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HW Magazine

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December/ January 2019

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Meet the 2018 HW Vanguard award winners

52 executives leading the housing industry
Each Vanguard excels in a wide range of skill sets but all share one common trait: the ability to lead, motivate and inspire their employees. Each of them are more than capable leaders that utilize their resources to solve problems, create solutions and drive innovation in their respective areas in the industry.
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Greater profits in capital markets

Blockchain and the democratization of mortgage debt
The next step to the advancement of digital mortgages lies with utilization of blockchain technology. This nascent technology will take all these measures and truly transform the industry from paper to digital, resulting in transparency, better data security and higher revenues from operational efficiencies.
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Black Knight uses AI and machine learning technology to launch multiple high-performance solutions

The company's unique tech solutions help lenders drive down costs and increase efficiencies
Looking toward 2019, the mortgage industry anticipates a continuous rise in interest rates and a slowdown in refinances and new home loans, which will put more emphasis on customer retention and growth. Lenders and servicers will also be expected to increase efforts for both consolidation and integration of proven solutions to drive down costs and increase efficiencies.
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NTC enters 2019 as the largest industry partner for document research and remediation services

The company continues to add value to its existing services and solutions to save clients time and money
In the midst of the many challenges facing the mortgage industry in 2018, Nationwide Title Clearing developed new products and services to save clients time and money while making them more efficient and profitable.
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UWM empowers mortgage brokers with the launch of its latest tech solutions

UClose 2.0 and One-Click AUS help brokers expand clientele and close loans faster
2018 proved to be a rough year for lenders due to the high cost to originate and rising interest rate climate. However, mortgage brokers bucked that trend, with the growth of that channel made especially evident by United Wholesale Mortgage, the nation’s No. 1 wholesale lender, as it reported a 52% year-over-year increase in loan volume this year, from Q3 2017 to Q3 2018, and ranked as a top-five overall mortgage lender.
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The business case for affordable lending

Lenders see compelling growth with products aimed at LMI borrowers
For most lenders, 2018 has been a tough year for their mortgage origination business. Creative new approaches like the Affordable Lending Pilot Program are needed if mortgage lenders are going to expand their business, and underserved borrowers present a significant opportunity for lenders willing to think outside their typical credit box.
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How to improve lending team productivity

Taking assembly lines back to the basics
While many lenders think they’re doing just fine with productivity, and processing loans with ‘good enough’ speed and efficiency, the numbers tell quite a different story completely. Through the lens of data, most shops are falling flat.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Shelley Leonard

Black Knight executive vice president and chief product officer
As EVP and Chief Product Officer for Black Knight, Shelley Leonard is responsible for defining Black Knight’s product strategy and working with each division within the company to develop a comprehensive product roadmap across the enterprise.
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2018 HW Vanguard: John Warren

Lima One Capital founder and chairman
John Warren spent four years and 300 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan as an infantry officer with the United States Marine Corps. While deployed, he was decorated for “valor” and “heroic achievement” as he “led a counter attack against insurgents attacking Observation Post Virginia.”
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2018 HW Vanguard: Al Velasco

PrimeLending executive vice president, western region
Al Velasco is an industry veteran with more than 26 years of mortgage experience whose intangibles and strengths have contributed to PrimeLending’s success.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Ali Vafai

The Money Source president
Ali Vafai believes that when developing technology, you must put yourself in the end-user’s shoes and imagine their experience first.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Rick Triola

NotaryCam founder and CEO
Rick Triola is as pioneer in the field of digital mortgages. Some might even say he is the founding father of remote online notarization and remote online closing.
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2018 HW Vanguard: William Tessar

Civic Financial Services president
William Tessar hasn’t even been with Civic Financial Services for two years, but he’s had an enormous impact with the private money lender in that very short amount of time.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Jeffrey Taylor

Mphasis Digital Risk co-founder and managing director
Mphasis Digital Risk Jeffrey Taylor, co-founder and managing director at Mphasis Digital Risk, has had a banner year at Mphasis. In the last year, Mphasis rolled out its digital mortgage platform LoanFx, joining the fight on the frontlines of the push for innovation in the mortgage industry.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Michael Steer

