honored the associations Double Platinum Industry Partners. On hand to accept their honors for their generous support of NAMB were Brian Robinett of Countrywide, Gary Baraff of First Magnus Financial Corporation, Greg Schroeder of New Century Mortgage Corporation and Kim Karr of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. An annual tradition of NAMB is to present a local charity in the host city of their annual convention with a donation. This year, Walt Scott Jr. and John Wyno from PAMB presented a check in the amount of $7,500 to David Miller, chair of the board of Philabundancea non-profit organization that collects surplus food from restaurants and caterers for distribution to needy persons in the Philadelphia region. Jim Nabors II, NAMB 2005-2006 president, was up next to address the association one last time as its leader. In his emotional speech, he shared his passion for the broker industry and recognized those who assisted him throughout his term as NAMB president. I love what we do, remarked Nabors. We make America a better place every day. Jim noted the accomplishments of the NAMB Education Committee, chaired by his fellow Ohioan John W. Drake, and noted the availability of NAMBs online education program. He also recognized the work of Erick Parker and Jim Pair and their work in increasing minority homeownership through NAMBs Cultural Diversity Committee. He thanked Government Affairs Committee Chair Joe Falk for his tireless work on Capitol Hill on behalf of NAMB, and recognized NAMB Vice President Marc Savitt and outgoing Board member Kate Crawfords disaster relief efforts for the hurricane-ravaged Gulf States areas in the summer/fall of 2005. A good feeling is helping people buy their first home, said Nabors. A better feeling is keeping the American dream alive. Jim then welcomed keynote speaker Bruce Jenner to the stage. Most know Bruce from his success as a gold medalist at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, but his message of striving for one goal and accomplishing it left a mark on the many in attendance. A father of 10 children, Bruce urged the crowd to find the champion within, as he chronicled his long road to Olympic gold and the many failures that littered his path. The day continued with NAMBs Industry Partner Presentations, a time for supporters of the association to detail their offerings and a time to thank the broker community for its support. Eric Weinstein from Gold Industry Partner Carteret Mortgage presented Compliance in the Net Branching Era; Double Platinum Industry Partner Countrywide presented its Power Seminar; Julie Slack from NAMB Gold Industry Partner M&T Mortgage Corporation presented Growing Your Business Using Niche Product Solutions; and James Cotton from Freddie Mac discussed the benefits of Loan Prospector. The afternoon featured additional breakout sessions, covering a number of the industrys hot topics. Art Ski Swiatkowski from InterBay Funding dissected the addition of small commercial lending to a brokers residential portfolio; NAMB Past President Patty McGill presented Reverse Mortgages: Learn to Help Seniors in Your Community; accomplished speaker and author Gordon Schlicke presented the 1st Metropolitan Mortgage-sponsored Lender Contacts and Broker Liability session; PAMB President-Elect Greg Incardona delivered his Stop the Insanity of Lead Generation: There are Dollars in Your Database session; Ken Perry presented the eye-opening session Protection From Identity Theft and Computer Hackers; Bill The Coach Sparkman delivered the Right Path Marketing-sponsored How to Recruit and Retain Top Producing Loan Originators discussion; Jillayne Schlicke presented Marketing to Generation X; and Gerry Glavey and NAMBs FHA Committee Chair John Councilman presented The New FHA session. A changing of the guard Sunday morning began with the EquiFirst-sponsored session Selling and Marketing While Playing Golf. Presented by Richard Brasser and Allan Avakian from Targeted Golf, the session described the many ways in which a simple golf outing could double as an effective business meeting. The duo explained their FROG (Fantastic Return on Golf) philosophy and how leads can be built during a round of golf. The Wells Fargo Home Mortgage-sponsored General Session II highlighted Sunday mornings festivities, as NAMB recognized many of its individual award winners for their accomplishments over the past year. NAMB Government Affairs Chair and Past President Joe Falk was presented with the Leadership Award for his service to the association; NAMB nationwide instructor Ruth Faynor was honored with the Distinguished Industry Service Award for her years of service to both NAMB and the broker industry; and the three finalists for the NAMB Broker of the Year Award were announced: NAMB Secretary Jim Pair, Mississippi Association of Mortgage Brokers Past President Vickie Graves and NAMB Vice President Marc Savitt. The associations outgoing 2005-2006 Board members, Past President Bob Armbruster, Secretary