PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Mortgage professionals from across New England gave a standing ovation to Kathleen Caswell, one of several attendees who were honored during the Rhode Island Mortgage Bankers Association’s 2019 Annual Dinner.
“In appreciation to your role as a founder, builder, and advocate for the Rhode Island Mortgage Bankers Association, thank you, for a lifetime of exceptional work,” Tom Fleming said in announcing Caswell as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
“I’m humbled and honored to receive this award,” Caswell said before telling attendees to continue working hard to help families achieve homeownership.
The annual event, hosted by Rhode Island Mortgage Bankers Association (RIMBA) at the Crowne Plaza, typically serves as a platform for the installation of officers and its Board of Directors. This year, RIMBA representatives also shared their priorities for 2020, honored individuals currently working in the industry, and named the first recipient of its Certified Mortgage Professional (CMP) designation.
Earning the designation requires a deep understanding of the mortgage profession and commitment to the industry, Fleming explained.
He proudly conferred the certification to Jayne Furlong, who now serves as an operations and sales manager at Atlantic Home Loans. Furlong, who opened her own mortgage company and successfully assisted home buyers in that role for nearly 30 years, said the required 100-question exam to receive the CMP designation would have been troublesome if not for her previous experience as the president of her own company.
“The fact that I am the only one in the state, I felt very proud when they gave me the award,” Furlong said. “There were many questions in the exam that if I hadn’t been in the business for a long time, I would not have known the answers.”
Members of her team surprised her by attending the Annual Dinner. Sara Hanson, a loan officer at Atlantic Home Loans and one of the youngest professionals to join RIMBA’s Board of Directors, spread the news of Furlong’s accomplishment. It is not a surprise, Furlong says, that Hanson would go out of her way to bring the team considering that she is always encouraging Hanson to step up to leadership positions in the industry.
Furlong said she hopes the designation reflects a heightened level of ethical professionalism to consumers and that younger individuals, like Hanson, decide to make the mortgage profession a lifelong career.
The passing of the torch to a younger generation was emphasized at various points throughout the dinner.
Before the recipients of the Rising Star Awards were announced, Patrick Deady, President of RIMBA and Sr. Vice President and Director of Residential and Consumer Lending at BankFive, announced the progress being made to establish a Young Mortgage Professionals network in Rhode Island and the association’s commitment to launch a Mortgage University in 2020.
“We promise to establish the Mortgage University and hope to have it completed by next year,” Deady explained. He briefly spoke about the business climate in the industry, other association initiatives, philanthropic efforts, and local and national efforts to protect the industry, stating, “We are protecting the industry in the State House by ensuring borrowers get the funding they need. We have stayed ahead of threats by also giving testimonies against legislation that threatens to damage the industry.”
Other event speakers included Al Grant, Sr. Vice President of Mortgage Origination at the Washington Trust Company, James H. Hahn, Partner at Patridge Snow & Hahn, LLP, and David Currie, President of Province Mortgage Associates. Currie’s remarks pivoted to Hanson, who Currie recruited to spearhead the Young Mortgage Professionals initiative.
Hanson, who was also awarded a Rising Star award, reflected the population that RIMBA is hoping to attract in the coming years. She and fellow professionals in the industry such as Samia DeMarco and Ashley LaFerriere, Fleming explained, must work to replace seats that are starting to go vacant.
As loan officers with a duty to engage younger professionals, Hanson stated, “our goal is to make networking fun. We are looking to make 2020 even better,” she said, referring to events that happened earlier this year.
Another highlight of the dinner included a TED Style talk by Casey Cunningham, a sought-after motivational speaker who is the CEO of Xinnix, The Mortgage Academy. The company works to empower mortgage professionals to help them achieve excellence in the industry. “It is always nice to end the night with inspiring stories that our members can apply to their own business,” said Fleming.
Here is a full list of the installation of officers, award winners, and other designations:
Patrick Deady, President, RIMBA, Sr. Vice President of Residential & Consumer Lending, BankFive
Thomas Fleming, Executive Vice President, RIMBA, Fleming Advisory Services
Al Grant, First Vice President, RIMBA, Sr. Vice President of Mortgage Origination at the Washington Trust Company
James K. Donnell, Esq., Second Vice President, RIMBA, President, Equity National Title
James H. Hahn, Esq., Secretary, RIMBA, Partner at Patridge Snow & Hahn, LLP
David Currie, Treasurer, RIMBA, President of Province Mortgage Associates
Dean Harrington, Immediate Past President, RIMBA, CEO of Shamrock Home Loans
Ann-Marie Sweeney Copland, VP, Correspondent & Wholesale Sr. Executive, Flagstar Bank, FSB
William Dawson, Vice President of Mortgage Origination at Pawtucket Credit Union
Paul DeCoste, Regional Sales Director at Avantus
David M. DeCubellis, Vice President, Residential Mortgage, Navigant Credit Union
Sara Hanson. Loan Officer at Atlantic Home Loans
Deborah A. Imondi, Consultant at Quilty & Associates
Susan Kelly, Owner of Appraisal Solutions
Peter C. Pagonis, Director of Homeownership at Rhode Island Housing
Connie Viera, VP Residential Lending at Home Loan Investment Bank
Certified Mortgage Professional
Jayne Furlong, Operations and Sales Manager at Atlantic Home Loans
Lifetime Achievement Award
Kathleen Caswell, CMB, Founder, Builder and Advocate for RIMBA
Rising Star Award Winners
Benjamin Pettit, Esq.
Event sponsors included:
Harbor One Mortgage
Wave Federal Credit Union
Home Point Financial
Shamrock Home Loans
Embrace Home Loans
2019 Annual Partners
Birchwood Credit Services
Equity National Title
Law Office of Michael C. Lima
Law Office of Robert Rogosta
Pawtucket Credit Union
Shamrock Home Loans
Washington Trust Mortgage Company
The Rhode Island Mortgage Bankers Association is dedicated to promoting and sustaining responsible home lending in Rhode Island. The mortgage association has over 90 corporate members, which represent thousands of mortgage lenders throughout the state who help businesses and people secure mortgages. As part of its overarching plan to create a better housing market, RIMBA regularly promotes educational initiatives, addresses legislative challenges, and strives to cultivate membership growth.