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$2 Billion Wholesale Account Executive Talks About Success Secrets

$2 Billion Wholesale Account Executive Talks About Success SecretsCourtney Lia honored as highest InterFirst producer

May 18, 2004


InterFirst Wholesale Mortgage Lending recently honored its top sales employees, including one representative from California who says loving her job has helped her earn the Highest Producing Account Executive award for the second consecutive time.

The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based division of ABN AMRO Mortgage Group Inc. announced that it recently held an annual sales meeting where several sales force members were awarded for their efforts.

“The fact that InterFirst is consistently one of the nation’s top wholesale lenders is a testament to the dedication and talent of its sales force,” said the company’s national sales manager Collyer Smith in a statement. “2004 is sure to be a challenging year for the mortgage industry, but InterFirst’s expert and enthusiastic sales team positions the company for continued success.”

InterFirst’s production totaled $98 billion during 2003, according to company spokeswoman Jenn Cornell. The figure tops other competitors such as Washington Mutual, which a spokesman for the company said ranked No. 2 nationally with wholesale production of $95.2 billion last year, and Bank of America, which said it had wholesale production of $39.3 billion.

Paul Wyner, an InterFirst central sales region manager, was named the “Top Regional Manager” as his account executives achieved more than $9.6 billion in production last year, according to the announcement. The central region includes 17 states, including Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas and West Virginia.

Wyner and his sales team were also presented the “President’s Cup,” which recognizes outstanding performance, leadership and attitude.

In 2002, Wyner was reportedly awarded the 2001 Wholesale Manager of the Year by the Illinois Association of Mortgage Brokers, among other things for being a person who “rolls up his sleeves and digs in to help us (brokers) make our business easier.”

Rob Deters, also a central sales region manager, was awarded Manager of the Most Improved Region. InterFirst said Deters’ account executives achieved over $4.8 billion in production last year.

Courtney Lia from InterFirst’s Los Angeles sales region was honored as the Highest Producing Account Executive with sales of more than $2 billion in 2003, the company reported.

While Lia told she was “thrilled and honored” about her award, she won this award last year for her 2002 volume, which she said was a little less than $2 billion. She has also received the award for Large Account Strategy in InterFirst’s western region in 2001.

In addition to the continuing refi boom in 2003, Lia said she was able to maintain the year-to-year “momentum due to the ability and talent of the InterFirst operations group: It does not do any good to get the business in the door if you cannot get it closed.”

“I love the wholesale lending Industry and being an account executive with InterFirst,” Lia said, when asked what strategies she implements to be successful. She says she has worked in the wholesale business for 14 years, of which 10 have been with the Michigan lender.

“I treat my brokers as a partner and strive to differentiate myself and InterFirst from our competitors by understanding their business and helping them grow,” she continued, adding that other factors aiding her success were the support she receives from her family and the company’s leading edge in technology, which makes her job easier.

Honored for his marketability and encompassing his sales position well, Mark Mazzenga was recognized as the Sales Representative of the Year, said Cornell. Mazzenga is an account executive for the company’s northeast sales region, which reportedly consists of 12 states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New York and Vermont.

Coco Salazar is an assistant editor and staff writer for


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