Introducing America’s Most Influential Mortgage Experts

Meet the most-connected mortgage professional in every state in this MoneyTips Exclusive Study

Introducing America’s Most Influential Mortgage Experts
February 24, 2016

Entering a mortgage is often the biggest financial transaction any of us will ever make. Whether you’re a first-time buyer, moving up in the real estate world, downsizing, or refinancing to take advantage of lower interest rates, you need all the help you can get.

At MoneyTips, we strongly believe in the power of community to share knowledge. We therefore commissioned a study to determine who the most influential mortgage experts in the nation are. Since real estate is based on location, we strove to find the top mortgage professional in each state plus our nation’s capital.

A list of more than 400 individuals with expertise in mortgage including journalists, loan officers, and real estate specialists was compiled by Evolve! Inc. using cutting-edge tools and engagement resources like GroupHigh, Alexa, Little Bird, Klout, and LinkedIn. The top candidates were then narrowed down and ranked to determine their influence, social popularity, engagement metrics, and more.

The weighted ranks helped us find those who have built their followings by providing their supporters with the most engaging and relevant information on mortgage rates, refis, and other mortgage-related issues. The experts below leverage social media to help Americans gain the most up-to-date and pertinent knowledge.

For the first time ever, this exclusive MoneyTips study reveals America’s most influential mortgage professionals. Congratulations to everyone who made the list! If you have mortgage questions, enter them here, and we will seek to get the most influential professional in your state to answer. The list is arranged alphabetically by state.

Brandon Snider, @mortgagebrandon – Alabama – District Manager of Willow Bend Mortgage, a full-service mortgage banking firm

Lisa Makoni, @lisamakoni – Alaska – Nearly ten years’ mortgage experience; Senior Mortgage Loan Originator for Alaska USA Mortgage

Lillian Wong, @lillianwong – Arizona – Senior Loan Consultant for Prospect Mortgage with over 23 years in the mortgage industry

Richard Gathright, @richgathright – Arkansas – Realtor for Weichert Realtors, The Griffin Company, one of the nation's leading providers of homeownership services

Ginger Wilcox, @gingerw – California – Chief Industry Officer of Sindeo, an online service focusing on helping consumers navigate the mortgage process; named one of 2015’s Most Connected Mortgage Professionals by National Mortgage Professional Magazine

Chae Bae, @chaebae – Colorado – 20-year mortgage/real estate veteran; Managing Member of Professional Mortgage Source LLC, which has closed over $3 billion in loans

Tony Garritano, @engageprogress – Connecticut – Chairman/Founder to PROGRESS in Lending Association which provides thought leadership to lending professionals

Dan Zitofsky, @dzitofsky – Delaware – Founder/CEO, 302 Wholesale, a company helping distressed homeowners get out from under their homes

Chris Brown, @Chris_Brown_ – Florida – Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist, Loan Officer/Mortgage Broker for Certified Mortgage Planners

Vikki Moffitt, @TitleExaminer4u – Georgia – Founder/CEO of Southern Abstract Services, LLC, one of the nation’s first certified abstractors, examiners and forensic legal researchers

Brian Bender, @benderthelender – Hawaii – Owner/President/Senior Loan Officer of Kama'aina Mortgage Group, a licensed direct lender

Jessika Ondrick, @jessikaondrick – Idaho – 24-year veteran of the mortgage industry; Senior Mortgage Loan Originator for OneTrust Home Loans

Jason Accola, @jasonaccola – Illinois – Senior Mortgage Consultant for Wintrust Mortgage; named Illinois’ #1 Mortgage Originator by the Illinois Housing Development Authority for the last four years

James K Barath, @jkbarath – Indiana – Certified Mortgage Planner/Loan Officer/Loan Originator/Mortgage Banker for LeaderOne Financial Corp.

Tyler Osby, @tylerosby – Iowa – Branch Manager/Certified Mortgage Planner at Fairway Independent Mortgage

Dustan Shepherd, @203klender – Kansas – Renovation Mortgage Specialist for Prospect Mortgage, LLC, one of the largest independent residential retail mortgage lenders in the U.S.

Timothy Heyne, @theyne – Kentucky – More than a decade in the mortgage industry; Senior Mortgage Banker for First Commonwealth Mortgage

Louise Thaxton, @LouiseThaxton – Louisiana – Mortgage Banker/Branch Manager at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp.; has been recognized as a Top VA Loan Originator by Scotsman Guide

Brendan Fontaine, @brendanfontaine – Maine – Senior Mortgage Lender at Academy Mortgage Corporation; named one of 2015’s top independent purchase lenders in the country by CoreLogic Marketrac Report

Lewis Poretz, @LewisPoretz – Maryland – Business Development Manager for Atlantic Financial, Inc.

Bill Gassett, @massrealty – Massachusetts – Realtor/Real Estate Agent, RE/MAX Executive Realty; one of the top 5 RE/MAX agents in Massachusetts for thirteen of the last fifteen years

Dan Milstein, @danmilstein – Michigan – CEO of Gold Star Family of Companies; over $3 billion in personal career mortgage sales

Alex Stenback, @Alex_Stenback – Minnesota – Mortgage Banker for Alerus Mortgage; Founder/Blogger, "Behind The Mortgage"

Wint McGee, @MortgageMan11 – Mississippi – Vice President of Mortgage Lending for Affordable Lending Group, LLC, a company with over 30 years of combined lending experience

Mike Towler, @mortgagemiket – Missouri – 22 years of experience in mortgages; Licensed Loan Officer/Mortgage Consultant at First Mortgage Solutions