Kate Crawford, Treasurer Allan Daniels and Director Jane Estes, were thanked for their accomplishments, and the new Board was announced and sworn in. Bob Armbruster read the oath of office to President Harry Dinham, President-Elect George Hanzimanolis, Vice President Marc Savitt, Secretary Jim Pair, Treasurer John Porter, Immediate Past President Jim Nabors II, and Directors Mike DAlonzo, Donald Fader, Penny Fagan, Ted Grose, Bill Howe, J. Thad McIntyre and Donald Starks, and the term of Harry Dinham as NAMB president officially began. A 39-year veteran of the mortgage industry, Harry Dinham took a few moments to outline his goals as NAMB president. He wants to increase association membership from 27,000 to 35,000 over the next year; keep Joe Falk on as Government Affairs Committee Chair; expand access to FHA loans; ensure that NAMB has a voice in the final RESPA ruling set to be released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the near future; and crack down on abuses that exist with some affiliated business arrangements (ABAs); continue the work of Bob Armbruster in the financial literacy arena. Dinham concluded by stressing the need to attain industry certification through the Certified Mortgage Consultant (CMC) and Certified Residential Mortgage Specialist (CRMS) designations and increasing cultural diversity within NAMB. This is an exciting challenge, said Dinham. NAMB is rapidly becoming a leading voice in our industry, and this will continue as we strive to influence policies and practices that help Americans achieve the dream of homeownership. Harry then introduced General Session IIs keynote speaker, retired U.S. Navy Commander Scott Waddle. Commander Waddle rose to national fame when, in February 2001, he gave the order to surface his submarine which collided with a Japanese fishing vessel, killing nine people on board. His presentation, Failure is Not Final! stressed that even when we have reached our lowest point in life, we must get up and rebound to make amends and improve our situation. His message of Get Up, Get Back, Get Down, Get Dirty was conveyed to the General Session II audience through a series of still images and a video clip of the tragic submarine accident that Commander Waddle assumed full responsibility for. Sunday continued with another series of Industry Partner Presentations, a second installment that featured NAMB Gold Industry Partner 1st Metropolitan Mortgages Ryan Steinert presenting Three Secrets to Working Less and Making More; Gold Industry Partner Decision One Mortgages Become the Mortgage Lender for Life with speaker Brian Parsley; Income Opportunities in Small Commercial Lending, a presentation from Gold Industry Partner InterBay Funding LLCs Art Ski Swiatkowski; and Building Your Business in the Changing Economy, a presentation from Dr. Scott Anderson from NAMB Double Platinum Industry Partner Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Later in the afternoon, the breakouts continued with FairPays Bobby Johnsons session on bi-weekly payment programs; the New Century Mortgage-sponsored Becoming an Expert in 60 Daysor Else! presented by Chip Cummings; and a U.S. Department of Labor and wage and hour update from Leslie Stout-Tabackman from the law firm of FortneyScott. Then it was time for the Fife and Drummers to lead attendees into the Philadelphia Convention Centers exhibit hall. Approximately 320 of the industrys top lenders, vendors and technology providers converged on Philly for this years exposition. Relaxation stations and food stops were scattered about as foot-weary attendees stopped off for authentic Philly cheesesteaks and massages at the relaxation station. Sports celebs of the past and present were also available for meet and greets, as Argent Mortgage hosted IRL driver Danica Patrick, Madison Equity Corporation featured NFL legend William The Refrigerator Perry and Fifth Third Bank hosted Major League Baseball Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench. The grand finale: Humor and honors Monday, June 26 marked the final day of the event, with an interesting take on the breakout session concept. Sponsored by IndyMac Bank, the NAMB Jam event featured a game show-type atmosphere where the crowd was split into four teams and had to answer questions like the game show Jeopardy. Attendees took physical challenges, such as a hula hoop challenge and field goal kicking event, and were awarded spirit coins for their correct answers. A great time was had by all in this early morning session as IndyMac incorporated questions and answers about its product line into the game. Mondays breakouts spanned a number of industry topics, including the National City Warehouse Resources-sponsored Warehouse is Your Competitive Edge, presented by National Citys Joe Dunn; an Advectis-sponsored panel discussion on technology; the 1st Metropolitan Mortgage-sponsored Going Multi-State: Real Life Licensing and Compliance Consideration; Federal Reserve: Everything You Didnt Know About