Mortgage Quality Management & Research president
A relative pup himself, Michael Steer is leading Mortgage Quality Management & Research into the next generation by hiring a diverse workforce that’s ready to charge into the future.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Olumide Soroye

CoreLogic managing director of property intelligence and risk management
Olumide Soroye is a champion of innovation, dedicating his efforts to bettering the housing market with the implementation of data and technology.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Steve Smith

Finicity co-founder and CEO
Steve Smith and Finicity are helping to lead an industry-wide transformation in underwriting, away from manual and toward digital.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Faith Schwartz

FormFree officer/president, board of directors
Faith Schwartz is a board member and acting president of mortgage fintech firm FormFree. And while she has implemented impressive strategies to facilitate the development and growth of FormFree, her list of accolades includes so much more.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Michael Schreck

Cloudvirga CEO
Michael Schreck is inspired by Gandhi’s quote, “Be the change you wish to see,” a fact that is evident in the success he has generated in the 20-plus years he has worked in technology.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Adam Saab

LoanCare chief operating officer
Adam Saab is responsible for operating the third largest subservicing company in the US. Saab is a veteran of the mortgage industry, holding positions such as director and senior vice president of operations at Citi Bank and senior vice president of operations at PNC.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Sung Park

Calyx Software senior vice president, product development
Since joining Calyx in 1997, Sung Park has made significant technology contributions to the mortgage industry, developing many tools for consumers.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Ward Morrison

Motto Franchising president
As president of Motto Mortgage, Ward Morrison is responsible for the growth strategy of the franchise brand.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Stanley Middleman

Freedom Mortgage chairman and CEO
As the chairman and CEO of Freedom Mortgage, Stanley Middleman is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in the mortgage business.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Sundeep Mathur

Tavant Technologies vice president, business consulting
Sundeep Mathur was instrumental in launching a Digital Lending Consulting Practice at Tavant Technologies. This helped lenders achieve a 40% reduction in operating costs.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Sanjeev Malaney

Capsilon founder and CEO
Over the last year, founder and CEO Sanjeev Malaney paved the way for Capsilon to help mortgage companies build the next-gen operating model with the launch of Capsilon IQ, a mortgage automation engine that uses data and AI to automate manual tasks and enable faster decision-making.
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2018 HW Vanguard: David Lykken

Transformational Mortgage Solutions founder and chief transformational officer
David Lykken is a renowned, go-to expert for all things mortgage lending and fintech. Over the course of his more than 44-year career in the mortgage industry, he has demonstrated that his vigorously innovative and entrepreneurial industry leadership is second to none.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Heather Lovier

Quicken Loans executive vice president of client experience operations
Heather Lovier’s job is to ensure that every Quicken Loans client has an amazing experience – no small task when you’re talking about one the nation’s largest lenders.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Mark Ladd

Simplifile vice president of regulatory and industry affairs
When it comes to advocacy and leadership, the real estate community has no greater ally than Simplifile’s VP of Regulatory and Industry Affairs Mark Ladd.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Michael Kolbrener

PromonTech chief technology officer
As CTO at fintech hybrid PromonTech, Michael Kolbrener is the driving force behind the company’s product development.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Selene Kellam

Thrive Mortgage executive vice president of operations
For the last decade, Selene Kellam has been an integral proponent of the systems, processes and technology solutions at Thrive Mortgage.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Mark Johnson

LRES president
Mark Johnson joined LRES more than a year ago as chief strategy officer, hit the ground running, and within his first 90 days built out the company’s one-, two-, and five-year plans to evolve with and excel in the valuation industry.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Bob Jennings

ClosingCorp CEO
As the chief executive officer of ClosingCorp, Jennings has guided the company to consecutive year-over-year financial growth, expanding its services to more than 300 lenders throughout the nation.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Debby Jenkins

Freddie Mac executive vice president, head of multifamily
Deborah Jenkins, the new head of Freddie Mac’s multifamily business, is one of the architects behind the GSE’s success in the multifamily space, working hard to carve out market share over her 10 years with the company.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Scott Harris

