Introducing the 2021 HousingWire Vanguards

The top 50 executives in housing

If you were tasked with defining the word “leadership,” how would you explain what it means?

The word encapsulates so much, and yet according to Merriam-Webster, it can be summed up as “the power or ability to lead other people.”

If it’s simply the ability to lead others, the list of HousingWire Vanguard winners would be a lot longer. If it’s based on the ability to grow a company, cause or initiative, the housing industry would be filled with leaders, as it continuously broke record after record last year.

While all of this fits the standard definition, the word leadership here is the type of leader that many of us are inspired by and aspire to be — a Vanguard leader.

The following pages highlight 50 of the greatest leaders in the housing industry. They’re the executives who are changing the foundation of the industry.

To highlight a couple of the quotes that explain this best, John Berkowitz, co-founder and CEO at OJO Labs, when talking about his secret to his success, said, “My biggest secret to success is that I’m willing to take a community approach to building a company.” James Deitch, CEO at Teraverde, said his secret is believing team members are capable of extraordinary contributions. Along similar lines, Cathleen Schreiner Gates, CEO at SimpleNexus, said, “When I was promoted to my first management role, I was advised to find ways to leverage the talents and passions of the individuals on my team versus having everyone adhere to a single definition of what success looks like.”

It’s answers like these that showcase what it means to be a Vanguard. They’re people who are not only moving markets forward, but they also are bringing an amazing team of talented individuals along with them for the ride. Congratulations to this year’s class of honorees.

Take a look through the list below to view this year’s Vanguards.

Name Job Title Company Name
Aaron King CEO Snapdocs
Alex Kutsishin CEO & Co-founder Sales Boomerang
Anthony Frederick SVP, Sales United Wholesale Mortgage
Austin Niemiec EVP Rocket Pro TPO
Baron Silverstein President Newrez
Ben Graboske President Black Knight
Bill Decker President, COO and Co-Founder MAXEX
Brian Zitin CEO Reggora
Bruno Pasceri President Incenter
Carmine Cacciavillani CEO Blue Sage Solutions
Cathleen Schreiner Gates CEO SimpleNexus
Cindy Buhr EVP, Compliance and Legal PrimeLending
Dale Vermillion Founder & CEO Mortgage Champions
Danny Byrnes Chief Revenue Officer Nationwide Title Clearing
Devi Mateti Chief Data Officer CoreLogic
Eric Ray Sr. EVP, Chief Digital Officer and Co-Head of Real Estate Radian
Fiona Petrie EVP and Managing Director RE/MAX INTEGRA U.S.
Ike Suri Chairman & CEO FundingShield
James Deitch CEO Teraverde
James O'Bryon CEO RE/MAX Gold Nation
Jason Gesing CEO eXp Realty
Jeffrey Walker CEO CredEvolv
Joe Tyrrell President ICE Mortgage Technology
Joe Welu Founder & CEO Total Expert
John Berkowitz Co-Founder and CEO OJO Labs
John Hedlund Chief Operating Officer, Manager Director AmeriHome Mortgage Company
John Paasonen CEO & Co-Founder Maxwell
John Fraas CEO Class Valuation
Karen Postiglioni EVP, Consumer Direct AmeriHome Mortgage
Kristen Estrella President Title365
Kristen Sieffert President Finance of America Reverse
Michael Hutchins President Freddie Mac
Michael Blake President Capital Markets Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
Nicole Beattie EVP, Servicing Rocket Mortgage
Pat Kinsel CEO and co-founder Notarize
Patrick Stone Executive Chairman and Founder Williston Financial Group
Phil Shoemaker President of Originations Homepoint
Rob Barber CEO ATTOM
Samantha Manfer EVP, Chief Business Development and Brand Officer Planet Home Lending
Samantha Meyer Chief Risk Officer First Community Mortgage
Sean Cahan President Cornerstone First Mortgage
Steve Reich COO Finance of America Mortgage
Steve Smith CEO and Co-founder of Finicity | Global Head of Open Banking at Mastercard Finicity | Mastercard
Steven Schachter EVP, Market Leader – Mortgage Sourcepoint
Sue Yannaccone President and CEO Realogy Franchise Group
Ted Ahern Chief Investment Officer Guaranteed Rate
Terri Merlino Senior Vice President and Chief Credit Officer Freddie Mac Single-Family
Terry Theologides EVP, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary Fannie Mae
Trevor Gauthier CEO ACES Quality Management
Uday Devalla Chief Technology Officer Sagent

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