Congratulations to all of these amazing, trailblazing, 2021 #NEXTPowerhouse Award winners! 

Over the past year, these mortgage industry leaders recognized a challenge or problem in their companies or in the industry, then took the initiative to improve it.

NEXT Powerhouses are role models, mentors and change agents. They advocate for progress and push companies forward, whether in technology use, in infrastructure changes, or in the way we treat and relate to each other as professionals and human beings.

Join us in celebrating these women and their accomplishments. Click on each 2021 #NEXTPowerhouse Award winner for more info.

2021 #NEXTPowerhouse Award Winners

Tawn Kelley

Tawn Kelley

Tawn Kelley, PresidentTaylor Morrison Home FundingLast 12 Months most proud: 1) Record Volume, Growth: Increasing our team by 28% and safely, securely navigating through remote work while delivering our strongest customer experience. 2) Three awards for Best Place to...

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Leora Ruzin, CMB, AMP

Leora Ruzin, CMB, AMP

Leora Ruzin, CMB, AMP, Senior Vice President of LendingColoramo Federal Credit Union Over the last 12 months, I am most proud of: 1). Obtaining my “Accredited Mortgage Professional” designation from the Mortgage Bankers Association 2). Losing over 75 pounds after...

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Corey Hampton

Corey Hampton

Corey Hampton, Vice President of IntegrationsDataVerify Over the last 12 months, I'm most proud of: 1). Designing and implementing a modern integration platform that allows DataVerify to support MISMO standard, proprietary, and custom API solutions. 2). Oversaw growth...

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Vickie Butler

Vickie Butler

Vickie Butler, SVP, Operations Manager Warehouse LendingTexas Capital BankIn the last 12 months, I am most proud of MOCK PANDEMIC I’m so proud to be able to say that I work with some of the greatest staff members within our own Warehouse Lending Department and other...

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Michele Moore-Grady

Michele Moore-Grady

Michele Moore-Grady, Director of Business Improvement and Enterprise Project ManagementEnact Mortgage InsuranceIn the last 12 months, I'm most proud of:  1). The pandemic remains a present and significant challenge to the way we live our lives and how we do business....

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Sue Meitner

Sue Meitner

Sue Meitner, PresidentCentennial Lending GroupIn the last 12 months, I'm most proud of:  1). Resiliency – The ability to pivot or modify how we work was not easy, but utilizing frequent morning meetings, our team swapped tips on new approaches for connecting with...

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April Conti

April Conti

April Conti, Senior Director of Marketing & TechnologyPeople's Mortgage CompanyApril Conti took on the role of Senior Director of Marketing and Technology in 2020 with no idea of the industry chaos that was to follow in two weeks when the pandemic hit. A year...

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Neenu Kainth

Neenu Kainth

Neenu Kainth, Chief Digital OfficerMr. Cooper In the last 12 months, I'm most proud of: 1). The work my team has accomplished in creating digital solutions for distressed Mr. Cooper customers by providing easily accessible educational resources, helping them assess...

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Christine Seeger

Christine Seeger

Christine Seeger, VP, Customer ExperiencePHH MortgageIn the last 12 months, I'm most proud of: 1). As we continue to operate virtually, I am excited to see our team find creative ways to build connections as well as provide support and learning opportunities to our...

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Brooke Lapides

Brooke Lapides

Brooke Lapides, Managing Director, Portfolio StrategyHomePointIn the last 12 months, I'm most proud of: 1). The position that I started at HomePoint as Managing Director, Portfolio Strategy. I started during the pandemic and have worked entirely remote, and I was able...

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Sarah Gonzalez

Sarah Gonzalez

Sarah Gonzalez, COOFirst Guaranty Mortgage CorporationI am so proud of my team and I’s ability to remain resilient and adapt to change. You can’t teach resiliency and I am so impressed by our willingness to rise to the occasion. When we faced market shifts and large...

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Debora Aydelotte

Debora Aydelotte

Debora Aydelotte, Chief Operating OfficerPromontory MortgagePath Our mission at PMP encompasses increasing credit availability to borrowers through supporting community banks and lenders across the country.  At its core, this vision will help strengthen communities...

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Erika Martens

Erika Martens

Erika Martens, VP of Finance & Systems AdministrationFirst Trust Home LoansIn the last 12 months, I am most proud of: 1). Managing to adapt to faster than ever changes and managing to keep my sanity and integrity intact. It’s always a challenge to give the right...

