Independent Mortgage Bankers Conference Preview

The MBA’s Independent Mortgage Bankers Conference, being held February 3 – 6 in New Orleans, offers IMB’s a chance to expand their network, grow their business and have a little fun in the Big Easy.

The conference is jam-packed with panels, sessions, roundtables and tech demos that provide the latest insights and updates on industry trends impacting the IMBs. The speaker lineup is a who’s of heavyweights from the mortgage space as well as top officials from government agencies.

There are so many great educational opportunities, but here are some can’t-miss sessions from the Mortgage Media team:

Dave Stevens

Breakout Session: Getting the Most out of Your Brand –Tuesday, February 4 @ 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Make sure your brand is saying what you want it to say. Are there small steps you could take to ensure that you are the “go to” lender in your markets? Or do you need to completely overhaul how you’re presenting your business? This interactive session will provide the latest tips on brand building, social media use, and search engine optimization for IMBs of all size and scope.


  • John Seroka, Principal, Seroka Brand Development
  • Scott Harris, Chief Executive Officer, SocialSurvey

IMBs Unplugged – Roundtable Discussions (IMBs Only – Closed to Media) –Tuesday, February 4 @ 3:45 PM – 5:30 PM

Meet face-to-face with your peers from the Independent Mortgage Bankers Network to collaborate and debate on some of the most pressing business concerns facing IMBs. Using a roundtable format, you can join whichever conversation you prefer, and each will be staffed by a knowledgeable expert and MBA staff. Each group will share their proposed solutions on hot topics.


  • Teresa Whitehead, Chief Executive Officer, Citywide Home Loans/CHL Mortgage
  • Owen Lee, Chief Executive Officer, Success Mortgage Partners

General Session: Speeches about Breaches: Security Risks in Your Own Backyard
Wednesday, February 5 @10:45 AM – 12:00 PM

It’s an uncomfortable truth, but data breaches continue to increase. For your company, the issue of being hacked is more likely “when”, not “if”. You’ll leave this session with the understanding of how to make your IMB more resistant and resilient to this trend


  • Corey Harris, Cyber Supervisory Special Agent, New Orleans, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
  • Alex Nunez, Enterprise Account Executive, Upguard
  • Susan Stewart, 2020 MBA Chairman-Elect, Chief Executive Officer, SWBC Mortgage
  • John-Thomas (JT) Gaietto, CISSP, Executive Director, Cybersecurity Services, RicheyMay Technology Solutions
  • Thomas Delaney, President, Bankers Insurance Service

Suresh Ramakrishnan

General Session: Managing Change in 2020
Tuesday, February 4 @ 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM

Industry leaders provide perspective on the opportunities and challenges IMBs may face in the year ahead, given market uncertainty, new entrants, and housing policy changes. Hear how these leaders are positioning their companies to be competitive in the near and long terms.


  • Terry L. Schmidt, CMB, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Principal, Guild Mortgage Company
  • Christopher M. George, 2019 MBA Chairman, Founder, President and CEO, CMG Financial
  • Bill Emerson, 2016 MBA Chairman, Vice Chairman, Quicken Loans
  • Mark A. Jones, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, Amerifirst Home Mortgage
  • Stanley C. Middleman, Chief Executive Officer, Freedom Mortgage

Breakout Session: Sustaining Growth through Market Cycles – Wednesday, February 5 @ 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Leave this session energized with actionable takeaways to streamline processes, maximize production opportunities, and manage costs  through up and down markets.


  • Eddy Perez, CMB, President, Equity Prime Mortgage
  • David L. Lykken, Founder and Chief Transformational Officer, Transformational Mortgage Solutions
  • Allison Johnston, CMB, President, Success Mortgage Partners
  • Brenda B. Clem, CMB, Chief Product Strategist, LoanLogics

Tom Wilkins

General Session: Mortgage Market Outlook for IMBs – Tuesday, February 4 @ 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM

Get the latest forecast for the industry, including the various forces impacting the market and what they might mean as you develop your business strategy for 2020 and beyond. In a presentation and Q&A with a leading IMB executive, MBA’s Research team provides the latest analysis of current economic, housing market and mortgage market trends, with a focus on lender profitability and other business metrics.


  • Michael Fratantoni, Ph.D., Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, Research and Industry Technology, Mortgage Bankers Association
  • Marina Walsh, Vice President, Industry Analysis, Mortgage Bankers Association
  • Bill Lowman, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Pacific Mortgage

Breakout Session: Direct from the Source – Wednesday, February 5 @ 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Leaders from government agencies will provide the latest updates from agencies and answer your questions.


  • Joseph M. (Joe) Gormley, Chief of Staff, Office of the Deputy Secretary and Assistant Secretary for Housing, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Julie Piepho, CMB, AMP, Executive Strategic Advisor, Credit Plus
  • John Bell, III, Deputy Director, Veterans Administration
  • David J. Corwin, Deputy Director, Lender and Partner Activities, Single Family Guaranteed Program, USDA Rural Development

See the full schedule.