MMLA holds annual banquet

 By Steve Thorpe

Legal News
The Michigan Mortgage Lenders Association (MMLA) held their 84th Annual President's Installation Banquet on Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Atheneum Hotel and Conference Center in Detroit. The association uses the event to honor past, present and future board members and spotlight annual award recipients. 
Founded in 1929, the MMLA represents hundreds of mortgage banking firms, brokers, commercial banks, savings banks, credit unions, mortgage professionals and others providing products and services to the mortgage industry in Michigan. It also lobbies lawmakers in Lansing on behalf of the industry.

Noted mortgage banking expert Tom LaMalfa, President of TSL Consulting, was the keynote speaker for the event. LaMalfa has worked in mortgage research as an economist, analyst, adviser and author for more than 34 years. He earned a master's degree at the University  of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, has authored several articles and writes a monthly column, “Mortgage Corner,” in an industry newsletter. He is a lifelong member of the Mortgage  Bankers Association (MBA) and the Greater Cleveland MBA.

Recently, in Washington D.C. at the Mortgage Bankers Association annual convention, LaMalfa surveyed dozens of senior mortgage bank executives from lenders of various in sizes. He shared insights from those surveys with members of the MMLA.

The event sponsors included Attorneys Title Agency LLC, Trott & Trott PC, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Mortgage Builder Software, Bank of America, MGIC, PNC Bank and Wetzel Trott, Inc.

Outgoing president Allison Johnston welcomed the group and new officers for the next year were introduced. New officers include President Kimberly Alexander, CMB, of Towne Mortgage; Vice President Andrew Baker of Mercantile Bank; Secretary/Treasurer Marc Reneau of First State Bank; and General Members Jeff Ehrlich of Ross Mortgage Corp.; Don Precour of Fifth Third Bank; Brian Seibert of Watson Group
Financial; and David Sullivan of Credit Technologies, Inc.

Steve Barnum of Transnation Title of Michigan received the Ambassador Award, presented annually to “the individual whose new membership initiatives and achievements embody the spirit of a true ambassador.” 
Ryan Evans of Dart Appraisal received the Vic Miller Award, given to “the person who has contributed to the success of the Michigan Mortgage Lenders Association through individual effort and without regard to personal sacrifice.” 

Don Maiolatesi, Client Relations Manager at Wetzel-Trott, James T. Barnes Memorial Award, given annually to “the person whose career reflects high ethical standards with a deep commitment to mortgage banking in addition to possessing the traits that most epitomize the character and the ideals of James T. Barnes.”