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President's Corner - August 2014 - Jim Hunter

Published: July 31, 2014

It is with great honor that I write the first President's Message of the CMLA’s new quarterly e-Newsletter. I truly hope that you find this newsletter informative and helpful in staying updated on what your state organization is doing for you.

This past year has been the fastest year of my life. It seems that only yesterday I was in Vail preparing to for my position as President. Now I am preparing to exit which brings both happiness and sadness. I am happy about ending my term, but reluctant to leave. I suppose that means I have completely enjoyed serving the CMLA and it has become such a part of what I do. As I think on the past year, I feel it is important to recap the key agenda items that the CMLA accomplished this year.

The theme of the year was Legacy. We wanted to recognize the efforts of those that served before us and build a foundation so that the CMLA would be a viable and sustainable organization for the future. The tradition of the past is critical for the vision of the future. Thank you to everyone that has served the CMLA in every role. What you all built served as our platform for moving forward.

The first thing we did was to recognize the importance of our Vision, Mission and Value Statement. It was emphasized at every Board meeting and luncheon.  It became the filter for which all decisions were made. Thank you Greg Osborne for your leadership in recognizing the importance of a vision.

Secondly, we were blessed with an incredible Board of Directors. We were able to expand our Board Members this year from 12 to 15, which made a significant difference. Everyone came to the meetings with energy and excitement and all were willing to do the work at hand. They accepted every challenge and task. The discussions were lively and engaging and every meeting was significant. I can honestly tell you that this Board was committed to add value to the CMLA and leave their own legacy. I can’t say enough about how fortunate and thankful I am for all you have done for me and the CMLA. Thank you.

Third, the staff of the CMLA went through some significant changes. Jamie Letts officially moved into the Executive Director's role and assembled a complete staff to support the operations of the CMLA. We added Zoë Duryea to a full-time position as Membership and Events Specialist and Abby Reynolds as Marketing and Communications Specialist, and behind the scenes was Wes Phillips ( AKA Radar O’Reilly ) our Management and Technology Consultant. This is an incredible group of folks that believe in the Mission, Vision and Value of the CMLA. Any organization needs a very good staff to be successful and we have the very best, period. The Board of Governors sets the vision, the Board of Directors works the vision and the CMLA staff keeps the trains rolling. That is a winning team. Thank you all for all you do, it is really special.

Next, we wanted to financially grow and strengthen our financial position. Today, the CMLA is financially stronger than we have been in years. Our cash position has more than doubled this year and the finance team lead by Dick Solheim did an incredible job. Mission accomplished.

At the start of the year, we were concerned about membership declining. We set a goal to increase membership by greater than 10 %. Through the combined efforts of our committee and staff, membership grew by 25% this year. Thank you Tom Kimball for your leadership and thank you committee for what you all did. Mission accomplished.

The success of the CMLA is in its membership and its belief on the value we all add together. This year our membership stepped it up and supported the CMLA at every event. From the Convention in Vail, the monthly lunches, CFPB special event, Lenders Expo, golf outings, chapter events and committees, you all came and you all participated. Never before were there so many sellouts at our events. To all the volunteers and committee members and staff that worked tirelessly to bring quality events to this membership, thank you. And thank you membership for your attendance and participation, it was truly remarkable. Mission accomplished.

The Certified Mortgage Lender (CML) designation is our CMLA specific designation. It is a symbol of quality in our profession. We wanted to bring a great sense of value to this designation and increase our numbers. When we started the year, we had 89 CMLs and now we have 133 CML designations. Thank you all for your belief in this and again for the membership stepping up and understanding the value of CML. Mission accomplished.

The Mortgage Leaders Program (MLP) is the future of our organization. It allows us to bring in new leadership to the CMLA. Our goal this year was to build on this program and help prepare future leaders of our industry. We had an outstanding group this year and will be graduating 8 new future leaders. Thank you to the MLP participants for all of your hard work; thank you Erik Anderson for the quality leadership you provided and thank you Julie Piepho for bringing this idea to the CMLA. Mission accomplished.

One of the new committees we created this year was the “Mortgage Banking Opportunities” for young professionals. We wanted to educate young professionals to consider a career in Mortgage Banking. This committee took on a life of its own and has been embraced by the Board of Governors as a key piece of their strategic plan moving forward. You will hear more about this in the coming months, so stay tuned. Mission accomplished.

Thank you to all of the Board of Governors, all of the Board of Directors and the CMLA staff and especially thank you to all of the membership for making this past year of the CMLA a very special one for me. Through all of your efforts, you have lifted the CMLA to a higher standard and status, recognized as the go-to organization for mortgage direction, in the State of Colorado and as an example for other state associations to aspire to be. Thank you.


Jim Hunter, CML
President,
CMLA Board of Directors