Stearns Lending appointed Hershel Malett vice president of internal audit and mortgage operations.

In this role, Malett will lead a team focused on development and maintenance of audit programs and performance of operational audits. 

Previously, he served as senior vice president of operational risk at Benchmark Bank, where he was in charge of integrating operational activities of the retail and correspondent business channel. 

"Hershel has spent more than 20 years in the mortgage industry accumulating broad, hands-on experience in disciplines that include underwriting, credit risk, quality assurance, and operational controls," said Karen Crawford, chief legal officer at Stearns Lending.

She added, "Robust internal audit capabilities are an essential component of the risk control framework necessary for the success of our company."