10 Outstanding Experts in the Spotlight at Ground Up

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Media reports have dubbed the situation in the Dallas-Fort Worth area as a “brutal market for new home buyers,” citing a historically low inventory of homes. High housing costs—increasing 50 percent in the last five years—and scant availability mark the major Texas metropolitan area as a region where individuals and companies poised to expertly navigate the market can seize the opportunity to create more inventory and realize significant return on investment.

While the Dallas-Fort Worth area leads the country in numeric population growth, its challenges are not unique, but reflect a trend playing out in markets across the nation.

On August 22, Land Gorilla and MRG Docs are bringing together mortgage industry leaders to share strategies to ease the growing tension in the housing market at the Ground Up: Construction Lending Summit

The summit will cover the specifics of a market primed for collaborative efforts to build more housing, the key elements for a working Construction-to-Permanent Loan program, strategies for avoiding potential legal quagmires that can plague underwriting new residential construction loans, and ideas for partnerships devoted to growing a book of business.

We are proud to introduce the list of industry experts speaking at this year's summit!

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PAIGE SHIPP

DFW Regional Director, Metrostudy

Paige has been a local real estate professional for over 16 years. As a land planner and landscape designer, Paige played an instrumental role in creating communities for some of DFW’s largest developers and builders.

Currently, Paige is the Regional Director for Metrostudy in Dallas-Ft. Worth. Paige works with home builders, developers and lenders to make informed decisions by analyzing and interpreting Metrostudy’s extensive proprietary data and research. Additionally, Paige is a Licensed Broker in the State of Texas and received her Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Illinois.

 
 

CHRISTINA JENKINS

Attorney and Director of Customer Support, MRG

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Christina advises clients through a broad range of mortgage banking compliance issues, assisting lenders from origination to closing, as well as in post-closing compliance review. Before joining MRG, Ms. Jenkins served in private practice as mortgage banking compliance counsel, and she also has significant experience in mortgage asset resolution and commercial loan originations.

Before becoming an attorney, she worked in loan operations at two large, national banks. Ms. Jenkins has been a speaker at continuing legal education panels addressing various issues impacting mortgage lending, and Chairs a group within the American Bar Association’s Real Property Trusts and Estates Section. In addition to her work at MRG, Ms. Jenkins serves clients through the Dallas Bar Association’s Dallas Volunteer Attorneys Program.

 
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SHANNON FARIES

Director of Risk Management & Strategic Planning, Land Gorilla

Shannon has lifelong experience in mortgage banking and construction lending. Shannon has founded and managed mortgage-banking operations and is the former Chief Lending Officer of a Federal Savings and Loan.

Shannon oversees the lender-consulting services and new product development for lenders looking to enter the construction lending space. He works closely with lenders, GSEs and government agencies providing industry best practices and valuable components to the development and risk management associated with construction lending.

 
 

JOAQUÍN TREMOLS

Director, Single Family Housing, USDA

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Joaquín Tremols is the Director of the USDA Rural Development’s Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program, which has an outstanding portfolio exceeding $118 billion.  

Under Joaquín’s leadership, the program transitioned from requiring Congressional appropriations each year to not needing taxpayer funding; it now pays for itself through the guarantee fees it charges private sector participants.  A recent accomplishment was changing the program from a labor intensive, paper-driven process, to a paperless electronic environment.

Joaquín has been involved in the mortgage industry since 1983, joining USDA Rural Development in 1998.  His background includes nearly a decade at the Chase Manhattan Bank in New York, where he filled progressively more responsible management positions in mortgage origination and servicing activities.  He worked in the Regulation and Legislation Section of the FDIC’s legal department, rendering advisory opinions interpreting banking laws and regulations.  He has also been involved in the credit union industry as an executive of the Marriott Federal Credit Union and on the supervisory committee of the Agriculture Federal Credit Union.  

Joaquín earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware and a Juris Doctor degree from the George Washington University School of Law.  He recently graduated from the Federal Executive Institute Leadership and Management Program.

 
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DANIEL McPHEETERS

Product Development Manager, Fannie Mae

Dan is a Product Development Manager on the Single-Family Strategy, Insights & Marketing team at Fannie Mae, where he focuses on lender solutions and market innovation.