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Tracy Farber

Tracy Farber

Tracy Farber, Director, Sales EngineeringSimpleNexusTracy Farber has dedicated the last 18+ years of her career to helping mortgage lenders build out efficient tech stacks. Since joining SimpleNexus just over a year ago, Farber has conducted more than 600 product...

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Suzy Lindblom

Suzy Lindblom

Suzy Lindblom, COOKind LendingIn the last year, I made a major transition to a new company, and I am proud of how I handled the transition on both sides. Leaving the company I left with a transition plan and then fully engaging with the new company immediately. At...

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Lisa Schreiber

Lisa Schreiber

Lisa Schreiber, PresidentLSK ConsultantsIn the last 12 months, I'm most proud of: 1). Building my consulting business based solely on my network of former colleagues and past partnerships 2). Being regarded as an industry expert and sought out as a speaker 3)....

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Cristy Ward

Cristy Ward

Cristy Ward, Chief Strategy OfficerMortgage ConnectIn March 2020, COVID-19 came at the industry fast. Within six days, Cristy had stood up a distributed workforce of >1,100 on secure company equipment, within secure environments. In April 2020 Cristy was...

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Cerita Battles

Cerita Battles

Cerita Battles, Managing Director, Head of Affordable LendingChaseIn the last 12 months, I'm most proud of: 1). Rejoining the JPMorgan Chase Family in my new role as Head of Community & Affordable Lending. 2). Returning back to the office and traveling to the...

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Christy Moss

Christy Moss

Christy Moss, CMB, Head of Sales & MarketingFormFree®In the last 12 months, I'm most proud of: In February, FormFree® expanded our AccountChek® 3n1 asset, income, and employment verification service to cover 85% of salaried and hourly workers in the United States....

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Megan Bennett

Megan Bennett

Megan Bennett, Sr. Director Enterprise Sales HomeBinderIn the last 12 months, I am most proud of: 1). Investing in myself with the help from my coach Bronwyn Morrissey- Taking deep dives with myself to truly understand what is it that I want to create, having fun,...

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Darcy Patch

Darcy Patch

Darcy Patch, VP Marketing, Enterprise SolutionsWEST, a Williston Financial Group CompanyIn the last 12 months, I am most proud of: 1). Creating and implementing integrated marketing and communications programs promoting WFG’s MyHome® Exchange and DecisionPointSM...

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Kristin Messerli

Kristin Messerli

Kristin Messerli, VP, Financial Servicesexperience.com In the last 12 months, I'm most proud of: 1). Selling my company, Cultural Outreach, to NAMMBA 2). Joining Experience.com (formerly SocialSurvey) to grow the financial services division 3). Completing my first...

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Sam Verma

Sam Verma

Sam Verma, CEOPeoples ProcessingIn the last 12 months, I am most proud of: Running operations at over 130% utilization, helping lenders process loans, and ensuring business continuity amidst the COVID-19 pandemic   During the pandemic, right through late 2020/ early...

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Kerry Cole

Kerry Cole

Kerry Cole, Chief Wholesale OfficerEPM In the last 12 months, I'm most proud of: 1). Pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and have tried things I have never done before. 2). At EPM’s Broker Success Summit I facilitated and was a speaker on several panels. 3). I...

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Melissa Macerato

Melissa Macerato

Melissa Macerato, EVP Sales & MarketingLongbridge FinancialI am incredibly proud of our company's collective impact during a year of chaos and uncertainty.  Our Reverse Mortgage products assist older Americans in responsibly utilizing their home equity to age in...

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Denise Abbrederis

Denise Abbrederis

Denise Abbrederis, SVP, Project ManagementKind Lending In the last 12 months, I'm most proud of: 1). Building a truly world-class PMO, Vendor Management, and Product Management team at Kind Lending. We have brought some of the best of the best in the industry to the...

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Fawnda Starkes

Fawnda Starkes

Fawnda Starkes, Appraisal Desk ManagerALCOVA MortgageIn the fall of 2020, I was asked to take on a new role with ALCOVA Mortgage, transitioning from HR to develop and manage an internal appraisal desk team. This afforded me the opportunity to combine my past roles in...

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Natalie Cooke

Natalie Cooke

Natalie Cooke, Vice President, OperationsKind LendingOver the last 12 months, I'm most proud of: First, let me say that this past year has been anything but normal, filled with uncertainties due to the COVID pandemic. Next, let me say that I’m overjoyed being a Kind...

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Katherine Gardner

Katherine Gardner

Katherine Gardner, Chief Production OfficerArc Home LoansWhen Covid 19 hit, liquidity for NON-QM products dried up. Katherine had been building the products and sales team for NON-QM expansion at Arc Home. She was able to quickly refocus the team efforts on Agency...

