People in the News Aug. 4, 2022: Nicole Malaske Joins MBA as Director of Commercial/Multifamily Finance

MBA Names Nicole Malaske Director of Commercial/Multifamily Finance

Nicole Malaske

Nicole Malaske joined the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Commercial/Multifamily Department as Director of Commercial/Multifamily Finance.

Malaske has nearly 20 years of professional experience. She comes to MBA from Northmarq, where she spent the past 15 years in executive positions, most recently as Vice President and Manager of Loan Servicing. She previously served Northmarq as Assistant Vice President/Senor Commercial Insurance Manager and as an Insurance Supervisor.

Prior to Northmarq, Malaske served as a Team Lead/Loan Processor with First Residential Mortgage Corp., and as a Licensed Social Worker with St. Louis Park (Minn.) Plaza Healthcare Center. She earned her Bachelor of Arts and Executive MBA from the University of St. Thomas.

Malaske can be reached at

nCino Announces Executive Leadership Appointments

nCino Inc., Wilmington, N.C., announced several appointments across its executive leadership team.

Matt Hansen

Matt Hansen has been named Chief Product Officer of nCino, overseeing the Company’s Product Development & Engineering organization globally. In 2011, Hansen founded SimpleNexus, an nCino company, and served as its CEO for more than 10 years. He will leverage his expertise in SaaS development and mobile applications. He is a past recipient of the MBA NewsLink Tech All-Star Award.

Jaime Punishill

Jaime Punishill has been named Chief Market Officer (CMO) of nCino, taking over for Jonathan Rowe, who is taking on a new role with the Company after serving as its CMO since 2012. He joins nCino from Lionbridge, a translation and localization company, where he served as its Chief Marketing Officer for the past five years. Prior to Lionbridge, he served as Head of Brand Strategy and Digital Marketing at TIAA, and was Global Head of Content and Digital Distribution at Thomson Reuters and Head of Digital Innovation for Citibank N.A.

Ben Miller

Ben Miller has been named Chief Executive Officer of SimpleNexus, an nCino Company, taking over for Cathleen Schreiner Gates, who will remain with the company in an advisory capacity. Miller co-founded SimpleNexus and has played a critical role in scaling the business into the leading digital homeownership software company in the U.S., serving more than 300 independent mortgage banks, more than 100 banks and credit unions and more than 49,000 loan originators nationwide. Miller has more than 15 years of experience driving business strategy, operations and go-to-market activities.

Susan Mudry

Susan Mudry Named NewPoint COO

NewPoint Real Estate Capital, Chevy Chase, Md., promoted Susan Mudry to Chief Operating Officer. She takes over from Phil Spellberg, who helped to found and launch NewPoint, and served in the role during the firm’s first year of operations. While he is formally retiring, Spellberg will remain a Senior Advisor to the firm for the next year to provide strategic counsel and help continue to grow the NewPoint platform.

Mudry joined NewPoint in February as Senior Managing Director for Process Reengineering and Strategic Execution. She will focus on new product development, strategy and processes. In addition, she continues to lead the company’s diversity, equity and inclusion strategy.

Mudry has spent more than two decades in the real estate finance industry. Prior to joining NewPoint, she held a wide variety of leadership roles with increasing responsibility throughout her 25 years at Freddie Mac. Most recently, she was Chief of Staff to the CEO and President. Previously, she was Vice President of Multifamily Strategy, Marketing and Offerings, where she worked across the organization to direct effective operations and execute business and human capital strategies during a period of significant growth and innovation.

Tom Simon

Exceleras Names Tom Simon CEO

Exceleras, Glencoe, Ill., promoted Tom Simon, the company’s former Chief Experience Officer, to Chief Executive Officer.

Simon, along with Michael D. Romano, joined Exceleras in 2020. Since that time, Simon and Romano have been in co-leadership positions. With this change, Simon will lead the company as CEO and Romano will serve as Chief Operating Officer.

Simon’s career has been built inside large, fortune 100 companies, including Motorola, Baxter Healthcare, HP and CNA Insurance. He specializes in building customer-focused organizations, cultivating leadership, aligning culture and optimizing talent. Simon also has significant experience in Six Sigma and Lean and has focused on bringing these principles to Exceleras.

Lauren Smyle

Lauren Smyle Joins BridgeCore Capital as Senior Director of Loan Originations

BridgeCore Capital Inc., Beverly Hills, Calif., named Lauren Smyle Senior Director of Loan Originations. She will be responsible for overseeing loan originations on commercial real estate in markets served by BridgeCore throughout the country. 

