Welcome to our Summer 2021 News!


President's Message

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By Michelle Knoebel, CMB

President, MBA of Florida


I would like to thank the Mortgage Bankers of Florida for honoring me with the opportunity to serve as your President for 2021/2022. I am extremely thankful for this association and its members and I credit it with much of my success in this industry. Knowledge is power and the MBA armed me with the education I needed to thrive. It’s not just my story, but the story of many of my predecessors and industry leaders. I will work as hard as hard as I can, along with your help, to promote and protect this association.


The past year and a half we experienced uncertain and unprecedented times. But while other industries struggled the mortgage industry flourished. With mortgage rates at the lowest level in decades we’ve been able to help many stay in homes that were otherwise unaffordable due to job loss or other pandemic related circumstances.


Although the mortgage industry boomed, our in-person gatherings came to a screeching halt. Without the revenue from the conventions the viability of our Association, like many across the nation, was literally in question. Under Sherry’s leadership and with her tenacity not only did we survive, in many ways we thrived. To bring in revenue she built on her theme of “Together We are More Powerful” and began a campaign “Help Support the Industry That Supports You”. That rally cry really resonated with people and led to remarkable growth. We actually DOUBLED our membership.


Our Back-to-Back Eastern Secondary and Annual Conferences this year were also a resounding success. The location was fantastic, the food was great and the excitement was contagious. The lineup of speakers and sessions were outstanding and included many national industry leaders. We enjoyed record attendance and unanimously positive feedback.


As your President I am excited to embark on exciting new opportunities and challenges- although hopefully none like last year! Again I’d like to thank you for your support of our association and our industry. This year’s theme, Financial Security for Future Endurance builds on our past year’s success. Our financial viability is paramount to our long term success. Let’s work together and continue to grow our membership so that our dues cover our fixed costs and so we can share the many benefits of participation with our colleagues. With a dedicated and experienced Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Chapter President and Members I’m confident we can have one of the best years ever!  

Welcome 2021/2022 Board of Directors

Executive Committee

(To View online-Click Here)


Michelle Knoebel, CMB



Doug Leever

Tropical Financial CU


Yvette Clermont, CMB, AMP

Inlanta Mortgage


Sherry Wenrich

Homebridge Financial Services, Inc.


Robert Villalon

National MI


Sherry Gallitz, CMB

Union Home Mortgage


(To View Online-Click Here)

Gina Dionisio

Fairwinds Credit Union

Timothy Bazell

South State Bank

Van Evans


Brian Chibbaro


Tim Allen, CMB

iberiabank Mortgage

Dustin Owen, CMB

Waterstone Mortgage Corp.

Carole Ducote

Flagstar Bank

Debbie Moore, CMB

Capital Markets Cooperative

Local Chapter Presidents

(To View Online-Click Here)



Brittany Johnson




Yvette Clermont, AMP, CMB




Brian Chibbaro




Roberto Riadigos 



Kalen Lind




Amanda Russell




Megan Thanasides


2021 Eastern Secondary Market Conference

and Annual Convention

What a Great Event!

After two years since our last Secondary Conference and Annual Convention we were able to successfully come together June 22-24 at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress.

This newsletter would be very long if we thanked everyone that pitched in to help, the committee volunteers, the speakers, the sponsors, our exhibitors and attendees that waited so long to attend an event, and a powerful testament to our past leaders and members is the continued commitment we have from many individuals, that we must mention a few that stepped up this year! Past president Kristina Holmen Mohr, CMB, (and retired) came to lead all days at the registration desk, and as well, she provided the invocation and installation of officers. Chuck Ivy, Director Emeritus, also retired, was front and center every day at the registration desk. Georges Lussier, Director Emeritus, also retired, worked hard making sure the golf event was a success. Every single person that raised their hand and helped with anything that had to do with this event deserves a round of applause. We thank our committee members, all listed in the final program! The MPAC event was a big success with Robert Villalon and Doug Leever always on the lookout for ticket sales. MBAF staff Kevin Cavanaugh provided a surprise special game of Cornhole game and two amazing all American prizes, which you will notice within the prize table photo below.

We know this was the first event folks were able to come to and while everyone got a lot of walking exercise to get to our meeting space it was so worth it. The sessions were well attended and the exhibit hall had amazing traffic. The best part was being together and network in person. President Sherry Gallitz, CMB presented the highest honor of the Brown L. Whatley award to Michael Azzarello, CMB. Well deserved! Congratulations. We know both Michael and Sherry both had major challenges due to the pandemic and we could not have asked for better leaders during this time. We commend and thank them for their dedication.

CLICK HERE-To access the final program including some of our speaker presentations.

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Michael Azzarello, CMB receives the Brown L. Whatley Award from President Sherry Gallitz, CMB.

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So many photo ops! Click the link below to access the album on facebook.

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2021/2022 Officer Installation above and below Robert Villalon, MPAC Chair/MC, the table of prizes and Cornhole game!

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View the 2021 Event Photo Album on Facebook-Click Here

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Click Here to View Committees and Sign Up All Committees are gearing up for the year. It pays to participate and be involved in the decisions and activities of your association!

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Click Here to Access the Future Leaders Information and Application

MBAF’s Future Leaders Program is dedicated to identifying and cultivating the next generation of industry leaders by delivering a comprehensive leadership training experience for selected participants through four events offered throughout the year.

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Click Here for Information on the Mortgage Action Alliance

Through the Mortgage Action Alliance (MAA), we give all real estate professionals a platform and a voice. It's time to use it to help shape policies and be part of building the next era of real estate finance. Signing up is free and quick!.

Have You Renewed?

Membership Renewals are due on July 1st. If you are not on the list below we have not received your payment. You can log in to renew online Click Here or email [email protected] for a hard copy of your invoice.

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Upcoming Webinars

Don't STOP soaking in the education! These upcoming webinars are packed with great information for you. Register today.

August 11, 2021 at 11:30 AM

Connecting to Close: Top Producer’s Mindset presented by Radian-Click for Information and Registration

September 16, 2021 at 11 AM

Hedging 101 presented by Vice Capital Markets-Click for Information and Registration

Another webinar coming by year's end!

Special Thanks to our Annual Sponsors~

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