Mark DeLorme Jr., @MarkDeLorme – Montana – 10-year Loan Officer for American Homestead Mortgage LLC

Jeremy Wilhelm, @Clear_To_Close – Nebraska – Nearly a decade of mortgage experience; Owner/Mortgage Planner at The Private Mortgage Group

Debbie Drummond, @vegashomepro – Nevada – Realtor at Simply Vegas; specializing in luxury homes for more than 10 years

Jim Giller, @GillerJim – New HampshireAssistant Vice President/Mortgage Loan Officer at Mascoma Saving Bank

Barry Habib, @barryhabib – New Jersey – Founder/CEO of MBS Highway; former market expert on FOX and CNBC Networks

Rich Cederberg, @RichCederberg – New Mexico – Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker at eXp Realty with more than 10 years’ real estate expertise

Joe Light, @joelight – New York – Housing and mortgage reporter for The Wall Street Journal

Kelly B Waugh, @KellyBLoans – North Carolina – Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist at Fairway Independent Mortgage with more than a decade in the mortgage industry

Roxanne Miller Fliginger – North Dakota – Mortgage Loan Officer of US Bank Home Mortgages, which was recognized as one of 2015’s Most Admired Superregional Banks in the world by Fortune

Paul Sian, @PaulPsian – Ohio – Realtor at HER Realtors; named one of America’s top real estate professional teams by The Wall Street Journal and REAL Trends for five consecutive years

Debra Jones, @DebraJOnline – Oklahoma – Owner/Mortgage Industry Speaker at Debra Jones Online

Dave Savage, @dsavagemc – Oregon – Nearly 20 years as the CEO of Mortgage Coach, a mobile and desktop software company helping loan officers improve closing ratios

Paul Carson, @PaulJCarson – Pennsylvania – Senior Mortgage Loan Originator at Mortgage Network Inc.; Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist

Daniel Johnson, @MortgageFanDan – Rhode Island – Loan Officer, Embrace Home Loans; recently recognized among the INC. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in America

Nathan Ballentine, @NathanBallentin – South Carolina – Market Leader for Movement Mortgage, LLC

Brent VanderGriend – South Dakota – Mortgage Banker/Department Manager at Reliabank Dakota with 15 years’ experience in the mortgage industry

Shawn Kaplan, @HomeLoanTweeter – Tennessee – Over 15 years’ experience in the mortgage industry; Licensed Mortgage Banker/Branch Manager for The Kaplan Team of Legacy Mutual Mortgage

Elizabeth Rose, @1ElizabethRose – Texas – Nearly 2 decades in the mortgage industry; Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist /Residential Mortgage Loan Originator at Highlands Residential Mortgage

John Glen Stevens, @JohnGlenStevens – Utah – Vice President of Business Development for Mountain West Financial Inc., a full-service, privately held mortgage lender

Mark Chaffee, @burlingtonbuzz – Vermont – Vice President of Mortgage Financial, an Approved Wholesale Correspondent Lender

Miguel Carvajal, @MCTopRealEstate – Virginia – Realtor for Century 21 Redwood Realty

Rhonda Porter, @mortgageporter – Washington – Licensed Mortgage Originator for Mortgage Master Service Corporation

Diana Olick, @DianaOlick – Washington, DC – Emmy Award-winning journalist, CNBC's real estate correspondent; author of Realty Check on

Katie Richter, @Katie__Richter – West Virginia – Loan Officer at Sierra Pacific Mortgage Company, Inc.

Karen Deis, @MortgageCurrent – Wisconsin – Publisher of and Founder of and; spent 28 years in the mortgage industry

Glenn Stearns, @glennstearns – Wyoming – Founder and Chairman of Stearns Lending, LLC, the 2nd-largest privately held mortgage company in the U.S.

MoneyTips is happy to help you get free refinance quotes from top lenders.

  Conversation   |   14 Comments

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Carla | 02.24.16 @ 20:29
Congrats for making the list! Social media does make a bigger impact than most think.
gracie | 02.24.16 @ 20:30
Ok this list is going in my file of things I will need in the near future. I hadn't given the experts much thought in purchasing my home but this article really sparked my interest on finding out more! Thanks for an interesting read that is going to prove helpful to me soon!
Bobbie | 02.24.16 @ 20:33
Thank you for this list! Looking to buy and sell in the next three years in two different states. This will be handy when the time comes.
trish | 02.24.16 @ 20:35
What an amazing compiled list. This is great. Definitely going to bookmark and share with friends.
irene | 02.24.16 @ 20:36
Looks like a great list to be part of, congratulations to those who made it.
Amanda | 02.24.16 @ 20:40
Congrats on making the list, I'm not in the area of buying or selling but will share it to others.
Erin | 02.24.16 @ 20:40
Congratulations to all of these individuals. I'm sure it took a lot of work and dedication to make the list!
Brittany | 02.24.16 @ 20:40
This is so great! This is a wonderful list and congrats for making it as well!
Kailie | 02.24.16 @ 20:42
This is wonderful! congrats for making the list. Social media is a wonderful thing
Tina | 02.24.16 @ 21:52
What a fantastic list, thank you! We're wanting to refinance and it's nice to see a name for each state. Very helpful.
Sarah | 02.25.16 @ 15:23
It's nice to have a list like this, one that includes each state. Congrats to those listed, it's an amazing thing,really.
Mark | 02.26.16 @ 00:36
This required a lot of work. Great job
Brandon | 03.09.16 @ 19:48
What a great honor! I recognize a lot of names on this list and I'm honored to be named among them.
Hunt Gersin | 05.13.16 @ 13:54
Congrats on making the list.
$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 04.10.21 @ 22:13