the Federal Reserve, presented by Herb Taylor, vice president of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve; the Countrywide-sponsored Selling Smarter, presented by Dave Bartels. A good feeling is helping people buy their first home. A better feeling is keeping the American dream alive. --NAMB 2005-2006 President Jim Nabors II, during his farewell address in Philadelphia The lively Branch Network Smackdown panel discussion, sponsored by Carteret Mortgage and moderated by NAMB Past President Joe Falk, featured a no-holds barred discussion on the pros and cons of branch networking. Eric The Enforcer Weinstein from Carteret Mortgage and Daniel Knuckles Jacobs from 1st Metropolitan Mortgage took the vantage points of branch networks competing for the brokers business, while J.J. Sims from ABC Mortgage represented the Neanderthal brokers point of view and NAMB Treasurer John Porter played the part of a correspondent lender. Both branch companies stressed their quality control and low overhead, while Sims and Porter countered with their entrepreneurial points of view. The final day of NAMBs exposition wrapped up Monday afternoon, as attendees sauntered into the exhibit hall for many of the booth raffles and a second day of networking. As deals were closed and new business partnerships were forged, a Jeep Liberty, iPods, PSPs, a Segway, plasma televisions and travel vouchers were raffled off around the exhibit hall. Black ties and evening gowns were the dress code for the NAMB Soars-concluding, InterBay Funding-sponsored Gala Dinner & Showcase, and Express Financial Services-sponsored Casino & Cabaret that closed out NAMBs stay in Philly. The evening began with the presentation of the Presidents Awards of Merit, bestowed upon those who assisted and contributed to the presidency of Jim Nabors II. Honored this year were George Hanzimanolis, John W. Drake, Erick Parker, D. Ritch Workman and Kate Crawford. Harry Dinham then took the podium and welcomed to the stage Karl Young, chief operating officer of NAMBs Affiliate Company of the Year, First Magnus Financial Corporation, and Walt Scott Jr., past president of the Pennsylvania Association of Mortgage Brokers, who was named NAMB Volunteer of the Year for his efforts promoting the association. It was then time to honor NAMBs state affiliates. Sponsored by Freddie Mac, the State Affiliate of the Year honor is bestowed to three affiliates that have exhibited the most membership growth and have done the most for their communities. This year, the Maine Association of Mortgage Brokers won State Affiliate of the Year in the Red Division (an NAMB state affiliate with 300 members or less), the Mississippi Association of Mortgage Brokers won the State Affiliate of the Year in the White Division (301-599 members), and the Oregon Association of Mortgage Professionals was honored in the Blue Division (600-plus members). The accolades continued as NAMB Broker of the Year Marc Savitt took the stage to accept his award and check in the amount of $5,000 from Fannie Mae. With 20-plus years of mortgage experience, Savitt has made considerable accomplishments within NAMB and the mortgage industry. As the former West Virginia Association of Mortgage Brokers president and a member of both of the Fannie Mae (W.Va.) Advisory Council and the Fannie Mae (Southeast regional) Advisory Council, he was instrumental in drafting West Virginias original mortgage broker licensing law, and participated in the drafting of two proposals to the West Virginia Legislature. Marc deserves to be Broker of the Year because of all of his work for NAMB throughout the years, said NAMB President Harry Dinham. He will continue to make worthy contributions to our industry, and we are very proud to recognize him with our highest honor. The evening wrapped up with the comedic musings of David Brenner. A veteran of the stage and screen, and native of Philadelphia, Brenner shared his humor and entertaining look at life and politics with the Gala Dinner & Showcase crowd and segued into the evenings final event, the Casino & Cabaret. Attendees trekked back across the street to the host hotel, the Loews Philadelphia, for an evening of chance at the Express Financial Services-sponsored gaming tables. Lessons learned Broker feedback has been on the positive side when discussing the NAMB 2006 Annual Convention. With comments ranging from, It offered a little something for everyone, to Thanks to NAMB for providing this one-stop shop of industry knowledge, NAMB continues to top itself each year. And, if you were in Philly this year and like myself, purchased an umbrella due to all the rain, pack it away for next year because NAMB will take over rainy Seattle in 2007, Thursday-Monday, June 21-25 when NAMB Reigns for its 2007 Annual Convention & Exposition. NAMB has a responsibility to lead, not follow. --NAMB Government Affairs Committee Chair Joe Falk, during the NAMB Press Conference in Philadelphia
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