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Sunny Mahdii

Sunny Mahdii

Sunny Mahdii, VP of Customer SuccessReverseVisionI have always been passionate about HECM products and how they can change the landscape of retirement for senior borrowers. I am very proud of being able to connect with our lender partners to help bring these products...

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Lesley Alli

Lesley Alli

Lesley Alli, Senior Managing DirectorHomePointIn the last 12 months, I'm most proud of: Helping our industry respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by the pandemic all while executing a successful IPO. At the same time, personally, I am proud to have...

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Sara Nakae

Sara Nakae

Sara Nakae, VP of Sales & Business DevelopmentFirst CloseRecently, I launched and brought to market FirstClose Digital Lending Platform (DLP) which is a home equity point-of-sale tool and application management system fully integrated FirstClose ONE. Specific to...

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Jody Collup

Jody Collup

Jody Collup, Chief Operations OfficerGlobal DMSIn the last 12 months, I'm most proud of: The overall stability of the Global DMS infrastructure. With every department reporting to me, it gets challenging to keep up with all of them in a consistent and meaningful...

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Kim Bigham

Kim Bigham

Kim Bigham, PresidentFay ServicingThe mortgage servicing industry has been put to the test over the past 12+ months due to the pandemic. At the forefront, our concern was ensuring the safety of our employees. Being available and ready when our borrowers and clients...

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Stacey Maisano

Stacey Maisano

Stacey Maisano, Director of Business DevelopmentPolunsky Beitel Green / eClosePlusStacey Maisano is the most dedicated person I know in the mortgage industry. During the last 12 months, she has been instrumental in several ways in moving the industry and her company...

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Ashley Minech

Ashley Minech

Ashley Minech, VP, Product Management Factual DataEarly in the pandemic, when loans in forbearance were increasing dramatically, I was involved in the development of a new product offering credit data from our sister company Innovis®. The data provided updated...

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Kelly Ann Doherty

Kelly Ann Doherty

Kelly Ann Doherty, Chief People & Communications OfficerMr.CooperIn the last 12 months, I'm most proud of: 1). Our company’s thought leadership in planning for a Future of Work that puts our team members first 2). How we helped customers throughout the pandemic...

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Louanne Bernstone

Louanne Bernstone

Louanne Bernstone, Managing Director, Head of Vendor Management, Learning and Development and Investment RelationshipsPromontory MortgagePathIn the last year, I worked alongside our head of human resources to establish an internal diversity and inclusion committee and...

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Laura Brandao

Laura Brandao

Laura Brandao, PresidentAFRIn the last 12 months, I am proudest of the number of families we have helped to bring home during the pandemic – one of the most life-altering, stressful periods of our lives – to include providing programs to underserved communities and...

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Suha Zehl

Suha Zehl

Suha Zehl, Chief Analytics OfficerEPMIn the last 12 months, I'm most proud of: 1). Joining the leadership team at EPM and having the opportunity to collaborate with a world-class team to reimagine the mortgage lending experience and create a culture that empowers our...

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Bernadette Kogler

Bernadette Kogler

Bernadette Kogler, CEORiskSpanIn the last 12 months, I'm most proud of: 1). The resiliency of the RiskSpan team – the team was stellar through the pandemic and didn’t miss a beat. As we transitioned to a 100% remote workplace, the team continued to deliver seamlessly...

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Patty Arvielo

Patty Arvielo

Patty Arvielo, Cofounder & PresidentNew American FundingIn the last 12 months, I'm most proud of: 1). I have long believed in giving back and supporting the next generation and thanks to New American Funding’s success, I am now in a position to do that in ways...

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Dalila Ramos

Dalila Ramos

Dalila Ramos, VP of Diversity & GrowthEPMIn the last 12 months, I'm most proud of: 1). Staying true to my values and my faith. 2). My commitment to my love of tacos. 3). Purchase a home for my family.

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Keosha Burns

Keosha Burns

Keosha Burns, Executive Director, Senior Advisor, Community & Affordable LendingChaseIn the last 12 months, I'm most proud of: 1). After serving as the head of PR for the last four years, I moved to a new role to serve my community and my passion to help more...

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Christy Stratton

Christy Stratton

Christy Stratton, Director, EXOS Closings Scheduling & Vendor ManagementServiceLinkIn the last 12 months, I'm most proud of: 1). Facilitating the launch of a virtual closing team tasked with onboarding and assisting lender partners in conducting hybrid and full...

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