SocialSurvey founder and CEO
As founder and CEO of SocialSurvey, Scott Harris utilized his experience in real estate, mortgage and technology development to launch his team into success.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Toby Harris

Movement Mortgage executive vice president
Movement Mortgage wouldn’t be the company it is today without Toby Harris, who helped found the company and now serves as executive vice president.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Matt Hansen

SimpleNexus CEO
Since Matt Hansen founded SimpleNexus in 2014, the company has grown astronomically. What started out as a lark, creating a mobile app for his brother-in-law’s mortgage lending business, turned into one of the biggest names in digital mortgages.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Lucas Hansen

Qualia chief technology officer
There’s a revolution afoot in the mortgage business, as more companies embrace digital closing. And one of the companies leading that revolution is Qualia, a real estate technology company that focuses on the home closing process.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Chase Gilbert

Built Technologies CEO
Since launching in 2015, Built has more than tripled its client base to include over 50 banks across the country, ranging from $100 million to more than $120 billion in total assets.
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2018 HW Vanguard: John Fraas

Class Valuation president
Since John Fraas took the helm of Class Valuation as president just over a year ago, the company has seen tremendous growth all while maintaining a positive work environment.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Jay Farner

Quicken Loans CEO
No list of the housing industry’s biggest and most influential leaders would be complete without the person in charge of one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders: Quicken Loans CEO Jay Farner.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Khaled Elsayed

Guidance Residential president and CEO
Khaled Elsayed has been utilizing his decades of experience in both the home financing industry as well as Islamic finance to provide a singular vision for Guidance Residential.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Tony Ebers

Mr. Cooper chief operating officer
It was a year of big changes for Mr. Cooper, the nonbank formerly known as Nationstar Mortgage, and Tony Ebers was right at the middle of it all.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Michael Dubeck

Planet Home Lending president and CEO
At a time when many mortgage banking companies are shedding costs and looking to get acquired and seeking exit strategies, Planet Home Lending has grown and posted a profit due to Michael Dubeck’s strategic industry insight and leadership.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Rose Marie David

HomeStreet Bank senior executive vice president, single-family mortgage lending director
Rose Marie David is far from her first career as a professional ballet dancer, but that is where David Rose learned what it means to be committed and tenacious.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Thomas Cronkright

CertifID co-founder and CEO
After his own title agency became a victim of wire fraud, Thomas Cronkright decided enough was enough and donned his cape as the co-founder of the first anti-wire fraud technology for the mortgage industry.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Erin Collard

Blend co-founder
Erin Collard has over a decade of deep financial and technology experience, having served as both head trader and managing director at Clarium Capital. Today, Blend’s customers, including financial behemoths like U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo, now account for over a quarter of the U.S. mortgage market.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Victor Ciardelli

Guaranteed Rate founder and CEO
Victor Ciardelli, founder and CEO of Guaranteed Rate, despite mortgage market headwinds, has propelled his company to new heights in the last year.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Matt Cesarz

Optimal Blue vice president of software engineering
With more than 20 years of experience in software engineering, Matt Cesarz has led many successful, critical path teams in the financial services industry.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Anthony Cazazian

Renters Warehouse chief investment officer, president of portfolio services
Anthony Cazazian is a problem solver. He saw a major issue challenging the single-family rental industry – a lack of streamlined, standardized processes – and he set out to fix it, creating the largest corporate-owned property management company focused on the asset class.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Kevin Brungardt

RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing CEO
As CEO, Kevin Brungardt has guided RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corp. into a berth among the top 15 nonbank servicing companies in the U.S.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Lori Brewer

LBA Ware founder and CEO
Lori Brewer's company just increased company brain power by more than 20% with key hires, calculated $1.1 billion compensation (an 83% increase over last year), grew its Compensafe clients by 93% and its LOS Talker subscribers by 44%.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Jason Bressler

United Wholesale Mortgage executive vice president, chief technology officer
Jason Bressler was hired as United Wholesale Mortgage’s first-ever Chief Technology Officer in 2016. Bressler currently leads a team of more than 450 IT members focused on delivering partnership tools for mortgage brokers.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Amy Brandt

