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Leaders Shuffled at Mortgage Firms

Recent mortgage executive appointments

Feb. 17, 2014

By SAM GARCIA Mortgage Daily

portrait of Sam Garcia

Many of the recently hired executives at mortgage banking firms have two decades' mortgage experience, and some have three decades in the business.

The new chief strategy officer at First Guaranty Mortgage Corp. is Gretchen Malatesta, a Jan. 23 press release indicated.

Malatesta has over 25 years in financial services, and she has participated in the issuance of $50 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities. Her most recent gig was at Greenlight Financial Services, which was acquired in May 2013 by Nationstar Mortgage LLC.

Freedom Mortgage Corp.'s new senior vice president in its recently formed financial institutions partner group is Greg Gentek, a Feb. 6 statement said. Gentek has more than 20 years' mortgage industry experience, most recently at Chase Home Loans.

Also joining Mount Laurel, N.J.-based Freedom was Rock Primas, who was hired as vice president of business development. He was recruited by Gentek, who worked with him at PHH Mortgage.

John Guy was hired by Wingspan Portfolio Advisors as senior vice president of business development, a news release last month said. Guy, who has 24 years experience, most recently worked at Auction.com. Wingspan, which is a Mortgage Daily advertiser, said the position was just created.

Dallas-based Wingspan said in another January announcement that Arleen Scavone was hired as chief operations officer. Her 30 years in the industry included time at Washington Mutual.

At Chicago-based Fay Servicing, Andy Laing has been hired as chief operating officer, a statement Monday said. He reportedly has two decades in financial services, most recently at Deloitte Consulting LLP.

The new executive vice president over wholesale lending at Total Mortgage Wholesale is Andy Pettola, a Feb. 11 announcement indicated. Pettola's former employer, Mortgage Services III, is abandoning wholesale lending. Including his time at MSI, Pettola reportedly has more than two decades in the business.

Joining Pettola at Total is a team of former MSI account executives who funded an average of $1 billion a year through more than 400 clients.

Cathi Davidson has been appointed chief operating officer at Gold Star Financial Group Corp., a news release last month said. She has spent six years at the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based lender.

Jim Picciotto will lead a Sagamore Beach, Mass., loan production office for Rockville Bank, the Glastonbury, Conn.-based company announced in January. Picciotto has nearly a quarter-century in mortgage lending, most recently at EverBank.

In Fairfield, Conn., Joe Antonios will head a new Rockville Bank loan production office. He reportedly has more than 20 years mortgage experience, most recently at Guaranteed Rate Inc.

Mortgage Master said earlier this month that it has promoted Jimmy Yerman to mid-Atlantic regional manager. He'll focus on increasing market share, growing the retail branch network and expanding the loan originator team. Yerman's 23 years in real estate finance includes his current gig as Baltimore branch manager, where he oversees "one of Mortgage Master's most successful branches."

Dan Smith will lead a foray into an expanded mortgage unit at Private Bank of Buckhead, a Jan. 13 news release from the Atlanta-based financial institution said. Before joining Private Bank, Smith was the founding member of BrightPath Mortgage LLC.

The new compliance trainer at Churchill Mortgage is Seth Trimble. An announcement last month indicated that Trimble is licensed as an originator in five states. He was a loan processor at Nationstar Mortgage prior to his Churchill employment.

In Pasadena, Calif., John Stangarone was hired as retail business development manager by RightStart Mortgage, a Jan. 28 statement said. With over two decades in the business, Stangarone's former employers include Countrywide Financial Corp., Ocwen Financial and Saxon Mortgage.

On Jan. 21, a news release from 360 Mortgage Group LLC said that Gino Berchock has rejoined the company as southeast regional sales manager. The 20-year veteran will expand the Austin, Texas-based firm's footprint throughout the South. Berchock previously worked for 360 prior to his last job at Pacific Union Financial.

Jim Foley is the new regional vice president at Caliber Home Loans Inc., a Feb. 13 statement said. Foley will oversee the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area including Maryland and Virginia.

A new mortgage business for First Commonwealth Financial Corp. will be headed by Stan Foraker, the Pittsburgh Business Times reported. So far, Paul Snyder was hired as vice president - secondary marketing manager, Constance Lawrence joined as mortgage operations manager, and Andrew Dodd was recruited as residential mortgage sales manager.


Sam Garcia founded Mortgage Daily in 1998 and became its full-time publisher in 2000. Prior to his news career he worked in mortgage lending for two decades.

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