Former MBA Chairman Michael Young Passes Away

The Mortgage Bankers Association learned of the recent death of Michael W. Young, who founded Cenlar Federal Savings Bank, Ewing, N.J., and served as MBA Chairman in 2011-2012.

Michael W. Young

Mr. Young died April 21 in Vero Beach, Fla. He was 79 years old.

“Mike was one of those rare individuals who come along from time to time who was not only brilliant but also blessed with a wonderful and sometimes disarming sense of humor,” said E. Robert Levy, Executive Director and Counsel with the Mortgage Bankers Association of New Jersey, who worked with Mr. Young professionally for several decades.

Mr. Young led an employee organized buyout of Larson Mortgage Co. in New Jersey in 1982. Two years later, his management team bought Centennial Savings and Loan to form Cenlar Federal Savings Bank, the first federally chartered employee-owned thrift. The company shifted its focus to mortgage subservicing and grew to more than 3,000 employees in seven states. Mr. Young served as Chairman of Cenlar until 2015, when he was succeeded by Gregory S. Tornquist, but continued to serve the company as vice chairman of both Cenlar FSB and Cenlar Capital Corp.

Mr. Young was born on Aug. 22, 1942, and began his career in 1962 as a teller at Jersey Shore Savings while attending Monmouth College, earning his bachelor of science degree. He quickly rose through the ranks at Jersey Shore Savings, eventually becoming senior vice president.

In 1969, Mr. Young began working for Larson Mortgage Co., where he worked in residential marketing, then managed the company’s commercial property division from 1972 to 1976. He was appointed President of Larson Mortgage Co. in 1978 and in 1984 he successfully negotiated Larson’s acquisition of Centennial Savings and Loan Association, which were reorganized as Cenlar Capital Corp. and Cenlar FSB.

“Cenlar has positioned itself by focusing on the needs of the marketplace,” Mr. Young told MBA NewsLink in a 2010 interview. “We then created scalable capacity through arduous planning for technology, personnel and space. We review strategic directions in the marketplace on an ongoing basis to keep ourselves ahead of the curve in order to provide the broadest menu possible to our clients. In the end we are able to offer our clients a private label product selected to meet their individual strategies.”

Mr. Young became active with the Mortgage Bankers Association of New Jersey, serving two terms as its President, and also became active with MBA, serving in volunteer capacities for more than four decades. Mr. Young became Vice Chairman of MBA in October 2009; Chairman-Elect in October 2010; and was elected Chairman at the Association’s 98th Annual Convention & Expo in Chicago. He also served on numerous committees and task forces, as well as the MBA Board of Directors, the MBA Residential Board of Governors and the MBA Council on Ensuring Mortgage Liquidity, a task force of MBA members created to examine policy options and issue recommendations for the future of the secondary mortgage market.

Mr. Young said he was honored to serve as MBA Chairman “No other trade association has the depth and breadth of membership to fully represent that entire mortgage finance industry – big, medium and small, residential, commercial and multifamily,” he said.

Mr. Levy called Mr. Young “one of the truly great representatives of our industry. [He] was one of the most creative thinkers ever to preside over our Association,” he said.

Mr. Young’s wife of 53 years, Diane, preceded him in death. He is survived by his partner of four years, Stephanie, four children, their spouses and seven grandchildren, as well as five siblings, their spouses, 10 nieces and nephews and their families.

Condolences may be shared online