Based in San Diego, Smyle has nearly a decade of relevant origination, underwriting and portfolio management experience in the banking and private, bridge lending industries.

Jace Stirling

Jace Stirling Joins Embrace Home Loans as Regional Sales Manager

Embrace Home Loans, Middletown, R.I., appointed James “Jace” Stirling regional sales manager for the company’s Southeast region. He will lead and develop the Embrace sales teams in all states from Virginia to Florida, including Alabama. In addition, he will be recruiting mortgage originators, as well as branch managers.

Stirling has more than 25 years of mortgage industry experience and has held leadership roles with several major lenders. He began his career as a loan officer, and then spent a decade with Wells Fargo, where he served as the general manager of a joint venture between Wells Fargo and a major homebuilder. He served nearly 10 years at SunTrust, starting as vice president/market manager and eventually becoming senior vice president/division manager, mortgage in the greater D.C., Northern Virginia, Maryland and Delaware markets. Most recently, he was Mid-Atlantic regional manager for U.S. Bank. He is a former member of the Board of Governors of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Metropolitan Washington.

Eric T. Baum

Eric T. Baum Joins Greystone Monticello

Greystone Monticello, New York, named Eric T. Baum Head of the Multifamily Bridge Sales Desk, working closely with the firms’ originators, including sizing, quoting and issuing bridge loan applications.

Baum brings more than 25 years of experience in commercial real estate lending, management and credit analysis to Greystone Monticello. Throughout the course of his career, he has originated, structured, underwritten and closed more than $23.2 billion of commercial real estate debt products on all property types. Most recently, he was a Managing Director at Lument, where he originated new bridge loan opportunities for multifamily assets, including nearly stabilized and transitional properties. He has served as a Managing Director at Exantas Real Estate Funding, focusing on loan underwriting, credit analysis and closings, and has also held senior positions with CW Financial Services, Ventras and Capmark Financial Group/GMAC Commercial Mortgage.

Kriistie Moruzzi

CBRE Adds Kristie Moruzzi as Sr. Client Account Exec

CBRE, New York, announced Kristie Moruzzi joined its Valuation & Advisory Services team as Senior Client Account Executive, Property Tax Services. She will serve the greater New York City area and provide property tax consulting services to real estate firms based in the region.

Moruzzi has been responsible for tax programs of diverse national client portfolios comprising $58 billion in market value and $1.3 billion of real and personal property tax during her career. She joins CBRE from Marvin F. Poer and Company, where she has gained extensive experience in the minimization of client tax liability since 2004.

Darren Russell

Renaissance Home Loans Adds Darren Russell as VP Business Development

Renaissance Mortgage, Royal Palm Beach, Fla., hired Darren Russell as Vice President of Business Development. He will establish corporate alliances designed to improve customer service and reduce the firm’s costs. He will also participate in developing the company’s Q4 horizontal expansion strategy, a multiyear, synthesized concept driven by the headwinds faced within the industry.

Before joining Renaissance Home Loans, Russell was most recently with Mr. Cooper. While there, Russell participated in some of the industry’s more complex correspondent strategies, such as assignment of trade, co-issue and bulk acquisition. He has also worked for numerous large scale mortgage companies, including Pacific Union Financial LLC, First Guaranty Mortgage Corp. and JP Morgan Chase.

Dennis Hermonstyne Jr.

Freddie Mac Names Dennis Hermonstyne Jr., Senior Vice President/Chief Compliance Officer

Freddie Mac, McLean, Va., appointed Dennis Hermonstyne Jr. as senior vice president and chief compliance officer. He will oversee and lead Freddie Mac’s compliance risk management program pertaining to the company’s legal, regulatory and conservatorship obligations.

Hermonstyne brings more than 20 years of experience managing compliance programs for national banks and international financial services companies to Freddie Mac. He will be a member of the company’s senior operating committee and report directly to Chief Executive Officer Michael DeVito and work closely with Chief Risk Officer Anil Hinduja.

Hermonstyne most recently served as Executive Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer of Santander Bank N.A. based in Boston, where he was responsible for overseeing the bank’s strategic compliance program and the policies and procedures for compliance vulnerability across the company. Prior to joining Santander in 2017, he was Deputy Chief Compliance Officer of E*TRADE Bank. His experience also includes several legal positions at federal regulatory agencies, including the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Katie Jones

Fannie Mae Appoints Katie Jones Chief Human Resources Officer

Fannie Mae, Washington, D.C., appointed Katie Jones as Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. She will be a member of Fannie Mae’s Management Committee and oversee the company’s Human Resources function responsible for designing and delivering a comprehensive enterprise-wide strategy to attract, retain, engage and develop talent and support business and strategic priorities.

