The CMLA year started out with a “bang”; well maybe we’ll consider it more of a leak, but amidst of all the commotion and disruption in Vail during the 41st Annual CMLA Convention, CMLA and our members did what we do best – adapt. Whether you have chosen this industry, or like me this industry chose you, we are an industry of nimble, adaptive, and positive people and you demonstrated these qualities well in Vail. Thank you for being positive ambassadors of our industry and CMLA.

Last year’s theme was ‘Legacy’ in order to recognize the efforts of those that served before us and build a foundation so that CMLA would be a viable and sustainable organization for the future. As Jim Hunter says, “The tradition of the past is critical for the vision of the future,” and CMLA succeeded in driving the importance of legacy in our events, forums, committees and strategic meetings that led to the creation of our three strategic initiatives: (1) Charitable Community Outreach, (2) Educational Outreach, and (3) Tangible Member Benefits. This year’s theme, ‘The Next Generation,’ parlays our past successes and considers our future as an organization to provide more intangible and tangible value.

This year’s goals for each strategic initiative are: (1) Designate Board of Director Chairperson, (2) Establish the charter, legal framework and operational foundation, and (3) Go Live! by July 31, 2015. I am proud to convey that our patience has paid off in selecting the BOD Chairperson for each initiative:

  • Education Outreach - Lisa Springer, CML,  STRATMOR Group
  • Tangible Member Benefits - Jim Kaiser, CML, Advantage Credit, Inc.
  • Charitable Community Outreach - Tom Kimball, CML, Land Title Guarantee Company

Please join me in thanking these volunteers for stepping up to the challenge and having the passion to not only achieve this year’s goals, but to expand the initiatives for years to come. Each Chairperson is working hard on establishing charters, legal framework and operational foundation ensuring we hit our Go Live! goal of July 31, 2015. Our success in these initiatives requires committee participation by members like you. Please reach out to me or any of the Chairpersons if you are interested in joining any of these committees and also join me in thanking the following persons who have joined the excitement of making difference:

  • Sabrina Nowling, CML, Cornerstone Home Lending, Inc., Educational Outreach
  • Stuart Jones, CML, Radian Guaranty Inc., Educational Outreach
  • Cindy Magnuson, Advantage Credit, Inc., Membership
  • Steve Oberembt, Homeward Residential Capital, Membership
  • TJ Lile, National Mortgage Insurance Corporation, Membership
  • Natalie Miller, CML, Land Title Guarantee Company, Membership
  • Geoffrey Hansen, Interthinx, Inc., Membership

The noticeable achievement will be our ability to reward two $5,000 CMLA Scholarships to enrolled college students at the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, University of Northern Colorado, or Denver University next Spring for the Fall 2015 semester. The first $5,000 was donated to CMLA for this purpose by Women Helping Others (W.H.O). In addition, we collected more than $13,000 during this year’s Denver Holiday Party and hope to continue the giving at our Northern and Southern Chapter Holiday Parties. The CMLA Scholarship Fund applications will be available in January on our website and you’ll receive updates, so stay tuned and make sure your college students majoring in Business, Real Estate, or Technology apply for these scholarships. The impact of these scholarships will not only benefit the students financially and academically, but all applicants will have the opportunity to interview for internships with CMLA Member Companies providing our businesses a conduit for ‘The Next Generation’ workforce. Furthermore, by making positive impacts through these programs and the Charitable Community Outreach, we’ll continue to help our members demonstrate the good our industry provides to our communities.

In addition to these Strategic Objectives, this year’s Annual Objectives are:

  • Support the CMLA Mission
  • Continue building an inviting, open, diverse and inclusive culture
  • Strengthen our partnership with MBA
  • Continue the organization’s financial growth and strengthen our financial position
  • Continue quarterly publication of ‘CMLA Inside Scoop Newsletter’
  • Increase Certified Mortgage Lenders
  • Increase membership and member company participation
  • Support the Legislative and Finance Committees
  • Encourage advancement of Mortgage Leadership Program
  • Broaden the reach of our Forums
  • Realize a successful Lenders Expo
  • Establish a mechanism for Northern, Southern and Western Chapters to connect more easily and often with CMLA’s leadership and events

I can honestly say that we are not only committed to these objectives, we are already achieving progress in each. The value of our Certified Mortgage Lender (CML) certification is Colorado’s version of MBA’s Certified Mortgage Banker achievement. We are very excited to have Natalie Miller, CML from Land Title Guarantee Company join the Membership Committee and focus on growing the CML numbers within our member companies. If you know Natalie, you know she’s a great advocate of CMLA and CMLs and will be calling on your organizations very soon.
As part of the last goal, the Board of Directors are committed to a ‘1+1’ goal of attending one chapter (non-Denver) event. The ‘other 1’ is our commitment to refer one new member this year. We already have one BOD who has achieved both!

Without our Board of Directors, CMLA couldn’t bring our members our founding pillars – Representation, Education, and Networking. Next time you see these exceptional people, please thank them for their service to our industry:

  • Kathy Cohen, CML, Universal Lending Corporation, At-Large
  • Tom Donnegan, CML, Cherry Creek Mortgage Co., Inc., At-Large
  • Kim Federspiel, CML, Pulte Mortgage LLC, Chair – MLP
  • Tim Harder, CML, 1st Reverse Mortgage USA, BOD Second Vice President, Chair - Membership Committee, Legislative Committee
  • Tara Healy, CML, LenderLive Network, Inc., At-Large, Tangible Member Benefits
  • Chris Hirai, CML, Premier Mortgage Group, Chair – Northern Chapter
  • Jim Hunter, CML, Cornerstone Home Lending, Inc., Past - President
  • Robert “Hutch” Hutchison, CML, Bank of Colorado Mortgage Division, BOD Vice President, Legislative Committee
  • Josh Jensen, Richey ,May & Co., LLP, Chair – Finance Committee
  • Jim Kaiser, CML, Advantage Credit, Inc., Chair – Tangible Member Benefits
  • Tom Kimball, CML, Land Title Guarantee Company, Chair - Charitable Community Outreach
  • Keith Lowery, CML, Stonegate Mortgage Corporation, At-Large
  • Chris Solheim, CML, CHFA, At-Large, Membership
  • Lisa Springer, CML, STRATMOR Group, Chair – Educational Outreach
  • Kevin Sullivan, CML, Cornerstone Home Lending, Inc., Chair – Southern Chapter
  • Don Ziegler, CML, Cornerstone Home Lending, Inc., Chair – Western Chapter

Without your membership, engagement, sponsorship of events and support through a few tough years, we couldn’t be giving back to you and the greater community as we are today. Thank you for being the white hats of our industry and showing your industry pride in your daily lives. Together, we make a difference in our community.

If you are truly proud of being a member of this association, we ask you to add the “Member of CMLA” logo to your company websites and your email signature showing other businesses and consumers your involvement in the mortgage finance industry. To request this logo, please send us an email by clicking the following button.

Request "Member of CMLA" Logo

LARAC, Legislative and Regulatory Action Committee, is already hard at work monitoring the legislative issues that we’ll see from January to May. LARAC plays an important role in representing our membership and by providing consistency of representation and many long hours on Capitol Hill, we are considered the voice of the mortgage industry in our state. I wish you and your families a safe and memorable holiday season and I hope to see many of you at this year’s CMLA holiday parties.

Erik D. Anderson, CML
CMLA Board of Directors