Docutech president and CEO
Amy Brandt has been spearheading peak performance at her company since she took the reins in 2017. Under her guiding hand, Docutech has enjoyed revenue growth of roughly 40%, gaining 27 clients and launching envelope pushing products and partnerships.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Christina Boyle

Freddie Mac chief client officer
Christina Boyle, chief client officer of Freddie Mac, has been at the forefront of the integration between the physical and digital capabilities that support Freddie’s client engagement.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Jim Bennison

Arch Capital Group executive vice president and head of alternative markets
As EVP and head of alternative markets at Arch Capital Group, Jim Bennison oversaw the creation of Arch MRT, which is engaged in risk-sharing pilot programs with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to provide lenders with credit enhancement options and to attract private capital to the housing market.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Jeff Benjamin

Ellie Mae senior vice president, sales and client management
Jeff Benjamin joined Ellie Mae during the company’s early days back in 2001, already having established himself as a mortgage expert and industry thought leader.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Gary Beasley

Roofstock CEO and co-founder
In 2015, Gary Beasley was CEO of Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust – which at one point managed more than 15,000 single-family rental properties – when he found himself frustrated with inefficiencies in the real estate marketplace.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Rob Barber

ATTOM Data Solutions CEO
Since spearheading the creation of the ATTOM Data Warehouse and the company’s rebranding as ATTOM Data Solutions in 2016, CEO Rob Barber has worked diligently to solidify the company’s brand as a leading supplier of premium property data.
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2018 HW Vanguard: Min Alexander

Auction.com chief operations officer
When Min Alexander took on the role of COO at Auction.com in April 2018, she gained a team of 800 under her management. But with degrees from Duke and MIT, Alexander was ready for the challenge.
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For nearly 100 years, this community bank has made homeownership personal

HomeStreet Bank specializes in mortgage lending for West Coast and Hawaii
“A family serving families” probably isn’t an intuitive description for a financial institution, but it was Continental Mortgage and Loan Company’s dedication to family, community and ethical practices that allowed it to thrive as one of the Pacific Northwest’s largest independent sources of mortgage funds.
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Executive Conversation: Jim Wehmann on FICO's latest credit score innovations

FICO leverages a wide range of new data sets to improve financial inclusion
"FICO Score XD for the U.S. is part of our global financial inclusion initiative where we are working in more than 25 countries around the world, to facilitate credit access for about 1 billion people," Jim Wehman, executive vice president of FICO Scores, said. "We are learning a lot from the work we’re doing outside the U.S. and now have access to different types of data such as mobile device data, which could be very impactful."
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CoreLogic executive explains innovation that leads to breaking the real estate tax bottleneck

CoreLogic's framework connects customers, servicers and taxing agencies for an accurate, timely process
As digital mortgages become fully implemented, the real estate tax component represents a potential bottleneck, with many complexities involved in navigating unique real estate tax processes for the various taxing agencies. CoreLogic facilitates property tax payments with over 22,000 agencies, and has developed a framework to bridge connections among customers, servicers and taxing agencies.
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Executive Conversation: Celeste Starchild on serving the digital-first homebuyer

ListHub makes it easy for real estate brokers to effectively manage every aspect of advertising listings online
Executive Conversations is a HousingWire web series that profiles powerful people in the financial industry, highlighting the operations and the people that make this sector tick. In the latest installment, we sit down with Celeste Starchild, SVP Professional Software, Move, Inc. and General Manager of ListHub, to talk about how brokers can manage their active real estate listings through ListHub to generate more leads.
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Exploring solutions for the mortgage industry in the digital age

Three experts answer your questions about digital adoption
There are many questions and uncertainties surrounding the push for the mortgage industry to go digital. At Old Republic Title and Pavaso, we understand the digital marketplace and its role in the mortgage business. Our technology professionals are committed to helping those in the mortgage industry address common concerns and explore solutions for making their transition into the digital landscape as smooth as possible.
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Sustainable and affordable

New models for community success
Housing affordability is a crucial ingredient in any thriving community. And yet, in cities and towns across the country, there is a growing recognition that truly “sustainable communities” can be created only when multiple forces come into play. The cost of a home is only one of those factors.
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