Ray DeMar is president of 1st United Mortgage Banc in Lincoln, Neb., and Past President of the Nebraska Association of Mortgage Brokers (NEAMB)
Ray DeMar is president of 1st United Mortgage Banc in Lincoln, Neb., and Past President of the Nebraska Association of Mortgage Brokers (NEAMB).Ray DeMar is president of 1st United Mortgage Banc in Lincoln, Neb., and Past President of the Nebraska Association of Mortgage Brokers (NEAMB). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with him regarding his trade association leadership.
How and why did you get involved with the Nebraska Association of Mortgage Brokers (NEAMB)? Can you share the track within your association that led to your leadership role?
I joined both the Nebraska Association of Mortgage Brokers and NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals in 2007. The mortgage crisis was underway and the need to be informed was a leading factor in my joining. Once a member, I joined the Board of Directors, I later became involved in the association’s Fall Conference and Membership Committees, although I did not chair either of them. I eventually was elected association President and served in that capacity from 2015 to early 2016. I have very much enjoyed the association.
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state should join NEAMB?
The association puts on a Fall Conference that is usually held over the course of two days. On the first day, we have continuing education classes that last for four hours, and later, have a social event where all of the affiliates operating in the industry–title companies, lenders, insurance companies and so forth–come in and tell us what’s new and exciting. We have about 100 members and they are a great group of people.
What role does NEAMB play in the federal and state legislative and regulatory environments? Are there any items on the current agenda you would like to highlight?
We have not been overly involved in regulatory issues. On occasion, we get e-mails from NAMB asking us to contact our representatives regarding specific issues. We also have an individual on the Board who follows the legislative side and updates up on what Nebraska might doing that would adversely or positively affect our industry.
Ray DeMar is president of 1st United Mortgage Banc in Lincoln, Neb., and Past President of the Nebraska Association of Mortgage Brokers (NEAMB)What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with NEAMB?
The ability to put on our own continuing education classes. Shortly after the crash began, it became obvious that everyone would have to take the NMLS. We decided to take the initiative and have continuing education in our Nebraska organization. I don’t know how many states did that.
In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
Educating young people about the industry would be helpful. The association has talked about it, but to date, we have not established an outreach program. As for why many Millennials are not pursuing this, I imagine many still remember the mortgage crisis.
How would you define your state's housing market?
Nebraska has always been a very stable market, even during periods of high rate environments, recession and inflation.

Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at
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Castle & Cooke Mortgage LLC has announced the opening of a new branch in Western Nebraska. Offering borrowers a full suite of loan products, the new Scottsbluff, Neb., office will deliver exceptional customer service and fast closings, which clients have come to rely upon from Castle & Cooke Mortgage. The Scottsbluff branch office will be managed by Jennifer Urdiales (NMLS# 1059626) and serve the Western Nebraska region. A 13-year mortgage industry veteran, Urdiales has worked for Castle & Cooke Mortgage since July 2013 under the mentorship of Joe Massey. Massey is co-branch manager of the company's Denver location and continually one of the company's top five producers nationally.

"During the last three years Jennifer has worked for me, she has become a tremendous asset to the Castle & Cooke Mortgage team. She knows the loan process from A to Z and her knowledge helps guide clients through a smooth transaction resulting in an easy closing," said Massey. "The combination of Jennifer's work ethic and experience in the mortgage industry assures me she will be an outstanding resource for the Scottsbluff community."

"Residents in the Western Nebraska region deserve a mortgage company that is professional, closes in a timely manner and maintains open communication throughout the entire home loan process," said Urdiales. "The mortgage professionals at Castle & Cooke Mortgage work tirelessly to alleviate the pressures of securing home financing by offering our clients the speed, knowledge and flexibility required to make their homeownership dreams a reality. Successful and smooth transactions are a hallmark of the Castle & Cooke Mortgage experience and I will carry on that tradition of excellence in the Scottsbluff branch office." Nebraska Association of Mortgage Brokers and the Nebraska Mortgage Association bring you their 2009 Fall Conference, set for Thursday-Friday, Sept. 10-11 at the Embassy Suites Omaha-La Vista Hotel & Conference Center in La Vista, Neb. For more information, call (402) 505-7180 or click here for the full conference brochure.

Gateway Mortgage Group has acquired its largest branch and has entered the Omaha market with its newest location in Omaha, Neb. Mortgage industry veteran, Kent Geschwender will lead the newly acquired branch and its staff of eight seasoned loan officers representing more than 120 combined years of lending experience. Geschwender brings more than 25 years experience to his role and most recently was a branch manager with MetLife Home Loans. He has also held the position of branch manager and mortgage origination with First Horizon Home Loans.
“Our business was on the verge of a large transition and we were being pursued by several major lenders across the country. We knew it was important to align ourselves with a lender that shared the same core values we deliver to our borrowers every day,” said Geschwender. “By joining Gateway, we are able to continue to process, underwrite, close and service our loans locally. Gateway’s business principles were a natural fit for us and allow us to enhance our borrowers’ experience through the life of their loan.”
Originally established in 1989, the Omaha location has a strong local footprint and was previously a part of the MetLife retail branch network. It will continue to serve the greater Omaha area. Geschwender and his staff chose to join Gateway due to the lender’s hands-on and service-oriented approach to working with borrowers.
“Gateway continues to seek opportunities to expand its footprint and gain top-tier talent such as Kent and his team. Our business model attracts some of the best originators in the country and we are committed to delivering a platform that supports them in every aspect of their business,” said Kevin Stitt, president of Gateway Mortgage Group. “We are excited about our entry into the Omaha market and we are confident that Kent and his staff are ideal ambassadors for Gateway and will be successful in their efforts.”

Real Estate Mortgage Network Inc. (REMN) has announced the opening of their first office in Kansas City, Kan. and the hiring of Greg Redmond as the office’s branch manager. The new Kansas City location will serve the Kansas City area, as well as Missouri, Tennessee and Nebraska. Redmond is a 25-year veteran of the mortgage industry and a lifelong area resident. A member of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors (KCRAR), Redmond spends his free time outside of the office experimenting with gourmet recipes, flying planes and volunteering with Welcome House.
“As REMN expands in the Midwest, it’s important to us that we bring on mortgage industry professionals that embody our commitment to customer service and quality in helping people secure mortgages for their homes," said Cathy Stroud, regional VP for REMN. "Greg’s reputation is well known in the Kansas City lending community and he’s a great choice to oversee our new office."
In addition to Redmond, Jennifer Bailey is joining the new Kansas City office as its first operations manager. A long-time area resident, Bailey has also worked in the lending industry for more than 25 years. When not in the office, she enjoys watching football with her family, being outside with her two dogs and volunteering at Grace Hospice.
REMN currently has more than 40 retail offices licensed to originate loans across the continental U.S., in addition to their online consumer direct division, which is doing business as The company employs more than 600 people throughout offices in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vermont. In 2011 alone, REMN closed more than $2.3 billion in home loans.

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