Prior to joining Fannie Mae, Dan served as Director of Secondary and Capital Markets at the Mortgage Bankers Association where he represented the mortgage industry on regulatory and policy issues impacting the agency and non-agency secondary mortgage market. He also led the formation of a Fintech Working Group comprised of mortgage industry experts to help identify and explore emerging trends and policy issues resulting from technological innovations.

Dan received his J.D. from The George Washington University Law School and his B.S. in Economics from Washington University in St. Louis.

 
 

ELAINE BATLIS

Executive Vice President & Manager, Warehouse Lending, Silvergate Bank

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Elaine Batlis has been Manager of Silvergate Bank's Warehouse Lending Division since March 2009. Ms. Batlis has over 23 years of banking, mortgage warehousing, consulting, and regulatory experience.

From 2006 to 2008 Ms. Batlis was the President of the Warehouse Lending Division of Impac Mortgage Holdings, a publicly traded real estate investment trust, where she was responsible for re-defining the division's overall direction and supervising all aspects of its operations, including managing total credit facilities relationships in excess of $5 billion.

Prior to Impac, Ms. Batlis was the President and Chief Executive Officer of INSOUTH Funding in Naples, Florida. Ms. Batlis organized this subsidiary of INSOUTH Bank, established its accounting systems and procedures, implemented an advanced loan tracking program, established a comprehensive quality control program, hired and trained staff for the company's two locations, and managed growth of the company to fundings of over $2 billion.

In addition, Ms. Batlis has served in various capacities in community banks including Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Director. Ms. Batlis holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mid-America Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas, and completed Graduate School of Banking at University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado.

 
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BILL SCAMMELL

Director of Correspondent Lending, FirstBank

Bill is an industry veteran with over 18 years of experience; starting as an originator and moving into mortgage banking over 12 years ago. Bill’s strong leadership qualities and business insight helped him quickly move up in the industry.

He has worked on legislation for the USDA Rural Housing Program with Congress on expansion of the program and educated lenders over the years on the USDA Rural Housing loans. Those skills and knowledge have helped him to successfully grow and manage this Correspondent Division in purchasing FHA, VA, USDA, Freddie, Fannie and Jumbo loan products.

He attributes his success to the strong relationships that he has built over the years with the many key individuals and companies he has done business with throughout the industry.

 
 

ANDREW ALLEN

Sales Manager, Product Specialist, AFR

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Andrew is a twenty-year veteran of the mortgage industry, transcending in various roles throughout his career from sales, operations, and management, both on the retail and wholesale side.  In 2010, Andrew pioneered AFR’s 203(k) Program rollout and is accredited with leading AFR to become the #1 203(k) lender in the country for sponsored originations in a few short years.

He currently manages AFR Wholesale’s Renovation & OTC Departments, where he routinely conducts weekly national webinar trainings for the FHA 203(k), FNMA Homestyle, & OTC programs.  His trainings have received accolades across the industry from sales, management, and operations alike benefiting from his vast knowledge of these programs.     

He received his B.S. in Marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University and currently resides in Mendham, NJ with his wife and two children

 
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MIKE YUSKANICH

Executive Vice President, Product Management, Partner, AFR

Mike joined American Financial Resources, Inc. in 2001. He has over 30 years of experience in the mortgage industry in both retail and wholesale sales. He has been a partner in the company since 2004.

Mike is AFR’s Renovation Division and Client Services Manager within the wholesale and correspondent divisions. His focus in the Renovation department has been in the education and servicing of all parties involved in the process of home improvement and new home construction.

Using his vast knowledge of construction, Mike has successfully grown a team of renovation experts that are instrumental in the implementation and administration of AFR’s FHA 203k, Fannie Mae’s Homestyle, and FHA/VA One Time Close products. He is also an active member of AFR’s credit committee.

Prior to joining AFR, Mike was a top producing retail originator and sales manager at several independent mortgage companies.

 
 

CLAY MILLS

Attorney, Senior Escrow Officer, BNT of Texas

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A native of North Texas, Clay Mills earned his BBA from the University of North Texas and his JD from Southern Methodist University.  He began his professional career with Dallas Title Company in 1983 and has since worked as escrow officer, manager, underwriting counsel and attorney for major title companies and title insurance underwriters.  Clay has written and presented numerous educational and promotional seminars and lectures to real estate and title insurance professionals and attorneys across Texas and the Southwest.

Clay Mills currently serves as Attorney and Senior Escrow Officer for BNT of  Texas, LLC, where he is responsible for commercial and residential real estate closings.