May 2019 Print

President's Report

From the President's Desk
By:  Todd Potter, CMB
2019 MMLA President
Level One Bank

Watch this video message from President Todd Potter, CMB about the MMLA's Rising Star Award

MMLA Names Mark Bigelow to State Board of Directors!

The MMLA is pleased to announce that Mark Bigelow, HomeLend USA, has been appointed to the MMLA State Board of Directors!! 

Mark has been involved in the mortgage industry for many years.   He brings a full view from all sides of the industry.  Mark will help start and oversee an independent mortgage lender/broker committee for the association 

Here is a little bit about Mark:  A client once referred to Mark Bigelow as the mortgage wizard. That’s because Bigelow, now President and Founder of Homelend USA, LLC, his third mortgage company, has found programs and closed loans for people other experts believe are not qualified; he is the go-to guy the experts call upon when they cannot help a client. 

Bigelow has kept his finger on the pulse of the volatile real estate and mortgage lending industry for more than three decades and he knows the industry inside and out. 

Resourceful, resilient and candid, Bigelow is a hands-on executive who enjoys a rare combination of traits that have helped him hone his listening skills and focus on results. Bigelow specializes in finding solutions to any situation (simple or challenging) dealing with originations, operations, construction loans, solutions for credit unions, mortgage underwriting, short sales and loss mitigation for consumers.

THANK YOU Mark for accepting this role.  We look forward to working with Mark as we build our awareness to within broker comumunity. 

MMLA has represented and supported ALL mortgage professionals since 1929!  We offer Legislative advocacy, education and networking opportunities for ALL lenders at the local level in Michigan.    If you would like to be part of this new, emerging MMLA committee, please contact Joanne Misuraca at  Thank you!


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Annual Lending Conference

Annual Lending Conference Committee

Katrina Cole, Chairperson
Inlanta Mortgage 

The MMLA Annual Lending Conference is the most significant industry event of the year!!  Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville, MI is the location, August 14 - 16, 2019 is the date. There is no better place to be  - plan on bringing your family to make a vacation out of your time "Up North"!   

This event is for anyone in the mortgage industry!  MMLA represents all lenders:  independent mortgage bankers, brokers, community banks, commercial banks, Credit Unions, - and all companies that provides a service to the industry!

We'll have nationally recognized industry and motivational speakers.  Learn from them and get the motivation, inspiration and insight to apply to your business to bring it to the next level.   We also have a full schedule of golf, educational sessions, social receptions and indulgent dinners.  We did build in time to make those important business connections too, and some free time to catch up on work...or just relax at the resort.  This is a "must see" event.  Don't hear about it - experience it for yourself!!

Sponsorship now open for this event!   Consider sponsoring and get your company noticed by the decision makers in Michigan!

Check out this video about the Annual Lending Conference! 

Click on the links below for all the details to know!   We hope to see you there in August!!



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Education Committee News

Education Committee Update
Audrey Acquisti, MMLA Education Consultant
MSource Training & Consulting

Our Sales Symposium held on March 13th at the Suburban Collection was a great success!!  We had well over 200 attendees!  Our focus this year was on technology and our guest speakers delivered.  Topics such as ‘The Power of Being the Social Expert’, ‘Video Marketing’, and ‘How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business’ were just a few of the topics presented.

As a member of MMLA, you are invited to join our Education Committee Conference Call the first Tuesday of each month at 12 noon.  Your ideas, opinions, and suggestions are welcome.   An ongoing commitment from you is not required…if you have an idea to share, jump on the call, we are listening. 

Stay tuned for more information in the coming months about our September Compliance Conference. 

Enjoy your summer! 


Do you know of someone that may be interested in learning more about our industry?  Do you have employees that could advance their careers if they had just a little more mortgage training?  MMLA is sponsoring a two-day Mortgage Essentials Course May 20th and May 21st in Grand Rapids.  This course is being taught by one of Genworth’s most talented instructors.   Don’t miss out on this class!   (Note:  This course is not NMLS approved for Pre-licensing Education).Topics covered will include, but are not limited to…

  • Understanding mortgage industry lingo
  • Identify different types of mortgage lenders, investors and departments
  • Understand and explain different loan types and programs
  • Thoroughly and accurately complete a loan application
  • Calculate mortgage payments, assets and income
  • Read and understand credit reports and credit scores
  • Understanding the nuances of DU and LP
  • Reviewing documentation for accuracy and acceptability
  • Increase borrower satisfaction
  • Enhanced awareness of compliance and fraud issue

Registration Fees:
Cost for this two-day course is just $49 for MMLA members, $79 for non-MMLA Members.  The class will be held from 8 am to 4 pm each day.  Cost includes handbook, light breakfast, coffee, soft drinks, lunch and afternoon snacks both days.   Registration must be received by May 15, 2019!!  Click here for full details and to register.