Jones most recently served as Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at PRA Group, a global financial services firm. Prior to PRA Group, Jones held Senior Vice President positions at SunTrust Bank, AIG and Crestar Bank. In these roles, she led national and global Human Resources functions, including talent acquisition, talent management, learning and development, succession planning, HR systems, total rewards, diversity and inclusion and organizational design.

Greg Holtz

Stewart Title Announces New Hires

Stewart Title, Houston, named Greg Holtz Agency Sales Manager following the recent retirement announcement of longtime Indiana sales manager Thomas Fickle. He will partner with Stewart’s network of title agents in both states. Kelli Buckley joined as Agency Sales Representative and will focus solely on sales in the Indiana market.

Holtz has 24 years of experience servicing independent title agents and supporting their individual needs. He joins Stewart from First American Title where he most recently served as Vice President and Division State Manager for Ohio Agency.

Kelli Buckley

Buckley has 26 years of experience in the title industry, previously working as an examiner and closer along with experience in funding, final policies, and marketing. She joins the Agency team from A.S.K. Services, a Stewart-owned company, where she worked as a top-producing Account Executive and brings deep experience selling across multiple geographical areas to her role at Stewart. Additionally, she is an active member of the Indiana real estate professional community, currently completing her third term as membership chair of the Indiana Land Title Association.

Ashley Coco

Stewart Title also announced Ashley Coco has joined the organization as Louisiana Underwriting Counsel. She will provide title agents within the Stewart Trusted Provider Network™ with underwriting support and solutions for their Louisiana transactions.

Coco brings more than 10 years of experience in real estate and title law. Her background includes commercial real estate deals involving retail, industrial, single/multi-family housing development, and the petrochemical industry. Prior to joining Stewart, she was lead attorney heading the commercial services department of Commerce Title in Baton Rouge. She also previously worked as a title attorney in both the Dallas and Baton Rouge offices of a boutique mortgage banking firm.

Matt Peace

Ncontracts Appoints Matthew Peace Chief Financial Officer

Ncontracts, Brentwood, Tenn., announced Matthew (Matt) Peace joined the company as Chief Financial Officer. He will oversee the company’s accounting and financial planning teams.

Mr. Peace brings more than 25 years of financial and operational expertise in both public and private equity-back companies to Ncontracts. Prior to joining Ncontracts, he served as CFO at ClearStar, CloudNine Discovery, Mi9 Retail and Brightree.  His career encompasses experience in mergers & acquisitions, implementation of financial systems, development of market and product strategies, post integration procedures, and leading numerous debt and equity financing transactions.

Donna Gibson

Inco-Check LLC Appoints President Donna Gibson as Chief Operating Officer, Industry Veterans to Board of Managers

Inco-Check LLC, Boston, appointed President Donna Gibson as Chief Operating Officer; and Faith Schwartz of Housing Finance Strategies and Stephen Spies, formerly of Fannie Mae, to its Board of Managers.

As Chief Operating Officer, Gibson will continue to innovate for the firm in her leadership of delivery operations and tech-enabled business services. She has more than 35 years of quality control experience, including 10 years at IC.

Faith Schwartz

With decades of housing experience, Schwartz and Spies will add their expertise to enhance the Company’s enterprise Loan Quality and Audit services. With more than 30 years of experience, Schwartz is Housing Finance Strategies’ Founder and CEO. In addition to her new role on the IC Board, she is currently serving a two-year term as a member of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Consumer Advisory Board.

Spies is former Fannie Mae Vice President of Loan Quality. During his 22 years at Fannie, his 200+ person team conducted more than 100,000 annual due diligence reviews and guided the industry on how to improve loan manufacturing quality.

Craig Freel

Rice Park Capital Management Promotes Craig Freel to Co-CIO 

Rice Park Capital Management LP, Minneapolis, Minn., promoted Craig Freel to Co-Chief Investment Officer alongside Matt Kennedy, who also serves as Co-CIO.

Prior to Freel’s promotion, he was the head of Mortgage Servicing Rights Investments, where he was responsible for MSR portfolio management, including acquisitions, hedging, financing and disposition of MSR assets. Before joining Rice Park in 2020, he was Senior Vice President of Portfolio Management for RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corp. where he built and managed the company’s MSR trading desk and secondary marketing functions.