On Women’s Equality Day, hosted every year on August 26, we honor the movement for universal suffrage that led to the 19th Amendment, celebrate the progress of women over the years, and renew our commitment to advancing gender equity and protecting women’s rights. This year, in honor of Women’s Equality Day we interviewed four women in leadership positions at Mortgage Connect and asked them important questions submitted by fellow employees that focus on advice, career achievements and what it means to be a woman not only in leadership but in this industry.
Ashwini Pednekar will serve as Mortgage Connect’s new Director of People and Culture.
Pednekar will oversee talent acquisition, onboarding, employee relations, internal communications, HRIS, total rewards, and employee development. She also leads Mortgage Connects DEIB team.
Pednekar received her M.B.A in Human Resource Management in 2010 and has since held positions in the HR field in various industries ranging from online sales to education. She is also a certification in Conflict Resolution and is a certified HR Professional.
Pednekar joined Mortgage Connect as Human Resources Business Partner in August of 2021 and later became the company’s Director of Employee Experience. Her goal is to support the organization while cultivating a culture of growth and inclusivity. “I am very excited for Ashwini to take on this new role. She has proven herself to be dedicated to learning and growing, and she is great at collaborating with the entire team. I look forward to working more closely with her in this new role.” Said Meghan Jones-Rolla, Chief Legal Officer & Chief Product Officer.
PITTSBURGH, Penn.; January 31, 2023 – Mortgage Connect LP, a national mortgage services provider for the nation’s largest financial institutions, investors, and servicers, has announced the hire of Allen Illgen to National Sales Executive, Originations.
Illgen will work directly with clients to provide expertise as they leverage Mortgage Connect’s suite of products to optimize their workflow by building greater efficiency and automation into their originations processes. For home equity lenders, Illgen will assist clients using Mortgage Connect’s ground-breaking proprietary FINTRAC technology to reduce costs, automate workflow, and move loans quickly and seamlessly from point-of-sale to close.
Illgen has more than 20 years of experience in the mortgage industry. He worked previously as Director of National Services for Title365, and prior to that as Vice President of National Sales at American Title and Vice President at Indecomm Global Services. Allen is recognized in the industry for his client-centric approach to business, taking the time to understand his client’s needs and finding the best-fit solutions. His results-driven attitude and extensive knowledge of mortgage originations and home equity have carried his successes throughout his career.
“We are excited to welcome Allen to Mortgage Connect. Allen is a well-known and respected professional in our industry,” said Cristy Ward, Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President of Mortgage Connect. “He brings a tremendous amount of expertise that will be a great benefit as we continue to expand our national footprint.”
Mortgage Connect has been providing cutting-edge solutions to mortgage lenders for 15 years, achieving success through its unwavering focus on innovation, quality, and customer service. Last year, Mortgage Connect made Inc. 5000’s list of Fastest-Growing Private Companies by growing 540% over three years. The honor marked the third consecutive time Mortgage Connect has made the Inc. 5000 list and the fourth time overall.
“At Mortgage Connect, we are always focused on the consumer experience and how we can best serve clients through our innovative solutions, advanced technologies, and industry expertise,” said Jeff Coury, Chief Executive Officer of Mortgage Connect. “We are thrilled to welcome Allen to our team and know he will be an integral part in helping us deliver the level of service our clients are accustomed to.”
About Mortgage Connect LP
Mortgage Connect is a national mortgage service provider that supports the largest lenders, servicers, and institutional investors by providing solutions for the entire mortgage lifecycle. Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, Mortgage Connect maintains operations in strategic markets throughout the country with a strong focus on innovation, quality, and customer service. We offer a robust portfolio of services and digital solutions for all lines of business within originations, servicing, and capital markets, all of which can be tailored to meet the unique needs of each client. Our goal is to deliver an unparalleled consumer experience while reducing compliance risk and ensuring operational excellence at any capacity. For more information, visit www.mortgageconnectlp.com.
Andrew Bough – Executive Vice President, Valuations
It is fair to say that we are living in interesting times, both in terms of the world around us and the mortgage industry in general. After a protracted period of record low interest rates and more work than most appraisers knew what to do with, we are now dealing with a new reality – a slow market, an environment a lot of appraisers have never experienced. What’s also different this time are the various extenuating circumstances that are driving extreme change over a very short period of time. Interest rates recently went up faster than they have in over 40 years. Inflation continues to be at levels not seen in decades and mortgage applications are at 25-year lows. Despite this, we still have healthy unemployment and continued low delinquency rates. As a result, our business has changed dramatically.
So, what to do? How do you continue to be relevant, grow and succeed in a market like this? Appraisers need to look ahead at what it is lenders will be looking for in the future and prepare now to create new revenue opportunities.
First and foremost, service levels need to be exceptional. Whether you work for AMCs exclusively or a blend of clients, you must differentiate yourself. This is a service-orientated business irrespective of who your client is. In this new competitive environment, the work will go to those appraisers who exceed expectations. Go above and beyond to communicate effectively, and be super responsive to questions, updates, and revision requests. Build a great rapport with your clients. Be proactive. Spend a couple of extra minutes on your reports and provide a little extra support, continuously work on improving your report quality. Take some classes that actually teach you something.
During this transitional period, you should be actively looking to broaden your bandwidth to include specialty appraisal services. Learn how to review – there’s a ton of due diligence business available. Re-familiarize yourself with default work and REO appraisals – business that is on its way back. Become proficient with complex high-end assignments, reverse mortgage and new construction, all segments of our business where limited scope reports are unlikely used. Communicate with your clients ask them about the types or requests they’re receiving, and then adjust accordingly.
The days of churning out the “one size fits all” 1004/70 reports are long behind us. Appraisal modernization is upon us; this new risk-based approach to valuation product selection shouldn’t be feared, it should be embraced. There are a number of newly-introduced products that offer appraisers great opportunities to create additional revenue. Educate yourself on what is required and align with clients like Valuation Connect who are paying fair fees based on the scope of work required. The new technology and tools associated with these reports are something you must become more familiar with in this new environment. Make your clients aware that you are willing and able to take on a full suite of services.
By enhancing the quality of your reports as well as your customer service and communication, you can ensure you are considered first for new assignments. No matter what your appraising experience and background is, improve yourself by learning and adapting to the industry changes and position yourself for greater opportunities.
Andrew Bough is Executive Vice President & Head of Valuations. In his role, Andrew is responsible for the overall management and performance of every aspect of valuations. He oversees the ongoing development of key initiatives including the expansion of a best in class panel as well as valuation products and services.
A certified appraiser since 1993, Andrew has held important executive roles with regulated US lenders, including operations, and management of collateral risk for retail and wholesale lines. Previously, Andrew has served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Valuation Officer at Solidifi, Managing Director of Valuation at JP Morgan Chase, and head of credit and valuations at ING Direct USA.
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We are an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer committed to diversity in the workplace. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, gender identity or any other factor protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws.