2024 Rising Star: Michael Brucato

Michael Brucato

As a result of Michael Brucato’s efforts, dozens more companies (and hundreds — if not thousands — more individuals) have been exposed to Dale Vermillion’s sales, customer service and leadership best practices. During his tenure, Michael has helped Mortgage Champions’ clients break record production numbers, win awards and keep people working while others were performing mass layoffs. Plus, Michael’s beloved by everyone who works with him and has connected more than a few great organizations through valuable partnerships.

Over the past 12 months, Michael has ceaselessly checked in with our clients to ensure they’re seeing the behavioral change we strive to impart. Michael is an avid advocate for our clients — relaying their challenges to our team and spearheading efforts to meet their evolving needs in new and effective ways. In 2023 alone, Michael was instrumental in transitioning our clients to a new learning experience platform launching, formalizing a partnership with ICE Mortgage Technology, co-developing an exclusive service for their client base, and architecting a secret shopper program that has already helped one of our consumer direct clients break their previous production record — in 2023 no less. It’s safe to say that Michael’s behind-the-scenes work contributed heavily to the fact that all but one of our clients continued their partnerships with our team in 2024. Given lenders’ strained budgets in this market, that’s a remarkable feat, and one that ensures we can continue Dale’s legacy of advocating for a relational, value-centric, others first approach to mortgage lending.

As the COO, almost everything crosses Michael’s desk — from contracts, partnership agreements, and client rollouts, to marketing campaign approvals, budget sign-offs and personnel decisions. It’s a critical role that’s fast-paced, high-stress and often thankless; but, Michael has found a way to make decisions while still seeking everyone’s input and smoothing feathers when they get ruffled from time to time. Michael has that unique ability to be both your friend and boss. He can cut to the chase when necessary, but defaults to practicing the relational approach we teach. He’s accessible, listens and is willing to reconsider. He’s more often than not immune to the sunk cost fallacy, and is always committed to do (and ask his team to do) whatever it takes to get better.

What is one habit that has helped you succeed?

I visualize all my tasks and responsibilities. Buy a giant white board and dump everything on it and then organize priorities every day. Daily life is too chaotic to keep all of it your head. As a husband, father of 4 children (or wild animals depending on the day), and business professional, I have to have a place to dump all my ideas and then systematize them and create structure and rhythm that works for me.


Michael Brucato




Chief Operating Officer

Company Name:

Mortgage Champions

3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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