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Melissa Grosvenor is executive director and chief operating officer (COO) of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals (FAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with her regarding her work with this trade group and the state of the Florida housing marketplace.
How and why did you get involved with the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals? Can you share the track within FAMP that led to the leadership role?
In 2003, a dear friend who worked with the association for many years advised me that the then-current executive director was anticipating retirement. The executive director was anxious to find a person qualified to learn the financial management, reporting processes and eventual oversight of the association, as well as assisting her in her daily tasks. I arranged an interview and was offered the position and became the chief operating officer of the association.
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in Florida should join FAMP?
The association is the only organization devoted to the individual Florida mortgage professional and the businesses in which they make their living. We are the oldest and largest state mortgage association in the United States and founded the National Association of Mortgage Brokers in 1973. We have worked diligently since our founding in 1960 to protect the borrowing public, as well as the ability of the mortgage professional to engage in their chosen career.
I am a firm believer in heeding President Theodore Roosevelt’s credo, “Every man owes a part of his time and money to the business or industry in which he is engaged. No man has a moral right to withhold his support from an organization that is striving to improve conditions within his sphere.” Thanks to our members’ adherence to this philosophy, the entire industry benefits.
What role does FAMP play in the state legislative and regulatory environment? Are there any items on the current agenda you would like to highlight?
We are the voice of the industry in Florida. FAMP has an active Government Affairs Committee that monitors and provides insight to the membership regarding legislative or rule-making items that may impact the industry. We have a close relationship with our state regulators and regularly visit with legislators both on the state and federal levels to discuss items important to or impacting our industry.
What do you see as your most significant accomplishment with the association?
Several years ago, our industry was severely impacted by the financial meltdown that affected so many of our fellow Americans. The mortgage industry suffered during this period. I am proud to say that I was an integral part in helping the association survive those difficult times and to now witness and be part of the re-growth of the association and the industry.
As a state affiliate for NAMB, what do you feel that adds to your association and towards the overall agenda for the mortgage profession nationwide?
Since we were the founders of NAMB in 1973, we have a special affinity. NAMB is a national voice for the industry, and we have members serving on NAMB committees, the NAMB board and as delegates to the NAMB meetings. Through our relationship with NAMB, our members receive important and timely information regarding what is happening on the national scene.
In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
The changes to the licensing laws have increased the difficulty level for people unfamiliar with the mortgage lending industry to obtain licensure. I would like to see the industry establish internship programs to help young people garner experience and a feel for the industry and how it works. I firmly believe a bootstrap position and hands-on experience, within the limits of the law, would be a boon for the industry.
How would you define your state's housing market?
The market in Florida is great! We talk to our members on a regular basis and most are excited about the new upturn in housing sales. Our population is aging and Baby Boomers love coming to the Sunshine State!
Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@NMPMediaCorp.com.