As founder and CEO of Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, Steve Jacobson oversees and directs all business operations for the company’s full-service mortgage lending operation. Jacobson founded Fairway in April of 1996 and within five years he grew the company to achieve over $1 billion in closed annual loans. The company now has over 3,200 employees and in 2015 topped $11 billion in annual loan volume. Jacobson has been in the mortgage industry for over 32 years. Prior to establishing Fairway, he held several executive positions at Waterfield Financial Corporation. As Senior Vice President of Waterfield, he was responsible for production levels between $225-$250 million, and as National Sales Director, he was responsible for negotiating placements of in-house loan officers in real estate offices in new and existing Waterfield offices nationwide. A Wisconsin native, Jacobson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Management from the University of Wisconsin. He is also the former captain of the University of Wisconsin basketball team where he played for four years and achieved All Academic Big Ten his graduating year.
Paul Walnick oversees and directs all day-to-day mortgage origination functions. He has over 25 years of mortgage lending experience. Prior to joining Fairway, Walnick held a district management position at American Home Mortgage and regional and branch management positions at Waterfield Financial Corporation, where he also served as a loan officer. Walnick began his career as a CPA. He received his Master of Business Administration from San Diego State University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from SUNY in Binghamton, New York.
Len Krupinski offers over 14 years of mortgage and financial industry experience. Having been with Fairway since 1998, he oversees the finance and accounting functions for the company. Prior to joining Fairway, Krupinski worked as a revenue agent for the Internal Revenue Service.
Executive Vice President - National Production and Marketing
Sarah Middleton has worked in the mortgage industry as an originator, branch manager and regional manager for 25 years. As an originator, Sarah holds the record for the most volume and units closed in Colorado as an individual Loan Officer - closing over 2 billion and 11,500+ units in her career. In her dual role as branch manager and regional manager, Sarah maintained a $50+ million per month branch production while simultaneously opening several branches that resulted in a $2 billion regional annual loan volume. Sarah joined Fairway Independent Mortgage in 2013 to help grow the company and take Fairway to the next level in mortgage banking. Sarah’s passion is to help Loan Officers and Branch Managers achieve their dreams in the mortgage business by sharing everything she has learned to help others succeed.
Eric Brown joined Fairway Independent Mortgage in March of 2012. He has been in the Mortgage industry for nearly 30 years, predominantly on the Retail production side. Eric was part of the Carl I Brown and Company team, assisting in building a 3 billion dollar servicing portfolio (sold to First Tennessee in 1995). Eric then joined First Horizon Home loans as a Midwest Regional for 15 years, assisting in both Retail and Wholesale Lending. In 2010 Eric worked as the Central Divisional Manager at MetLife. Eric is currently managing the Business Development team for Fairway. In this role, he assists both new and existing Branch Managers in their growth opportunities, financial management and optimizing operations efficiencies. By working with Retail managers and their teams, his passion is to create more successful and sustainable branch profit and productivity.
Todd Gavinski oversees the branch financials and works directly with Branch Managers to establish their LO compensation plans. He joined Fairway in 2002 as a Loan Officer until 2005. He transitioned to Associated Bank to be Market President of Portage, WI and Reedsburg, WI locations and focused on commercial lending. In 2007, Todd rejoined Fairway as VP Accounting. Prior to joining Fairway, he was an auditor for Arthur Andersen and Virchow Krause.
As the head of Human Resources and Learning & Organizational Development, Julie Fry brings a wealth of knowledge gained throughout her 17 years of experience in the HR profession, ensuring the organizational people strategy is tied to business strategy. She and her teams work closely with department leaders to create synergies and drive the organizations untraditional work environment and a culture that sets Fairway apart from others. Julie’s areas of expertise include: strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, leadership coaching, organizational development and training, talent acquisition and retention, compensation and benefits, performance management, career and succession planning, and change management. Prior to joining Fairway, Julie was part of several successful teams in multiple industries, including insurance, financial services and healthcare.
