MBA Opens Doors Foundation Announces 2018 Award Winners

WASHINGTON, D.C.–The Mortgage Bankers Association announced recipients of the MBA Opens Doors Foundation annual awards, which recognize those who have made lasting contributions to advance the Foundation’s mission of providing mortgage and rental assistance payment grants to parents and guardians caring for a critically ill or injured child.

ODFAt a reception here at the MBA Annual Convention and Expo, the Foundation presented its annual Community Champion Award and two inaugural awards: the Founder’s Award and the Spirit Award. The 2018 Opens Doors Foundation award winners are:

Community Champion Award: SWBC Mortgage CEO Susan Stewart and President Van Stewart

Founder’s Award: former MBA President and CEO David H. Stevens, CMB, and his wife, Mary Stevens

Spirit Award: Sharyn Torrisi-Cartwright, Vice President of Human Resources with Pulte Mortgage; Cheryl Paul, CMB, Senior Vice President and Director of Mortgage with Settlers Bank; and Susan Brown, CMB, Senior Vice President and Construction and Renovation Production Manager with Umpqua Bank.

“The MBA Opens Doors Foundation this year is honoring seven outstanding individuals whose commitment to our mission encompasses years of unwavering support and leadership,” said Debra W. Still, CMB, President and CEO of Pulte Mortgage and Chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. “Through their selfless efforts and personal contributions, this year’s award winners have significantly boosted the Foundation’s visibility and impact, in turn positively affecting the lives of countless families with injured or critically ill children.”

“The Foundation is able to develop and support programs that promote and defend sustainable homes for American families in need because of the leadership, compassion and commitment to helping others shown regularly by this year’s winners,” Still added.

The Community Champion Award, created in 2013, recognizes an individual, group or company that has dedicated significant time and effort to advance the Foundation’s mission. Susan and Van Stewart were chosen as this year’s winners for their longstanding personal and professional commitment.

As an ODF board director, Susan Stewart has willingly stepped up to champion the Foundation at MBA and state MBA events. Together, Susan and Van Stewart’s commitment to the Foundation goes beyond their company’s generous support, with personal contributions of $245,000 since 2016. Additionally, their company, SWBC Mortgage, has maintained distinguished Guardian level corporate sponsorship with nearly $500,000 in contributions since 2013.

Celebrating the prominent role they played in establishing the Foundation back in 2011, David and Mary Stevens were presented with the first-ever Founder’s Award. The inaugural award was created to recognize one or more individuals whose demonstrated action has occurred over a sustained period of time. Honorees exemplify the core values, spirit and essence on which the Foundation was founded.

Since the Foundation’s inception in 2011, David Stevens has personally committed $50,000 to cover the Foundation’s expenses. Under his leadership, MBA’s involvement has grown exponentially, where it covers all the Foundation’s administrative costs so that every dollar ODF raises can be passed on to families in need. During this same period, Mary Stevens has spearheaded the grants process and served on the grant review committee, reading hundreds of applications from families across the country each month. Her leadership helped to formalize the Foundation’s relationships with nine participating hospitals.

Torris-Cartwright, Paul and Brown were jointly presented with this year’s inaugural Spirit Award, which recognizes a group of individuals, from one or more organizations, whose enthusiasm and support for the Foundation brought new people and organizations to its roster, while also amplifying the impact it has had on vulnerable families in America.

Since 2013, Torrisi-Cartwright has organized company-wide events at Pulte in support of the Foundation, engaging teams in games, picnics, auctions and farmer’s markets to raise awareness and funds for the Foundation. Over the past five years, her efforts have raised in excess of $60,000 from Pulte Mortgage employees.

In 2018, Paul and Brown launched a $40,000 fundraising campaign to rally all Certified Mortgage Bankers (CMBs) to band together and adopt the Foundation as their charity of choice. Their efforts have brought in new donors and have raised the visibility of the Foundation’s work.

MBA Opens Doors currently passes 100 percent of donations it receives to families in need of assistance. Potential recipients of the grants are identified through the Foundation’s ongoing relationship with children’s hospitals in Akron, Ohio; Boston; Dallas-Fort Worth; Denver; Houston; northern and southern California; and Washington, D.C.

MBA Opens Doors is a 501(c) (3) organization. All contributions are tax-deductible. For more information about the Foundation or to make a donation, visit