This is HousingWire’s first year to honor some of the industry’s most valuable players — the Insiders. Each HousingWire award program celebrates a different segment of the mortgage finance industry, and our editorial team created the Insiders to recognize the many unsung heroes who are the cornerstone of every great company, whether in lending, servicing, investing or real estate.

So what makes a person an Insider?

They are people who get things done, who are known throughout the company as the “go-to” person in their department or division. They provide expertise in operations, compliance and client services, but also have a reputation for going above and beyond their assigned roles to help out their colleagues, their companies and their clients.

They are often the ones who get a shout-out at company all-hands meetings, but may not be well known in the larger industry. Companies entrust these Insiders with some of their most important and challenging projects, knowing they will deliver a superior outcome.

The job title of potential Insiders was less important to our editorial judges than the way they performed that job. We were looking for excellence, and we found it in spades.

One notable difference from our other award programs was the willingness — even enthusiasm — of our editorial team to recognize multiple people from the same company. Companies might have only one Vanguard, for example, but they have many worthy Insiders. Nominees were therefore judged according to their individual contributions and accomplishments, without regard to how many people from their company were also recognized.

Curious? Read on to discover who made our first-ever list of industry Insiders.

Chris Anderson, Chief Administration Officer, Mortgage Capital Trading

Uzma Aziz, Director of Product Management, CoreLogic

Sarah Batangan, SVP, Correspondent Operations, Stearns Lending

Bryan Bowers, SVP, Consumer Direct, Stearns Lending

Mellissa Bresch, VP, Operations, Stearns Lending

Cheryl Brown, SVP, Head of Operations, Guardian Mortgage Co.

Joyce Ciaramitaro, Senior QA Analyst, Mortgage Cadence

Jody Collup, VP of Marketing, Global DMS

Kristen Colonna, Lock Desk Manager, Mortgage Master, loanDepot

Mary Donohue, SVP, Strategic Business Operations, Stearns Lending

Leigh Gibson, Senior Manager, VRM Mortgage Services

Amanda Harvey, Client Services Manager, Clayton Holdings

Kaitlyn Kopa, Director, Default, Title and Close, Post Sale, ServiceLink

Dave LaRose, VP, Technical Excellence, Nationwide Title Clearing

Scott Loddeke, SVP, Warehouse Operations, Stearns Lending

Michael McBride, Branch Manager, Stearns Lending

Corey Miller, Senior Application Architect, Opus Capital Markets Consultants

Kim Mitchell, Senior Director, Lending Premier Services, ClosingCorp

Cindy Nasser, SVP, Operations, PCV Murcor

Delane Olin, SVP, National Training and Development, Stearns Lending

Shea Pallante, Managing Director, Civic Financial Services

Tom Paulett, Client Services Delivery Associate Manager, Document Center, Mortgage Cadence

Todd Parsons, Client Services Delivery Associate Manager, Product Support, Mortgage Cadence

Donna Wood, VP, Internal Audit, VRM Mortgage Services

Michelle Schuchart, Sales Support Specialist, National MI

Todd Worthington, VP, Client Services, Chronos Solutions