If this weekend’s annual conference for NAMB–The Association of Mortgage Professionals had an unofficial tune, it would be “Back in the High Life Again,” a reflection of the mortgage industry’s rebound and the spirit of those in the mortgage profession.
“We had 2,300 attendees,” said Vincent Valvo, CEO of Hartford, Conn.-based Agility Resources Group, whose company produced NAMB National on behalf of NAMB. “This has been the highest number we’ve had in the last 10 years.”
The conference, held at The Luxor Hotel & Resort in Las Vegas, saw NAMB’s evolving leadership structure, with Donald J. Frommeyer, the organization’s outgoing president, taking on the newly-created position of NAMB CEO. John Councilman, president of Fort Myers, Fla.-based AMC Mortgage Corporation, was elected to the position of NAMB president.
"I have never seen so many qualified people willing to volunteer," said Councilman. "The best way to describe attendees was 'pumped.'"
According to Valvo, many attendees considered NAMB’s 40th anniversary event as a highlight of the conference.
“The retrospective was very well done,” said Valvo, referring to an extensive video presentation that paid tribute to the men and women who shaped the depth and scope of NAMB over the past four decades. “There was a lot of emotion in the room.”
For Rocke Andrews, vice president of NAMB and broker/owner at Tucson-based Lending Arizona LLC, the conference reflected a growing sense of enthusiasm across the mortgage space.
“The overall mood of the show was very optimistic,” said Andrews. “People are excited about the industry. The breakout sessions were good, and the last minute addition of CFPB [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] representative Brian Webster yesterday was very well-received. There were also several lender hospitality events [at the show] that were missing in the previous three to four years, so the vitality is returning.”
Several of NAMB's past presidents were on hand in Las Vegas for NAMB National as Jim Pair, Harry Dinham, A.W. Pickel III, Bob Armbruster, Neill Fendly and Don Frommeyer gather for a photo
NAMB National also featured its Annual Awards Dinner, with the Mortgage Professional of the Year honors going to Fred Kreger, branch manager at American Family Funding in Santa Clarita, Calif., a position he has held for the past six years. Kreger, who heads the company’s credit union and reverse mortgage divisions, vice chairman for NAMB’s Government Affairs Committee and a member of the NAMB Board of Directors.
“It is still resonating with me,” said Kreger to National Mortgage Professional Magazine, speaking from his office in Santa Clarita, where his teammates have been applauding his return as an award-winning mortgage executive. “It’s pretty amazing–everyone here has been very happy and congratulatory.”
For his part, Valvo has been encouraged by the positive responses he has received from both attendees and exhibitors on the upbeat personality of the event and the variety of events tied to NAMB National.
“We’ve had nothing but very positive feedback,” Valvo said. “This was a real home run for us.”
Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at [email protected]