President's Message

By:  Todd Potter CMB, 2019 MMLA President

First and foremost, I want to thank Jim Wickham for his leadership in 2018.  His experience and guidance throughout his tenure on the Board of the MMLA has been invaluable over the past few years.  Cheers to your accomplishments and well done.

I want to also extend my gratitude for our volunteer board that we have each year at the MMLA, with a special welcome to Deborah Herdman as our 2019 Secretary/Treasurer.  We have a solid and balanced team that have made several accomplishments over the past couple years from which to build upon in 2019.  Results matter.  The only way we achieve those results is by having core leadership at the chapter level – every year.  Our Chapter Presidents for 2019:  Julie Bacon (West), Nicki VanLake (Mid) and Maureen Townson (Southeast) – and their teams have already shown plenty of energy in scheduling events in January and February.   Of course, none of this happens without the glue of our organization - Joanne Misuraca and Trinity Lancione!  When one becomes an officer of the MMLA, you will not truly understand the commitment they bring every day to the MMLA.  I’ve been fortunate to attend many events from other state organizations throughout the country.  The body of work by Joanne and Trinity is the envy of many and we are privileged to have both representing the MMLA.

As Jim indicated during his farewell speech, a few years the BOD (led by Past-Presidents Marc Reneau and Don Precor) began a process re-writing our bylaws so that we can better shape the future of the MMLA.  With that plan in place, that responsibility now shifts to the leadership teams of today and tomorrow to be a better resource for our membership and the homeowner/consumer that we ultimately represent.  We should be a better resource in a couple areas:   1) Expand our role in Housing Finance with a more robust & active relationships with both the Michigan Realtor Association and the Home Builders Association of Michigan 2) Our Mortgage Broker community needs to have a voice in Michigan. This statewide community of mortgage professionals have only engaged at the national level for the past several years.  We need active leadership from this community to help provide the needed direction to engage activity and advise on content specific to their needs - at both the chapter and state events

In addition to these two key areas, we need to be a better resource for the future of the mortgage community.  During the Installation Banquet on November 1st, 2018, I asked a crowd of over 200 people to have everyone stand that was 40-year-old or younger.  It was a rhetorical question for me since I knew that we only have about 12-15 – less than 10%.  We gave applause to our future.  My hope at that moment was for everyone to visualize that WE need to invest in the future of our industry and that investment starts now.

During the Banquet, we had just recognized three outstanding individuals who were awarded as our 2018 Rising Stars award recipients – Jamie Borashko (United Wholesale Mortgage), Victoria DeLuce (Success Mortgage Partners) and A J Franchi (Goldstar Mortgage Company).  Each were asked to come back on stage where we announced that each of the Rising Stars recipients would receive complementary access to every MMLA State and Chapter event in 2019.  This would include 24+ chapter events, the 2019 Sales Symposium, Compliance Seminar and Installation banquet, all three chapter golf outings AND the Annual Conference in August at Crystal Mountain. 

In addition to all the 2019 events in Michigan, the MMLA will subsidized all the expense of attending the 2019 MBA State & Local Workshop and the National Advocacy Conference at the Capital Hilton in Washington DC from April 1st through April 3rd.  This event advocates the industry's interests at a national level and plays an important role in representing our industry at the local and state levels.  A strong and unified voice is critical as we work to better our industry and the communities we serve.

We hope this financial investment by the MMLA is embraced by each recipient and by the ownership of the company’s they represent as each event has a time element that takes away from their daily activities.  I encourage ownership and executive management of our member companies to take advantage of the MMLA’s investment in their employees.  So much so, that we look forward to receiving many nominations for the 2019 Rising Stars Award.

Finally, serving the association takes a commitment and like most commitments, requires a fair amount of both time and effort. I would like to thank my Partners at Level One Bank for their investment in me.  To with my wife Holly and our sons Garrett & Evan – which many of you have seen them grow up since they have attended every state conference for many years – thank you for your support.  I would not be able to participate in our great association to this degree without that support.

Platinum Corporate Partners