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The Mortgage Bankers Association Education Division (MBA Education) has announced that Susan Brown, senior vice president of Residential Construction Production at Umpqua Bank, and Carol Placek, senior examiner with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), were both awarded the Wills Bryant Award for their achievements in MBA Education’s School of Mortgage Banking (SOMB).
"We congratulate Susan Brown and Carol Placek for their achievements and we are pleased to honor their accomplishments with this award. The Willis Bryant Award is offered only when a student passes all three of MBA’s rigorous School of Mortgage Banking courses with outstanding marks on their tests throughout. In addition, we look for candidates who demonstrate a strong commitment to educating the consumer,” said Jeffrey M. Schummer, MBA’s vice president of Education Development.
At each session of MBA Education's SOMB Course III, students graduate and earn the Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) designation to signify their achievement. The Willis Bryant Award recognizes outstanding academic achievement in the three courses of SOMB and is awarded to the top student graduate at each offering of SOMB Course III.
To qualify, a student must achieve a grade of "excellent" on all SOMB exams and demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities in both the classroom and when interacting with other students.
This award was established in the name of Willis R. Bryant, following his death in 1965. Bryant, a mortgage banking pioneer of the 1950s, was a former lecturer and textbook author at the SOMB.
Placek is an attorney and senior examiner with the FHFA in Washington, D.C. She has held management positions with Freddie Mac and Marriott Corporation, worked or consulted at HUD, SIGTARP, and housing agencies, and practiced corporate and securities law. Her experience spans policy, regulatory, risk management, affordable housing development, foreclosure prevention, and fraud areas. She graduated from Stanford Law School, earned an MBA and engineering degree at Northwestern University, and is a Certified Fraud Examiner.
Brown is senior vice president of construction and renovation production manager for Umpqua Bank Home Lending. She has more than 25 years of experience in the mortgage industry. In her current role she is responsible for product development, operations, loan fulfillment, compliance, systems development, sales and training for the comprehensive suite of construction products offered by Umpqua Bank. In her previous role as regional manager she was responsible for all aspects of loan production in Northern Oregon and Southwest Washington. Susan has served on committees and boards for numerous industry specific organizations including the Oregon Mortgage Bankers Association. She participates in Umpqua Bank’s Connect program by donating her volunteer time to a number of local organizations including Oregon Public Broadcasting and The Children’s Book Bank. Susan enjoys a rural lifestyle with her husband of 33 years on their 100 acre timber farm.