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Legislative & MORBANPAC Committee News

MORBANPAC is the non-partisan political action committee of the Michigan Mortgage Lenders Association. It operates at the state level to support elected officials and candidates whose philosophies and positions support the real estate finance industry.  Give your share to MORBANPAC!  The MMLA's legislative PAC relies personal contributions from individuals liek you.  We need your help. As a member of MMLA, we encourage you to contribute to MORBANPAC to help support our future. The amount of your contribution and choice of whether to participate is entirely your decision. Click here to make your contribution.

Click here for the current Legislative Bills being monitored by the MMLA Legislative Committee.

The MBA's fourth annual MAA Action Week is coming up May 13-17, 2019.  

If you are an employee of a company that is engaged in, or supports the business of, real estate finance you may become an Alliance member. You do not need to be employed by an MBA member firm to enroll in MAA.   Click here to learn more about MAA and to join today.  It is free and registration just takes a minute!   To sign up for your company to have a MAA campaign for Action Week, please click here.


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Membership and PR Committee

The MMLA Membership & PR Committee
Allison Johnston CMB, Chairperson
Success Mortgage Partners

CALLING ALL NOMINATIONS!  CALLING ALL NOMINATIONS!!!  We are looking for nominations for our Rising Star Award.     The Rising Star award is a prestigious designation that is awarded to the “Rising Stars” of the Mortgage Industry.    We are looking for nominations to recognize achievers who are newer to the industry and have a commitment to the industry.  Go to the MMLA website and submit your nominations.  All nominations must be received by July 1st, 2019.    Winners are to be announced at the Annual Lending Conference at Crystal Mountain, in August and will be honored at the Annual Installation Banquet in November. Click here for all the info and to complete the nomination form.  

If you have any questions about new things coming from the membership committee in 2019, please reach out to Allison Johnston, CMB, at 734-927-0276 or    We are always looking for volunteers for the membership committee - if you are interested in participating please reach out to  Allison for this as well.

Also, if you have some time, please check out our MMLA videos on YouTube.    We are trying different facets of communication to make sure everyone is updated.  

The MMLA has welcomed these 29 new members since March 1, 2019!! 

First Name Last Name Company Name
Jim Cleer ACC Mortgage
Marc Summers Advantage Mortgage Co of Michigan
Amy Asher Carrington Mortgage Services
Jill Hawkins Credit Union ONE
Jeff Stewart Data Facts
Greg Chaffin FirstFunding, Inc.
Nathan Steiner Flagstar Bank, FSB
Steve Kowalske Freedom Mortgage
Antoine Tinker Freedom Mortgage
Frank Zak Freedom Mortgage
Todd Gray Grand River Bank
Chris McCormick GreenStone Farm Credit Services
Gerald Dziedzic Hartland Insurance Agency Inc
Elaine Litwiller Home Point Financial Corporation
Mark Bigelow HomeLend USA
Kelly Albright Lake Michigan Credit Union
Stephen Benet Lake Michigan Credit Union
Donald Braendle Lake Michigan Credit Union
Christina Finn Lake Michigan Credit Union
Lauryn Reed Lake Michigan Credit Union
Belma Solakovic Lake Michigan Credit Union
Angela Szura Lake Michigan Credit Union
Nicole Palmer Lucrative Home Loans, Inc.
Briana Johnson Mercantile Bank of Michigan
Crystal Skibinski Mortgage Concepts, Inc.
Darren Russell Mr. Cooper
Jason Crandall MSU Federal Credit Union
Shantel White MSU Federal Credit Union
Zack Schiebner Primary Title Agency, LLC

Corporate Partner Advertorial:

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Mid Chapter News

The Mid Chapter Update
Nicki VanLake
Mid Chapter 2019 President
Stocton Mortgage


I hope to see you at this upcoming event:

Come and hear Chris Buck, Economic Developer for Meridian Township, speak about the current projects that are happening in Meridian Township and what's coming up in the future!

Brody Square - Michigan State University, 241 W Brody Rd  East Lansing, MI 48825
Tickets are $25 per member and $35 per non-member

Click here to register and for all the details.  

