Featured Industry Leader: Frederick A. McDonald Jr., Ex-Officio President, Mortgage Bankers Association of New York – NMP Skip to main content

Featured Industry Leader: Frederick A. McDonald Jr., Ex-Officio President, Mortgage Bankers Association of New York

Phil Hall
Aug 26, 2016
Frederick A. McDonald Jr. is vice president and property appraisal analyst for corporate credit risk management at New York City’s Popular Community Bank and is the ex-officio president of the Mortgage Bankers Association of New York (MBAofNY)

Frederick A. McDonald Jr. is vice president and property appraisal analyst for corporate credit risk management at New York City’s Popular Community Bank and is the ex-officio president of the Mortgage Bankers Association of New York (MBAofNY). National Mortgage Professional Magazine spoke with McDonald regarding his work with this trade organization.

How and why did you get involved in the MBAofNY? Can you share the track within your association that led to the leadership role?
Several years ago, former president of MBAofNY, Michael Fletcher and I worked together at the Dime Savings Bank of New York. Mike suggested that my enthusiasm and experience was a perfect fit for the organization he was overseeing. He felt that I might provide the energy needed to reach the next level. I joined and served on the board of governors for a couple of years. In time, I was nominated for vice president and eventually became its president. Once I became involved, Marilyn Brown, the first female president of the MBAofNY, began mentoring me in her expansive vision of the role of the MBA and the good it could do for the industry and the state. These last two years have been an exciting time. I have benefitted from my association and in turn, hope it has benefitted from my leadership.

Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your region should join your association?
They should join for a variety of reasons. The main reason being that our association gives real estate professionals the opportunity to grow as professionals, as well as to give back to their industry. We promote a team approach which allows members the ability to establish valuable and mutually beneficial relationships. We also give them the opportunity to acquire additional knowledge that certainly can help them be more successful.

What role does your association play in the state legislative and regulatory environment, and is there any items on the current agenda you would like to highlight?
Bonnie Nachamie Esq., a board member and chairwoman of our Legislative Committee, is actively involved both in Albany and the New York City area in the many issues that affect the mortgage industry. The association actively engages with New York State senators and assemblymen, as well as members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate on industry issues. The MBAofNY, in concert with the Empire State Mortgage Bankers Association (ESMBA), also maintains an open dialogue with the New York State Department of Financial Services. We not only advocate for industry issues, but we provide up-to-date data and information to regulators and legislators. Our mission is to be part of the conversations so that we can be part of the solutions.

What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with the MBAofNY?
Promoting teamwork amongst the board members and the various committee members has been a great accomplishment. Some new initiatives that have been implemented during my tenure include:

►When I became president, I felt that we had become stagnant as an organization. I threw myself into re-energizing the membership. We came together as a team and started several new initiatives, including the coordination of an annual full day real estate summit/conference that offered both residential and commercial platforms, enhancing our residential real estate platform to include a legislative advocacy program, launching the Mentor 360 program in 2014, and overseeing the growth of the MBAofNY signature events, such as the Annual Wine Gala, held at the New York Public Library (Celeste Bartos Forum); the Winter Soiree & Ice Garden (Celsius at Bryant Park); and the Annual Golf Outing(Knollwood & Ardsley Country Clubs) that has grown so much it now requires two golf courses. Brenda Kenny, our executive director, coordinated the implementation of the new association Web site that fosters a virtual, vibrant member-only online community.

Our members connect, share and take advantage of powerful professional tools to advance their careers. Members can network by setting up personal walls, creating and joining groups, creating and sharing expert information blogs, and uploading white papers on many topics across our diverse membership. 

What is the synergy between the MBAofNY and the national mortgage trade association?
Simply put, we share the same goals. We try to implement the educational program of the Mortgage Bankers Association, and always are an advocate for our members. We participate in the national programs and conferences, including the MBA Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C. Our affiliation with the national MBA enhances our relationships with local representatives and allows us to advocate for our members’ needs.

In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
The real estate industry is intrinsic to the overall health of our economy. This was never more evident than the housing debacle in 2008. I believe that it always provided and continues to provide an excellent career path for young people.

The real issue, in my mind, is the support or lack thereof these young professionals get once they enter the field. It behooves older and established professionals to mentor and provide support to these young professionals, so that the mistakes of the past will not be repeated.

Our officers and committee members are working to improve, expand and implement our programs to realize these goals. We are adding after-work presentations to our already popular breakfast and lunch educational program. Many of these events are being held in New York City, at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus, New York University’s Shack Institute, Baruch College and the General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen of The City Of New York on 44th Avenue, to name a few. The ultimate goal is provide support and training to our members, mentees and to the professional participants.

How would you define your state's housing market?
The housing market, particularly in the metropolitan New York area, has almost made it back from its peak of almost a decade ago. We had a long road overcoming the sub-prime debacle. However, housing is a necessity and will eventually rebound as history has shown. Commercially, New York benefits from its preeminent position as the financial capital of the world. We are the home for foreign investors seeking a safe haven for their wealth.

Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at [email protected]

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