Meet the Advisory Board
One of the huge benefits of being a mortgage girlfriend member is the networking, questions and information provided on the website, the Friday Diva Digest email and the Members-Only Facebook Page. No one is an island (in this business) and the same goes for us. The advisory board members have their pulse on the industry. Marketing strategies. New business ideas. And we meet regularly to keep you up to date on the latest and greatest. You will find their bios. Their areas of experience.
Please email Karen@MortgageGirlfriends.com if you’d like to get in contact with any of the Advisory Board members!
VP of Mortgage Lending with Guaranteed Rate Affinity (Chicago, Illinois)
Robin Baran, VP of Mortgage Lending with Guaranteed Rate Affinity in Chicago, Illinois. I have been in the mortgage origination business for 17 years and have been through some of the hardest and easiest years. I believe the best years are ahead of us!
I hang my hat on being knowledgeable and up the minute educated on the ever changing guidelines and programs which is made possible by Karen Deis and the Mortgage Girlfriend family.
Its my job to be able to assess a situation and be able to present viable options to a buyer and help decide what’s best for their financial goals and family.
Communication is key and I always try to bring added value to my key influencers and take incredibly good care of my customers in the Chicagoland area.
My favorite kids are grown and have moved on enabling me to pursue other passions—some yet undiscovered. This may encompass travel, reading, knitting, guitar, cooking classes, spa days, exercise ( that last one is a lie) and am always willing to try new adventures.
Loan Originator with Huron Valley Financial (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
I started my career in the housing industry as a Realtor before moving over to the lender side of the table. At first, I prepared closing documents but also worked in processing and post-closing before becoming a loan officer. It’s been a wild ride over the years! At one point I even owned my own mortgage company jointly with my daughter, but it was a relief to hand off the aspects of being a business owner that made me crazy. I have loved everything about being a loan officer with the possible exception of the crash years!
When I started out in the mortgage business, we had three loans to offer: Fixed rate loans for either 15 or 30 years and the super cool new loan program – the one year adjustable! I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years but truly love being a problem solver and helping so many people. My pipeline is pretty evenly split between conventional and government loans. I also do reverse mortgage lending, a segment I particularly enjoy as it really solves problems and fulfills needs. I came to this industry by chance but am ever so happy for that propitious coincidence!
My greatest achievement is raising four wonderful children who have provided me with eight grandchildren and one great granddaughter! Fortunately, none of them live too far away and I get to see them fairly often. I live in a small home in what I’d call a large small town! It’s small enough to have a quaint feeling but large enough to have stores and services I want. Plus it’s only 20 minutes from Ann Arbor! I have an elderly Maltese for company and confess that I’m already shopping for my next dog as I’m not to the point in my life where I want to be dog-less!
My extra-curricular activities include playing in a hand-bell choir and volunteering at several music venues near the University of Michigan. Volunteering is a great way to see some pretty incredible performances especially for single people.
I enjoy scrapbooking and making cards – I write A LOT of handwritten notes which I fear has become a lost art. I also enjoy exercising but aside from walking outdoors on days when it’s warm enough, I really prefer the social aspect of classes. Spinning, cardio drumming and Pi-Yo are my favorites.
V.P. Renovation Loan Specialist with Homespire Mortgage (Virginia Beach, VA/Gaithersburg, MD)
I started my mortgage career in 1973, and worked on the Operations side until 1983 when I became a loan officer. I am very knowledgeable in VA, FHA and Conventional loans, with a specialty in renovation loans, including the FHA 203K, Limited and Standard, the FNMA HomeStyle Renovation loan, and, COMING SOON, the VA Renovation Loan.
I am currently Vice President of Renovation Lending at Homespire Mortgage, based out of Gaithersburg, MD. I assist our loan officers with their renovation loans so that they go smoothly from beginning to end. I also work diligently to keep our loan officers up to date on changes in the renovation financing world, and assist them in educating their business/referral partners in order to increase our company’s market share of these loans.
My career changed the day that I became a Mortgage Girlfriend….and I didn’t even know it. The life I’m living is a dream, and MGs gave me the confidence, as a female in the business, to do what I’ve always wanted to do…..rise to the top. My goal is to inspire other MGs to do the same.
Loan Originator with Mortgage Financial Services (Frisco, Texas)
Although, I wanted to be an attorney while growing up, I found the career I truly love while attending college in 1996 when I first began working as a receptionist and a sales assistant at a small mortgage company.
Since that time I’ve been privileged to help people achieve their dreams and goals of homeownership. After finishing my degree I decided to stay in the mortgage business and have worked in every key area of the loan process, from underwriting to processing and originating.
I have first-hand knowledge of the many components and moving parts of what it takes to get a mortgage. I’ve taught classes that help other loan officers and processors put together the best possible packages for their customers. I believe an educated consumer is a good consumer, and this is why I love sharing my expertise and teaching my clients.
When I’m not working on loans, you will find me spending time with my husband and two daughters. We love Frisco and try to enjoy the variety of activities offered. I loudly cheer for my youngest daughter when she plays softball at Warren Sports Complex and have fun getting dirty by helping our FFA Lamb get ready for show. As a family we love to support our community and other causes close to our hearts. Currently, I am an active volunteer with Frisco Fastpacs, Create Church, Carroll Elementary PTA and Frisco Women’s League. Last year I also served on the board of 100 Women Who Give a Darn as well as the Frisco Chamber of Commerce WEB Council.
