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west, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Williston Financial Group (WFG), has appointed Lance Melber as president and Gorkem Kuterdem as chief technology officer.
Melber was CEO and co-founder of Valutrust, a national mortgage services and technology development business based in Overland Park, Kan. Melber continued on in his role with Valutrust after it was acquired by WFG in 2013, before being named president for west. His extensive leadership background in the mortgage and real estate industry spans several decades, including four years as president and CEO of eSmartLoan.com, and three years as president of Capital One Home Loans. He has also held leadership positions with technology companies, such as Archer Technologies, Data Locker Inc. and Tree.com, before founding Valutrust in 2010.
Kuterdem takes the chief technology officer position for west, having served in the same position for WFG. He came to WFG in 2011 as part of its acquisition of an independent title company in Seattle, Wash. After obtaining his masters of science in electrical engineering from the University of Washington, he worked with a startup that was one of the first participants in electronic delivery of title market share data via the Internet. He has since been involved in developing and implementing platforms for title and escrow production, integration, business intelligence and workflow management. He is currently the technical lead and architect for WFG’s transformation to a single operating platform.
“The overarching purpose of west is to revolutionize the mortgage and real estate process,” said Steve Ozonian, chairman of the board for west. “Melber and Kuterdem embody the pioneering spirit behind the creation of west. Lance and Gorkem are truly entrepreneurs, both with the ability to rethink long-accepted processes and concepts. The way the industry goes about originating and closing mortgage transactions today is the ultimate expression of ad hoc process building. Lance and Gorkem will hold nothing about this ineffective process sacred beyond serving the client and consumer in the best way possible. To that end, they are the embodiment of west’s resolve to destroy the cumbersome mortgage process as it exists and rebuild it as something far more effective.”