 Chris Buck is the first ever Economic Development Director in Meridian Township, hired in the fall of 2017.  He spends his time connecting developers, land owners, commercial realtors and business owners to drive vibrancy in the Township.  Chris spent over 20 years in a corporate role taking him to various cities around the country landing him in the Lansing region in 2008.  Chris lives with his wife and two sons in Okemos.


Kick off Summer with the Mid Chapter Leadership Team at a Lansing Ignite Soccer Game on Wednesday, June 19 at the Lugnuts Stadium! 

Lugnuts Stadium - Ignite Soccer Game
505 E Michigan Ave
Lansing, MI 48912

All members Ticket is $35 and Non-members $45
   Children 3-12 years of age cost is $27
Tickets include: Seats, all you can eat food, and a beer! 
The event is on the Chevy Terrace the game can easily be watched from there as well.

Click here to register and for all the details.  


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SE Chapter News

SE Chapter MMLA President's Corner
Maureen Townson

Genworth Mortgage Insurance

Hello from the Southeast Chapter!  Thank you to everyone who joined us at our Federal Reserve Luncheon and TopGolf social event. We are off to a great year! 

Our May luncheon was on May 2nd at Maggiano’s and the topic was “Wire Fraud.” I was reading an article recently by Thomas W. Cronkright II published in National Mortgage News which said “in 2017, $969 million was diverted or attempted to be diverted and wired to criminally controlled accounts.” This number is growing daily and we all need to learn more to protect our industry through education and awareness. This panel style luncheon offered great education and insight from local title experts on how to protect your business. Thanks to the panelists and all who attended.

Hope to see you at the golf outing or any of our future MMLA events.    Feel free to reach out to me at (248)245-2950 or

SE Chapter Social Committee
Dawn Burdick, Chairperson

Happy Spring from the Social Committee! We are excited to support and attend our upcoming Golf Outing on June 25th at St. John’s Inn in Plymouth. Check out the MMLA site to register for your foursome today and sponsorship opps! Also, on the horizon…we are heading to one of Detroit’s hot spot, Punch Bowl Social, on August 1st. Details to follow over the next few months! Thanks to Erika Parker, from Synergy Appraisals, who is coordinating this unique event! Meanwhile, we’ll look forward to collaborating and networking over the next few months with our valued MMLA members! Contact Dawn Burdick at for details on any of our upcoming get-togethers

SE Chapter Golf Committee
Steve Scheel, Co-Chairperson

Croskey, Lanni, P.C.

Victoria DeLuce, Co-Chairperson
Success Mortgage Partners

The SE Chapter Golf outing is quickly approaching on June 5th and we are looking forward to a great day of golf at The Inn at St. Johns. There is a room block available at the hotel for anyone who may be traveling from out of town and we have added a new SWAG award to the best dressed team this year.

There are still many sponsorship opportunities available to promote your company and support the MMLA. Visit the registration site here for all the details and to register today! to sign up for golf or sponsor the event.

Please reach out to Steve or Victoria via email at or if you have any questions or are interested in helping.   Hit ‘em straight!

See the SE Chapter Leadership Team and Chapter Partners


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West Chapter News

West Chapter Update
Julie Bacon
2019 West Chapter President
VanDyk Mortgage
The West Chapter has two strong events coming up.  Visit the website for all the details and to register!

Also, I thought this to be an interesting article for all of you:

Help us give back to our community at our Volunteer Day at Well House on Friday, May 17! Then bring a change of clothes and join us for a fun happy hour after the event at Maggie's Bar and Grill! 

Note: Please dress for manual labor for volunteering. Happy hour will be paid by individuals.
Volunteering @ Well House   600 Cass Ave SE Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Happy Hour @ Maggie's Bar and Grill 855 Michigan St NE Grand Rapids, Michigan

Click here for all details and to register.


When:    Monday, June 10, 2019   8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Where:  Thornapple Pointe
Costs: Golfers: $125 per MMLA members, $125 per non-members; $400 per MMLA Members foursome team, $400 per non-member foursome team;   Non-Golfer: $30 per MMLA member, $30 per non-member 
Golf Itinerary: 

8:30 Registration
10:00 Shotgun Start
Lunch served during round
Dinner after play.
SPOTLIGHT YOUR COMPANY as a sponsor AT THIS EVENT!   Click here for all the details and to register.
See the  West Chapter Leadership Team and Chapter Partners

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Platinum Corporate Partners