MReport January 2022

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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M R EP O RT | 9 JOE STEPHENSON Open Mortgage, a multichannel mortgage lender dedicated to empowering the dream of homeowner- ship, has named industry veteran Joe Stephenson as its new President. The newly created position will oversee day-to-day mortgage lending operations for the company, with a strong focus on the company's continued growth, allowing Open Mortgage Founder and CEO Scott Gordon to continue to focus on its long-term strategic expansion, innovation, and corporate culture. "After much long-term planning and an extensive national search, we found a perfect fit in Joe. Not only will his nearly three decades of experience in independent mortgage banking and depository institutions serve Open Mortgage well, his strong leadership skills and warm demeanor will complement our family-like cul- ture," Gordon said. Prior to joining Open Mortgage, Stephenson was the SVP of Operations for American Advisors Group (AAG) where he led more than 550 employees supporting multiple sales channels, including wholesale, a centralized call center, and a national distributed retail channel. In the three years with AAG, he was responsible for the infrastructure build-out that included growing the operating platform 85% and implementing a national remote support strategy. "I'm extremely excited to lead Open Mortgage and grateful to the executive team who has afforded me this opportunity. The strong family culture of balancing personal and professional aspirations is in line with my core values," Stephenson said. "The company is well-positioned for future growth as it has built a strong foundation with an estab- lished national footprint over multiple distribution channels and products. I'm looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and joining the team as we make the turn into 2022." During his 28-year career in financial services, Stephenson has held executive-level positions across multiple originations, operations, and process design platforms for financial industry leaders including Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Salisbury University Perdue School of Business and currently resides near Phoenix, Arizona, with his significant other Summer and their five children. In his spare time, Stephenson coaches his girls' softball teams, cheers hard for the University of Maryland, and enjoys spending time in the Arizona mountains riding quads, camping, and snowboarding with his kids. JODY WATTERS Cherry Creek Mortgage, a nationwide, full-ser- vice mortgage lender, announced Jody Watters has been promoted to VP of Sales and Branch Manager at Blue Spot Home Loans, Cherry Creek Mortgage's consumer direct division. Watters, who was previously the company's sales manager for the past three years, has 24 years of mortgage industry experience and is licensed in 11 states. He served in a variety of roles over a 20-plus-year career, including originator, broker and loan processor. Watters ran his own mortgage brokerage firm for 13 years before venturing to several mortgage lenders, including Fairway Independent Mortgage, Home Loans Today, and Guaranteed Rate. Launched in 2017, Blue Spot Home Loans is a digital lender that enables loan borrowers to get same-day loan pre-approvals and apply for a home loan and upload documents online. The lender is licensed in 20 states, including California and Texas. "Cherry Creek Mortgage has given me a great opportunity to help more borrowers and their families finance their dream homes," Watters said. "I look forward to expanding Blue Spot's footprint in more locations." "Jody is a fantastic asset to our team and brings a wealth of experi- ence to his new role," Cherry Creek Mortgage Chief Marketing Officer David Arnett said. "I'm confident he's going to do a great job building Blue Spot Home Loans into one of the na- tion's most successful online lenders." BILL WIED Leading mortgage lender loanDepot. com, a subsidiary of loanDepot Inc., announced that technology executive Bill Wied has joined the company as SVP and CTO. "I'm thrilled to join Team loanDe- pot and have closely observed the company's astounding achieve- ments in the hyper competitive mortgage lending space," Wied said. "Most important, I'm impressed with Anthony's vision and success in effectively developing and leverag- ing proprietary technology to better serve our customers throughout the homeownership journey. I'm excited to partner with George and the broader team to build upon this dynamic legacy and further revolu- tionize the mortgage lending industry to meet the changing expectations of consumers." Adding a leader of Wied's caliber and experience, following the ap- pointment of George Brady earlier this year, underscores the company's success in attracting the nation's top technology talent while fostering a strong culture of innovation and technical excellence. Wied, who reports to Brady, brings a nearly 30-year track record of technology, innovation and leadership across a variety of respected global financial technology firms, including Bank of America, Paymetric, and Worldpay. He was most recently chief technol- ogy officer at FIS, where he led a comprehensive transformation of that company's global money movement capability. "Delivering a seamless, best-in- class digital mortgage experience through unparalleled technology is our number one goal," Brady said. "Bill's reputation and proven leader- ship across a range of innovative products and technologies, and his experience at all levels of strategic planning, product engineering, and organizational development, make him an incredible asset to our team. His passion for loanDepot's technological vision of continuous innovation and excellence will play a critical role in our ongoing pursuit to transform the entire home ownership journey." Wied's appointment will build on the company's long-term commit- ment to technology excellence, further simplifying the mortgage process and delivering seamless solutions to customers and loan originators. His proven leadership over a wide range of products and technologies, along with his experi- ence in all levels of strategic planning, product engineering, organizational development, and risk management will apply to the use of the digital platform mello. "We founded our company with the laser-focused goal of creat- ing an optimized, seamless digital experience that would exceed the expectations of today's digital- savvy customer," Founder and CEO Anthony Hsieh said. "To that end, we have invested heavily to create our proprietary mello platform, which has been carefully engineered to bring our goal to fruition. We've assembled the greatest minds in technology, including our CDO George Brady and now CTO Bill Wied, to continue to build on this legacy as we double down on our commitment to technol- ogy and innovation." SERVICE PROVIDERS APRIL CAVE OpenClose, leading fintech provider of mortgage software solutions for banks, credit unions, and mortgage lenders, has named April Cave as Director of Implementation Services. "I am excited to see how April's ideas, leadership and mentoring will drive consistency, efficiency and success of our implementation team and provide our clients with next generation technology," said JP Kelly, President and Co-founder of OpenClose. "As we continue to achieve remarkable growth, we always look to align our talent with advancement opportunities that meet the desired career trajectory of our team. We are thrilled to pro- mote April to this role where she will represent OpenClose with all of our clients." In her new role, Cave will be responsible for leading our imple- mentation team and the overall implementation strategy for our suite of digital lending software. With the mindset of, "Increased client adop- tion drives implementation strategy and process," Cave joined OpenClose in 2019 as an Integration Specialist. Having a keen ability to anticipate and fulfill client needs, she was im- mediately recognized for her deep understanding of mortgage technol- ogy and lending operations workflow. In 2020, Cave was recognized by National Mortgage Professional as a 40 Under 40 Influential Achiever. "OpenClose is an exciting, fast- paced, innovative environment with a customer first culture. I've enjoyed MCROWD

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