Loan Originator with PrimeLending (Clifton Park, New York)
Anna Smith, a loan officer at PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company, is a retired thoroughbred race horse jockey turned Mortgage banker. In 3 years in the business (and with no prior experience), Anna has tripled her business and her income and found that hosting and speaking at events is her forte. She went from hosting small events 25-30 people, to having 100 attendees at her most recent event- “Racing for Success—how to build your business FAST”.
Anna Specializes in 1st time buyer education and helping clients with 2nd and Vacation Homes. 1st time buyers need that special touch and a bit of handholding to make sure their first transaction goes smoothly. Her expertise is in Upstate NY, Indiana, & Florida, however, she can lend in all 50 states with her National affiliation with PrimeLending.
Anna has a Bachelor’s degree with concentrations in both Accounting and Marketing. She is currently working on her CMPS. She is able to concentrate on business because of her fantastic team.
In her free time she enjoys hiking, competitive running, & equestrian sports. She also likes to spend time reading a book with her two kitties, Todd & Gypsy.
Loan Originator with PRMG, Inc. (Davie, Florida)
Pat is a seasoned mortgage loan originator with Paramount Residential Mortgage Group and is licensed in six states (Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Illinois, and Colorado). Prior to entering the mortgage industry in 2001, Pat was President of a multi-national software company, and before that she ran the systems and programming division of the fourth-largest school system in the US. Thus, with Pat’s background in technology, she is always looking for better systems to gain more valuable time to communicate with clients.
As a veteran of the US Coast Guard, Pat enjoys working with active duty and prior military clients. She is considered an “expert” with VA loans among her peers and throughout the community. Pat also enjoys working with First Time Homebuyers and delivers the Mortgage Credit Certificate ($2,000 TAX CREDIT) program to all qualified applicants.
Prior to entering the mortgage business, Pat was also a licensed Real Estate Broker. This real estate background and experience has proven to be highly valuable when dealing in the competitive real estate market that we face today!
Pat’s exuberant personality, persistence and impeccable attention to detail represent an unusual combination of traits that makes her the best at what she does. Her passion for maintaining great, lifelong relationships has led her to help hundreds reach their goal of home ownership, and most consider her more of a “friend” than simply the mortgage professional that helped them obtain a loan.
Pat’s primary residence is in Weston, FL and she and her husband Jim also own a second home in Weaverville, NC, where they enjoy the mountains, dining out, and visiting with friends.
Loan Originator with Homeside Financial (Hickory, North Carolina)
Jamie Harrington is Sales Manager and Vice President with Homeside Financial in Hickory NC. With over 22 years in the industry, she has closed several thousand real estate transactions and continues to be a top producer.
Jamie previously founded a CPA firm, mortgage company and most recently a real estate and note investment company which her husband Lanny continues to operate.
She serves as member of the Homes for Heroes National Affiliate Advisory Board and has spoken at Homes for Heroes events and webinars. Jamie has received multiple accolades including consistently reaching national ranking as a top producer in the program, the Sapphire Circle of Giving Award and the Outstanding Service Award for serving nearly 500 hero families.
Jamie is a summa cum laude honor graduate of Lenoir Rhyne University and lives in Newton NC with her husband Lanny and their rescued dog Freckles.
Sales Manager with Fairway Independent Mortgage (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
Ruth Vogt is a highly energetic full-time Mortgage professional well-recognized for her passionate work ethic and goal-driven nature. She accepted the opportunity in 2014 to serve as sales manager with Fairway Independent Mortgage, Colorado.
Ruth began her lending career in 1972 with a credit union doing personals loans. She navigated the S&L days, followed with the opportunity to be gain experience working with builder owned mortgage companies. Ruth seized every opportunity to get hands on knowledge in all stages of the loan including processing, closing, underwriting, closing, post-closing, and shipping
Being an embodiment of the spirit of giving back, Ruth takes great pleasure raising money for our military and veterans through Fairway’s non-profit, American Warrior Initiative. With the help of Realtors and the local community, she has raised huge sums of money to help local Colorado Springs combat veterans settle back in their civilian lives.
Her husband, their two daughters and a granddaughter also share her love of the business. In addition to working together as a family, they enjoy camping together in the summer and taking a winter family vacation to Cabo, which has been a tradition for 25 years!
Her favorite quote is from Mark Twain: “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Senior Mortgage Loan Originator with SecurityNational Mortgage Company (Kenosha, Wisconsin)
Cathy Savaglio is a Senior Mortgage Loan Originator with SecurityNational Mortgage Company, Wisconsin. In the mortgage business since 1997, she focuses on building relationships resulting in referrals and customers.
Not one to just do her job, Cathy was a member of NAMB as well as past president of the Wisconsin Association of Mortgage Brokers (WAMB) in 2003, WAMB member from 2001 – 2008 as well as a WAMB delegate to NAMB conventions for many years. Cathy is currently serving as Vice President of her condominium association and a board member for 8 years. Cathy has served as a Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassador for the past 4 years, receiving the 2019 Ambassador of the Year Award and recently elected to Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
When she is not fulfilling her Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce duties, in her spare time Cathy volunteers as a member of the Southshore Realtor Assn Social committee (10 years), participates in Relay for Life events, helps at church festivals, enjoys bicycle riding, yoga, meditation, gardening, reading mystery/espionage novels, puzzles and spending time with family. She has a passion for helping others and tries to find the good in every situation by being present in the moment.