PROVIDENCE – Mortgage professionals from across New England recently honored two high achievers in the industry during the Rhode Island Mortgage Bankers Association 2019 annual dinner on Nov. 22 at the Crowne Plaza Providence-Warwick in Warwick.
Kathleen Caswell received a standing ovation when Thomas Fleming, the association’s executive vice president, gave her the Lifetime Achievement Award.
“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,” Fleming said.
“I’m humbled and honored to receive this award,” Caswell said, urging guests to continue working hard to help families achieve homeownership. Now retired, Caswell worked more than 30 years in the industry, helped found RIMBA and has had a deep influence on the development of mortgage banking in the region.
The group also named Jayne Furlong, operations and sales manager at Atlantic Home Loans, as its first Rhode Island recipient of Certified Mortgage Professional designation.
Earning the designation requires a deep understanding of the mortgage profession and commitment to the industry, Fleming said.
Furlong, who opened her own mortgage company and successfully assisted homebuyers in that role for nearly 30 years, said the 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.
Furlong said she hopes the designation reflects a heightened level of ethical professionalism to consumers and that younger people decide to make the mortgage profession a lifelong career.
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 passing of the torch to a younger generation was emphasized at various points throughout the dinner.
Patrick Deady, president of the Rhode Island Mortgage Bankers Association, said progress was being made to establish a Young Mortgage Professionals network in Rhode Island. He said RIMBA is committed to launching a Mortgage University in 2020. The evening also included the conferring of Rising Star awards, which included: Samia DeMarco, Ashley Fischer, Sean Fleming, Sara Hanson, Ashley Laferriere, Christopher Lee, Mark McLaughlin, Benjamin Pettit and Morgan Sebastian.
Deady briefly spoke about the business climate in the industry, association initiatives, philanthropic efforts, as well as efforts to protect the industry.
“We are protecting the industry in the Statehouse 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,” he said.
In addition to honoring people working in the industry, the association’s annual dinner serves as a platform for the installation of officers and the board of directors. The following officers and directors were named.
- Patrick Deady, senior vice president of residential and consumer lending at BankFive, was named president.
- Thomas Fleming, of Fleming Advisory Services, was named executive vice president.
- Al Grant, senior vice president of mortgage origination at The Washington Trust Co., was named first vice president.
- James K. Donnell, president of Equity National Title, was named second vice president.
- James H. Hahn, partner at Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP, was named secretary.
- David Currie, president of Province Mortgage Associates, was named treasurer.
- Dean Harrington, CEO of Shamrock Home Loans, is the association’s immediate past president.
- Ann-Marie Sweeney Copland, vice president, correspondent and wholesale senior 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 the R.I. Housing and Mortgage Finance Corp.
- Connie Viera, vice president of residential lending at Home Loan Investment Bank.
Mary Lhowe is a PBN contributing writer.
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