Notable mortgage industry hires and promotions, February 15-February 19


Sprout Mortgage has announced that, effective immediately, Michael Strauss has been promoted to the newly created role of CEO from his previous role as president, and that Shea Pallante has been appointed President. Previously, Pallante served as chief production officer at Sprout. Pallante joined Sprout in 2016; prior to Sprout, he was a managing director at Civic Financial Services Inc. He holds a bachelor’s degree in labor law from Penn State University.


Guild Mortgage has continued to expand in the Midwest with the addition of senior loan officers James Finch and Hannah Cartwright to its Overland Park, Kansas, branch. Finch and Cartwright join Guild from First National Bank of Omaha. Finch has close to 20 years of mortgage lending experience, while Cartwright has been in the industry for seven years.


LenderClose has added two new product team members: Kent McDonald as product manager and Ryan McDonnell as delivery lead. McDonald brings more than 20 years’ experience in business analysis and product management to LenderClose. In addition to consulting with numerous businesses over the years, McDonald founded KBP Media, a business analysis and product management resource center for product owners, business analysts and product managers. He holds an MBA in entrepreneurship and information technology from Kent University and a bachelor’s degree in industrial manufacturing and systems engineering from Iowa State University. McDonnell is a business analyst who most recently served as a team member at consulting firm Keyot and also has experience at Land O’ Lakes, Inc. He has a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management and management information systems from Iowa State University.

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Greystone has announced that Jeff Pirhalla has joined as a director for the firm’s agency lending platform. In this role, Pirhalla will focus on bank correspondent and lending relationships intended to drive volume for Greystone’s small loans and overall agency lending platforms. He comes to Greystone after five years at CBRE, where he founded the Wholesale and Bank Correspondent Lending divisions. His previous roles included national accounts manager for Sabal Financial; portfolio surveillance and risk analysis for Wells Fargo’s CMBS and Agency loan portfolios; and helping expand commercial real estate lending platforms for Impac Commercial Capital Corp, SunTrust Banks, and JPMorgan’s CMBS division. he will be based in Atlanta and Charlotte.


Sabal Capital Partners has added Owen Bouton and Michael Cozza as managing directors of the company’s commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) group. With more than 15 years of experience, Bouton was most recently executive director of loan production at CIBC. He has also served as vice president of loan production at Hunt Mortgage Group and vice president of loan production at LStar Capital. He graduated from Wake Forest University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and earned his MBA from Georgia State University. Cozza has more than 25 years of experience, most recently as executive director and senior loan originator at CIBC World Markets. Cozza has also served as vice president and loan officer at Northfield Bank as well as vice president and senior loan originator at JP Morgan Capital. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Hofstra University.


Acopia, LLC, parent company of Acopia Home Loans, Accurate Mortgage Group and Acopia Capital Group, has announced the appointment of Joey Davidson as its new president. Davidson has served in several leadership positions since joining the company in 2008, including vice president of compliance, senior vice president of Acopia Home Loans, and his most recent role as executive vice president of Acopia, LLC. In addition, Davidson was the previous owner and operator of Meridian Mortgage Corporation.

MAXEX has announced the additions of Maloch Spivey and Steven R. Valladares to the company’s management team. Spivey joins MAXEX as managing director of Loan Operations and Transaction Management, where he will lead operational delivery across the transaction lifecycle. Prior to joining MAXEX, Spivey was a senior vice president of Correspondent Lending for Wells Fargo. Valladares joins the company as managing director – head of sales, where he will lead the expansion of the company’s seller sales and account management infrastructure. Previousy, Valladares was vice president of national lender development for Wells Fargo. His 33-year career includes senior sales and operations roles at Fannie Mae, Triad Guaranty Insurance Corp. and SunTrust.

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