As the head of Fairway Operations, Tom Dixon oversees national operations which includes closing/funding, warehouse and wires, shipping, and government insuring. Dixon and his team ensure every loan is processed and closed in accordance with all government and investor requirements, while meeting Fairway’s standards for timeliness and quality. He also works closely with department leaders to create and implement company policies and procedures. Dixon brings a wealth of knowledge gained throughout his 20 plus years of experience in mortgage banking, which includes leadership roles at Carl I. Brown & Company, First Horizon, and MetLife Home Loans.
Drawing on 15 years of experience in mortgage lending, secondary marketing, risk management, and capital markets, Mike Blake oversees and directs the secondary marketing operations as Executive Vice President Secondary Marketing at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. Throughout his career, he has managed mortgage pipeline interest rate risk, trading, hedging, pooling, loan and servicing sales, pricing, margin management, lock desk, investor relations, product development and agency delivery.Prior to joining Fairway, Blake was the Vice President Secondary Marketing at FBOP Corporation, a $17 billion multi-bank holding company based in Chicago, IL. Additionally, he was the First Vice President Secondary Marketing at MidAmerica Bank, an $11 billion bank based in Clarendon Hills, IL. Blake also worked at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago in the Mortgage Partnership Finance program as the Product Development Manager. Blake also spent time at Arthur Andersen as a Risk Management Consultant. Blake was also the Assistant Vice President Secondary Marketing at Cole Taylor Bank based in Wheeling, Illinois. Blake began his career with ABN-AMRO working at the Chicago Board of Trade in Treasury bond futures.Blake has previously served as a member of the Fannie Mae Secondary Marketing Advisory Committee and on the Illinois Mortgage Bankers Association Secondary Marketing Committee.Blake graduated from the University of Dayton (BS, Finance, 1997). He also received an MBA from DePaul University (Finance, 2004).
Bob Orkis is a proven information systems executive with strong and progressive capabilities demonstrated over the last 20 plus years. Well regarded for his excellent technological planning and execution skills, Orkis’s overall philosophy focuses on “bridging the gap” between technology and customer needs to allow maximum effectiveness and efficiency. He joined Fairway Mortgage in 2012. Orkis is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a focus on Computer Science. His career includes leadership positions at Nationstar Mortgage, MetLife Home Loans, First Horizon Home Loans, Wachovia Mortgage and General Electric.
Executive Vice President - Underwriting & Credit Policy
Scott Fletcher supervises retail and wholesale underwriting channels for government, conventional and non-conforming loan programs. He and his team are responsible for creating and communicating credit policy for retail and wholesale channels to Fairway employees.A member of the Wisconsin Mortgage Bankers Association and graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Fletcher has over 15 years of experience in the mortgage industry. His career prior to joining Fairway included serving as Vice President of Secondary Marketing for USA Funding Corp. and Mid-America Bank.
As Chief Compliance Officer, Trista Mayer manages the corporate compliance team which oversees regulatory compliance, policy and procedures, HMDA, state examinations and licensing for Fairway. When she joined Fairway in July 2013, Mayer served as Vice President of Regulatory Compliance, and in July 2015, was named Chief Compliance Officer. With more than twenty years of experience in the financial services industry, Mayer has a balanced approach for evaluating and mitigating compliance risk. Her knowledge of compliance, as well as her technical and operational competencies, have been instrumental in strengthening and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of Fairway’s compliance program. Mayer was also awarded Mortgage Compliance Magazine’s Mortgage Compliance Professional of the Month – December 2015.
Paola Kielblock manages the Product department for Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. This includes: Product Support Team, Bond and Housing Team, Product Development Team, Investor Liaison/Facilitator and Product Onboard/Training Team. Paola has over 15 years experience in the mortgage lending community, which includes working as an Operations Manager for a broker firm in Calabasas, CA overseeing production and day to day operations. Paola’s goals are to help the company grow organically with ensuring the right and responsible products are available to the loan officers in the network.
As Vice President of Advanced Technology, Joe Wilson is bringing Fairway’s technology to the cutting edge by enhancing internal processes and providing a smoother, more transparent consumer experience. With more than 10 years of mortgage and technology experience, he has worked for various technology firms in product management and marketing roles.
We make the home loan process as simple as possible by guiding you through every step.