Terry Gearhart

Terry Gearhartweb

How did you get involved in the mortgage industry?
After serving a four year term of active duty in the Air Force, a cousin with First Trust in Cedar Rapids introduced me to a career in finance. I started with a finance company in 1984 and and after working in many areas of consumer lending, I began to focus on mortgage lending in 1995.   I joined Neighborhood Finance Corporation (NFC) as Director of Lending in August of 2018.  This has allowed me to combine my years of mortgage experience and knowledge with a passion for neighborhood revitalization.

What is the biggest challenge or opportunity you have seen in the mortgage industry?
The challenges are the never-ending regulatory and lending changes, and keeping customers and partners educated.  The biggest opportunities are in affordable housing, protecting housing values, and strengthening the community through neighborhood revitalization.  Organizations like NFC who are are creating  new community partnerships while offering unique lending products showcase how creative our industry can be at solving community challenges.

What advice would you give people just entering the industry? 
Be honest. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver.  Never stop learning and be coachable.

Do you have a quick tip for saving time, generating leads, tracking information, etc. that you would like to share?
I believe setting proper expectations through timely communication is key. I also  strive to serve as a trusted resource to both staff and consumers.

When you are not at work, what do you like to do most?
I am a big college sports fan. I enjoy watching movies and playing board games with my family.

What is a quote or a guiding principle you live by?
Work hard, stay humble.  Be brave, be proud, be bold, be your best!!!

Sharelle Baker

Sharelle_Bakerweb

How did you get involved in the mortgage industry?
I started working for Linn Area Credit Union as a Member Service Specialist which gave me the opportunity to explore all departments within the credit union and help with coverage. I spent a summer helping the mortgage processing team in 2016 which led me to my current full-time position as a Mortgage Loan Assistant

What is the biggest challenge or opportunity you have seen in the mortgage industry?
I haven’t been in the industry long enough to see many challenges, but I do see reaching millennials as somewhat of a challenge. Many millennials are comfortable on using technology alone to transact business. I believe we, in the industry, must adapt to the digital world to reach out to millennials and generations below.

What advice would you give people just entering the industry?
You will never know everything in this industry. You will learn something new every single day.

Do you have a quick tip for saving time, generating leads, tracking information, etc. that you would like to share?
I’m not an originator, but I’ve had success with referrals in other products/services that our credit union offers and my advice is simple: Ask for the business!

When you are not at work, what do you like to do most?
When I’m not at work, you can see me taking a yoga class, trying new craft beer, or travelling.

What is a quote or a guiding principle you live by?
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started” – Mark Twain

Amy Smith

Amy_Smithweb

How did you get involved in the mortgage industry?
I was previously a Personal Banker and enjoyed the home equity clients.

What is the biggest challenge or opportunity you have seen in the mortgage industry?
Changes are always occurring and opportunities are always there.

What advice would you give people just entering the industry?
Hang in There!  You will grow & it is rewarding to help people!

When you are not at work, what do you like to do most?
I am on my bike any time that I get the chance.

What is a quote or a guiding principle you live by?
“Never, Never, Never Give Up.” – Winston Churchill

Kelly Rush

Kelly_Rushweb

How did you get involved in the mortgage industry?
Upon graduation from UNI, I began my lending career at a finance company.  In 1994, I was hired by First Citizens Bank as an installment loan lender, primarily focused on working with auto dealers on indirect lending and also direct lending.  An opening in the mortgage department eventually came available and I’ve been in mortgage lending ever since.

What is the biggest challenge or opportunity you have seen in the mortgage industry?
The biggest challenge to me is staying up to date with the ever changing compliance and regulations.  Seminars and in-house training help to try and stay up to date.

What advice would you give people just entering the industry?
I feel the biggest attribute a person can have coming into the mortgage industry is organization skills.  You have to keep your schedule organized to make sure each customer’s loan process is handled accurately and timely in accordance with TRID guidelines.

When you are not at work, what do you like to do most?
Our family are avid Iowa Hawkeye fans.  We have season tickets to the football games and try to attend a few basketball games and wrestling meets each year.  Other than that, my wife and I try to spend as much time with our 3 adult daughters as much as we can, as schedules get busier and busier.

What is a quote or a guiding principle you live by?
With regards to the mortgage industry, I pride myself on trying to make the mortgage process as easy and unintimidating as possible for my customers.

Ryan Venz

Ryan VenzWeb

How did you get involved in the mortgage industry?
After graduating from college in 2009 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, I started at First Citizens Bank in the teller area and then accepted the position of Trust & Investment Associate.  Within our bank a job opportunity in Real Estate Lending became available.  Being new to the mortgage industry, my eyes were opened to the real estate lending process.  It is a very rewarding industry, and I am looking forward to helping borrowers achieve their goals in the years ahead.

What is the biggest challenge or opportunity you have seen in the mortgage industry?
I believe the biggest obstacle is staying up-to-date with the changing rules and regulations within the real estate industry.  By taking advantage of webinars and training, it helps with the learning curve.

What advice would you give people just entering the industry?
My biggest tip would be to stay organized to make sure you are informed as to where each loan is at in the process.

When you are not at work, what do you like to do most?
When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.  I enjoy being outside during the summer and love to camp and show ponies in my spare time.

What is a quote or a guiding principle you live by?
I do my best to live by the Golden Rule.